Title:
Sports fan headgear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Sports fan headgear as a multi-colored, logo bearing, pre-molded stretchable face mask permanently affixed to a multi-colored, logo bearing fabric cap. The headgear may be worn such that the face mask fits over the face of the wearer or may be reversed and worn such that the face mask covers the back of the head of the wearer.



Inventors:
Quinn, Charles T. (Dover, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/445666
Publication Date:
12/02/2004
Filing Date:
05/27/2003
Assignee:
FRANKLIN SPORTS, INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41G7/00; A42B1/00; A42B1/06; A42B1/24; (IPC1-7): A42B1/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WELCH, GARY L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOSEPH B. BOWMAN (Payson, AZ, US)
Claims:

Having thus described my invention, I claim:



1. In combination, sports fan headgear comprising: a pre-molded face mask of elastically pliable material and sized to cover a person's face from side to side and from forehead to at least beneath the nose, said mask including a plurality of openings therethrough to correspond to a person's eyes and nose; a scalp cover of fabric material formed as a concave head covering; and attachment material permanently connecting said scalp cover to said face mask, whereby the scalp cover may be optionally positioned on a person's head while the face mask covers the person's face, or the scalp cover may be alternatively positioned on a person's head while the face mask covers the back of the person's head.

2. The headgear as in claim 1, said face mask being multi-colored of color fast colors and bearing colored indicia of a preselected sports team.

3. The headgear as in claim 1, said face mask being imprinted with the insignia of a preselected sports team.

4. The headgear as in claim 1, said face mask having side peripheral edges which correspond roughly midway between the eye and the ear on a person's head.

5. The headgear as in claim 4, said face mask also having a lower peripheral edge which extends a short distance beneath the chin of a person's head, and an upper peripheral edge which extends just above the forehead of a person's head, and said mask also includes an opening therethrough to correspond to a person's mouth.

6. The headgear as in claim 1, said scalp cover having a front portion to which said face mask is secured and having a rear portion to which is secured a visor member to extend outwardly from said scalp cover in a direction away from said face mask.

7. The headgear as in claim 1, said scalp cover being multi-colored of color fast colors and bearing colored indicia of a preselected sports team.

8. The headgear as in claim 1, said scalp cover bearing the insignia of a preselected sports team.

9. The headgear as in claim 1, said scalp cover having vent openings therethrough to permit heat dissipation from a person's head while the headgear is worn.

10. The headgear as in claim 1, said attachment material comprising stitching securing said face mask to said scalp cover.

11. The headgear as in claim 1, said attachment material comprising adhesive securing said face mask to said scalp cover.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to sports fan headgear to be worn by as a combination face mask and cap a by individuals desiring to show support for their favorite sports team. More specifically, this invention relates to a one-size-fits-all face mask that is attached to a cap, both of which can bear the colors and logos of a sports team.

[0002] Sports fans will go to great lengths to show allegiance to their favorite teams. A common sight at professional football games is patrons proudly displaying the home team's colors on shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, and hats of all kinds. Many fans, however, go well beyond wearing their team's logo on t-shirts or sweatshirts; for them, team loyalty requires something more. These die-hard fans don elaborate costumes sporting their team's colors and employ face and body paint to complement the design. There is no limit to the creativity of these enthusiasts.

[0003] Face and body paints present their own unique challenges, however. The chosen design must be applied anew each time it is worn. Depending on the complexity of the design, the process could take a few minutes or much longer. Naturally, the paint must be removed after each wear. In addition, weather conditions can adversely affect the desired look as the paint may run in hot weather due to temperature or perspiration, and may smear or dissolve in wet conditions.

[0004] There are masks commercially available that provide many of the advantages of face paint without requiring lengthy application and removal efforts. These masks are not without disadvantages, though. To stay in place on the wearer's head, masks must either have some form of a strap that wraps around the head, or must be designed to cover the entire head of the user.

[0005] Masks with straps can pinch or otherwise irritate the wearer's ears. Moreover, they tend to move and obstruct vision through the eye holes. Full head masks can be quite hot in warm weather. Since they are usually made of material like latex, they do not breathe. This creates an uncomfortable environment for the user, regardless of the outside weather conditions. In addition, full head masks normally cover the wearer's ears, reducing the wearer's ability to hear outside events.

[0006] Moreover, neither type of mask readily allows the user to wear a hat or cap sporting a team insignia. A mask held in place by a strap does not accept a hat or cap without frequent adjustment to maintain vision. The full head mask increases the circumference of the wearer's head so much that many types of hats simply cannot be worn with the mask. This is especially true with ball caps that are sized to fit the user's head without the mask. Such caps will not normally fit over a full head mask.

[0007] Commercially available caps come in at least two types: sized to fit and one size fits all. As stated above, sized-to-fit caps cannot be worn with a face mask because the added volume of the mask renders the sizing of the cap inappropriate. One-size-fits-all caps can sometimes be resized to accept the added volume of a mask if the crown portion of the cap is sufficient to accommodate the mask, but this entails manually readjusting the sizing of the cap.

[0008] A need remains in the sports team apparel industry for a one-size-fits-all combination mask and cap that will comfortably allow sports fans to show their allegiance to their favorite team without suffering the various drawbacks and disadvantages associated with face paint and the fan masks currently available. The primary objective of this invention is to meet this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] More specifically, an object of the invention is to provide a one-size-fits-all face mask and cap combination to be worn on the head of the user.

[0010] Another object of the invention is to provide a one-size-fits-all face mask and cap fabricated of color fast materials of construction so that various color combinations and logos may be incorporated to represent sports team indicia.

[0011] Another object of the invention is to provide a face mask and cap combination of the character described wherein the face mask and cap are fixedly joined so as to eliminate the potential of loss or misplacement of either component.

[0012] An additional object of the invention is to provide a face mask and cap combination of the character described which is comfortable to wear and which fits most wearers without any adjustment due to the elastic nature of the mask providing a slight tension around the forehead of the user.

[0013] A corollary object of the invention is to provide a face mask and cap combination of the character described which remains in place on the wearer's head without hurting the wearer's ears or obstructing vision or hearing.

[0014] Yet another object of the invention is to provide a face mask and cap combination of the character described which remains in place on the wearer's head, but still allows for ventilation of the head and neck with an open back construction and a breathable fabric cap portion.

[0015] A further object of the invention is to provide a face mask and cap combination of the character described which is easily reversible so that the user may wear the face mask to the front, or may reverse the orientation to wear the face mask to the back of the head when the user desires to have the advantages of a conventional ball cap with a bill for sun protection or glare.

[0016] In summary, an object of the invention is to provide sports fan headgear as a multi-colored, logo bearing, pre-molded stretchable face mask permanently affixed to a multi-colored, logo bearing fabric cap. The headgear may be worn such that the face mask fits over the face of the wearer or may be reversed and worn such that the face mask covers the back of the head of the wearer.

[0017] Other and further objects of the invention, together with the features of novelty appurtenant thereto, will appear in the description of the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] In the following description of the drawings, which form a part of the specification and are to be read in conjunction therewith, and in which like reference numerals are employed to indicate like parts in the various views:

[0019] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a combination fan mask and cap constructed in accordance with one preferred embodiment of the invention;

[0020] FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the combination fan mask and cap;

[0021] FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the combination fan mask and cap;

[0022] FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the combination fan mask and cap;

[0023] FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3 in the direction of the arrows to illustrate attachment of the mask to the cap by stitching; and

[0024] FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary view similar to FIG. 5, but illustrating an alternative preferred embodiment of the invention for attachment of the mask to the cap by adhesive.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] Referring to the drawings in greater detail, attention is first directed to FIG. 1 illustrating one preferred embodiment of the sports fan headgear of this invention. The headgear 10 includes in combination a face mask or cover, designated generally by the numeral 12, and a cap or scalp cover, designated generally by the numeral 14.

[0026] The face cover 12 is constructed of latex or other suitably elastic material in a pre-molded form to cover the wearer's forehead, face, and chin. The face cover 12 is preferable multi-colored in a variety of designs and patterns to represent the colors of a particular sports team. The colors of the face cover 12 are color fast to resist fading due to sun or moisture. The forehead portion of the face cover 12 may be imprinted with the team logo or insignia, such as represented by the large arrow designated by the numeral 16 in FIGS. 1 & 2 of the drawings.

[0027] The face cover 12 also includes two eye holes 18, two nostril openings 20 and a mouth opening 22 that correspond generally to the location of the eyes, nostrils and mouth of the wearer.

[0028] It should be noted the face cover 12 is sized such that the peripheral side edges 24 of the face cover 12 end roughly midway between the eye and the ear of the wearer. The lower peripheral edge 26 of the face cover 12 extends a short distance beneath the chin of the wearer and the upper peripheral edge 28, as indicated by the broken line in FIG. 1 or by the break away view in FIG. 2, extends just over the wearer's forehead. These features permit a comfortable, form fitting mask for the wearer without excessive material completely covering the head. It would, of course, be possible to have the face cover 12 sized to cover only a portion of the user's face such as from the forehead down to just over the nose in the event it was desired to have the user's mouth and chin exposed.

[0029] Attention is now directed to the cap or scalp cover 14. The scalp cover 14 comprises a plurality of colored fabric panels 30a-f seamed along the side edges thereof to form an oval, concave cavity that corresponds generally to the shape of the top of the wearer's head.

[0030] The panels 30a-f meet at a point over which a button 32 or other decorative feature may be affixed. The lower edges of the panels 30a-f are turned under and seamed in conventional manner to form a headband or liner 34 as seen in FIGS. 5 or 6.

[0031] As shown in FIGS. 1 & 2, the frontward panels 30a&b have a contoured cut-out to frame the forehead portion of the mask 12 and the team logo 16 imprinted or otherwise affixed thereon.

[0032] As best shown in FIGS. 3 & 4, a cap bill 36 is stitched or otherwise affixed to the rearward panels 30, such as at least panels 30d&e, depending upon the size of the bill 36 in relation to the panels 30. The bill 36 has the characteristic curvilinear shape of a conventional ball cap in order to serve as an effective sun shield if the wearer positions the bill 36 forward on the head.

[0033] One or more of the panels 30 may include grommet openings 38 to serve as vents for the dissipation of heat from the wearer's head.

[0034] On the fabric panels 30d&e, above the bill 36, may be stitched or imprinted the team logo or insignia, such as represented by the large arrow designated by the numeral 40 in FIGS. 3 & 4 the drawings.

[0035] It should be understood that, like the face mask 12, the cap 14, bill 36 and team logo 40 may be multi-colored in a variety of designs and patterns to represent the colors of a particular sports team. The colors of the cap 14, bill 36 and team logo 40 are color fast to resist fading due to sun or moisture.

[0036] To meet the objectives of this invention, it is important that the face mask 12 be permanently affixed to the cap portion 14. As shown in FIG. 5, one way to join the face mask 12 and the cap 14 is by stitching, such as indicated by the numeral 42, which penetrates both the face mask 12 and the cap 14 as appropriate. However, alternative means may be employed for joining the mask 12 and cap 14. FIG. 6, for example, illustrates bonding of the two pieces with a layer of adhesive 44.

[0037] In operation, the sports fan headgear 10 fits snugly over the user's face and scalp region. The cap 14 conforms to the shape of the top of the wearer's head and face cover 12 generally conforms to the shape of the wearer's face. Thus, the mask may be comfortably kept in place without the need for straps or bands around the ears and without the need of a pullover style mask. As so constructed, the headgear 10 provides the user with a unique opportunity to show allegiance to a favorite team without the necessity of using face paint or suffering the drawbacks associated with conventional masks. At the user's option, the headgear may be reversed and worn such that the face mask covers the back of the head of the wearer so that the wearer can enjoy the sun or glare shielding advantage of a conventional ball cap.

[0038] From the foregoing it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all the ends and objects hereinabove set forth, together with the other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the invention.

[0039] It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.

[0040] Since many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.