Hey coach, please bring back the helmet stickers

Published 9:22 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It’s just a tiny sticker, but to a player, it means the world.

Helmet stickers, sometimes called pride stickers, used to adorn nearly every helmet in the amateur football, from recreation to college. Now they are almost entirely gone, sans the unmistakable buckeye leaf of Ohio State, the tomahawks of Florida State and all those dog bones that adorn the helmets of Georgia players.

How hard would it be to bring the helmet sticker back to the high school level? I’m no football coach, but I would thing all it would take is a quick phone call to the manufacturer and a couple weeks of shipping.

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Some of you may be asking what does a little sticker on the back of a player’s helmet do? It simply helps win games.

When I played high school football, we earned helmet stickers for achieving on-the-field goals such as winning games, having stellar individual performances or making the playoffs. Those stickers were black with a gold outline, but the ones we were most proud of were solid gold.

A player earned an all-gold helmet sticker for off-field successes. Making good grades, doing community service and just being a good person earned you a flashy gold sticker.

The stickers were things all players cherished. We knew football is a team game, but the stickers let each player have an identity other than the number on their jersey.

It allowed us to show the world the player inside the uniform was a productive member of society.

Pike Liberal could go with the “P” logo the baseball team uses, Goshen might use an Eagle head; Pike County could take a page from Georgia and use the bone. Charles Henderson would probably go with the Trojan head, while Zion Chapel might use a sword logo.

I know football teams operate within a tight budget, but there is a lot to gain from what I figure is a minute expense. So coaches here is my plea, bring back the stickers, not for our gain, but for the kids.

Ryan McCollough is a sports writer for The Messenger. He covers recreation, high school and Troy University athletics and is member of the Football Writers Association of America and the Alabama Sports Writers Association.