Brandon's Blog: A Helmet Everyone Recognizes

June 5, 2011

University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on different topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All of his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page,, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.

There is always a fascination with rankings. It doesn't matter if it is ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day, the Top 50 Comebacks or the weekly sports polls. We all use these rankings as a measurable for our favorite pastime. They catch everyone's interest.

They almost always create great conversation and interest. After all, how many individuals agree on any one subject?

Yet, one subjective sports poll throughout the years has most everyone in agreement: the best-looking football helmet in the game.

In a recent poll, selected the Maize and Blue "hat" as the best once again. It was noted that the ranking was based on aesthetics, tradition, meaning, originality, and place in college football history, among other factors.

But whatever these rankings are based on, the Michigan football helmet is the most recognizable piece of equipment in all of sports.

As a kid being recruited by several universities, I remember seeing the maize wings and thinking it was the neatest football helmet in the world. I am not saying the helmet was the reason I came to Michigan, but I would say it piqued my interest in our school at a very young age.

In fact, many of our football players and others alike believe the "winged helmet" plays an important role in our recruiting efforts.

Many college football programs would love to figure out a way to knock us out of our No. 1 ranking in the "battle of the best helmet competition." Some programs are even changing their helmet color/design during the season to create more interest and attention.

While the "helmet wars" are fun to talk about, the serious point is Michigan should never change from the winged helmet. This design is classic. It is representative of the winningest team in college football -- and when one is coming at you on the football field you know you are about to get hit harder than most other teams you will play. That is what Michigan -- and our special helmet -- is all about!

While we strive for growth and sometimes change will come with it, the classic "block M" and our winged football helmet represent our tradition and history -- simple and strong. These iconic symbols should remain for decades to come.

Being the No. 1 helmet is nice ... however, we all look forward to our football program achieving other first-place finishes in the years ahead!

Go Blue!

Dave Brandon Home Page