A NFL team with a lot of tradition is joining the trend for alternative helmets.
On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions unveiled their new alternate helmet, a blue shelled piece of gear with the club’s iconic logo from the 1960s.
Since they wore a blue helmet for a brief period in the 1950s, the Lions’ first alternate shell has been painted in a color other than silver. Detroit’s previous “alternate” helmet was just a stripped-down shell with graphics and striping removed for use with throwback uniforms, usually on Thanksgiving.
The team’s logo from the 1960s is displayed on the Honolulu blue helmet, which has a silver facemask attached to the shell and two vertical stripes—one blue, one silver—on the sides. In the 1960s, Detroit used this logo as its primary mark, but the team never wore it on its helmets until now.
A photoshoot featuring a 1973 Ford Mustang Shelby Mach 1 that belonged to the late Van Patrick, a former Lions radio commentator from the 1950s until his death in 1974, served as a teaser for the alternate helmet. The Ford Mustang badge, which can be seen on the vehicle, served as inspiration for the classic logo.
In recent years, Detroit has made frequent use of this logo, such as on a WCF emblem on the sleeve of their jerseys in memory of the late Lions owner William Clay Ford. The vertical stripes will also be seen on Detroit’s uniforms this season and in the team’s 90th anniversary patch, which features a smaller version of the prowling lion.
During their Week 8 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football, the Lions announced that they will use the new helmet for the first time. They will be used once more by Detroit against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 18.
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