Monday, June 6, 2016

Facemask Oddities

By John Turney
From 1977 through 1979 Rams right tackle wore this mask. It was two Dungard masks applied to his helmet. The bottom is the Dungard No. DG140 and on top of that is the Dungard No. DG110. 
In 1979 Rams equipment manager concocted a Schutt version of this for Jackie Slater, but he wore it only for the first couple of games and then switched to a more conventional, off-the-rack mask. 
Dan Dierdorf broke his jaw in 1977 but only misses a couple of games. He returned to play with this mask for the remainder of the season and in the Pro Bowl.
Others have used this similar facemask, among them Charlie Smith of the Eagles in 1980 and Doug Williams in 1978. Williams's version was only to the side of the injury. Dierdorf's was to both sides.
Smith's mask was different that either, though the concept was similar. Smith's, like Dierdrof's wrapped around both sides of the helmet. 
Vincie Glenn is a giant jaw protector.
In 1970, when the Ram's Les Josephson broke his jaw, neither Schutt or Dungard had masks ready to go for extra jaw protection. Here, Don Hewitt, the Rams equipment manager added his own ideas the the facemask lore with this creation
Ray Brown of the Falcons, then the Saints wore this mask most of his career. We are not sure if it was the result of an injury and then him taking a liking to the mask, but unless he had a jaw injury for many years, it's likely he liked the extra protection.
H/T to Raider Joe on this Norm Thompson's CO-OPO with jaw protection to the right side.
Kurt Warner wore this extended mask to protect his throat in 2001:
Peyton Manning wore something similar as well:
Mike Garrett seemed to have a T-Bar added to a common Riddell RI220 2-bar mask. The Chiefs equipment manager was very creative with masks that combine two mask for players like Otis Taylor and Morris Stroud.
Fred "The Hammer" Williamson had a Riddell No. RI210 and a No. RI220 to form a 3-bar look.
Otis Taylor and Morris Stroud each had two No. RI210's to form a 2-bar look
In Super Bowl I Taylor's bars seemed further apart. We are not sure if this was intentional or if they got spread during the game.
Sherrill Headrick had a Riddell No. RI220 on top and a Riddell No. RI210 underneath.
Bob Dee, longtime defensive end for the Patriots also had a Riddell No. RI220 on top,  Riddell No. RI210 underneath same as Headrick but added a Riddell U-Bar on top.
Here is a mess.
Ricky Jackson's original multi-bar mask, reportedly made custom by Schutt.
Chris Canty and Justin Tuck rocked the world with these:
Darnell Dockett donned this:
This one a H/T to  They reported the caption read "that's Lions WR Leonard Thompson, wearing “his new helmet to protect his jaw” in December of 1983". We are looking for any shots that may have been taken during the game.
Curtis McClinton had some huge oddity going on in 1969 and in Super Bowl XIV
Cardinals QB Charlie Johnson wore a variety of mask in his career, this one isn't particularly unusual except it seems to be affixed at an unusual angle. It's a basic Dungard No. DG105 mask but it is higher than normal, as you might see on a Bob Greise helmet. It just looks odd to the eye.
This is same mask, but it is attached closer to the earhole
Pete Banaszak, like Johnson of the Cardinals had his mask affixed at an odd angle which made the bars closer to his face than normal.
Another oddball mess or two
Y.A. Tittle with what looks to be two Riddell No. RI210 masks used to create a two-bar look.
Eddie Lebaron had two masks clipped together and also taped.
LeBaron had one of these Riddell arched one-bars with a Riddell No. RI210 below.
Joe Perry wore lots of masks, here he is in the Riddell arched tubular single bar.
The Giants Bill Svoboda wore two Riddell BT-5 masks affixed in a most unusual manner.
Ron Singleton with two Dungard No. DG100 "U" Bars added.
Here is a doosey worn by 49ers Keith Fahnhorst in 1978. Underneath is a Dungard No. DG140. Taped to it is anyone's guess. Fanhhorst maybe was concerned with getting poked in the eye that season.
A really bent Schutt half cage on Rams tight end Bob Klein.
Lance Rentzel with a Marietta No. MA230
Randy Graidshar wore a Riddell  No. RI340 for a short time. It seemed like a cross between a Schutt and Dungard mask.

Joe Scibelli of the Rams would use (sometimes) this contraption for extra protection
Here is the same device used by Roosevelt Brown of the Giants
Here is Marlon McKeever with the same thing, circa 1963
Mark Kelso and Steve Wallace wore the "Procap Eliminator" on their lids for extra protection.
 Not a facemask oddity, but an oddity nonetheless. Raymond Berry in LA Coliseum
Hat tip to @WTHelmets. Garo Yepremium, a Dungard No. DG205 with top bar sawed off.
Ken Stabler with No. Dungard "Supermask" with the nose bar sawed out.
Here are Harold Hart of the Raiders and Aaron Kyle of the Cowboys and Joe Lavender of the Redskins all with a sawed out nose bar of a Schutt CO-NOPO  2 Bar W/ "T" Bar Cage. 

HT to Matthew Toy on Twitter. Caesar Belser with a sawed out nose bar on a 1968 Schutt Square Jaw NOPO.
Not sure who wore this, but it's a Dunard No. DG140 with the "T" or nose bar sawed out.
Jesse Frietas wore this in 1974:
Here are (H/T @WTHelmets) two more with bars sawed out. Grogan has the lower "wire" sawed out and the USFL player has the upper taken out.
Here is a sawed off mask worn by Ted Ginn:
Kenny King of the Raiders had his nose bar sawed out as well:
Rams equipment manager cut the top wire with a bolt cutter and painted the metal blue on this one:
And from the USFL Breakers punter Dario Casarino:

Jim Otto with Riddell 2-bar mask and U-Bar added
Henry Reed's helmet of the NY Giants, much like Otto's
Howie with Riddell JOP cage and U-Bar added
In the 1967 Ice Bowl, Don Meredith had his U-bar mounted almost too high to protect his nose.
The Vikings running back Clint Jones wore this, which may be a sawed off Schutt JOP:
The Browns Len Ford used this to brotect a broken jaw in 1950:
Toni Fritsch adjusted his mask in a way the seemingly endangered his face: 

Tony Zendejas liked to make his face a target, too
Joe Washington wore his mask low and close to the edge of the face opening making it look like a longer mask. Helmet Hut has a nice piece on Washingtion's equipment preferences.
That is all for now, but as we go through photos and films we will try and take note of the oddball masks that made the era so interesting from week to week in uniforms, helmets, facemasks, shoes, etc. We can see from Twitter that there is keen interest in these things and we hope to learn more from others as we go along.



    a better look at Slater

    1. thanks, will use that, but that is John Williams, not Jackie Slater.

  2. Eddie LeBaron had a weird mask.

  3. Alvin Maxson wore a mask that was similar to Garrett's.

    1. He wore a Dungard No. DG120 which was off the rack but it was kind of similar, but it was a standard mask

  4. Kurt Warner 2001 ...

    Chris Warren III in the 2015 U.S. Army All-America Bowl.

  5. Harold Hart of the Raiders and Aaron Kyle of the Cowboys had masks like Ken Stabler with the nose bar sawed off but they were more standard masks than Stabler. Pete Banaszak's mask was set at an odd angle. In the mid to late 80s it seemed to be kind of a fad to have bent masks like Bob Klein of the Rams above. Who can forget Joe Namath sporting a 50s style cow catcher mask well into the 70s. Matt Blair of the Vikings was a rookie in 74 but had a 60s mask. That's all I can think of now but I'm sure there's more.

    1. Forgot Randy Gradishar. Kicking myself.

    2. thanks, added the banaszak shots

    3. Matt Blair did in fact , wear a 60's JOP, as well as Amos Martin, their other LB. Blair wore his helmet high....I'm thinking that was the reason the mask was also quite bent as though not to obscure his vision. Starting in early 1975 he had another JOP that wasn't as bent, but ended the season with a full cage. NOPO.

    4. Certainly Fred McNeill, their other LB, didn't wear this on the field?!

  6. The Saints pics of the "cut" Dungard are not only Yepremian but Szaro (the kicker before Garo was picked up by my Saints) and punter Tom Blanchard.