Fashion Statement: Frozen Four

The Bradley Center is a long way from the red carpet. Joan Rivers might faint attempting to comment on the apparel of the Milwaukee faithful.

Imagine it, “This Badgers fan is in some fabulous vintage Levi’s. 1957 was a great year for denim.”

Still, the Frozen Four is a chance for people to don their hockey best and strut among the cream of the college hockey community. In this micro-universe, stylin’ and profilin’ requires something special.

The paper helmet is 2006's fashion statement at the Frozen Four (photo: Skip Strandberg).

The paper helmet is 2006’s fashion statement at the Frozen Four (photo: Skip Strandberg).

A team jersey? Passe. The Charlestown Chiefs? The Hanson brothers thing went the way of the fashion dinosaur in this “new NHL” era. That guy from section 212 who thinks he’s king of the world because he has an official Labatt’s jersey from his last rendezvous in Montreal? Talk to me if he’s still standing by the third period.

Nope, the fashionistas’ dictum for 2006 is quality headgear. A hat. A wig. Something to keep that mullet from rearing its ugly, well, you know.

Some people went all out this year. It’s always St. Patrick’s Day in the North Dakota section, with its assortment of Irish bowlers and shamrock hats. There were Wisconsin faithful sporting the requisite cheese. One young fan was spotted on the Jumbotron wearing an electric green hair wig straight out of a Def Leppard video. Another family came ready for the Serengeti in matching NCAA safari hats.

But anyone who was anybody this year arrived wearing an official NCAA paper helmet.

Inspired by the Burger King crown, the NCAA distributed these white and blue helmets at pre-tournament festivities. A sheet of comfortable cardboard, the helmet has dotted lined and pre-made flaps to fold and stuck into a custom fit that will make the wearer the life of this Frozen Four party and at hockey events for years to come.

The paper helmet has everything: head protection, earholes, and a huge NCAA logo right on the top of the noggin to let everyone know your favorite collegiate athletic association. Sensible, versatile, and 100% recyclable, it’s just a matter of time before the Hollywood liberals are papering up their precious heads.

Not only does the paper helmet make great fashion sense, but it also makes economic sense. Vendors outside the Bradley Center were charging $22 for an official Frozen Four t-shirt. Instead of blowing an Andy Jackson on an antiquated cotton-based souvenir, the paper helmet can satisfy that special Spanky in your life, while still leaving money for some bratwurst and a Miller Lite.

Yes, the paper helmet may just be the greatest advancement in fan-gear technology since the foam hand.

So join all the cool people and put on a paper helmet. The only hat sweeter than the “PH” won’t be available until sometime Saturday night.