The New York Giants helmet history has consisted of the same blue and red shell and stripe for as long as my grandparents have been alive, which is since the late-1930s onward. That said, when one thinks of the Giants, they think of continuity, much like their NFC East brethren which I consider to be the most traditional division in football.
The Giants were founded in 1925 and like other teams founded during the era before plastic helmet shells, wore leatherheads. Let’s get started on this incredibly long and wild rundown of a timeline from 1925 to 1961. Don’t worry, you can click this link if you can’t understand my descriptions, because some of these helmets are just freaking wild and crazy.
Wild and crazy didn’t start off, however, as the team wore plain white and beige leatherheads in 1925 before going with just white between 1926 and 1928.
In 1929 and 1930, the team went with plain beige.
From 1931 to 1933, the Giants went with this strange pattern consisting of blue at the front of the helmet and red making up the rest with a thick, blue horizontal crown stripe. Like I said, click the link above if you need some visuals.
Also in 1933, the Giants added a second helmet, this one blue at the base with a red and blue striped pattern at the upper half.
In 1934, the Giants used a white helmet with red at the front and back, as well as a red helmet with blue at the front and back.
In 1935 and 1936, the team went with just the red/white design.
In 1937, a new blue helmet featuring a red-winged front and University of Michigan like design, also in red, was adopted. The winged-helmet lasted until the 1947 season, with the exception of 1945 when the Giants used a light-beige plain helmet in conjuction with the primary winged-look.
The final leatherhead debuted in 1948, consisting of red at the lower half and blue at the upper half, along with horizontal and vertical red crown stripes.
Finally, from 1949 to 1960, the Giants used a plain blue plastic-shelled helmet with a red crown stripe.
Crazy designs and descriptions? I know, right?!
The helmet’s shell and stripe remained unchanged from 1961 to 1974, but a lowercase ‘ny’ was added as helmet decals, with the ‘y’ swooping under the ‘n,’ as seenin the photo to your right.
In 1975, the Giants provided an update for the helmet. The ‘n’ was now capitalized and both the ‘Ny’ were now blue with a white outline. Also, white now bordered the red on the helmet crown, giving more visibility to the red. Also in 1975, the Giants switched from a traditional gray facemask to white.
This was definitely a unique look, that encompassed the team’s entire 1975 season after opting for just plain shells during the pre-season.
In 1976, the blue ‘Ny’ was dropped in favor for the GIANTS script, along with the same crown stripe the team adopted the previous season.
In 1981, the white borders on the helmet stripe were dropped, and the helmet remained unchanged over the next eighteen seasons.
In 2000, the Giants reverted back to their lighter blue shells and dropped the GIANTS script in favor of their 1961-1974 logo, the lowercase ‘ny.’ They also adopted a similar uniform to the 1961-74 classics and the primary helmet has remained the same ever since.
This helmet’s shade of blue was lightened from a darker to more of a royal blue, something unique during an age where many teams adopted darker shades of their color scheme in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 2016, the Giants have since brought back the GIANTS script for their Color Rush, which is practically a version of their all-white uniform from 1981-1999. The only difference here is the Giants, like the Broncos, have used their primary helmet since teams are now banned from using multiple colored helmets in the NFL.
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I’m a football purist, but for the Giants, either helmet works well. They’re one of few NFL teams that have looked good in any helmet and uniform combination they have worn, except for the one-year helmet in 1975.
It truly doesn’t matter what helmets the Giants wear; they will never have to adopt a new identity if they continue using either helmet.
Wild, crazy, and hard to describe in words; those were my first thoughts regarding the Giants’ first three decades-worth of helmets in the old leatherhead era. But you know what, I give them credit for continuity, especially since they settled on blue and red early in their existence, and glad to see it to have stood the test of time for literally almost one-hundred seasons.
They’re one of few teams to boast a few reputable logos as well, in both primary and Color Rush format, as well as two respectable primary shades of blue. The Giants need to keep doing what they’re doing and they will continue to win over fans for such longevity. I’ll take it any day.