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Friday, February 22, 2008

Husker Uni-Watch Friday

I never really know what to post on Fridays, so I'm always looking for ideas. A few weeks ago I ran across a Nebraska-related tidbit on one of my favorite sites, Uni Watch, or more specifically on Uni Watch overlord Paul Lukas' ESPN column.

The column focused on football helmet nose bumpers. The Husker connection noted by Lucas was as follows:
"Speaking of which, there was a rare commingling of college and pro bumper styles late in the 1989 NFL season and during the subsequent playoffs, when 49ers running backs Roger Craig and Tom Rathman -- both Nebraska alums -- sent a shout-out to their alma mater by wearing "Huskers" on their bumpers for at least five games (similar to when Ohio State alum Terry Glenn wore a buckeye decal on his helmet during a Monday night game last season). It's not clear if either Niner was fined for these shenanigans, but Uni Watch doubts it. That's the beauty of a bumper-related uniform violation: It's likely to be so subtle that the regulatory authorities won't notice."
And here is evidence of the nose bumpers sported by Rathman and Craig.

Like many young Huskers growing up in the mid-to-late eighties, I found myself a die-hard Niners fan and collector of piles and piles of football cards. This clearly exposed me to the nose bumpers of numerous NFL players, but my memories of the tribute by Rathman and Craig had been worn down by the passage of time. Stumbling across Lukas' column brought the memories flooding back, however, and seemed a worthwhile topic and a great excuse to post some vintage Rathman highlights while I was busy reminiscing.