Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Please Let Custom Facemasks Become A Thing

Illustration for article titled Please Let Custom Facemasks Become A Thing

You're looking at a custom prototype facemask whipped up for Arizona by Bad-Ass Masks, apparently the Pimp My Ride of helmets.


It's totally on spec (though the mask was created in concert with Wildcats recruiting director Matt Dudek), and will probably never see game action—especially the colored version. A UA spokesperson says there's "no chance." Rules and safety and corporate partners and the NCAA being no fun, and all that. But college football should be a proving ground for innovations, even if they're purely aesthetic.

Everything's ripe to be messed with; even gloves are now just another canvas. But facemasks are the last frontier of personalization, one that's just starting to be explored. Consider the shredder grilles of Chris Canty and Justin Tuck, functional yet intimidating. Indiana will wear a chrome facemask next season. This is not some holy, unalterable construction.

Bad-Ass Masks seems to be the only one doing this right now, and some of their work is legitimately attractive. Take this curlicue mask, or this picket fence. They make them for lacrosse too. All it'll take for this to become a thing is for Nike to decide it's an effective recruiting tool, and lean on the NCAA to let Oregon wear custom masks in a game. And then we'll probably hate it. The circle of life.