Owls to wear special stars-and-stripes helmet

By Cary Estes, www.armedforcesbowl.com

The Rice Owls will look their patriotic best for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl thanks to a specially designed stars-and-stripes helmet. The familiar Old English “R” logo will still adorn the side of the helmet, but it will be colored with the red-white-and-blue look of the American flag, complete with stars in the upper-left corner. There will be red-white-and-blue trimming running along the crown of the helmet, and the word “Rice” will be on the front-center of the helmet, also with the stars-and-stripes design.

The Owls used the same American-flag “R” for their game against Purdue last year on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, though this is the first time they have included the flag stripe down the middle of the helmet. Rice also has used a pink-colored “R” for past games in October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

In addition, the Owls will have gray facemasks and blue pants with a white stripe down the side. This look is a replica of the uniforms worn by the 1957 team, which upset Bear Bryant-coached Texas A&M on the way to winning the championship of the old Southwest Conference. Rice first used those throwback uniforms on Oct. 13 in honor of the ’57 team. The Owls were 1-5 at the time, but defeated Texas-San Antonio to begin their resurgence in the second half of the season. The players liked the look and the team kept winning, so Rice has been wearing the uniforms ever since.