Sunday, January 31, 2010

Forrest Gregg's 1968 Pro Bowl helmet

As the NFL plays its Pro Bowl today, we look back at an earlier game convention that has fallen by the wayside.

Today, all players wear their individual team helmets with their conference uniforms. That wasn't always the case - before the early 1990s, players would wear dark helmets with white conference logos - blue for the NFC, red for the AFC. For a period before the NFL/AFL merger, Pro Bowlers from both teams wore gold helmets, with the NFL logo on each side and center stripes in the conference color (Western Conference teams such as the Packers wore blue and white stripes, while representatives of the Eastern Conference wore red and white stripes).

In those days, players brought their own helmets to the Pro Bowl which were then altered, such as this helmet worn by Forrest Gregg in the 1968 Pro Bowl game:

What's particularly interesting about this helmet is what it tells us about the Packers' iconic helmet logo. You can clearly see that it is comprised of two separate decals - the green ellipse and white "G" each stand out in relief under the gold spray paint (the team decals were removed entirely from the left side).

I don't know when the Packers moved to the single-layer decal they wear now, but it appears to have been after 1968.

UPDATE 02/17: Helmet Hut has a great article about this helmet on their website, including a color photo of Gregg in the 1968 Pro Bowl.

1 comment:

Tom said...

I would have never guessed that they brought their own helmets in those days. But with such an important piece of equipment, it makes sense.

Great find, Chance!