UPDATE: I have been emailing back and forth with someone related to the person who took the infamous picture, and have updated what I had originally posted below.
As you may remember, during the week leading up to the Clemson game, the Auburn Family was all abuzz regarding the rumor of the team wearing blue pants. As you may also remember, the blue pants rumor took a back seat to a much bigger (and founded by photographic evidence) rumor of blue helmets being worn.
The picture below was texted, emailed, blogged about nationally, and talked about all week. People argued over whether they should wear them. People argued whether the picture and/or helmet were fake. I don’t know how many times I heard “Look how big the guy’s hand is. It’s gotta be a mini helmet.”
I never truly made my decision on whether I wanted the blue helmet or not until I felt that small sense of letdown when the team did not run out on the field with them on. I didn’t want it to happen, but yes, it would have been cool.
Anyway, none of that matters. It was never going to happen. It wasn’t a helmet sent by Under Armour. It was never even an option, and as long as the current equipment guy is at Auburn, it probably won’t.
A source who held the full sized helmet in his hands and also has deep connections inside the Athletic Department (how Schadian of me), has told me that the blue Auburn helmet was just a fun experiment performed by the equipment manager (double confirmed).
The blue helmet was sent to Auburn by Riddell with no stickers or striping on it. The equipment manager wanted to see what a blue Auburn helmet would look like so he stuck on the stripes and the AU logo. The picture was taken by an assistant baseball coach (double confirmed) who snuck in the equipment room to get a peek. The helmet was made before the season started (double confirmed), not just with True Blue on the horizon, and the picture may have even been two years old (not true, the picture was taken Clemson week).
Also double confirmed that this was the ONLY blue Auburn helmet in existence (inside the Athletic Complex) and it lived under the equipment manager’s desk until it was decommissioned.
So there you have it. This was not a prototype from Under Armour as previously I suggested it may have been. It was never going to be worn, and I’ve been told it doesn’t even exist anymore. It was de-striped and de-stickered and has been sent out to pasture? Get it? Pasture…cow college…
I have emailed the equipment manager asking for further clarification and any more details he may be willing to offer, but I truly trust my source(s) on this.
I know some of you are happy. I know some of you are sad. Personally, I don’t care. We won the national championship. We can wear pink and green all this season for all I care.
I was given one more tidbit of information by my (first) source not regarding headgear, but I won’t give that away right now. I’ll just ask this: when’s the last time you saw Chizik wearing an orange jacket/pullover?