By John Turney
|Don Hewitt (left) and his son Todd Hewitt circa 1994|
The Rams equipment manager Don Hewitt had to piece together shoulder pads for Youngblood from several spare pairs. The helmets were a bigger issue. Players who had their lids stolen had to share with players. Fred Dryer said it felt like he was "playing with a bucket on his head", having to share one that was close, but not exactly his side.
Jack Youngblood had to wear backup tight end Terry Nelson's helmet. Youngblood wore a Schutt NOP from his rookie season through 1982 and then wore a DW N-JOP in his final two years. But Nelson wore a Schutt OPO with a U-Bar. Youngblood said it was not comfortable, as did Merlin Olsen who had to share with reserve running back Rod Phillips.
The Rams won the game 31-28 in an offensive shootout and for his efforts, Hewitt was awarded a game ball by Head coach Chuck Knox.
For more information, here are two clippings from the Los Angeles Times and Miami News:
Merlin Olsen reportedly wore Rod Phillip's helmet which looked like this:
Olsen is wearing yet another mask here:
Here it does look like Dryer's noggin is swimming in a bucket of a helmet.
This is Terry Nelson's OPO mask with an added U-Bar:
Again, these shots leave a lot to be desired but you can make out the U-Bar on the helmet Youngblood is wearing in the next few shots:
Here, in the first half, rather than his usual NOP, Youngblood is using someone's NJOP.
If anyone can find more shots from this game we would appreciate seeing them.