Saturday, December 11, 2004

Are you ready for some football helmets?

Pictured here is but a small sampling of the football helmets former President Gerald Ford misplaced on the sidelines before running onto the gridiron to do battle in a career that ultimately took him to the most powerful political position in the world.

The football helmet, known as a "war bonnet" in Texas high school coaching parlance, has undergone major improvements since Ford's playing days, when leather was used to protect the heads of young athletes.

Today, the modern football helmet is made of material developed by NASA as part of the nation's space program, resulting in fewer concussions sustained by football players of all ages, and an increased level of enjoyment for the sporting public due to fewer "injury timeouts."

The materials used to manufacture football helmets are not the only things that have changed.

The logos that decorate the standard American football helmet have undergone a radical transformation as well, moving from the aesthetically dull single-color logos, such as the one used by the Cleveland Browns in 1960, to more colorful, vibrant images, as exemplified by the logo that Cleveland uses today.

If you lie awake at night mentally sorting out the helmet wear that was used by the 27 defunct Arena League 2 teams back in the day, check out The Helmet Project.

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