/ the story
The unintentional inception of The Helmet Project happened in 1985 in the form of a 1985 Oklahoma Sooners National Championship Bike AiR football helmet, a Christmas gift from my wife, who took it upon herself to purchase a Cardinal colored helmet and contact the university's football equipment manager to ask for a set of decals that were used in '85.
The truth is I've always loved football helmets. In 1974 I played youth football for the Steelers at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. We were league champions and wore dark green helmets and jerseys. After the season I converted a red Riddell TK helmet, which my dad bought for me in Yokohama, Japan, to a dark green helmet with STEELERS on the sides in the same fashion as the old Cincinnati Bengals helmets. That success sparked in me a passion for working with football helmets. In one of our many moves as part of the military, that helmet got misplaced, so it's out there somewhere. Recently I ran across an uncut MacGregor 1973 clear shell pictured here. It always reminds me of that team and my helmet.
I began collecting out of my work office, and the collection started growing circa 1999 when I joined a relatively unknown-at-the-time site called eBay. Originally, I purchased shells and put together my own set of Big 12 helmets. My sons (+/- 8 and 9 years old at the time) assisted in decal collection by contacting university athletic departments and equipment managers.
Nearly two decades later, my oldest son describes the process as "something like a hostage situation in which the hostages were the ones with the list of demands and given phone scripts to use to collect their own ransom." Both pointed out how they had to tell every school that they were "big fans" of that particular team, even if they knew nothing about the school. My youngest recalls being referred to as "Ma'am" in most of the phone conversations and being quick to correct any offender with a response of, "It's 'Sir'." Fortunately, they both now have an appreciation for the years of work in building a collection and possess quite a few helmets (and decal sets) of their own.
My interests have shifted through the years of collecting, and the groups of helmets that have peaked my interest are game used Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon Ducks, and any clear shells, but specifically the ones from the old Southwest Conference and the original Big 8 Conference. I am always interested in entertaining offers for buying, selling, and trading with collectors, so please contact me with offers or proposals. All of the helmets you will see on the site are helmets that have been in my possession at one point or another. A few of them have been traded or sold, but those could be tracked down if there was some interest in dealing.
The irony of this whole thing is that my wife, after unintentionally assisting in starting my collection, was not at all thrilled when I changed jobs years ago and had to bring the helmets home. Instead of the helmets clearing out as she has hoped, the collection has continued to grow. Needless to say, she has taken an interest in the potential this site has to help scale back my collection. In any event, I hope that the pictures of these pieces of football history will serve as a guide on a trip down memory lane for any of my fellow football lovers and helmet collectors.
Thanks for stopping by,
1974 Steelers - Fort Sill, Oklahoma