Greg Dooley recently visited Capitol Varsity Sports in Oxford, OH to learn more about the process for reconditioning Michigan's famed winged helmets. His MVictors.com post on the visit is well worth your time.
Greg followed up that post with one today that reveals that Michigan began including gold flakes into the maize paint in 2012 and this year's helmets continue the practice.
Before checking with #1000SSS, I asked around and couldn’t find anyone aware of the change or a release talking about the flakes.* I checked out some close-ups of photos and didn’t really notice anything. Sap found one U-M collector, Dan Oles, who got his hands on a 2012 helmet that indeed had the flakes. Oles wrote to Sap, “I contacted a few players via twitter asking if the regular season helmets had maize glitter paint. They all confirmed that they did.” Oles even shot a note to Jon Falk who confirmed the change.
Fast forward to today. I verified with media relations & with Falk that indeed the team had the bedazzled headgear in 2012. The change to the paint was announced as part of the Cowboy Classic uniform reveal…but the news release didn’t call out the gold flakes:"Michigan will be utilizing a new paint technology on the maize wings on the helmet in order to better highlight the most recognizable helmet in college football and create a more durable surface."
Those highlights included the shiny flecks. (My understanding is it’s not real gold a la Notre Dame). I also confirmed they’ve got the same look on the helmets this year as well.
Here's a close up of a 2013 helmet that Greg took at yesterday's practice.
What's your verdict?