Canty vs. Tuck: A Giant face mask battle

Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty stopped by the Bristol headquarters this week, and we chatted with him about a certain uniform quirk for which he's gained notoriety.

Playbook: Your face mask has gotten a lot of attention for its distinct look. What are some of the best comments or nicknames you’ve heard for it?

Canty: There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to it. It’s very cool. It’s basically taken on a life of its own. I like the “Optimus Prime” nickname. It’s kind of funny, I put that thing on before the game and feel like Russell Crowe in “Gladiator” when he’s about to go to war. It’s definitely intimidating. I’ve even gotten several offensive linemen to jump offsides because of it.

I can’t imagine what it would look like to play against a guy wearing something like this. It’s serious. It’s something I have to wear to play the game [after detaching his retina when a beer bottle was thrown at him in 2005], with the tinted eye shield and all the bars to prevent anyone from poking their fingers in. So it’s one of those things, it took a bad experience for something positive to come out of it.

Playbook: Seems like Justin Tuck is rocking a similar face mask these days …

Canty: He’s wearing the one I wore last year. And he’s tweaking it to make it his own now.

Playbook: Do you rag on him for copying your style?

Canty: It’s a little bit of swagger-jacker. That’s definitely what I would call swagger-jacker. But it’s cool. If that’s what he wants to do, I’m all about it. I still have the tinted eye shield, he can’t wear one of those. Those are prescription. They don’t just give those things out to anybody!

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