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SmashMouth 05-08-2019 05:19 AM

Do you remember the Saints’ rookie ‘bucket helmet’?
 
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Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it -- and to attempt to answer that question.

Date: July 30, 1981.

Photo credit: Eliot Kamentiz, via The Times-Picayune archive.

What it's not: The Saints' new anti-concussion helmet.

https://www.nola.com/resizer/g-fvpV0...BJ3KBDWFLA.jpg

What it is: When George Rogers was drafted first overall by the New Orleans Saints in 1981, he was a big shot. Coming out of the University of South Carolina, he was the nation's leading rusher. He was an All-American. He was the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

None of that, however, changed the fact that when he showed up for the Saints' training camp in Vero Beach, Florida, in summer 1981, he was still just a rookie. And all rookies have to earn their dues.

For Rogers, that meant taking a turn in "The Bucket," which was one of the ways Saints veterans "welcomed" newbies during the era of head coach Bum Phillips.

From time to time over the years, the NFL has had to deal with fallout from rookie hazing that went too far. That wasn't the case with The Bucket. A garden-variety plastic bucket painted to resemble a Saints helmet, complete with chinstrap and facemask, it was part of a mostly good-natured method of reminding newcomers to the team -- no matter how decorated their college career might've been -- of their place in the team's pecking order.

"Ah, the life of a New Orleans Saints rookie," read a caption that accompanied a photo of Rogers wearing the bucket helmet in a 1981 edition of The Times-Picayune. "At the mercy of veterans whose greatest training-camp pleasure is making life miserable for guys like George Rogers. Sunday, it turns out, was George's day to be called 'bucket head.' And what does a bucket head do? Well, he wears the appropriate headgear, of course, for the whole day at the club's Vero Beach, Fla., training camp."

more on NOLA

jeanpierre 05-08-2019 07:00 AM

Re: Do you remember the Saints’ rookie ‘bucket helmet’?
 
While even some of the NFL's lowest contracts can yield some nice coin, the hazing that was really crazy was when these over-paid vets would stiff a rookie with a dining, drink bill that was several thousand dollars...

It's okay with Marine Recruit Haircuts, Barbershop quartet serenades during Team Meals, Carrying Vets Helmets, actually, it's quite healthy. Problem is many NFLers lack the discretion to be mentors themselves...



foreverfan 05-08-2019 10:04 AM

Re: Do you remember the Saints’ rookie ‘bucket helmet’?
 
OMG... that's much worse than a free turkey.

https://www.starlightbaptist.com/hp_...00-271x300.png

Crusader 05-09-2019 01:38 AM

Re: Do you remember the Saints’ rookie ‘bucket helmet’?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanpierre (Post 844317)
While even some of the NFL's lowest contracts can yield some nice coin, the hazing that was really crazy was when these over-paid vets would stiff a rookie with a dining, drink bill that was several thousand dollars...

It's okay with Marine Recruit Haircuts, Barbershop quartet serenades during Team Meals, Carrying Vets Helmets, actually, it's quite healthy. Problem is many NFLers lack the discretion to be mentors themselves...


https://twitter.com/NPR/status/811668968406536192

Drink and dinner bills in the thousands was bad but even worse was things like the absolute disgrace back in the late ninties when rookies were roughed up and some even injured.
https://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/28/s...es-hazing.html

vpheughan 05-09-2019 06:33 AM

Re: Do you remember the Saints’ rookie ‘bucket helmet’?
 
They should stick to good clean fun like being beaten with a bag full of pennies!!! What could possibly go worng?

jeanpierre 05-09-2019 07:32 AM

Re: Do you remember the Saints’ rookie ‘bucket helmet’?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crusader (Post 844378)
Drink and dinner bills in the thousands was bad but even worse was things like the absolute disgrace back in the late ninties when rookies were roughed up and some even injured.
https://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/28/s...es-hazing.html

AH, the infamous Code-Red where Cam Cleeland was also injured. The rookies had to go through a gauntlet of veterans armed with pillow cases loaded with sacks of coins...

Andre Royal got traded to the Colts and Keith Mitchell got his opportunity...

Cleeland was viewed as traumatized from the incident (he may have lacked toughness to begin, but he most certainly didn't deserve that treatment)...

At that time, I had friends close to the Saints organization and they told me some pretty spectacular tales that folks and security had shared with them. Saints organization was a sh!t-show under Haslett-Ditka...

But the decline started under Mora when Mr. Finks succumbed to Cancer...

Rugby Saint II 05-09-2019 01:00 PM

Re: Do you remember the Saints’ rookie ‘bucket helmet’?
 
I have never been a fan of hazing. It's just picking on somebody who can't defend themselves from a player in a position of power. Even in my fraternity I would cut the pledges slack or suggest that we go easier on them.

As a rugby player I have seen some serious(seriously funny) hazing and I always look out for them and don't let things get out of control. As a referee I have been called a Debbie downer at the social when most of this goes on because I see it as just childish and possibly dangerous.

Is anyone familiar with the Zulu Warrior tradition in rugby for when someone scores their first Try? Give your clothes to someone you trust before you take off running naked! Just sayin'.....:p


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