You probably haven’t heard this, but Maryland’s football team wore uniforms – and helmets – last night that probably got a few people talking. And while most of that talk was something along the lines of “oh my god those are hideous my eyes are burning,” the amount of buzz generated has already ensured the uniforms were a massive success. And say whatever you want about them – you have to admit they were original, right?
Not so fast. It turns out Maryland’s state-flag-themed helmets – really, the most striking aspect of a very striking ensemble – bear a striking resemblance to another Maryland-state-flag-themed helmet design. Who uses these other helmets? Why, none other than the Charm City Roller Girls roller derby team. Think we’re overstating the similarity? Look at the Maryland helmet above (via). Now look at what the Charm City Roller Girls wear:
First of all, wow. Second of all, even controlling for the fact that they were first, the Roller Girls get the nod from us. If you’ll notice, while the Maryland helmet was split into halves, the Roller Girls’ helmets are in four quadrants. Take a look at the Maryland state flag and you’ll see why. So the Roller Girls have originality and a stricter adherence to the flag’s actual design on their side. And while the similarity may well be coincidental, Roller Girls captain Hillary “Rosie the Rioter” Rosensteel clearly wasn’t too thrilled, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Erik Maza:
“I can only guess where it came from,” she said.
For now, she said, “It’s just a coincidence. But I should not say anymore right now.”
We get it. That helmet design is forever associated with Maryland football now. Rosensteel and her teammates are in for a career’s worth of, “Oh, nice helmets, you must have seen that Maryland game,” each time resisting the urge to scream. They did it first (Rosensteel said they’ve worn the helmets for three years), and to us, they did them the best. But Maryland did them the most famously. Hard to overcome that. Of course, given the public reaction to the helmets, maybe not being the team primarily associated with them isn’t such a bad thing.