June 09, 2008
Scott Player was the NFL's last remaining player to sport a helmet with a single-bar facemask, and it's with great sadness that I tell you he'll also be the last in NFL history. Those 10 single-bar studs pictured above will be the last you ever see.
The league banned the single-bar facemask in 2004, but players who had been wearing it prior that had been allowed to keep wearing the lower-lip protector. The NFL's equipment suppliers had even stopped making it, so with each new team he played for, Player had to take his old facemask with him, and have it screwed into a new helmet.
Even this is against the rules now. The NFL has banned the single-bar mask all together, because ... well, because I guess they thought it was a bad idea for people to plowing violently into the world's most heavily-armored and fierce athletes with nothing protecting their face. Sissies.
It's a piece of NFL history that I'll miss, and one more bit of uniqueness that's been stripped away from the game.
If Nick Lowery was still in the league, he'd never stand for this. He'd march right into Roger Goodell's office, slam his single-barred helmet down on his desk, point to his full and lustrous moustache, and he'd scream, "THIS IS MY SECOND BAR, YOU PANSY." And that would be that.
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