Sunday, April 24, 2016

Another Near Miss Vis-à-vis NFL Helmets, 1980 New England Patriots

By John Turney

Again, H/T to Helmet Hut, in 1979-80 the New England Patriots were very close to replacing the "Hiking Pat" more commonly known as “Pat Patriot”  It was a cartoon of  a Revolutionary War Minuteman hiking a football  illustrated  by the Boston Globe’s Phil Bissell.

“Pat Patriot” went through a few changes over the years:

In 1979, it seems a change was brewing and it meant the removal of "Pat".

In the September 18, 1979,  an article appeared in the Boston Globe  under the byline of sportswriter Michael Madden with the headline “Fans to choose Patriots’ logo.”  The article explained that the fans would have input into the new changes to the Patriot logo that had been under development, Patriot owner William Sullivan’s son-in-law Micheal Chamberlain, who was the Patriots Director Of Marketing, believed it was time for a new logo and apparently, Sullivan himself, thought that a change was needed. Part of the issue was the reproduction of the Patriot Pat logo on NFL merchandise was problematic compared to other NFL loges, that were simpler and less detailed. Often the flesh tone was difficult to match on certain fabrics or surfaces.

According to Helmet Hut the new proposed logo was developed by NFL Properties and depicted a Revolutionary War era soldier standing in front of a flag of the United States. We have seen two different designs and we think that the Helmet Hut one is likely the more accurate but we cannot be sure of that.

This one is found on the official Patriots website:
Logo representation as found on

This one is found on Helmet Hut's website and is based on the illustrations found in the Boston Globe:

Low resolution of the logo as found on Helmet
It is depicted here on a helmet with the striping that was on the Patriots helmet at the time:
Credit: Helmet Hut

Credit Helmet Hut
The Madden article showed the new design and explained that fans could literally voice their opinion and a decibel reading machine would determine the loudest cheers, and the ultimate fate of Patriot Pat. 

Well, the fans made their opinion known after each design was shown in opposite end zones. The cheering or "voting" was a landslide in favor of  Patriot Pat. The reports were that those in favor of Patriot or Hiking Pat “knocked the needle right off the meter” while the new proposed logo did get many, if any cheers at all. 

Madden recorded it thusly:
The failed concept did reappear with lots of tweaking in 1993 with a concept of the "Patriot Face" or "Flying Elvis" this time with a tricorn hat that trails into a flag concept. That logo remains today.

1 comment:

  1. I don't like that 1980 logo, or the Flying Elvis. They should have kept Pat Patriot or went back to the minuteman hat with the number that the originally had. Also, they need to get rid of the silver (I like their unis today, though).