Terry Bradshaw's


For those who are too young to have witnessed the actual on-the-field accomplishments of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw and instead have referenced archival film footage or the many books related to Steelers history, they are missing the true essence of his ability. Although his statistics match well with latter day inductees, Bradshaw earned his entry to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame due to the energy and confidence he brought to his team whenever he stepped onto the field. This was one of the obvious factors that separated him from so many others. The championships, Super Bowl appearances and victories, and the week-to-week performances that so often rescued what appeared to otherwise be lost causes came from determination that was at the highest level and contagious.

Modern day television viewers may see Bradshaw as a “used to be performer” or just another sportscaster, a bit out of step with what is the norm for television analysts and commentators and he has been prone to statements seen as outlandish. However, he was a great player who directed a great team and rose to the occasions in great games. For the helmet aficionados that flock to HELMET HUT and its many features, Bradshaw also treated us to numerous helmet and facemask brands and styles. He wore the distinctive Dungard 105 mask on his Riddell helmet at Louisiana Tech [ see HELMET HUT
   http://www.helmethut.com/College/LTU/Bradshaw.html ]

With the Steelers, he wore a number of different helmets in addition to the Riddell issues, including the Rawlings Ridge style with Dungard 205 mask in 1977 and ‘78. The Maxpro Kineomatic model that Bradshaw first wore in 1979 was one of his most interesting and memorable helmets. The Maxpro history actually began in 1947 when Dallas based dentist Dr. Thomas M. Marietta devised a facemask for a hockey player that had suffered a broken nose. This peaked interest in the local area among other sports teams and Marietta hit the front pages of the Dallas newspapers when he fashioned masks for Texas Christian University’s star quarterback Lindy Berry and Texas A&M fullback Bob Smith, protecting Berry’s broken jaw and Smith’s broken nose. In 1951 approximately half of the Aggies squad was experimenting with or wearing the Marietta masks. The good doctor continued his work, eventually designing mouth guards and then helmets. Their first suspension helmets hit the marketplace in the late 1950s and in the early ‘70s, before they developed a clear shell helmet of their own, they purchased the clear shells from Riddell, installed their own internal suspension system and put their own stamp on the shells. However, they began to produce their own clear shells from Lexan plastic, giving Dr. Marietta a very competitive product. His clear shell helmet was thicker than that of the popular MacGregor model and the interior leather covered padding was held in place by Velcro. Penn State’s equipment staff preferred the Marietta clear shell helmet and had many of their players utilizing them from the early to mid-1970s, influencing the Steelers staff to do the same. In late 1977, Dr. Marietta’s company was sold to Maxpro who introduced their brand for the 1978 season.


Bradshaw was one of the Steelers who switched to the newly labeled Maxpro models, first using his in 1979 with the OPO XL black mask the Steelers had introduced in 1977.  As with other clear shell helmets, the black paint, mustard-yellow center stripe, and iconic Steelers decal placed on the right side of the helmet were all applied on the inside of the shell, fortuitously helping in the preservation of this excellent piece of history. The crafted leather covered padding that Maxpro was known for has held up remarkably well through the decades since this helmet’s retirement from action. Both the padding and the Kineomatic model sticker appear to be brand new. As was the usual procedure, Bradshaw’s identifying player numerals were affixed to the exterior of the shell. Bradshaw wore this helmet through the 1982 season, one that many Steelers fans consider to be his “real” retirement season. Before adopting the Maxpro helmet, the 1978 Steelers had won Super Bowl XIII and Bradshaw had been both First Team All Pro and the NFL Most Valuable Player. In ’79, the 12 – 4 squad beat the Rams in Super Bowl XIV with Bradshaw the game’s MVP following another Pro Bowl season. With many of its star players succumbing to age and injury, the Steelers slipped to 9-7 but still demonstrated quite a bit of firepower on offense. The team again missed the playoffs in ’81, finishing at 8 – 8 and entered 1982 with an injured Bradshaw needing anti-inflammatory injections in his elbow prior to every game. Yet, the old pro persevered and helped to carry the team to the playoffs in the strike-shortened season, throwing a league leading number of touchdown passes with Dan Fouts and Joe Montana. Post season surgery on the injured elbow gave hope for one last hurrah but as the 1983 season crawled forward, Bradshaw had not recovered enough to take the field. It would not be until the fifteenth game of the season that Bradshaw finally entered the field of play against the Jets, throwing five completions in eight attempts in an effort that completed his illustrious Pro Football Hall of Fame career. Anything that reminds fans and admirers of his legacy is highly valued and this rare, beautifully preserved Maxpro Kineomatic helmet is in every way, one of Bradshaw’s crown jewels.