HOF Artifact of the Week

HOF Artifact of the Week

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This helmet was worn by Chuck Culotta of the Cleveland Skeletons an early 1930s semi pro team. The Skeletons wore leather helmets and uniforms that featured a white glow in the dark skeletal design. The idea apparently was for the team to intimidate their opponents with their scary uniform, but the outfit scared few considering the team folded after a couple of years of existence.

The Skeletons were a short lived team, but this helmet with its full leather mask is a great example of an early attempt at facial protection. This full leather mask style of protection never caught on however, because most players felt it was too hot to wear.

The full-face mask helmet was most likely based on the 1910’s and 1920’s “intimidator” helmet that had a leather mask that only covered the forehead, eyes and nose. Some players wore the “intimidator” style of helmet if they wanted to hide their identity because they were a collegian or because they didn’t want to be associated with pro football. At the time some saw professional football as a dishonorable sport.

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