In this week’s Monday Morning Uni Watch report, I noted that Raiders defensive lineman Maxx Crosby had swapped out his unusual facemask design, which he’d been wearing for the first five weeks of the season, for a more conventional design.
Crosby, as it turns out, has a podcast, and he addressed the mask switcheroo on this week’s episode. You can listen to the relevant segment here, or just read this transcript:
Podcast co-host Brogan Roback: The facemask was different [on Sunday]. Normally you’ve got that triangle on your facemask. What is up with that? You came out with a different helmet today. Can you just speak on what was up with that?
Maxx Crosby: You know, being real honest, I love the National Football League, everything we represent. But Roger Goodell, we gotta get on a call. We gotta get face to face, I want talk to you. So, they made me take my facemask off. I played the first five weeks, not one word. We play on Monday night, my face on the screen a lot — there’s too much going on, I guess, for Roger, and he sent in a nice email saying it has to go.
I’m like, Rog, what are we doing? I’m out here representing sobriety to the fullest. I got a tattoo on my neck, my hands, everywhere. So I put it on my facemask, it means a lot to me, it means a lot to all the people watching — they understand what’s going on. And, you know, it just rubbed me the wrong way. But we’re gonna have our conversation.
Roback: What does the triangle mean to you? Because everyone sees it all over you. If you’re open to telling everyone that, what does the triangle mean specifically to you?
Crosby: The triangle to me represents sobriety. It’s everything. It’s why I’m here. And why I’m doing this podcast with you. It’s why I got a beautiful daughter and family. A great fucking circle of people. It’s literally everything. If I didn’t make that decision to clean my life up and get in AA and the 12 steps, I wouldn’t be here. So that’s literally what it comes down to. It represents everything that I got going on.
And so for me, I put it all over my body. I see it every day. I got it on my hand, and I got the date I got sober on my hand as well. So the first thing I see every single day when I grab something, I see the triangle at all times. So yeah, it means a lot to me. So that’s why I put it on my facemask. So yeah, I was upset about it, but we’re gonna work on it, Roger, and we’re gonna figure that out. We need that triangle back.
Interesting. Two follow-ups on this: First, just to expand on what Crosby said, the triangle in AA represents recovery, unity, and service.
And second, Crosby didn’t explain why the league had him change the facemask. But when I mentioned the mask change on Monday, reader Craig Hoekstra offered this: “I’m wondering if Maxx Crosby changing his face mask has anything to do with [Chargers quarterback] Justin Herbert hurting his finger [on Oct. 1]. It appeared to me Justin got his finger stuck in the facemask.”
This AP report says Herbert’s injury was indeed caused by his finger getting stuck in Crosby’s mask. That would seem to be a legit reason for making Crosby change his cage, regardless of the good-cause messaging. Maybe he can come up with a triangle-based design that’s safe for his opponents.
(My thanks to Rudy Guitierrez for bringing the podcast segment to my attention.)