This season New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck will be taking the field with a particularly striking helmet that looks like something that a mean robot would wear. Although the mask is aesthetically pleasing and will make Tuck look undeniably badass, it actually serves a purpose as well.
"The idea is he doesn't want to get grabbed," said [Giants equipment director] Joe Skiba, who was honored this offseason with the Whitey Zimmerman Equipment Manager of the Year Award. "But then it becomes one of those situations where when you make a facemask with so many bars like that how much weight is going to be too much weight. So what Schutt did was we made that out of titanium, which is light as a feather. You can feel his helmet now, it feels just as light."
Tuck, who has suffered from neck injuries during his career, believes the tighter cage on this facemask will prevent opponents from grabbing onto it and jerking his head around.
It is also surprising to learn that NFL players are free to have helmets custom-made for them, given the league's propensity for draconian uniform regulations. Perhaps Tuck's mask will inspire other players to inject a little style into their headgear. Maybe Jared Allen could get a facemask on which the bars form an American flag pattern.
We at Deadspin salute you, Justin Tuck, for being a trailblazer of style while combining form with function.
Photo via Uni Watch
The story behind Justin Tuck's Facemask [Giants.com]