The more I think of it, the more I'm convinced the Arizona Cardinals have the best helmet in professional football. It's not just the slightly stern cardinal, but the lack of a stripe AND a white helmet.
The 32-team NFL currently only has six white-based helmets: the Cards, the NY Jets (returned from the 'macho' kelly green '80s version), the Titans, the Chargers (back from the horrible '70s/80s blue helmet), the Colts and the Dolphins. A handful of other teams wimped out on white helmets over the years -- the Patriots, the Eagles, the Bucs, the Cowboys, the Rams, the Bills -- all of whom have, at some point, gone tuff with charcoal, testicular gray or Ford Truck blue or Fist-Punch green.
A number of teams lack a stripe front-to-back down the center of the helmet, but only the Cards dare do it on a white helmet.
UNNECESSARY CHANGE, BUT ONE WITH HEROIC RESTRAINT
In 2005, the Cardinals -- after years of slacker play -- caved into the machismo streak that saw the Bucs, Broncos, Pats tough up their uniforms (and win Super Bowls) -- by making their longtime Cardinal logo, a bit less like 'a parakeet' and a bit tougher.
It's unfortunate, but that the change is so subtle -- and that they inexplicably kept the non-macho white helmet -- it's hard to not see the team's restraint as a bit admirable. It's amazing they didn't opt for something like the Ravens helmet -- all black with a very fierce, life-taking bird. I mean, they fooled no one with a change no one noticed but a couple Phoenix sports writers. And it's certainly better than the copycat Louisville Cardinals helmet, which shows the namesake bird... WITH TEETH?
In 1969, Super Bowl III -- between the Jets and the Colts -- is the only all-white-helmet matchup, with Joe Namath famously guaranteeing his underdog Jets would win, and pulling it off.
Including the Cards this year, 11 white-helmet teams have made the Super Bowl. So far they have a 5-5 record.
During WWII, the Cardinals and Steelers SHARED a team!
PREDICTION: Cardinals will defeat the Steelers 24-13
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