Those brave souls who read Dan Guererro's "blog" may have been surprised--I know I was--to have discovered in the 10th paragraph this week a pretty surprising development from UCLA football:
When gathering with your fellow Bruin fans this Thursday evening to watch the football team as it travels to Tucson, you may notice something slightly different on your television. Some of the players' helmets will be adorned with ¾ inch tall hard hat decals (in navy blue) on the lower back portion. This is intended as a reward for, in coach Neuheisel's own words: "Toughness, dependability and a commitment to hard work and finishing the job." Helmet decals may be a new concept to the Bruin faithful, but these will be tastefully done and will not compromise the script UCLA on either side of the helmet in any way.
A photo illustrating what they will look like:
There is no further explanation if the stickers will be applied counting plays from earlier this season--so if Anthony Barr (2) will be taking the field with three on his helmet already, or if that is just for illustrative purposes. My further thoughts after the jump.
Pac-10 (now Pac-12) teams used to never have helmet stickers (this USA Today article from 2006 states that no Pac-10 programs used them). According to Wikipedia's entry on helmet stickers (yes), UCLA joins Cal and Stanford as Pac-12 programs using them. Stanford uses an axe blade sticker:
I have no clue why a team named after a tree would use an axe, but maybe I'm not smart enough for the Junior University.
I cannot find an illustration of what Cal's look like, nor do I remember seeing them, but perhaps that's due to their level of play recently.
The most famous, of course, are Ohio State's buckeye stickers, and Florida State's tomahawk and Clemson's paws are memorable and are easily identifiable with the schools. Which makes the Morgan Center's pick of a hard hat decal all the more puzzling. I suppose they're going for some "putting work in" blue collar ethic, but it seems rather cartoonish to me. Why not go for a bear paw, or something I would like even better, our beloved Bruin Bear statue in profile? It would be easily identifiable and they would look great on our helmets.
But I suppose that it's fitting considering the state of our program that something as interesting as introducing helmet stickers would be quietly introduced halfway through a glorified press release from our AD, and with no connection to UCLA imagery in any way.