First Christian Church

Boise State Football Helmet A History

By Donald Plunkett

No football team has captured America’s attention in recent years quite like the Boise State Broncos. A school that was just a junior college until 1967, shocked the world when it upset the University of Oklahoma in an overtime win of 43-42 in the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The game featured trick plays, unbelievable comebacks, multiple lead changes, and a 2 point conversion in overtime on Statue of Liberty play. The program is not just defined by that game, however, as they returned to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (a BCS game) in 2010 and regularly finished ranked in the Top 25. They have also defeated a number of other Automatic Qualifier schools like Georgia and Virginia Tech.

Boise State’s first helmet as a 4 year university (Boise State College) was believed to be all orange with a blue stripe. It was later switched to all blue. In 1972, the team added a bronco head logo in an orange circle. The head was white with a blue mane and orange background. The logo was switched to a stylistic font in lowercase spelling b-s-u in 1974. Some form of this logo was in use all the way until 1996 with the exception of the period between 1976 and 1977. In 1976, the logo was radically changed. A bronco head in orange was plastered across the side with blue shadowing and a white outline. Frankly, it looked a little strange and not necessarily very menacing to opponents.

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The changes that happened between 1978 and 1996 did not have to do with the lowercase b-s-u logo. That stayed the same with its orange letters, white outline, curvy s, and unclosed b. The changes included going to a blue facemask instead of gray in 1980, then later to a white facemask with orange and white vertical stripes in 1987. The stripes were dropped in 1991. By 1997, it was time for a change and the word ‘Broncos’ replaced the b-s-u logo. This is somewhat similar to the Gators logo that you see today on the University of Florida helmet. This logo remained until 2002 when the modern day Boise State words, with the fierce looking bronco head built in and on top, came into being.

The modern day Boise State helmet has been about the same since 2002, with the exception of the facemask and special games helmets. The facemask went from white to gray in 2009. On a few occasions, the logo has been changed. The bronco head is greatly increased in size where it covers a large chunk of the Boise State football helmet. The words ‘Boise State’ are dropped altogether. The 2 variations of this include the blue background with grey and blue bronco head (and orange eye) which was worn against Virginia Tech in the 2010 season opener and Utah in the 2010 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, and a white helmet with blue and white bronco head (again with orange eye) which was worn against Georgia in the 2011 season opener in the Georgia Dome. These variations match up with well with Nike’s Pro Combat uniforms to give them a modern, edgy look.

About the Author: Copyright Donald Plunkett. See more

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