If you saw just one snippet of this new video released by the Indiana football program, say, from the 30-to-40 second mark, you might think Oprah had shown up to give everyone a free car. Or perhaps Kate Upton had decided to display her appreciation for the team's offseason efforts.
IU players leap out of their seats and scream, and one player appears to have a heart attack as he collapses on the floor. What causes all this commotion? Why, the Hoosiers unveiled five new helmet designs. We never said college athletes are hard to please.
In all seriousness, Indiana -- which had been teasing the helmet reveal for a couple of weeks on Twitter and YouTube -- did at least perform a pretty dramatic makeover of its lids. There's the red one with the state of Indiana design, which I'm not too crazy about. There's a white helmet with the IU logo on both sides separated by a red stripe down the middle, my personal favorite of the new designs. There's also a similar white one that replaces the IU logo with red player numbers. There are more basic ones in red, one with a block I and one with the IU logo.
And then there's the most jarring design, a metallic cream-and-crimson stripe look that's sort of the space-suit equivalent of the basketball team's famous candy stripe warmup pants. These are guaranteed to cause the biggest fan reaction, both positively and negatively (Safe prediction: Traditionalists will hate it, kids will love it). I'm torn on it, but my opinion will change based on how they look on gameday. Some of the new metallic helmets look really cool on TV, although Oregon's shiny silver ones nearly blinded me at last year's Rose Bowl. There's no word yet on when the Hoosiers will debut these various helmets, but I'd be surprised if the metallic ones weren't reserved for a night game.
Indiana's players were clearly enjoying the designs in the video, and it's something that should gain the program attention. The Hoosiers have a fun style of play with their high-octane offense, and they should capitalize on that and anything else that can gain notice from recruits.