League slams door on funky face masks

AP

At a time when the league wants players to wear more protection on their legs, the league wants some to wear less protection on their faces.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Associated Press on Friday that non-standard face masks will be prohibited.

The ban includes players like Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck, and Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty, who wore his extra-thick cluster of bars on Thursday night in Tampa.

Mathis conceded the issue via Twitter on Friday.

“[I]ts official…. the league says i cant wear my facemask. I will return to my run of the mill grill,” he wrote.

An exception applies to players who can demonstrate a medical reason for the additional protection.

It’s a strange balance.  In a league that discourages individuality to the point that the players look like robots, the league frowns upon accessories that make them look too robotic.

86 responses to “League slams door on funky face masks

  1. These ticky tacky rules are getting ridiculous. I would love to hear the league’s explanation for the ban. I’m sure it makes a lot of sense!!!

  2. I’m so happy that the NFL is trying to get a uniform look to the league. There’s nothing worse than a player who goes out of his way to be “Look at meeee!!”

  3. Tuck has a bulged disc in his neck. The mask prevents grabbing and twisting. He should be able to keep his.

  4. Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing. What’s next NFL? You guys must have nothing to do at work, so you have to think of this stuff just to keep yourselves busy.

  5. those holes look small.

    Would it be wrong to suggest that maybe a finger could get stuck in there and broken?

    I dont mind this… they were just doing it for vanity reasons anyway.

  6. You serious? Tell me how this benefits the NFL? Oh wait, let me guess the reason. “It’s what the fans want” right?!

  7. …but they will let every player where as many pink pieces of uniform as possible for a month.
    SOOOO hypocritical.
    End the pink stuff too. I hate that.

  8. This is ridiculous the NFL is getting soft and now the NFL is not allowing players to play with their certain swagger and let them wear what face mask they want to wear. No fun in the game we all love.

  9. Well there are some that think that football will lose it’s viewers in the next ten years due to safety issues. Well I can tell you it won’t be because of safety, but it will be because of Goodell. The guy is power hungry and wants to control everything.

  10. tmcb7 says: Aug 9, 2013 8:00 PM

    …but they will let every player where as many pink pieces of uniform as possible for a month.
    SOOOO hypocritical.
    End the pink stuff too. I hate that.
    —————————————————————-

    Are you that much of a creep that you have a problem with breast cancer awareness?

  11. —————————————————————-

    Are you that much of a creep that you have a problem with breast cancer awareness?

    Are you aware how much money is spent making all the pink stuff? AND how much money actually goes to breast cancer charities? I am and it’s minuscule. Guess who get’s the huge share of all the money raised from the pink stuff?
    (you got it, the NFL and the owners)

    I make my own contributions to cancer charities, thank you. I don’t need to NFL shove it down my throat… to benefit them.

  12. jakec4 August 9, 2013, 8:04 PM EDT

    tmcb7 says: Aug 9, 2013 8:00 PM

    …but they will let every player where as many pink pieces of uniform as possible for a month. SOOOO hypocritical. End the pink stuff too. I hate that. —————————————————————-

    Are you that much of a creep that you have a problem with breast cancer awareness?
    ========≠=======
    It’s not about awareness anymore. It has morphed into exploitation of the cause and pandering to women to gain new viewers and sell more merchandise. A simple PSA during every game/broadcast would make people more aware but there is no profit potential there. You are naive if you think it is at all about compassion or awareness. BTW, prostate cancer kills more than breast cancer and is prominent in there core demographic yet not a word is said. Why? (they are already fans and do not need to be recruited by superficial gimmicks)

  13. There has to be some monetary reason behind it. Is there an official face mask maker of the NFL that was getting mad their masks weren’t used exclusively??

  14. you guys need to chill out. The reason is simple, these absurd masks limit visibility, which IS a safety issue. Linebacker who can’t see a dude diving or rolling towards his knees = linebacker who’s now out for the season.

  15. It’s not about awareness anymore. It has morphed into exploitation of the cause and pandering to women to gain new viewers and sell more merchandise. A simple PSA during every game/broadcast would make people more aware but there is no profit potential there. You are naive if you think it is at all about compassion or awareness. BTW, prostate cancer kills more than breast cancer and is prominent in there core demographic yet not a word is said. Why? (they are already fans and do not need to be recruited by superficial gimmicks)
    —————————————————————-
    I suppose I’m just not that cynical. October is breast cancer awareness month, and the NFL takes part in it. I can’t remember the last NFL loving average Joe I’ve seen walking around decked out in their team’s pink gear since all the NFL cares about is moving their merchandise to suckers.

  16. Chris Canty wears his because he was hit in the eye with a beer bottle, the result of which was he required emergency surgery to repair a detached retina, followed by several more subsequent surgeries to save his eye.

    If he gets poked in the eye the wrong way, his career would be over.

    I don’t know what the exemption process will consist of, but I can’t imagine that Canty won’t be one of the players that gets an exemption.

  17. Just shut up. Football is a team sport, it’s not about one player trying to stand out for Sportscenter. That’s the only reason they wear those stupid masks! “

  18. IM GETTING TO THE POINT THAT THIS POLITICALLY CORRECT CRAP IS GOING TO TURN ME OFF COMPLETEY. IT’S DISGUSTING WHAT ROGER(THE NAKED EMPORER) IS DIING. AND YES, I KNOW THAT HE ISN’T THE ONLY LAME THAT’S MAKING THESE DUMB RULES , BUT HE IS AT THE TOP AND THE HEART OF IT, AND THE MOSTLY OLD, DRY, BORING,GREEDY, AND DESPICABLE OWNERS ARE JUST AS HORRIBLE IF NOT WORSE. IT DISGUSTS ME THAT ON A ROUTINE BASIS, THIS CRAP GOES ON AND THESE HYPOCRITES WILL USE THE FANS AS FALSE LEVERAGE WHENEVER THEY TRY TO JUSTIFY THEIR SEEMINGLY , NEVER ENDING PURSUIT OF MAKING THE GAME AS BORING AS THEY ARE! I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO READ THE POSTS TO KNOW THD MAJORITY OF FANS HATE THIS CRAP. SOMEONE TELL OL’ ROG TO SIT BACK, COLLECT HIS YEARLY 30 FREEKING MILL , AND LET THE PLAYERS HAVE FREEKING FUN, WHICH IN TURN, PUTS SMILES ON MOST FANS’ FACES. IF YOU TRULY CARE ABOUT THE HANDS THAT FEED YOU ROGER, THEN THIS CRAP WILL GET REVERSED AND CEASED TO EXIST. NOBODY IS SAYING ALLOW PLAYERS TO BE DISRESPECTFUL , BUT NO SPINNING THE BALL, NO SPIKING IF DONE IN FRONT OF AN OPPONENT, NO GROUP CELEBRATIONS(HELL, NOT EVEN SELF CELEBRATING IF YOU HURT SOMEONES FEELINGS)…ETC…TO NAME A FEW. YOU ARE HURTING THE PRODUCT AND SLOWLY CHIPPING AWAY AT THE SHINY ARMOR THAT IS KNOWN AS THE NFL.

  19. This is BS if I ever heard it..those mask are custom made by a outside company..NFL can’t profit so they prohibit it. Typical

  20. It is not a strange balance at all. Anyone who has actually played football knows that facemasks like the one pictured above are only for looks and provide no added safety compared to standard facemasks.

    If anything facemasks like the one pictured above are dangerous to both the players wearing them and players being tackled by the person wearing the “upgraded” facemasks because of the added weight.

  21. FinFan68 says:
    Aug 9, 2013 8:22 PM

    BTW, prostate cancer kills more than breast cancer and is prominent in there core demographic yet not a word is said. Why? (they are already fans and do not need to be recruited by superficial gimmicks)

    ——————————-
    While I agree with most of what you posted, and I think it is stupid to hold breast cancer awareness drives since everyone knows about it. What I quoted is factually inaccurate. It took me 10 seconds to research it and realize that breast cancer claims more lives annually. It is less deadly though. Either way it isn’t a competition and I would like to see the NFL do more to help everyone.

  22. I get it. Stop it now before it gets out of hand with crazy designs that become a safety issue. And with regards to the pink stuff I believe the nfl was approached along with the other sports to do it, what are they gonna do say no and get crucified for it? And to the moron that thinks the owners get a cut of any of that your wrong. Yes companies like komen spend a ridiculously low amount on the actual research but they do raise awareness and people like me who haven’t really been affected by it are reminded to find better charities to give to. The awareness raised by it is very important even if their corporate officers are getting super rich. The owners aren’t all greedy s.o.b.s most of them do alot of good. More than any of us will probably ever be aware of.

  23. Canty almost lost his eye in a bar fight. He wears the extra bars to prevent any fingers or anything poking him in the already severely damaged eye. Even as an eagle fan I defend a former Giant and Cowboy.

  24. They should do this, let face it they didn’t these morons would be running around with flames coming out the sides and fireworks shooting off when they run just so they can entertain people but more importantly attract attention to themselves, because so many of them are so insucure.

  25. What is worse than the face mask rule is that the NFL will start fining players for not getting their TPS reports done.

    Can’t you imagine Roger Goodell as a real-life Bill Lumbergh? “Hello, Robert! What’s happening? We have this new .. eh .. rule. Yeah, a rule. I’ll take this face mask away, okay? Oh, yeah .. one more thing. If you and Justin can also cough up ten thousand dollars in fines, that’d be great, mmmkay?

  26. jakec4,
    do you realize how little of that money goes to actual research? not even 10% goes to actual breast cancer research.

    The face masks reduce penalties, less to grab. I say keep them.

  27. How the hell can you justify going back to “standard” facemasks, when the standard has helped lead to massive concussion problems. Talk about cutting off your super-protective grill to spite your brain…

  28. Say it with me now:

    Product Recognition

    Each and every player is a thing, a product, which must be marketed, and they want players to be have faces.

    I don’t agree with it. I think it’s cool.

    But the NFL has a product to sell, and clearly, they think that by being able to see the players faces, their product will sell more readily.

  29. Good. Glad they are putting an end to that ridiculousness.
    Interesting but not surprising that the only ones who were getting those showboating pieces of helmet hardware were black players.
    Sure, I could see white guys wearing those. I guess. But they don’t have to be feeling so self righteous and egotistical to do so.
    Just show up and let your play do the talking instead of your accessories.

  30. jakec4 says:
    Aug 9, 2013 8:04 PM
    tmcb7 says: Aug 9, 2013 8:00 PM

    …but they will let every player where as many pink pieces of uniform as possible for a month.
    SOOOO hypocritical.
    End the pink stuff too. I hate that.
    —————————————————————-

    Are you that much of a creep that you have a problem with breast cancer awareness?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Don’t you think we are all aware of breast cancer by now??? get rid of the pink in football already!

  31. All they need to do now is clamp down on that hideous long hair and braids sticking out of the helmet. You have to wear a bigger helmet just for the hair alone thus impacting the chances of getting a concussion.

  32. How absurd! I understand the need to strictly enforce rules on equipment. Uniformity in appearance and uniformity in the interpretation of the rules is a good thing, and is largely done with saftey in mind. That said, if an individual can demonstrate that he can safely and effectively utilize additional padding or protection, as long as it doesn’t present an additional injury risk for someone else (i.e. a pursuing tackler, etc), then that individual should be allowed to do so without fear of punishment or sanction.

    I think some of these new masks look sharp and have an intimidating visual effect, much like a hockey goalkeepers mask. If we want to keep the game from essentially becoming a powder puff league, allowing for some degree of individuality is needed.

  33. What do people expect. Ticket prices and merchandise are outrageously overpriced making the owners rich and funding Goodells salary.

    This New Fee League is atrocious and the reason I don’t attend games or buy merchandise anymore. Until people get fed up with the greed and these silly rules, you’ll continue to get what you pay for. Complaints will do nothing. Money is all they understand. Peace

  34. Face injuries just don’t contribute to debilitating conditions that become expensive in a courtroom. So why would Goodell care? The policy is safety for big money or why are we talking?

  35. People ask “why”. Do you really not understand??

    I’m sure the NFL has deals with certain suppliers and the “non-standard” facemasks are messing with those suppliers’ business.

    It’s about money. Literally EVERYTHING Goodell does is about money. He pretends to care about image, but image is just a means to an end, and the end is MONEY.

  36. FinFan68

    Check your facts sweetheart. Prostate cancer is more common but breast cancer has caused more deaths. Why anyone would ever hate on supporting any type of cancer is beyond me. It goes far beyond where you assume money goes. It’s the principle of it all. The NFL is spreading awareness more than anything- good for them and shame on your sick self for your ignorant comment.

  37. Despite the ever present and inane comments from the “you’re not the boss of me” crowd, the masks clearly limit visibility as well as present a hazard to fingers being caught in the small holes….. and considering there is no reason beyond vanity for wearing this type of mask or the ridiculous objection to wearing a few more ounces of padding,the infantile rantings are being ignored and reason and logic are the determining factors ,not infantile objections to authority…(although there may exist medical reasons for some type of variation)

  38. riverhorsey says: Aug 10, 2013 12:09 AM

    At first glance I thought if a player could get a finger stuck in that grill really easy and get it snapped right off.
    ————–
    actually it’s the opposite, those masks make it harder for someone to get fingers in there to twist a helmet around, this is actually making football less safe

  39. I bet it’s a helmet manufacturer. Not sure who the NFL uses. Riddell maybe ????? That design has Schutt written all over it.

    But facades have been like this in the past. Saints player Pat Swilling had a crazy face mask back in the day.

  40. Yeah I agree with others. Don’t see the problem here.

    These “Shredder” type grills seem like they would or do cause torn up fingers galore.

    If you don’t need the extra protection medically, yeah, wear the regular facemask. I think the NFL is acting perfectly rational and within their right as the employer who can set uniform / equipment standards.

  41. I’m not sure what league has tougher guys playing in it?…………the NFL or SOCCER? Seems to me that the NFL is becoming the National Fairy League. Just wait until the lawyers sink their teeth into the MLS league. They will all be wearing shin guards and helmets just to play soccer.

  42. This is a great idea. Players can still choose from a ton of different face masks so stop crying everyone. It is a great idea to keep a strict uniform code in the NFL, that’s what makes it special. If players could wear whatever they wanted teams would not have the fan base that they have. Plus, if they let players do this, it is a “pandora’s box” to other things. Good job NFL.

  43. Just another demonstration of the NFL letting the players know who’s boss.

    The owners aren’t paying Goodell $10,000,000.00/year+ ——— because they’re unhappy with his approach.

    One may notice that most NFL owner votes pass with numbers like 31-0 with 1 abstention – or something to that effect. It’s like the NFL is owned by 32 ownership groups or owners – that largely share nearly identical opinions on league matters. It’s either that — or collusive behavior.

    Despite the NFL laming itself down with rules that eviscerate the essence of the game – Goodell and the owners will see numbers rising and will wrongly deduce they’re doing something right. Not true. The increased numbers are in spite of many of the botched decisions – and such numbers would be even higher without the uber-paternalistic approach we now endure.

    About Goodell, he is *very* frustrating, but I do give him credit where it’s due:
    (1) setting inter-divisional match-ups in Weeks 16-17 was a great idea. That makes total sense. Kudos on that call.
    (2) flex games, where we can actually see the season play out in order to view the games that are sexy match-ups. Another good move.
    (3) the NFL logo is tighter now, looks much better than the “elf’s toe” logo it had previously.
    (4) capping rook wages, so that proven vets can get paid a larger share of the pie. This is fair. Why pay Jamarcus or Leaf $30,000,000.00+ — at the expense of hard-working vets that busted their tail to be the best they can be?

    But overall, many of Goodell’s heavy-handed policies miss the mark — and I see no end in sight. Absolute power – corrupts absolutely. Is Goodell “corrupt”? Not in my opinion — but the point is he has unchecked power – and he wields it with impunity.

  44. Saints player Pat Swilling had a crazy face mask back in the day.

    ————————————————————

    Rickey Jackson, actually, and he had it because he had been in a bad car accident. Played half the season on a liquid diet with his jaw wired shut.

    Of course, if he tried to wear that today it would probably be banned. Not every team owner has the commissioner in his pocket.

  45. let me get this straight..they want us to play heads up football yet they don’t want us looking like robots but yet those face mask protect players from people grabbing them oh that makes sense..

  46. Anddddddd he no fun league strikes again….I’m pretty sure Darth Vadar has been making these rules for the NFL over he last 20 yrs

  47. I think the league should ban lineman from wearing face masks that skill players have been wearing for years. Example: Ndamukong Suh. He looks like a 307 Barry Sanders in his helmet. He, and almost all of the linemen in all levels of football should have the full cage on their helmets. It’s looks proper and it looks more intimidating, IMO.

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