Charlie Waters
(game worn)


Although he was not unhappy with his Riddell suspension helmet, out of curiosity Charlie Waters decided to try out a Maxpro (model Kineomatic-21) helmet when many of his Cowboy teammates including his defensive backfield counterpart Cliff Harris were switching to them in the late 1970s. He felt the helmet was significantly more comfortable than his suspension helmet and he decided to permanently switch to it. The Cowboys, Steelers and Eagles used more Maxpro helmets than any other NFL team. Hall of Fame quarterbacks Roger Staubach (Cowboys) and Terry Bradshaw (Steelers) preferred the Maxpro helmet. Each year the company would ship both Roger and Terry a new shell without padding to use for that season. The equipment manager would transfer the more comfortable softer "broken in" leather padding from the prior season's helmet to the new shell. Another Hall of Fame quarterback, Dan Marino, wore a Maxpro helmet while in college at Pitt. The Maxpro helmet shell was molded in clear plastic. Thin waterslide type decals and striping were applied to the inside of the clear shell facing outward. The inside of the shell was then painted in the team color followed by a coat of gray sealer. The decals, striping and team color background remained clearly visible when viewed from the exterior surface of the helmet due to the transparent shell. Also because the decals, striping and paint were applied to the inside surface of the helmet they were permanently protected from the normal battle scars incurred by conventional helmets. (Note: Some of the helmets were ordered without the decals applied to the inside of the shell and instead the team applied the decals directly to the exterior of the shell -- check out Mean Joe Greene's Maxpro helmet.) The comfortable leather padding system (after the leather pads were "broken in" by the player) consisted of a front, rear, (2) side and (3) narrow top pads which were affixed to the shell with Velcro strips eliminating the need for rivets or fastener holes drilled in the shell. The Dallas, Texas based Maxpro company was started in the mid 1970's when they bought the assets of the bankrupt Marrietta helmet company. Maxpro stayed in business until the mid 1980s when due to the high cost of product liability insurance they also went out of business.