The Gallaudet Bison achieved a stunning last-day, come-from-behind, 2,500 vote swing to overtake the San Diego State Aztecs and win the Helmet Bowl I National Championship.
Gallaudet Sports Information Director Sam Atkinson appeared on local television morning shows Monday morning to ask for the Washington, DC vote, and the nation's capital came through.
“This is a historic victory for Gallaudet University and our football program to win the first Helmet Bowl National Championship. We could not have done this without our loyal Bison supporters and new friends gained during this competition,” Sam said. “To see our social media reach during this campaign and the power of the deaf community worldwide was amazing.”
Monday morning, the final day for Championship voting, the Bison trailed by nearly 900 votes.
San Diego Statte continued to roll out the vote, then, with five hours left in voting, the Bison vote rallied, passed the Aztecs, and kept going, eventually winning by more than 2,000 votes.
“This is one of the greatest comebacks ever!” said Gallaudet Athletic Director Michael Weinstock. “We owe our gratitude to the Gallaudet University community, alumni, friends, and supporters because without them this would not have been possible. We are proud to win the first Helmet Bowl National Championship.”
Gallaudet, which serves the nation's deaf and hard of hearing community, won the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference to qualify for the Helmet Bowl I National Championship bracket of 64. There, they defeated the Cheyney Wolves, Ohio State Buckeyes, Colgate Raiders, Army Black Knights, and then the Kennesaw State Owls to face San Diego State in the finals.
More than 32,000 votes were cast in Finals, and Gallaudet's networking with the nation's deaf community put them on top! Congratulations Bison!
Congratulations also to the San Diego State Aztecs and Equipment Manager Sonny Sanfilippo for their Runner-Up placement and for all the spirited competition.
“I would like to congratulate Gallaudet University on winning the first Helmet Bowl,” he said. “They put forth an awesome effort gathering votes. Congratulations to long-time Equipment Manager Kris Gould as well. I would also like to thank everyone who voted for the San Diego State helmet throughout the competition. Congratulations Gallaudet!”
Thank you to all the Equipment Managers for providing us the helmet images and enthusiastically getting out the vote. We appreciate you.
Helmet Tracker has enjoyed hosting Helmet Bowl I. We started with every college football helmet in the nation, determined the Conference Champions, and together found the greatest college football helmet in the country. Look for announcements soon about Helmet Bowl II, coming this fall.