Sure, the face mask recently worn by New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck may have resembled an evil smiley faced pumpkin ready to shred someone to pieces, but it clearly was something he enjoyed wearing. Unfortunately, the NFL has deemed the mask as non-standard and is requiring that all masks worn are standard model only. It’s one thing to have safety measures set in place as precautionary methods, but it’s quite another to dictate everything worn by players constantly. Most football players would probably prefer to wear not only something that protects, but something that they constantly feel comfortable in. By the same token, if face masks were not standardized there is the possibility that some players would advertise various face masks for monetary compensation.
Some athletes may swear by shoe brands and others may choose to start their own lines. However, as long as face masks worn are comfortable and suit the needs of any particular player, why not allow some types of variation within the league? The Giants already have set uniforms, so a decision on which face mask to wear shouldn’t be all that pertinent. Some players feel that exercising their options of facial masks is something that could be a good thing, which explains why some players are attempting to appeal the decision made by the NFL.
In the meantime, fingers remain crossed as some players, like Tuck, ponder whether the NFL will terminate the face mask rule. Allowing non-standard masks would definitely open the doors to more personal decisions regarding face mask flavor. Only the most giddy imaginations envision glow in the dark, rhinestone blinged, horror invoking face masks that would, no doubt, add spectacle to an already spectacular sport.