How many of you got in on this?
I missed out. And, really, I'm sorry I did. Seriously, I would have loved to have one. But the price tag was way, way, way above my pay grade. But I would love to know how many of the 20 available ones were claimed. That's a quick $40,000 if they all were bid on, and that pretty much would pay for a new set of helmets.
And as we've seen, Chris Ash is scaling back to two basic uniforms. No chrome, no black, no white patriotic (well, maybe that one sticks around - I'm with Duggan on this)
Should keep this helmet for Veterans Day game https://t.co/IXN4Rl7CWx— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) May 30, 2016
So, it's Indiana - November 5 - break out the stars and stripes R helmets. Works for me.
But, what happens to all those other helmets? What happens to the old uniforms? There was a sale before the Spring Game back in April, and that should happen more often. Don't know if they sold out, but I wish I had made it there; the Cancro collection definitely would have grown.
They were selling jerseys and helmets, and that is how any number of schools replenish their funds and their equipment. And they make some good money doing it.
A 2013 ESPN online article asked equipment managers how challenging it has become to deal with the multitude of helmets and uniform combinations that now exist. Even if you aren't running Oregon's equipment room, it has to be a challenge.
The challenge for Rutgers' equipment guys is becoming, well, less challenging with the new "simplified" uniforms. But besides the spring sale, what does RU do with the old helmets? As we said, a lot of schools are making good money selling or auctioning them off after use, especially the one-time special event helmets.
Lester Karlin, at Virginia Tech, said helmets can be paid for with those auctions. "Our normal helmets come out of our regular budget. When we do a special helmet, like our Hokie Stone helmets, Coach Beamer has a foundation named after his late mother, and they pay for the helmets and then the money goes back to them when they auction them off afterward. When our camouflage helmets were auctioned off, some of the money went to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund."
North Carolina has done the same thing, with some big numbers. In 2012, "we wore the chrome helmets with the Tarheel foot, and that was a one-game thing. Those didn't come out of our budget -- we had our university's marketing firm pay for the helmets. Then they auctioned 'em off after the game to get their money back. I think they sold out within two days," said Jason Freeman. They wore them again in 2014 and sold them for almost $2,000 a piece. New, a regular helmet can run around $300-400.
The auctions at Rutgers have been somewhat limited, although there are helmets on sale right now. Eight of the chrome helmets from last year are available for $1,000 each. As far as I can tell, none have been sold. Where are the fans who want that special piece of history....and, of course, also have a spare grand to blow on a piece of memorabilia?
Rutgers is new to this. Sure, there are people who have stuff; I have stuff. But the programs that have been around and been promoting themselves (read: building the fanbase) for a long time have rabid fans with incredible collections of memorabilia. And people who have an affinity to their school -- don't go there right now, that's for another day -- want to buy stuff that says "this is my school". Can you imagine something like this opening line in an nj.com article about Rutgers?
University of Michigan fans rejoice: A new retail boutique called The Victors Collection is set to open Friday on South State Street.
It really exists, (and has expanded!) and the merchandise - forget memorabilia - is across the spectrum of great; the stuff that other schools offer is off the charts. We need to strive for that; like everything else, it takes time.
And on the subject of memorabilia and collectibles, one last point. And it isn't new for me: we need a sports hall of fame/museum. We're building stuff, so it's a good time to get it done. Again, there are a few other schools that have this, and if we're going to be in that realm, we need to think and act like that. Let's do this.
Are there any helmets on clearance?