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. 
Here you can see the Williams helmet using Dungard masks and behind Slater's mask that used Schutt masks taped together.
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.
Credit to Jose P.  This is Steve Sewell in 1987
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.
Jack Squirek with a later version of the jaw-protector.
H/T to Raider Joe on this Norm Thompson's CO-OPO with jaw protection to the right side.
Again, thanks to Jose P for this one. It is hard to see, but it is similar to the one above but on a NOP mask.
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.
In 1964 Len Dawson wore his own version of the JOP, another of the Riddell 2-Bar with a single bar added as well as a U-Bar.
In 1963 Kansas City tackle Jim Tyrer wore a sawed off  Schutt CC-NJOP plus a Riddell 210 one-bar below it.
Jim Kearney wore the additional bar that Williamson and Dawson wore:
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.

H/T to @equestriatola for this one:  Double Dungard facemasks on the Toronto Argonauts #79 player. It's a DG140 with a DG110 mounted upside down to protect the throat of the player
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:
Robert Mathis tried this one:
This one is 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.
49ers Bubba Paris has a unique style of mask that looks homemade but it's off-the-shelf.
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:
Jim Taylor, when playing for Saints wore the same contraption with a Riddell 2-bar mask:
Jerry Sturm is wearing the piece here, in 1970.
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 Dungard No. DG140 with the "T" or nose bar sawed out.
Ron Sellers also had nose bar sawed out in 1971 with the sans nose bar NOP:
Jesse Frietas wore this in 1974:
The Giants Rocky Thompson also had was looked to be the "N" sawed out of his NOP (Nose, Oral Protection) facemask:
Don Horn of the Chargers is another of the sawed out types:
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.
Cookie Gilchrist of the Bills has a sawed off JOP and in the background is another shot of Sherrill Headrick with his additional single bar below the Riddell 2-bar

Bill George, the Bears Hall of Fame middle linebacker with a brown cowcatcher sawed off. He and Doug Atkins have same mask, only George's is modified.
Here is a sawed off mask worn by Ted Ginn:
Kenny King of the Raiders had his nose bar sawed out as well:
Dave Capser with a Riddell Supermask NJOP with nose bar sawed out, similar to Ken Stabler's

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:
Larry's Wilson's rig looks very similar to Clint Jones's sawed off 3-bar (JOP)
The Browns Len Ford used this to protect 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
Zeke Moore also wore his mask low.
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.
Here is a nice, sleek helmet cam from the early 1960s, made by General Dynamics:

In 1980 Steve DeBerg suffered from laryngitis which limited his ability to call signals so the 49ers equipped him with a microphone and a loudspeaker on his back:

Vern Holland has some sort of cover on the bottom two bars of his mask. Never have seen this one before.
Y.A. Tittle and Joe Perry with protective masks, circa 1954.
Joe Moore of the Bears donned this mask in 1973 and it is a true oddity:
Below is Merlin Olsen, with foam on the forehead
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.

Terrell Suggs with a new one:

Novo Bojovic had an unusual attachment point on his one-bar mask:

Here is another odd one:



    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.

  7. The Ted Ginn mask appears to be the "RKOP" (kicker) model produced by Schutt.

    1. U could be right, I was told it was sawed off. One that is sawed that looks like that mask is Donnie Jones when he was with Rams, Todd Hewitt said he sawed it, even though it looks like the kicker model, so if you find out definitively, let me know and I will make the change

  8. Neither the Rocky Thompson, Clint Jones or Larry Wilson mask are sawed off nose bar. Thompsons is like Namath's SB III. The other two are prototypes which never caught on ( also Leroy Keys one year in college), in either case they never had a nose bar to start with.

    1. We believe them to have the bottom bar sawed off, not the nose bar. Never though they were NOP or NJOPs.

      However, further info on prototypes we would love to see and will always make corrections if our information is in error.

      If they are Schutt, for example, was there a part number or name>? Many thanks

    2. Hello John, I see what you're saying, cut from the bottom upwards. But compare and contrast to the Gilchrist sawed off mask and that of Jones and Wilson. With those two, you can see a " clean slate" underneath the lower wire ( no signs of a cut ) also on the corner area there is a slight curvature. With the Gilchrist and George modifications, you can clearly see where the area sawed off stops abruptly forming a distinct corner, or L like shape. First took notice of Jones mask over 40 years ago, have checked and re-checked totally looks legit.Not aware of it having a brand name/title. Do you have and e-mail address. Have pictures of other masks would like to share with you.


      would love to see them, also, always glad to admit if we are wrong, tons of people know more about this subject that we do