Considering Nike’s stated goal of reflecting the traditions of Spartan history (my words, not theirs), the taper actually kind of makes sense in that it sort of gives the impression of the plume that we see in the Spartan helmet logo.
What’s interesting to note is that the top picture has a matte finish on the helmet, while the bottom picture has a glossy finish. My guess (and this is a complete guess) is that the glossy finish helmet will be the primary helmet, and the matte will be used whenever we wear the alternate uniforms (see: #43 Eric Gordon, right). Although, it does appear that Gordon is holding a glossy helmet in the press images from earlier in the year, but this could simply be because they matte helmets weren’t ready yet.
But the best part, obviously, is Greg Jones’ reaction to the whole thing. I’m not a mind reader, but Greg looks none too happy about the new unis he’s been put into.