In its glory days — which football historians say ran from the 1970s to the early ’90s — the neck roll (a catchall term for a few styles of protective devices that sprout from between a player’s shoulder pads) was everywhere. Longtime N.F.L. fans need not see pictures to remember Howie Long’s oversize backward clerical collar, the elephant tusks perched on Wilber Marshall’s shoulders or the rubber balloon animal that curled beneath Brian Bosworth’s helmet. Every Sunday, it seemed, was a showcase for the latest in designer neckwear. Standing in the Giants’ locker room recently, safety Deon Grant and wide receiver Devin Thomas became nostalgic when neck rolls were brought up. Grant’s eyes widened. "Growing up, man, everyone wanted a neck roll," he said. "I mean everyone. It was the thing. Neck rolls were hot." "I had one," Thomas said. "Did you?" Grant, who went to high school in Augusta, Ga., laughed. "I was in the ’hood, so I don’t even know what kind I had," he said. "But I had one. Absolutely. Everyone did."
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