When a football team finishes a season, its helmets are pretty banged up. So who gets the dings and dents and battle scars out of them and makes then look like new again?
New on 6 reporter Rick Wells visited Oklahoma's only helmet reconditioner.
Toly Arutunoff: "We've done probably 8,000 football helmets this year." Red Zone Athletics recondition helmets for Muskogee, Sapulpa, some for Tulsa Union and lots of other schools. "We do a lot more in Arkansas; .we did about 5,000 this year in Arkansas." In fact, some red helmets getting spray painted are going back to a high school in Arkansas. He's hitting them with a clear coat which has red metallic flecks in it, so the helmets will sparkle under the Friday night lights.
Each football helmet gets the complete treatment, broken snaps and fittings get replaced, the helmets get buffed and sanded, and they get washed and re-painted.
Not every school reconditions its helmets every year. Those that do, get a new looking helmet for about a quarter the cost of brand new one.
Red Zone Athletics are required to safety check 3 to 5-percent of all helmets they get in. Included in that check is impact testing.
They got into this business about two years ago when they looked a map and discovered all the reconditioning places were someplace else. "I didn't even know the business existed before two years ago." Reconditioning season for football helmets is just about over; soon they'll be on the road talking to schools about new business for next year. So don't worry bang away on them, there is a company in Sapulpa that can get the battle scars out of them.
Helmets that can't be re-used, can be repainted in your favorite team's colors. Then you'd have a nice football memento for the coffee table, or the mantel. Interested, you can contact Red Zone Athletics at South 33d West Avenue in Sapulpa or call them at 918-298-4050.