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The Best High School Helmet in the US is...

By Phil Hecken

Do you guys remember about a month and a half ago when I ran a post with Gus O’Keefe detailing the great Montana State Helmet Tournament? You’ll recall that was set up to determine the best high school helmet in the State of Montana. But it wasn’t just for Montana — the winner of that would move on to a nationwide tourney to determine the best high school helmet in the nation. I don’t know if any of you had been following the progress of the tourney, but we had whittled down to the final eight.

I had planned on again collaborating with Gus to show you the finalists, and to embed voting for the final four. Except there was a problem

If you didn’t click on that article, I’ll summarize the important parts:

O’Keefe said 152,000 votes had been cast in the national tournament before the round of eight began late Wednesday afternoon.

By Thursday, organizers noticed discrepancies in one poll where the teams had a 50-50 split. Then, at some point the voting began skewing 85% to 15% towards one of the teams, which raised the first red flag. The tournament announced it was eliminating that stretch of votes, which in turn brought a lot of negative comments to the organizers, according to O’Keefe.

By Friday morning, O’Keefe said, there were suspicious stretches in several of the head-to-head helmet polls. Buying votes on Twitter is easy and inexpensive, and because several polls were now compromised, the results had to be invalidated (emphasis added — PH), O’Keefe said.

As a result, national tournament organizers Tweeted “we don’t believe we can continue in that spirit of fairness and fun” and decided to cancel the tournament. “We hope to return in future years once we establish a system of voting with more accountability. We hope you’ll join us then,” organizers concluded.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

So, instead of bringing you the final-final voting today, you’re going to get a chance to see the 45 finalists. I’m now going to turn the rest of this saga over to Gus, who wants to focus on the positives(!) That will be followed by a look at the 45 state reps who entered the nationwide tourney. I hope you’ll take a look at all of them and let us know who YOU would have selected (in fact, pick your top three). We can’t quite hold a substitute tournament on UW, but we can at least thank Gus for all his efforts and let him know our favorites! OK? OK!!!

Here’s Gus with the…

• • • • •

Best HS Helmets in the USA
By Gus O’Keefe

First, I would like to thank Phil and Uni-Watch for giving us a chance to celebrate these helmets, schools, and the communities that supported them. A few months ago, in late March, a gentleman from Pennsylvania decided to run a twitter-based tournament to determine the best high school football helmet in his state. The idea was soon picked up by a coach in Iowa, who decided to do the same and also expand it to a national tournament where as many states as possible (we ended up with 45/50) would participate. Through dogged recruitment on twitter, 45 state reps signed on to run their own state’s championships. They all went about it in their own way, but worked incredibly hard to produce a fair outcome.

After crowning our state champs, we ran “play-in” matchups of 4 helmets (state runner-up and 3 unique contenders decided by the national committee) for each state. The winner of these matchups then went head to head with another state’s at-large contender, and the winner of THOSE matchups earned a spot as an at large bid. After more than 6000 helmets entered and 2.5 million votes cast nationwide, we had 67 helmets competing to be crowned national champion. We almost achieved that goal.

Unfortunately, we started to see irregularities in vote totals during our Elite Eight. We had a schedule built to take screenshots every hour, on the hour of every poll, which meant someone awake 23 hours of the day (we thought 3 am was safe to skip). We worked hard to guarantee a fair outcome. Because we began witnessing clear vote tampering in multiple polls, even for multiple helmets in the same poll, it was decided that the tournament would be called off before advancing to the Final Four.

This entire tourney was run by volunteers, a large group of people who just wanted to provide an outlet for schools when sports were cancelled. We put in literally hundreds and hundreds of man hours. So the decision we made to call off the tournament was one that was carefully considered and weighed heavy on our hearts. With that being said, we felt it best to end when things began to turn negative, and preserve the enjoyment that had been brought to many during these odd, sports-less times.

Instead of focusing on the negative, we want to highlight the champions of all 45 states who qualified for the national tourney, as well as the 22 at-large helmets who went through that additional gauntlet to get in and fill out our bracket. Every single one of these schools was a pleasure to work with, had great fan bases and were incredibly humble in victory and gracious in defeat. We thank everyone who rallied behind our tournament, and we hope that in the future we can do something similar, albeit on a voting platform more secure than Twitter. With that, I present the helmets!

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Alabama

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Alaska

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Arizona

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Arkansas

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California

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Colorado

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Delaware

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Florida

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Georgia

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Hawai’i

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Idaho

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Illinois

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Indiana

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Iowa

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Kansas

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Kentucky

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Louisiana

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Maine

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Maryland

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Massachusetts

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Michigan

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Minnesota

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Missouri

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Montana

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Nebraska

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New Mexico

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New Hampshire

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New York

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North Carolina

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North Dakota

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Ohio

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Oregon

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Pennsylvania

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Rhode Island

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South Carolina

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South Dakota

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Tennessee

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Texas

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Utah

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Vermont

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Virginia

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Washington

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West Virginia

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Wisconsin

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Wyoming

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*All helmet mockups were done using a template by @Webpixum, and the graphic background template was done by @EHeat14

• • • • •

Wow! Thanks, Gus — tremendous job running the tourney and mocking up the helmets, too! I have a feeling there may be a few schools *coughohiocough* that won’t be back to defend their titles, at least with their current team names, but that was quite an assortment of team lids!

OK, readers — what say you? What are your top three? Did any really stand out as OUTstanding? Please give Gus a big round of thanks for trying to make this a go. Hopefully next year the tourney can proceed without shenanigans!

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from Tennessee Jed.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

Time for more Uni Tweaks from the UW readership.

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • •

Today’s tweak comes from Tom Roddy, who has a couple ever-so-slight tweaks for the Baylor Bears…

He writes,

Hello Again,

This is Tom Roddy, and I submitted a Patriot’s concept yesterday. I realized last night, that the template I was using was an early design concept for the Patriots, not their actual final product. As such, the sleeves were all wrong. I have fixed the sleeves and pants striping to be more consistent and have provided an updated description below.

What has bothered me the most about the Patriots new set is the red shoulder stripes on the white jersey, they seem out of place. I think it is just too much red with how little red appears in the rest of the away uniform. Originally, I thought if I inverted the stripe colors (blue outside, red inside), it would fix the problem, but it looked too much like Louisiana Tech and didn’t feel right. It also left the away uniform featuring too much navy blue. I always thought featuring too much of a dark color was a major flaw of the 2000-2019 away uniform, of which I was never a huge fan.

By leaving the new stripes as designed but making the numbers red, switching the helmet and pants to white, the away uniform becomes a modern homage to the Pat Patriot era away uniforms of 1960-1992. This was an unintended but most welcomed surprise!

With the blue set also using a white helmet and white pants, it is still a nod to the dynastic era, but has more cohesion across the entire uniform design and also leaves potential for a Pat Patriot throwback option down the line.

I also kept the new blue pants as an alternate option, with a different pair for home and away. The navy pants stripes match the home and away jersey striping. Again, not a huge fan of the navy pants, despite the Patriot’s 4-1 Super Bowl record while wearing them. I really hope the Patriots evolve to something like this in 2025 when they are next eligible to change their uniforms!

And here’s a look at Tom’s concepts:

• • •

Thanks Tom!

OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

The “BEST OF” Kreindler’s Korner

Hey guys & gals. You’ve enjoyed Kreindler’s Korner for several years now, mostly on the weekends, on Uni Watch, but with the recent coronavirus outbreak, Graig’s time is just too precious and he needs to tend to other things besides coming up with a new writeup each weekend.

So, going forward, for as long as the COVID-19 situation is bad in New York, I’m going to run a few “Best of’s” until Graig returns.

Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):

• • •

Title: “Buck O’Neil, 1942” (color study)
Subject: Buck O’Neil, 1942
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”

In 1994, Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary gave the country an extensive yet digestible look into the history of baseball. The director’s trademark visual techniques combined with interviews from historians, artists, writers and ballplayers created a tapestry unlike any that ever been successfully attempted in the television format. Of the latter category, there was one figure who seemed to shine brighter than anybody – the great John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil.

Buck had grown up in Florida in the 1910s and 20s, leaving in the mid 1930s to barnstorm semi-professionally. It was in 1937 that his skills landed him with the Memphis Red Sox in the Negro American League. However, it was the club he was sold to the following year – the Kansas City Monarchs – that he became synonymous with.

Playing solid first base for the club for the majority of his career, he played in three different East-West All-Star Games, and in two Negro World Series (winning one). After returning from joining the U.S. Navy, he started managing the club in 1948 through 1955. After the team was sold by Tom Baird, O’Neil became a scout for the Chicago Cubs, and would later sign Lou Brock to his first professional baseball contract.

Remaining in baseball until his final years, Buck helped establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City in 1990, in the hopes of preserving the legacy of the Negro Leagues. But it was through the documentary that O’Neil’s impact was and will forever be most felt, introducing a younger America to what life was like in the world of baseball during segregation, and doing so via the millions of television sets across the country.

Here’s Buck with the Monarchs in 1942.

• • •

Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Andy Chalifour was “Reading an ESPN article on how great John Olerud was in college they posted a picture of him pitching with his famous fielding helmet.” I heartily approve of (more) pitchers wearing flapless helmets! … One of the best things (if you can call it that) about the pandemic is the fact that MLB won’t have those god awful “Players Weekend” unis. Everyone, it seems, but Rob Manfred hated them. Including Dodgers coach Dave Roberts, who had some choice words for them. … Tweeter Squatchee on Top tweets, “Looks like @dicks “Gets It”! Finally found baseball stirrups in kid sizes for my boys.” … Mike Malnicof writes, “From time to time I feel nostalgic & buy a couple packs of baseball cards, especially the Topps Heritage series where they are old school look and feel cardboard cards, & I was so excited to see the Padres back in brown & yellow!” … Check out Nolan Ryan’s logo for his new butcher shop in Round Rock, TX. (from Ignacio Salazar). … We’ll just ignore the misspelling from MiLB Promos here: “It appears the theme for the YardGoats 2020 Steamed Burgers Night was to be Would you like fries with that? And now this hat exists.” Ugent or not, that’s awesome! … MLB has produced a list of the 15 Craziest Baseball Uniforms ever worn (from Tom Turner). Lots of UWers unwittingly contributed with old tweets to this one! … Logan Allen may officially be a member of the Cleveland baseball team, but as Ryan points out, he’s “Wearing an out-of-date (and out-of-touch) Indians hat!” … Whoa! Check out these NPB Pillbox caps from 1979 (from Jeremy Brahm).

NFL News: This article (I don’t think the site is associated with the Browns) has ranked the best Brown to wear each jersey number (from Jason Hillyer and Kary Klismet). … Remember how we said we want to see the new Rams uniforms “on a player” (as opposed to a photoshopped image) before making a judgment? Well, here you go. I’ll still need to see them on the field before rendering my final judgment. … Dan Kennedy noticed that Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has a personal logo/symbol of his initials as a backdrop. … This SI writer expresses a sentiment with which we probably agree regarding the 49ers black uniforms.

College Football News: How bad is the financial shape Under Armour is in? Well, they’re trying to break their 15 year, 280 million dollar deal with UCLA (from Tom Turner). … Maybe it’s not so bad after all. Because UA is extending its apparel deal with Texas Tech, “despite the fact that UA is experiencing some serious financial woes.” … Missouri Football wore M on helmet exclusively from ’71-’11. First 3 designs were white (’71-’77). 2 yellow versions ’83 & ’84 followed by repeat white version. ’90 celebrated 100th anniversary of FB. Gold M ’96-’11 (from Blaise D’Sylva).

Hockey News: Everything today needs a logo, right? Ron Ruelle says, “Of course the NHL Draft Lottery needed its own special logo. At least some otherwise out of work graphic designer got a paycheck.” … Here’s a terrific illustration of Paul Kariya from the great artist Bowen Hobbs. … “Talk about giving a 110% full team effort in a game,” says Wade Heidt. “OHL’s Windsor Spitfires push the Windsor Arena Zamboni between periods in 1982.” I think Wade buried the lede here: It should say “COOPERALL-wearing Windsor Spitfires…”

NBA News: Heh. I’m surprised this wasn’t a weekend article on Uni Watch: One fan recently revealed he wanted to make concept city uniforms for every team in the league while the NBA returned.
.

Soccer News: “Arjen Robben, world famous winger for the dutch national football (soccer) team, retired last year but has announced a surprise return to playing for his first professional club, FC Groningen,” writes Callum Newton. “In the press photo for his signing, I noticed that the team have the player names nicely nestled under their logo and thought that was a nice touch. Its the first example I’ve seen but i wouldn’t be surprised if its been done elsewhere before.” … The National Women’s Soccer League began play this weekend in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, and our SportsLogos writer Marc Viquez has the rundown on the kits. … The 2020/21 Celtic home, away, and third kits have leaked. This image confirms previous leaks of the home and third kit, and gives us the first look at their new away strip (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, In the FA Cup Quarterfinal yesterday, both Manchester United and Norwich City wore their #BlackLivesMatter patch underneath the shirt number instead of the sleeve. … Still more from Josh: Spotted the unreleased 2020 Germany away kit at Soccer Village in Louisville, KY. … The 2020/21 Schalke home, away, and third kits have leaked (Josh again). … German club Wolfsburg released their 2020/21 home and away kits yesterday (Josh once more). … German club Bayer Leverkusen released their black 2020/21 home kit; they will carry over their 2019/20 red home kit as the upcoming season’s away strip. (Josh). … Trent Lowe thinks “Norwich easily has the worst ad patch for a pro sports team trying to be taken seriously at the bottom of the Premier League table.” … At least they’re not Trump 2020 or Buffalo Bills Super Bowl Champs shirts — Here’s a story about how the women’s soccer team from Lethbridge College in Alberta, Canada, donated its old uniforms to a school in Ghana (from Kary Klismet).

Grab Bag: A reader (or group?) who goes by the monicker Power Line notes there is a petition afoot to change the name of the Savannah Schools to change their mascot (and name). Despite the current political climate, this should have happened decades ago. The offensive name/image? SAVAGES: “The Savannah Savage, complete with the graphic of either the older Chief-in-Headdress or the newer Brave-with-Feather logo. Tomahawk chops at all the sports games. Students in face and body paint, wearing feathers and other native-inspired regalia as costumes.” … Milton Glaser, designer of the iconic “I ♥ NY” logo and Bob Dylan poster, has passed away at 91 (from Jason Hillyer). … Officiating with a deep breath and a burst of air no longer seems wise in the coronavirus era. Is a hand-held, electronic whistle the answer? (NYT Link). From Tom Turner. … A tennis player showed his allegiance to Liverpool FC during a charity tennis tournament on Friday. A day after Liverpool was crowned champion of England for the first time in 30 years, Kyle Edmund was not shy about his love for the Reds. During a Battle of the Brits match against Liam Broady, Edmund filled his bench with Liverpool jerseys to celebrate the Premier League title. … The call for Dan Snyder to change the name of the Washington football team is growing stronger and stronger (h/t Timmy Donahue). This leader is encouraging the players to sit and “rip down that name like it was a statue of a Confederate general in their locker room.” … The MTA is honoring the 50th anniversary of the first New York City Pride March with special logos on their trains (also from Timmy). … Looks like the state of Mississippi will be changing its State flag (from our own Anthony Emerson). … San Antonio College may be changing its Texas Rangers nickname (from Kary Klismet). … Jeremy Brahm writes “in 1985 Formula 1 drivers who won the pole position in qualifying would be awarded a Vespa scooter. Yes drive a fast car and get a scooter.”

And finally… Big thanks to Gus for the lede article and for creating all those State Champion helmets! Don’t forget, please pick your favorite or even Top Three in the comments below.

It’s hard to believe but it’s almost the 4th of July (in fact, that’s next Saturday). With the holiday falling on a Saturday, Paul will be gracing us with his traditional Happy Fourth post — and with the year we’ve had so far, I actually am really looking forward to it. And, Paul is also kind enough to give me the following day off, so the next time I’ll catch you guys is two weeks from now.

Everyone please stay safe (every day of course, but especially on Independence Day)! Usually our biggest fear is blowing off a finger or two through moronic stupidity non-safe handling of fireworks, but this year we’ve got the COVID-19 and everything else to deal with. Everyone try to have a great and safe Fourth of July!

Peace,

PH

63 comments to The Best High School Helmet in the US is…

  • AA | June 28, 2020 at 8:12 am | Reply

    So Uni-Watch is now promoting the use of Native American imagery (Indians) and the lifting of copyrighted logos (Colts, Ducks) on high school helmets?

    • Ian Lee | June 28, 2020 at 8:24 am | Reply

      Dallas Stars too (Rhode Island runner-up)!

      If I had to pick top three, I’d go Alaska Bears, Hawaii Warriors, and Illinois Bunnies. The New York one was interesting, but not necessarily in a great way (as a Bucks fan, it made me almost hurl to see a Wolverine style helmet in my precious scarlet and grey.)

    • BvK1126 | June 28, 2020 at 9:00 am | Reply

      Riiiight… because giving a third party a platform to report on the outcome of a variety of state helmet contests AUTOMATICALLY equals promotion and endorsement of the winning helmet designs. *Rolls eyes*

      • Paul Lee | June 28, 2020 at 9:34 am | Reply

        ^ this.

        Thanks.

        I liked Snoopy on the Flyers helmet, the ancho8ars on the Sailors helmets and the Papermakers mascot is awesome.

      • AA | June 28, 2020 at 10:27 am | Reply

        You’re posting it on your website. It’s an endorsement.

        • Jim Vilk | June 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm |

          Reporting does not equal endorsing.

        • BvK1126 | June 28, 2020 at 1:56 pm |

          Thank you, Jim. Exactly. It shouldn’t even have to be said since it’s such a well-known truth about not only journalism but the dissemination of information in general. But I appreciate you stating it so perfectly and succinctly. And shame on you, AA, for such an obviously disingenuous and bad-faith argument.

        • art | June 29, 2020 at 8:34 am |

          If it was reporting and not endorsement, this whole contest would be relegated to a ‘Skins Watch entry. Speaking of which, this site’s style guide seems to make a point of not using a racial slur when referring to the football team from Washington, yet it runs here without a disclaimer.

    • Kevin | June 28, 2020 at 9:10 am | Reply

      My thoughts exactly. Pick a lane guys.

    • Nestor Chylak | June 28, 2020 at 11:06 am | Reply

      My objection is they all look like bad Arena League helmets.

      Whichever wins, we all lose.

    • Jason | June 28, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Reply

      Exactly my thoughts as soon as I saw the Redskins and Indians helmets. You can’t post about changing names of professional teams but then allow that stuff on here. Disappointing is all.

      • Peter | June 28, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Reply

        Phil, have the decency and remove.the Native American ones.

        It makes you and the site as a whole look bad saying it looks “the best” and hypocritical.

    • Tim | June 29, 2020 at 12:35 am | Reply

      Out of all of California, there’s one winner in St. Paul Swordsmen? A sword as a stripe and numbers on the helmet?

      I gotta believe there’s a few other better ones out there…

    • BvK1126 | June 29, 2020 at 10:11 am | Reply

      To all of you – especially art, Peter, and AA – art, sliding in with the smug and disingenuous attempts at finding some kind of hypocrisy in the contents of this contest being reported on in Uni Watch – stop it. Just stop it!

      Your fumbling distortions of fact and misstatements of Uni Watch’s standards are beyond pathetic. They indiate either an intentional cynicism or gross intellectual feebleness, neither of which reflect well on you.

      As as has already been thoroughly established here, allowing a third party to report on the results of a contest does not equal endorsement. No matter now many times you sneer and retort, “Oh yes it does!,” it does not change that fact. Uni Watch does not have to be in the business of censoring other’s content to maintain its own standards.

      Is there room for criticism of the contest for not limiting the contest to entries that don’t violate certain standards – like trademark infringement and Native American disparagement? Yes, and those issues have already been brought up and discussed. And Gus, who oversaw the contest, provided very thoughtful and well-reasoned answers as to why they decided not to put those restrictions in place. But it’s clear that none of you care about those standards in the first place. You just want to troll Uni Watch based on your own sad agendas.

      I do not expect this response to change your hard heads or hearts. But at least you are on notice that some of us can see through your bad faith.

      • AA | June 29, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Reply

        It’s not bad faith to point out the disconnect. BvK is performing a lot of mental gymnastics to absolve UW’s responsibility here.

        It’s easily understood that the survey was performed by a third party. Yet posting the results on the site wasn’t performed by that third party! UW heavily featured the results in the 6/28 article and even had teams with “Tomahawks,” “Indians,” and “Redskins” in their thumbnail.

        UW could have instead stated that the posting of the results was contradictory to their strongly held beliefs against Native American imagery and against high schools profiting off of others’ IP. UW chose not to do that.

        For the record, I do not believe that Paul is hypocritical on these points at all, but I do believe that stronger editorial work is needed to prevent something like this from happening in the future to prevent even the appearance that UW condones these issues.

      • art | June 29, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Reply

        Phil is not a third party. He is a regular contributor to the site, and when he “reported” on the results of this contest he led the post with a thumbnail containing a racial slur. That was a conscious choice, and it was done without commentary, disclaimer, or any kind of explanation.

  • John | June 28, 2020 at 8:55 am | Reply

    GTGFTS: April 23, 1938. Cubs 4, Cards 0.

    Also, I’d love to hear the backstory on the “Sugarbeeters” logo (Montana).

    • Andrew | June 28, 2020 at 10:22 am | Reply

      I would imagine that area historically farmed sugar beets. My parents went to a high school south of Salt Lake City called the beetdiggers. There’s also an area named sugarhouse, which historically grew sugar beets.

  • Tim Shriver | June 28, 2020 at 8:58 am | Reply

    GTGFTS: It’s April 23, 1938 when the Cubs shut out the Cardinals 4-0, but I can’t find anything significant about the game or date. It wasn’t a walk-off grand slam as the 10th inning column might suggest, they just used that for the final. With the game ended, the scoreboard staff is apparently in the process of removing all the inning-by-inning scores as all the lines from the Giants up are gone.

    • Michael Emody | June 28, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Reply

      Re: today’s GTGFTS – that was when the scoreboard was new! The “Doublemint Elves” scoreboard was moved to left field during the 37 season while the future classic was being assembled. I don’t know if 38 was it’s first season or first full season. It may have been completed during the 37 season.

      I’m probably repeating myself here, but notice there’s no clock at the top. It’d be a few years before it was added. Pitcher and Catcher were indicated to the left of the boxscore – Relief Pitcher replaced catcher in the 50’s. The “Hits” line hadn’t appeared at the center bottom. And the board was painted brown! There’s some grainy film on the internet depicting its original color, though when I stare at it long enough the brown starts to look like dark green. But it’s brown.

  • BvK1226 | June 28, 2020 at 8:59 am | Reply

    Riiiight… because giving a third party a platform to report on the outcome of a variety of state helmet contests AUTOMATICALLY equals promotion and endorsement of the winning helmet designs. *Rolls eyes*

  • Darin | June 28, 2020 at 9:00 am | Reply

    Millionaires, hands down, no contest.

    • Paul Lee | June 28, 2020 at 9:41 am | Reply

      That was unique, I have to admit, though it is also the nickname of River Plate (an Argentina’s pro soccer team).

      I wonder if they should just hold a contest (or just compile a list) of the most unique or uncommon names throughout the country. You can definitely exclude Panthers, Eagles, Lakers or any teams from the 4 pro sports right off the bat.

      I think Millionaires and Papermakers should be on that list. For colleges I think the UCSB Bananaslugs is still the oddest one that I’ve heard of so far.

    • Beardedfool | June 28, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Reply

      Cornjerkers is a frontrunner

  • Bryan | June 28, 2020 at 9:12 am | Reply

    Nothing from New Jersey?

    • Josh B | June 28, 2020 at 10:14 am | Reply

      I was wondering the same! We have top notch high school football in NJ! Shocked the state didn’t take part!

    • Jim Vilk | June 28, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Reply

      Maybe New York claims all New Jersey high school teams the way they claim all New Jersey NFL teams…

      • Jim Vilk | June 28, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Reply

        But to be fair, Phil did say only 45 states entered.

      • MJ | June 28, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Reply

        Easy now… half the state is out of NYC’s immediate orbit, and we like it that way.

    • SoJo | June 29, 2020 at 8:48 am | Reply

      Best helmet I ever saw in NJ was for Northern Burlington County HS in Columbus. Their mascot were the Greyhounds and they used to have a fanciful greyhound which looks like it came from an Aztec carving. But now it’s a Northwestern N with a greyhounds cobbled from the bus company ….

  • Scott | June 28, 2020 at 9:28 am | Reply

    Too bad Topps used a Padre in a brown jersey on a retro 1971 Heritage card. Aside from the A’s players in yellow jerseys and pants, I’m not sure there are any cards in that 49-year-old set with players who aren’t wearing white or gray jerseys.

  • BvK1126 | June 28, 2020 at 9:29 am | Reply

    This is a clever idea and a really fun project, Gus. Thanks for sharing the results (such as they were before internet shenanigans detailed things)!

    There are some really great helmet designs represented in this collection. I’ll have to think about it before I can narrow it down to a top three.

    There are also several that wouldn’t have made the cut if I’d compiled a list of my top 50 helmets for each state. But that’s a variable that’s hard to control when you open up voting to a public that often is more interested in making a selection based on a favorite team rather than the best design.

  • RS Rogers | June 28, 2020 at 9:36 am | Reply

    That 1979 Yomiuri Giants pillbox hat is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a while.

    And mark me as among those disappointed to see teams with pro ripoff helmets and insulting or exclusionary nicknames chosen as the “best” in their states. A Dallas Stars logo on the side of a football helmet is, by definition, among the worst helmets in any state.

  • EZephyr | June 28, 2020 at 10:00 am | Reply

    Glasgow Scotties for the win, thank you very much.

  • Kek | June 28, 2020 at 10:00 am | Reply

    I wondered why the polls had so abruptly stopped! Bummer. I was having a good time voting and helping promote my good friends at Conemaugh Township. The HC and AD are both great people and they really had a good time with all these polls and efforts! Neat project!

    • Lance | June 28, 2020 at 10:30 am | Reply

      I noticed Conemaugh Township HS as the same colors and similar kind of Chief logo as the Bellefonte HS Red Raiders north of you. Right now Bellefonte, PA is going through a huge debate over the removal of the Chief. Any issues in Conemaugh Township with their logo?

  • Andrew | June 28, 2020 at 10:20 am | Reply

    Louisiana Swamp Owls and Massachusetts Rams get my votes

  • Johnny V | June 28, 2020 at 10:55 am | Reply

    I live 10 mins from Tappan Zee high school, had no idea they had such nice helmets!

  • Lou | June 28, 2020 at 10:55 am | Reply

    My top 3 are the Delaware Rams, Montana Scotties and North Dakota Rough Riders.
    Shame the tournament got ruined by cheaters. Really nice idea and great work!

  • Andrew HOLT | June 28, 2020 at 11:12 am | Reply

    I’m disappointed to see that the winner from Indiana doesn’t even have an original logo. The same logo is used by Hutchinson Community College.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Hutchinson+community+college+logo&client=ms-android-att-us&hl=en&prmd=insv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj989jb5aTqAhWQZM0KHcmbB3wQ_AUoAXoECAwQAQ&biw=412&bih=678&dpr=1.75

  • Will Shoken | June 28, 2020 at 11:13 am | Reply

    Dave Roberts in the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers not a coach.

  • Skott Schoonover | June 28, 2020 at 11:20 am | Reply

    I love the idea of this contest. But I can’t really come up with my Top 3 without being able to see the whole helmet. Some of these don’t have center stripes, and the logo is only half visible.

    I know this is already a LOT of work, but if there was a way to have this angle along with a side angle, it would really make some of these easier to see, and show off what made them great. Ideally it would be a rotating visual so you get a panoramic view!

    With that being said, The Bunnies is original and fun. I’m not a fan of anyone using another teams logo or using copyrighted pictures (even though Snoopy as the Red Baron is cheeky and fun too)

    And for everyone who is upset about the Native imagery, there are a lot of local schools who’s student bodies are primarily Native, some located in Reservations, and they SHOULD have pride in that! I’m sure that isn’t the case for all of them, but it’s a much different situation than the Washington football team who drafts players from elsewhere. Although the name Redskins makes me cringe no matter what the situation is.

    • BvK1126 | June 28, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Reply

      And for everyone who is upset about the Native imagery, there are a lot of local schools who’s student bodies are primarily Native, some located in Reservations, and they SHOULD have pride in that! I’m sure that isn’t the case for all of them, but it’s a much different situation than the Washington football team who drafts players from elsewhere. Although the name Redskins makes me cringe no matter what the situation is.

      Agreed that teams composed of Native American students and athletes are absoultely and unequivocally justified in using whatever Native names or imagery they want to represent themselves in sporting competitions (even “Redskins,” if they so choose). And that comports with Uni Watch’s official position on the issue, too, from my understanding.

      But none of the teams involved at this stage of the high school helmet competition fit into that category. A quick Google search of each of them confirmed that easily.

  • Jason | June 28, 2020 at 11:32 am | Reply

    After a second look, that Glasgow Scotties helmet looks even better than it did last time. Might be the best high school helmet I’ve ever seen. Such a great logo. Sized perfectly.

  • Murph | June 28, 2020 at 11:39 am | Reply

    Easy Williamsport Millionaires for best helmet and team name to be honest

  • John F. | June 28, 2020 at 11:48 am | Reply

    Re: the NBA city edition concepts. When I first heard that the Nets were moving to Brooklyn, I imagined them in this Dodgers tribute or the old NY Nets throwback. Instead they went with BFBS. Booooo!!!

  • John Elbertson | June 28, 2020 at 11:57 am | Reply

    Millionaires, Papermakers, and I would like to nominate a third …. my hometown Millville Thunderbolts.

    https://images.app.goo.gl/8MCWWJmmtG5E8AJy9

  • Morten | June 28, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Reply

    I like the concept of the Camas Papermakers helmet, but it’s not real. Unless they have announced a new design for the upcoming school year, their actual helmet logo is a wishbone C (like the Bears and Reds).

  • walter | June 28, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Reply

    1. Loyola Prep Flyers
    2. Glasgow Scotties
    3. Mingo Central Miners

    I would like to see the NFL Washington Pathfinders. References Indians without disparaging them, promotes continuity.

  • BvK1126 | June 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Reply

    Gus, once again I want to reiterate what a fun and entertaining project this is. Thanks for conceiving of it and doing a great job of getting everything organized. Here’s hoping next year’s contest goes smoothly without the unfortunate digital interference that affected this year’s.

    A couple of friendly suggestions for next year’s contest:

    1) Put requirements on the competition that the logos cannot be appropriated from professional or college teams (i.e., trademark infringement). Several of these logos bar blatant rip-offs. I don’t know if they have permission to use them or not (most often, schools don’t). However, I have trouble selecting a school as having the best helmet in its own state or the country as a whole if they can’t come up with their own original design.

    2) Consider further restricting eligibility to teams that do not use native American nicknames or imagery as part of their helmet designs. A couple of commenters earlier today took digs at Uni Watch as an attempted “gotcha” for the site allowing helmet designs with Native-themed images (and poached logos, too, for that matter) when the site’s official position stands in opposition to such designs. While the tone of these attacks was accusatory and smug and struck me as being in bad faith, I find some validity at the underlying point. Your views may vary, but to the extent it could eliminate a few cringeworthy team names and designs, I think it’s worth considering.

    3) Perhaps consider doing multiple views of the helmets – or at least use whatever angle does a best job of showing off the helmet design. As Skott Schoonover mentioned above, the front-facing angle used for all of the helmets winds up obscuring the designs of most logos on the side of helmets. It only works particularly well for the small number of designs that are oriented toward the top and front of the helmets, like the Bunnies and the Swordsmen.

    Anyway, once again, Gus, I really appreciate your project and all the effort you put into it. I hope I have conveyed these suggestions with that sense of appreciation and with a spirit of seeing this project achieve even greater success in the future. Best of luck!

  • Gus | June 28, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Reply

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. A few things to clarify: Uni-Watch and the tournament organizers had no say in what helmets won. The public selected them. Every helmet that was entered is a real helmet, although it was allowed to be an alternate (Papermakers, for example), or a helmet they committed to wearing in 2020. I understand the issues with logos that aren’t original and Native American imagery being coopted. I am in agreement with the majority of UW readers on these issues, but, again, these are real helmets and the public chose them as their state reps.

    This tournament was put on by a bunch of volunteers, and every state was run differently. I personally ran Montana, and we had multiple helmets representing schools on Native American reservations that used Native American imagery, and we didn’t feel we could police the entire nation in terms of what schools are doing things that are appropriate versus are questionable.

    During voting on Twitter, all helmets were displayed with a mock-up for graphic purposes, as well as a real photo or photo collage of each helmet, so the voters got to see the design in its entirety. The mockups helped with graphics and adding a level of cleanliness and flash to the matchups, but every team had their helmet fairly represented in pictures. (For example, the Aviators helmet has their most interesting aspects on the rear of the helmet, you don’t see that in the mock-up at all). As I said, I appreciate you all taking the time to look.

    • BvK1126 | June 28, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Reply

      Thanks, for the explanations, Gus! And thanks for taking everyone’s feedback (including mine) so well. I wish you much success in future editiosn of this project!

  • Eric C | June 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Reply

    Favorite Three would be:

    Bunnies
    Swamp Owls
    Scotties

  • Brandon O | June 28, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Reply

    Gus, thank you for sharing the high school helmet state winners with Phil and the Uni-verse. More importantly, thank you for all the time and effort you spent running the tournament so that all of us could get a chance to enjoy the contest, even if not in it’s intended final form. Lastly, I think we all appreciate the additional explanations and context provided on the voting process and imaging used for the helmet mock-ups.

    There were several strong states, such as Alaska, Arizona,Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, and Wisconsin. I was surprised that several of the bigger states, like California, New York, Colorado, Ohio, and Georgia, had under-whelming state champs.

    #3: Kodiak Bears – Alaska. The helmet is in a very nice shade of royal blue to start. The roaring bear logo is strong without being cartoon-ish or too serious. Lastly, and best, is the unique helmet stripe that I believe to be based on Alutiiq culture imagery.

    #2: Williamsport Millionaires – Pennsylvania. The heavy use of matte black on the helmet base and the logo itself is very appropriate for the name. The top hat, cane, gloves, and rose ensemble that makes up the logo is both fun and conveys the nickname well. The inclusion or argyle diamonds for the helmet stripe is excellent and classy.

    #1: Glasgow Scotties – Montana. The white base helps the logo pop, and the red facemask balances well with the black center stripe. The star here, or course, if the cartoon Scottie logo. I can’t help but love a logo with an animal mascot wearing a hat. Reminds me of the NC State helmet with the animal wearing a hat and the colors, but the Scotties helmet is even better with the tie in to the town and nickname.

  • PaulS | June 28, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Reply

    RE: the Spitfires photo… the entire Canadian Hockey League (although it wasn’t called that back then) wore Cooperalls. Cooper was THE big sponsor for Major Junior hockey, and every player received the same helmets, gloves, protective gear, etc.. The elite towns like Toronto, Kitchener, etc., retained their regular jerseys; the Spits had only been in the OHL since ’75, and like the other shoestring operations, went with the matching Cooperall jerseys.

    As for the NHL Draft Lottery, they say a good logo needs no words. All they needed was an image of Bettman raping the Red Wings, and boom! got to be the Draft Lottery. The last four years, the Wings have gone DOWN a total of 12 positions, and haven’t moved up at all. Worst team? Nah, let’s give it directly to someone that MAKES the playoffs.

  • John | June 28, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Reply

    Columbus Scotus in Nebraska? Ugh! The best are Hastings Adams Central with “Pat the Patriot” (Class C-1 in the link below) and Ravenna in Class C-2. It’s hard to tell in the image, but they use a modified version of the vintage NY Jets logo with “RH” in the oval and “Jays” across the front.

    https://mays.incolor.com/NebrHelmetProject/Nebraska_High_School_Helmet_Project/Class_C2.html

  • Patrick in MI | June 28, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Reply

    I’d love to see the Greenbacks play the Millionaires. Probably have a lot of money riding on that game!

  • Jim Carlisle | June 28, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Reply

    On the topic of scoreboards:
    I’d like to invite those of you who are enamored by classic scoreboards to check out my Vintage Scoreboards Twitter page ( @VintScoreboards ).
    It’s just for fun, a hobby. I update it once or twice a week. Thanks!

    • Phil Hecken | June 28, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Reply

      You should submit all of them as many as you’d like for the GTGFTS — I’ll give you a twit-plug!

  • John F | June 28, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Reply

    Gus,
    Thank you! The ideas of the state tourney is super fun! Wha t a blast to see all the different, creative designs! Wow!
    Anyone who has done anything like this knows when there’s a large group involved not everyone will be pleased (I’m a teacher & we do polling in class & school wide -almost always someone doesn’t think the results are fair or accurate no matter how hard you try).
    My top three?
    #1 Bunnies (LOL and creative helmet)
    #2 Rockets (ignoring phallic-ness because the DETAIL is unique)
    #3 Bears (I’m assuming the stripe is an Alaskan native design -also unique!)
    Honorable mention: Papermakers (I’m from Washington, so call me a homer)
    Super fun!!!
    -JF

  • Clint Wrede | July 2, 2020 at 12:07 am | Reply

    A nice set of prospective new White Sox unis received a quality mockup here:
    https://www.soxon35th.com/2020/07/01/the-white-sox-uniform-past-present-and-what-should-come-next/

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