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Football Sports Apparel
The early days of American football were similar to rugby, in rules and in clothing style. As the sport grew on a collegiate level in the late 1800s, player injuries and even deaths gave rise to additional game rules and protective gear.
The first football helmets were made of leather, and although they offered some impact protection, they weren’t considered mandatory until the NFL made helmet-wearing a regulation in 1943. Riddell began making plastic football helmets in the early 1940s, and still crafts the sport’s official game helmets. Early versions of the football jersey were made of wool, and over the years, jerseys have changed from cotton to polyester, and then to unique blends of synthetic fabrics.
A football apparel enthusiast can collect gear ranging from jerseys and gloves to helmets and jackets. The thing to keep in mind is that game-worn gear will hold different value than replica gear, and signed gear is typically worth more than unsigned.
Elite 51 football apparel is Nike’s latest revolution in game gear, with clothing made of unique synthetic blends to control heating and cooling, and to provide the player more comfort and protection
A 1970 Houston Oilers helmet signed by coach Bum Phillips gathered $2 million at a Texas charity auction in 2015, making it one of the highest yielding football memorabilia pieces ever sold
A rare, unused 1890s football helmet made by the A.J. Reach Company sold for $8,140 on a Leland’s auction in 2015. Very few in mint condition are thought to remain
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