The “Best Helmet in Pennsylvania High School Football” Tournament

Last summer, I found myself with a little down-time and chose to spend it by putting up a bunch of Twitter polls to find the coolest high school football nickname in Pennsylvania. I limited it to unique nicknames (so no Tigers, Lions, etc.), but it still meant whittling down a list of about 115 schools to find our champion (which ended up being the Williamsport Millionaires).

Well, thanks to the current state we all find ourselves in, down-time has once again become more prevalent. I had an idea yesterday and, with an enormous amount of help from the awesome @thesteelersnat and @END2008, it’s coming to life. This will be another tournament because we need some competition in our lives right now and Twitter polls are easy to run. But this will be even bigger than the nickname tournament from last summer. Much bigger.

The goal here is to find the best high school football helmet in Pennsylvania. It is up to you to determine what qualifies as “best.” Coolest looking? A classic look from a traditional power? Your alma mater’s helmet? Go for it – any reason you can come up with is good enough for a vote. Unlike the nickname tournament, however, we won’t be limiting choices to a certain number of entries. Every helmet of a current PIAA program is eligible to win and will be included in the tournament. That’s 563 helmets from all 12 districts (sorry, Inter-Ac and other independent schools).


Here’s How It’ll Work:

  1. @thesteelersnat, @END2008 and I spent much of today building the brackets and graphics that will be used for voting.
  2. I will be sending out a graphic that shows every helmet in a particular district. In the attached thread below that graphic, I’ll post all of the Twitter polls involving teams from that district. So, for example, I’ll send out a tweet with @END2008’s District 1 helmet graphic. Threaded underneath that tweet will be the polls that will include all District 1 teams. If you need to refer to the graphic for a helmet you haven’t seen, just scroll up to the top of the thread.
  3. Districts have been divided into 3 or 4 team “pods” to simplify voting. Some districts are very big and others only contain a few schools; the WPIAL has 120 programs while District 8 only has 6. The polls will ask you to vote for your favorite out of the three or four choices for that pod. After 24 hours, the helmet with the highest vote percentage will move on to the next round until a “District Champion” has been named.
    1. A few important notes: We made a couple of executive decisions regarding the placement of certain teams.
      1. Butler (while still a member of the WPIAL in all other sports) will compete out of District 10, which is where it will be competing in football starting this fall. This was done to simplify the bracketing process for the WPIAL, which is enormous.
      2. Ligonier Valley, however, WILL compete through the WPIAL because the school is moving all sports there starting this fall. Think of it as LV’s first chance to win a WPIAL title – and they aren’t even in the district yet!
      3. We didn’t have an image of the new Central Clarion co-op team from District 9, so you’ll see the Clarion HS helmet instead. Apologies to Clarion-Limestone and North Clarion fans, but it’s the best we could do.
      4. Finally, we were unsure whether Vaux or Strawberry Mansion should have their helmet used in their proposed co-op for the fall, so we chose Strawberry Mansion because they’ve had an established program already.
  4. At the end, all 12 District Champions will be put into a Final Bracket to decide the best overall helmet in the state.

Sound simple enough? This is of course meant to be a fun way to pass the time in this sports-less abyss we find ourselves in currently. Make it competitive, share it and enjoy it. This will involve a lot of Twitter polls being sent out by me, but I’ll try to batch them in a way that isn’t obnoxious. However, it’s tough to do a project of this scale without it seeming overwhelming. If you don’t want to participate or see the polls, just skim past my tweets for the next week or two – you won’t hurt my feelings.

I’m planning to begin posting polls tomorrow (Thursday, April 2) around noon. Let’s get to votin’, everyone.

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