Posted on: July 1, 2009 11:06 am
Edited on: July 1, 2009 11:17 am

Gumball Helmet Gold

Do you remember those tiny football helmets in the gumball machines that were frequently seen when walking out of Publix or any other supermarket when you were a child? Of course you do, because whether or not you collected the helmets, you always convinced your mom to hand over her change in an attempt to pull your favorite team out of the machine. Granted, I always ended up getting more duplicates of the Jets helmets in an attempt to secure some Dolphins memorabilia, but I had to try anyway.

While I was able to procure the entire set on my own by countless turns of the quarter machine, it was no small task. I can remember riding my bike to Publix and sitting in front of the gumball machine with rolls of quarters in my pocket that I had collected or "borrowed" from my dad's stash of change. After months of work, and just after my 10th Green Bay Packers helmet, I finally completed the set with the last helmet that I needed, the Seattle Seahawks. Oh how glorious it looked when it hit the bottom of the machine. All the patrons in the store had no idea that they were part of a monumental occasion.

Well, the gumball helmet industry has not only grown since the days that I was an ankle-biter but it dates back to much earlier than that. And while I was collecting helmets from an early age, I didn't realize this until I was in college. Today, you can easily go online and order a complete set of the current NFL teams, which are constructed much more soundly, along with a display case for about $60. However, the real fun comes with the thrill of searching for rare helmets that date back to the early 1960's. And while I'm sure the collectors were pulling these helmets out of the machines for less than a quarter, some of these helmets are selling individually for anywhere from $40 to $300.

While this may seem like a silly thing to collect, this is the perfect hobby for fans that love old-school football memorabilia but don't want to spend a lot of money. And while the older helmets are a little beat-up and less crisp as the newer ones, it's really cool to see the development of the league and the way logos have changed over the years. Let's take a look at what you can expect from the throwback helmets.

The blue Broncos helmet with the famous D that John Elway made memorable is not that rare but still a nice piece to have while the other three here are a little harder to find. I always liked that white Buffalo Bills helmet as the red logo reminds me of the bison from the "Oregon Trail" and the white Eagles helmet is pretty much the oppostie of what they are currently wearing. Other than the blue broncos helmet, these pieces would probably sell for around $5-10.

One of my favorites is the blue Oilers helmet which has many different variations depending on the number of stripes across the top. You can also find original Oilers helmets in silver and white as well. Interestingly, the current Jets helmet is their throwback helmet as this one is actually from the 60's as you can tell by the dirt on the helmet. The old Giants and Chargers helmets are also nice pieces as most of the helmets here would also sell for about $5-10 dollars with the Oilers helmet maybe getting about $20 or $30.

And if paying over $5 dollars let alone $300 for a gumball helmet sounds a bit ridiculous, you can always get the replica throwback helmets made for you at about $3 a piece which is what you are looking at here. The black Saints helmet on the far left of the top shelf is the rarest helmet and the one that costs $300. The fourth helmet on the top shelf is probably my second favorite and is an orange Broncos helmet with the white bucking bronco and sells for about $150. I don't believe any of the chargers gumball helmets were orignially made with the number, and they are strictly replicas although they do look pretty cool. Some other interesting helmets include the yellow Steelers helmet along with the yellow and Florida State-looking Redskins helmet. These sell for around $20-$40. You can also see how many different Oilers helmets were made as they are all visible on the third row from the top and also happen to be my favorite. Like I said before, most of them go for around $30 but the blue one with the three red stripes is much rarer and goes for around $200. Whether you are the type of collector that must have the originally made helmets or just likes to display the different styles of helmets from each decade, you can't debate how intriguing of a collection this would be for any sports fan. After all, your house will probably be the only one that includes a detailed history of football helmets for your guests from just a collection of tiny pieces of plastic. Also, for your viewing pleasure, he is a closer view of some of the throwback helmets along with a picture of what the newest NFL gumball helmets look like below.

So if you used to collect these artifacts twenty or thirty years ago, i would suggest cleaning out your closet.

Posted on: June 30, 2009 5:00 pm


I don't understand why the Lions would even consider sitting Matthew Stafford to begin the season. I understand that he is their franchise quarterback but that is even more of a reason to throw him into the fire. For most teams this would be a bit more understandable as they are attempting to protect their young quarterbacks, but there really isn't much to protect him from. News flash! The Lions didn't win a game last year. I could have been their quarterback and they would have had the exact same record. As a matter of fact, they could have thrown a scarecrow under center with a Lions jersey last year and they would have had the same record. They may have even beat the teams with birds as their mascot with a scarecrow out there, because we sure as hell know that they aren't scared of lions. Stafford has nothing to lose. He can win one game, and the fans will call him the second coming of...well, i can't really think of a quarterback that was ever good for the Lions, but you know where I am going with this. Either way, I say start Stafford or at least throw a scarecrow out their with his jersey on for marketting purposes.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 17, 2009 2:50 pm

A Cryin' Shame

So with the wonderful job of dealing with censored messages on Friday night, that meant only one thing...I needed to find a good movie to keep myself entertained. After doing that unenthusiastic search that everyone does through their friend's dvd collection, hoping to find a movie that they either have not seen more than five times or haven't yet seen, my girlfriend came across Marley & Me. I heard this was a pretty good movie and love dogs along with Jennifer Aniston...lol, so I agreed to watch it. Well, not only was it much better than I thought, but I have never watched a movie that has made me cry that much. Granted, I am a pretty emotional guy, but this was just ridiculous. Toward the end of the movie, I started thinking to myself, "OK, I am not going to cry...don't embarrass yourself." But then then my eyes filled up with water faster than cups on a football sideline manned my Bobby Boucher. And then I thought, "Well, this is no big deal, women like sensative guys and there is nothing wrong with crying during a movie." But then, the movie really started to hit home, and I felt a wheeping king of crying coming on...you know the one where you are trying to talk but nobody understands you because the only thing that comes out is a hiccup-like-scream fit only for the the mating calls of a sea lion. I tried extremely hard to keep my composure, but I was pretty much a complete mess. Thankfully, my girlfriend already knows that I'm pathetically emotional when it comes to movies, but this got me to thinking...when is it socially acceptable for a man to cry in public or in front of others. With that being said, here is my list of the Top 5 Most Acceptable reasons for a man to cry in public minus the obvious, and not very fun to talk about, death of a loved one.  

5. Snakes : If you find yourself cornered by a venomous snake that you have just mistaken for a football shaped twig in an attempt to show off your kicking skills to the make-believe-friend you acquired on your walk home after consuming the entire bottle of Jack Daniels at the bar, then it's OK to cry in public. Not only have you drank too much to outsmart a parking meter, let alone a snake, but snakes have to be the scariest animals on the planet. Oh no? You show me another animal on the planet that can move that fast on land without legs. Ya, I don't think so! Oh, and not to mention the fact that you are about to die, because if a snake has you cornered, that means all other life forms have left the scene of your eventual death long before you pissed yourself.

4. Fantasy Football : If your fantasy team is down by five points in the championship game, and your running back gets tackled on the one yard line leading to a quarterback sneak to end the game, then it's OK to cry in public. I know you are thinking, "What a dork, who crys over Fantasy Football?" Well, you are exactly correct...fantasy dorks do. And since I have yet to meet a guy that does not obsess over fantasy football, that makes us all dorks. Unless you have experienced that anticipation of Week 1 of the NFL when everyone has a good fantasy team, you don't understand that there is nothing else going on in the world besides football. The President could be shot and you will be upset because the breaking news is interupting the final drive of the Bengals-Browns game even though the score is 45-17. If you see a guy sitting in front of a TV all by himself at Ale House on a Sunday and you don't even have to wonder why he is crying, then you understand his pain and would never judge him for being incapable of controlling his emotions.

3. Once in a lifetime opportunities missed : If you randomly meet an intoxicated Megan Fox, who by the grace of God, invites you back to her place for a "pillow fight," and you instead get pulled over for speeding and subsequently taken to jail for going 50mph over the speed limit, then it's OK to cry in public.  As a matter of fact, if any of your friends happen to be with you, it is also OK for them to cry as well. Now, if you were swifter than the average goofball and convinced the cop that the reason you were speeding was because you were about to become the envy of all manhood and that he should let you go, then it would once again be OK to cry...this time tears of joy in public. And if you were lucky enough to acquire photos of your romp with Miss Fox, only to have them eaten by your dog, it would actually be OK to cry for a week straight in the middle of a crowded arena.

2. A Swift Kick in the Balls : I am not really sure that this topic really needs much of an explanation. It doesn't really matter if you get nailed in the balls or someone gives you a quick little tap on your manhood, it hurts like the dickens. It's simple. You get hit in the crown jewels, you instantly fall down and you cry. Nobody thinks any less of you and quite frankly, they are just thankful that they don't have to feel your pain.

1. Disappointing your Mother : OK, this one seems a bit pathetic, but whether or not you want to admit it, the last thing you want to do is let down the woman who brought you into the world. I read a story about how a man was holding a family hostage in their own house after shooting a cop and how he emerged from that situation without being shot. You know why? Because the SWAT team brought his mother to the house, and she told him to drop his weapon and surrender. He did it. Now that is some powerful stuff. Unfortunately for this guy, he would soon be crying behind bars on the shoulder of some guy named Bruno.
Category: General
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