(Writer’s Note: Welcome to the first installment of something that’s been “on the stove” for over two decades. If you happen to read this article without knowing the background, reason or why, then you can get caught up here. Thanks for reading and enjoy!)
“You can’t use those anymore. They’re illegal or something like that.”
Those were the words from one of the athletic staff talking about the old Brine lacrosse helmets as they were being taken off the equipment shelf. Soon enough our athletic director who heard what was said came into the room and told of a story of a person who skydived out of a plane wearing a Brine Lacrosse helmet and broke his neck. A lawsuit soon followed and the person won the case, labeling the helmets illegal, or unsafe, just because of that non-lacrosse incident.
During our first week of preseason practice, our coach would look at us with our helmets on to make sure none of them were Brine. Some people have said that, that skydiving incident may have started NOCSAE, or ensured that all helmets had the legal statement – a disclaimer – printed on every helmet made going forward – legally protecting the companies producing them.
I never saw a Brine lacrosse helmet until that moment. A moment that wasn’t on the lacrosse field let alone somebody wearing it. But, it didn’t matter because I thought all helmets were pretty much the same, and for me, it was two ‘bucket-style’ kinds that dominated the market back then: Bacharach Rasin and Sports Helmets.
Ever since high school, that incident has basically tuned into somewhat of an ‘urban legend’, or some kind of lost story. A story that I haven’t heard anyone bring up.