Cool NFL Helmet Debates: No Room For Cleveland

Posted on May 17, 2011 by

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ESPN.com ran a column today that ranked the top 10 NFL helmets.  Now, as many readers of the article already pointed out, this is far from the top NFL story, considering that whole lockout business.  Nonetheless, ESPN kept the story up as the first read on the NFL page and it dominated as the top story on the website homepage.  Yeah, it’s not like a Major League Baseball legend died today or anything.  Not to mention, that whole Western Conference Finals going on in the NBA that doesn’t include the Los Angeles Lakers.  No, the coolest helmet in the NFL is the top story.  Nonetheless, this Commissioner gave it a look and needless to say, my disgruntlement with the placement of the column as a top story is exceeded only by my distaste for the selections of top NFL helmets.  Hey, even I like a good list to start a debate but the selections were just pure stupidity.  The argument starts below.

The post can be found here, and once you’ve looked over the top ten, you too may want to grab someone by the facemask.  The first selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers is hard to refute, due to its meaning and historical background and its tie to the city’s history.  Even a bitter Arizona Cardinals fan like myself can’t ignore the “coolness” of that helmet.  There were a few other helmets that simply didn’t belong, but the biggest black sheep in there  was the Cleveland Browns.

Are you kidding me?  Easily the most bland helmet in all of professional football, if not college too, got 8th place while a creative helmet like the Tennessee Titans got zero votes?  The Cleveland Browns helmet, while incredibly boring, just screams unsuccessful and small market team.  Look, being a Cardinals fan I know what it’s like to have some glory years long ago in the past.  Granted the Browns have had more recent glory years, but they’re long in the past and usually culminated in missing out on the Super Bowl.  The Cardinals reached the pinnacle of football once too and won multiple NFL Championships; but since the creation of the Super Bowl, NFL Championships mean jack squat.

Since the World-Wide Leader in Sports epically failed to produce an acceptable list of NFL helmets here is one that is far from perfect, but still better than the ESPN version.  These are the ten best in alphabetical order.

Top 10 NFL Helmets:

Cincinnati Bengals– Don’t try and say you didn’t stuff quarters into the machines at the grocery store trying to get an orange plastic helmet with the Bengals stickers inside.  The design of bengal stripes wrapped around this helmet makes it unique, considering no other teams uses the entire helmet for it’s design.  No basic side logo and single stripe here; multiple stripes wrapped across the whole helmet.

Dallas Cowboys– As much as I despise Dallas, I can’t ignore that this helmet is just iconic and thus cool.  I hate to make the “historic” argument, but everyone knows this helmet whether they watch football or not.  Good color, good logo, and good stripe design.  Not to mention the nifty way they display player names on the back.

Denver Broncos– Let’s be honest, John Elway was good but not even he could win a super bowl in those hideous baby blue domers.  The only reason the Broncos knocked off Green Bay and repeated as champs was this sweet helmet.  Ok, maybe it was because they were a good team and repeated because they faced a lackluster and outmatched Dirty Bird dancing Atlanta Falcons.  Either way this logo is much more intense and don’t forget that stripe.

Miami Dolphins– A helmet in which the character in the logo is wearing a helmet?  That just might be redundant enough to boost your helmet into the top ten.  Factor in that it’s a dolphin wearing a football helmet and you’ve got yourself a strong helmet.

Minnesota Vikings– See Argument for St. Louis Rams.  This helmet is simple but ingenious.  Make the helmet look like what the player is supposed to be; simple and smart.

Pittsburgh Steelers– Any helmet with a neat story is a good helmet.  This one has so much going on.  From the different colors in the logo representing different elements in steel, to its unique factor of having a logo on only one side.  This is certainly a top ten helmet.

St. Louis Rams–  Nothing cooler for a helmet design than making it look like the person wearing it is actually the mascot the team is based on.  Having the ram horns wrapped around the helmet to represent actual rams may be duplicated by many schools and countless pop-warner teams; but as the saying goes “imitation is the highest form of flattery.”

San Diego Chargers– Ever since they went back to the white domes, the Chargers have never looked so good.  Now if they could only win in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers– While I may be one of the few out there who appreciated the sherbet orange and white helmets, it’s hard to argue that the new helmet with the tattered pirate flag isn’t cool.  The helmet is so beast, Disney ought to buy the rights to the team and try to use them to market the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie that they’re getting ready to force feed us.

Tennessee Titans– This helmet has a lot going for it.  The flames coming off of the shield, plus the two stripes that peel off across the cranium make this helmet one of the coolest in the NFL.  Just try and lie and say you wouldn’t want to own a polished Titans helmet; it can’t be done.

Now just try and tell me that a boring Cleveland Browns helmet is better than these helmets.  Yeah they have history, but let’s be honest that history left when the team moved to Baltimore.  This new franchise is only historic for it’s awful performance and lame helmet.

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Posted in: NFL