Friday, April 29, 2016

Delaware Blue Hens (1965)

Delaware has always been known for its famous winged helmet, also used by Michigan, Princeton, Middlebury and many other schools. Which means the Blue Hens have never had a helmet logo, right? As Tubby Raymond look-a-like contest winner Lee Corso would say, "NOT so fast, my friend!"

In 1965 -- Dave Nelson's final year as coach before devoting all his duties to the athletic department  -- Delaware squeezed a small, old-English, Detroit Tigers-esque "D" onto each side of the helmet. Nothing else about the iconic Delaware uniform changed, but the "D" vanished after only one year, once Raymond became coach in 1966.

Delaware coach Dave Nelson and ... what IS that on the helmet in the background?
Also note the Hens' unusual externally-padded helmets, which we talked about here.

I'm kind of surprised Delaware never put a number on the helmets, as did virtually every other school in the '60s. But then the Hens, who won for years in the 60s and 70s with the quirky wing-T offense, no athletic scholarships and no future NFL players (the Hens even took pride in that last one, as this Sports Illustrated article from 1972 reveals), never did things conventionally, and it seemed to serve them pretty well. 

More shots of the '65 Hens. These are all from the '66 Blue Hen yearbook.
There's more from the Delaware hen house: 2011-142004-06, 1997-20031989-921980-881975-791973-7419721967-71.

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