Ah, the facemask—the perfect marriage of form, function and plastic. It’s like a blister pack for your head.
While most athletes find facemasks uncomfortable and limiting, Richard "Rip" Hamilton swears by them. The former NBA shooting guard practically slept in his during his lengthy career in the league, and the article became as much a part of Hamilton’s legacy as his play on the court.
Thus, it only makes sense that Hamilton is now trying to share his favorite gear with Clint Dempsey, the U.S. men’s national soccer team captain who sustained a broken nose during Monday’s group-stage match against Ghana.
Hamilton uploaded a picture of a suitcase full of face masks on Wednesday, claiming he was heading for Brazil to watch the USMNT play. He added that Dempsey could borrow one of his trademark masks if needed.
“On my way to Brazil to watch @clint_dempsey and Team USA at World Cup,” Hamilton wrote in the caption. “@clint_dempsey if u need to borrow my mask I’m bringing them in my carry on bag. #MaskChangedMyCareer #TeamUSA #WorldCup #BrandJordan @BrazilPack #HugeFanOfSoccer #holdat.”
That’s a serious arsenal of masks, and I’m convinced Hamilton isn’t joking.
As for Dempsey, he might want to consider a mask. The U.S. captain took a full-on kick to the face from Ghana’s John Boye that left his nose broken and bloody.
I would solder a birdcage around my head after a hit like that. Then again, I’m not a hard case like Dempsey, who needs a full range of vision at all times on the pitch.
We’ll see what the good captain decides, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him forgo the mask. Dempsey is kind of a tough man, and I could see him playing without protection just to send a message to his team: No fear, no excuses.
On the Twitters.