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.
Slaters's mask is an N-JOP with the bottom "cage" portion of an OPO taped to the top—

Starting with game three of 1979 Slater went with the NJOP-DW.

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.
John Grant with quite a mask in 1977—
Pay Hughes of the Saints in 1979 with this beauty.
Norm Thompson's CO-OPO with jaw protection to the right side.
It is hard to see, but Clarence Duren is in a mask 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:

James Scott with a Riddell version of the EGOP

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 masks 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 it seemed Taylor's bars were further apart. We are not sure if this was intentional or if they got spread during the game.
Here is a nice shot of tight end Willie Frazier (#83) with the 2-bar above and the single below and Otis Taylor with his two single bars. 
Sherrill Headrick had a Riddell No. RI220 on top and a Riddell No. RI210 underneath.
Headrick was likely the first player to wear this type of combination mask, here he is in 1960 with that mask when the franchise was in Dallas.
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 1973 Mike Livingston took his turn with the same setup sans the 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:

Never saw this in action but it is not a creation of the equipment manager but looks like a prototype of a double-wire JOP.

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.

Brad Hubbert of the Chargers wore this one. He had the RI-220 on the bottom and the RI-210 single bar on top:

Here is a CFL version of what Bob Dee wore:
Jim Otis with a Riddell 220 mask plus a Dungard U-bar.
Charley Diamond with an early NOP and a single bar beneath it.

Dungard DG140 with nose bar sawed out

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. It would be the 1983 regular-season finale that any shot would appear. We are just not convinced this contraption ever saw the field.

Curtis McClinton had some huge oddity going on in 1969 and in Super Bowl XIV

Dr. Del Rye from Helmet wrote THIS. To sum that it McClinton’s had a cheek injury and there were metal strips affixed to the helmet. They were "dipped in rubber and then red paint". 
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

Glenn Doughty of the Colts had a unique looking EGOP in 1975

Y.A. Tittle with what looks to be two Riddell No. RI210 masks used to create a two-bar look.
Here is a Lion guard with two single bars:
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.
Bill Austin of the Giants had a single bar attached above his Lucite single bar
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.
Guy McIntyre liked to have his U-bar under his nose bar from time to time. 
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 jaw/cheek protection
Here is Alvin Haymond wearing a similar device on his left side.
Here is the same device used by Roosevelt Brown of the Giants
Here is Marlon McKeever with the same thing, circa 1963:
This is Ram Hall of Famer Les Richter with it:
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.
Fulton Kuykendall had a smaller version of this jaw protection in 1975:
In 1951 Elroy Hirsch wore a more crude version of the jaw protection device:

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
Garo Yepremium, a Dungard No. DG205 with top bar sawed off, and others—Tom Blanhcard and Rich Szaro with same mask alterations
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. 

Randy White's DW-NOP with bottom bar sawed out

Here is a sawed-out wire on a DW-OPO that John Stallworth wore.
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.
Here is a CFL version of the same thing:
Ron Sellers also had nose bar sawed out in 1971 with the sans nose bar NOP:
Jesse Frietas wore this in 1974:
Mall Millen with the USFK NJOP-type mask with nose bar sawed out
That could be a normal JOP Supermask or one with nose bar sawed off.

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.
Irving Fryar with the same kind of alteration:
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 Casper with a Riddell Supermask NJOP with nose bar sawed out, similar to Ken Stabler's:
For a while Fred Biletnikoff wore a Dungard Supermask NJOP that had the bottom bar sawed off:
Ralf Mojsiejenko with two bars cut out—
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 or may not be a sawed-off Schutt JOP:
Larry Wilson's rig looks very similar to Clint Jones's sawed-off 3-bar (JOP)
This is Matt Millen with a USFL N-JOP DW with nose bar sawed out:
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.
This one is turned up.
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 Washington'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:

In 1983 a similar thing happened and DeBerg wore the contraption again vs Steelers.

Vern Holland has some sort of cover on the bottom two bars of his mask. Never 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:
John Sciarra has a unique mask in the clip area:
Here is another oddball NOP-DW from the early 1980s.

Where a mask is attached to a helmet can make it into an oddity. Here, Tom Dempsey had his Dungard DG105 attached very low, lower than normal:

Terry Bradshaw's was on the low side as well:
Here, Charley Johnson of the Cardinals has the same mask attached higher than normal:
Here is Bob Greise and John Hadl with the usual attachment point for the DG105:

And speaking of odd attachment points for a mask, check this one out on Pete Barnes:
In the late 1970s, Preston Pearson had a different attachment point for his NOP mask:

The Raiders Pete Banaszak had quite the odd attachment point on his NOP mask—



    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

  9. As a former football player here is the SKINNY on Facemasks. You do NOT want to be a Nobody, so you Want people to see your face, but you do need protection. Facemask Minimization with Maximum Protection from a hit is the best I can Offer. As a QB, RB or WR today in 2018, I would only wear the facemask that Joe Namath wore in Super Bowl 3 or the Kenny Stable Mask. Remember you want all those Fans to see your beautiful face. Some facemasks are a waste of material and add extra weight to the helmet and are useless protection that I have to question the engineers??? Keep it Simple.

    1. So this is why linemen, linebackers, tightends wear skill position masks? Looks like a case of form over function and social conformity. I miss the big mean looking full cages. Seeing a linebacker in a WR mask is just wrong.

    2. Totally agree! Lineman on both sides of the ball r switching to skill facemasks to prevent hands to the face and are prevent neck injuries! Yes I find it to be crazy!

  10. The one in the final three pics worn by Kenny King and Kevin Murphy I remember being Schutt helmet exclusive. There was also an extended cage model that came out at the same time. One I notice missing is the flat bar models that Riddell made during the WLAF's existence. One note about the pic of Novo Bojovic, the USFL made him put it back into the traditional placement after that game. About the altered masks from the USFL, the Breakers seemed to have quite a few players with bars removed for whatever reason.

  11. Alvin Wyatt wore an odd facemask, similar to what Joe Perry wore. Wyatt sported the arched tubular single bar when he played for the Bills in the early '70's (and later with Jacksonville of the WFL).

    1. As a kid I saw pictures of Perry, Eddie Lebaron etc. wearing that looped up one bar. Then was shocked to see Wyatt wearing it in the 70's He slso wrapped it up with tape.

  12. Meredith had some interesting facemasks. Against Cleveland in the 1968 playoffs, he wore a Dungard supermask (like the Stabler one, but with the bar going over the nose) that might be the only time a QB has ever worn a facemask that obscured his vision.

    1. Marty domres colts 1973

    2. Meredith's was a regular NOPO not the super dungard. You can clearly see it in the 1969 Playoff Bowl highlights on YouTube ( his last game). Mike Phipps also wore it as well as the aforementioned Domres. Archie Manning wore a full lineman's cage with the double reinforced bar.

  13. What about the standard 2 bars that some kickers had bent down. Pete stoyanovich and Dean biasucci for example

  14. Always connected the Marietta face masks with the old Southwest Conference, and the University of Oklahoma.

  15. My favorite - though no idea if it was ever used (anywhere) - is the face mask wrapped with barbed wire found on the Helmet Hut's site (