Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dick Romanski - One Thing I Bet You Didn't Know

LOOKING BACK
by John Turney 



Dick Romanski, the Oakland Raiders long-time equipment manager passed away last November. He had held that job for the franchise nearly fifty years. Much lore surrounded Romanski, the man who made sure Fred Biletnikoff  and Lester Hayes had plenty of stickum or wrote obcenities on the Raiders practice footballs to keep players from taking them.

It is not clear if he helped Bob "Boomer" Brown sharpen long screws were put on the inside of a helmet that they poked out to ensure that when Deacon Jones used a headslap on Brown that Jones would end up with a quick laceration and deter him from employing that technique the rest of the game. Brown may have done that one on his own.

However, it was interesting to learn that Romanski would tweak the color of the Raiders helmets every so often to give them a different silver hue.

According to Helmet Hut's Dr. Del Rye: (I)t seems ironic that the standard silver hue that has been used over the past 40 years by teams such as the Lions, Oilers, Panthers, Patriots and Raiders has been formally labeled "Raider Silver" by the paint and helmet suppliers. 

Over the years the Raiders have unofficially changed the standard hue of their helmets more than any other team. According to current Raider's equipment manager Bobby Romanski, his father and former longtime Raider's equipment manager Dick Romanski would arbitrarily tweak the standard "Raider Silver" helmet paint formula.

 Some years Dick had a portion of blue color added to the standard formula which darkened the appearance of their helmets. One season, in what seems almost sacrilegious to the Raider image, a portion of pink color was added giving the helmets a subtle champagne glow. We are not sure what inspired Mr. Romanski to take it upon himself to make these changes but they were done during an era where the uniform colors and appearance were not as strictly regulated as they now are."

So, maybe it wasn't your eyes or lighting conditions or film that made the helmets look a bit different one year from the next. Some of these do look slightly different. You be the judge.





2 comments:

  1. Is the champagne glow helmet the one directly above the bottom photo? Well, that is my favorite.

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    1. Not 100% sure, I am told it may be 1973 and that shot you mention is 1973.

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