Last night I found myself in the local Rite Aid pharmacy picking up some household essentials. While cashing out I happened to look down and noticed that they had a couple of random packs of cards at the register. For some reason I couldn't resist this 100-card football re-pack.
I don't collect football cards at all. Prior to purchasing this pack my entire collection consisted of a pack of 1982 Topps, a pack of 1983 Topps, and 3 random cards. I thought this would make a good Sunday post for the blog though, plus this one pack will more than triple the size of my football "collection". I hate to say this, but at 5 cents per card this interested me more than any of the 2011-12 hockey products that have been released so far. Besides, maybe I'll pull a cool Patriots card.
The pack will be broken up into two posts, one for each 50-card section. Today you'll see all 50 cards from the top section. I'll preface this like I have my other football card posts; by saying that while I do enjoy watching NFL football every Sunday, I am the farthest thing from a historian of the game. So, while I can tell you off the top of my head who won the World Series in just about any year, or how many career points Sergei Fedorov has, when it comes to football my knowledge is severely lacking. Not only do I not recognize the majority of these players, it took me quite a bit of work in some cases just to find out what each card even is. If you notice that I identified any of the cards incorrectly, or failed to comment on something unique related to any of the players, please speak up!
Well, I've babbled on long enough, let's see what I pulled here. Due to said lack of football knowledge, I'll keep the commentary to a minimum and let you enjoy the scans. I'll countdown my favorite 5 cards at the end of the post, but first here are the rest of the first 50 that didn't make the cut, in the order they were pulled from the pack:
A name I do recognize right off the bat! After beginning his career with Buffalo, he came to the Patriots for the 2001 season. He ran for 1,000+ yards and 12 touchdowns as the Pats won the Super Bowl. In both 2002 and 2003 he led the team in rushing again, helping New England to another Super Bowl title in 03, his final year with the team.
Went on to play a few seasons at the NFL level, mostly as a backup or third-string guy...
Awesome helmet. Apparently Bud had a pretty interesting life.
Went on to play for the Raiders in the 80s. An absolutely crazy story, endured many injuries as a player and would eventually have a foot and lower leg amputated. There's a fascinating Sports Illustrated article on the whole thing here.
I like the design of 1992 Upper Deck football, had never seen that before.
A damn fine punter in his day. Named first punter on the All-Decade 1980s team and second punter on the All-Decade 1990s team. Won two Super Bowls with the Giants.
This is one that I'm not quite sure about. Its got a copyright date of 1994 on the back, and I went with Classic Pro Line Live as the set name since that's what the logo says on the front, but truthfully I couldn't figure out exactly what this card is. I do like the Houston Oilers gear though. Anyone know this set?
Still playing for the Raiders, in fact had a huge game-ending interception just last week!
Jennings was traded to the Bengals just before the start of the 2011 season, but so far I don't believe he's seen action yet.
This is the second card I was unsure on. I know it's from 2008 Upper Deck, I recognize the design from the baseball and hockey sets. The thing is, the card is numbered #ERC-ST. Is this from an insert set, or some type of team-issued set maybe?
Currently playing with the Raiders I guess...
Suffered an injury last season but is back playing with the Redskins again.
9 receptions, 140 yards and a TD in last year's Super Bowl. 18 receptions, 309 yards and 3 TDs so far this year.
Wow that is one of the ugliest looking card designs I've seen in a while. It is wild alright...wildly shitty. Pio was a member of the Super Bowl XXXI champion New England Patriots. Sadly, he passed away in 2009 at age 39.
I remember this guy's comeback season in 2002.
Yeah, the 1991 Wild Card set wasn't much better looking I guess.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you, I got 2 Randals back to back.
Seems like Javon's days in the NFL are finished. He's currently a free agent, and if any team were to sign him he'd have to serve an outstanding 4-game suspension right off the bat.
The only card in the package that was damaged. There's a wrinkle in the card to the left of Eric's head that you can sort of see in the scan.
I got 4 of these '89 Topps 1,000 Yard Club inserts in a row. Henry Ellard, who played a few games in a Patriots uniform to end his career...
...Roy Green, who had a couple of monster receiving years for the Cardinals...
...Mark Clayton, who was a favorite target of Dan Marino...
...and Eric Martin, whom I believe still holds the Saints franchise record for most career receiving yards. These cards are really similar to a lot of the glossy Topps baseball inserts from around the same time period.
This thing is paper thin and isn't part of the numbered set or anything, I'm not sure why they bothered to include it. It didn't count as one of my 100 cards thankfully. I have placed it in the trash, where it belongs.
Son of the former heavyweight champ, and 3-time Super Bowl champion! One of the better card designs of this first section.
What re-pack would be complete without some Pro Set? Jordan was a member of 6 consecutive Pro Bowl teams from 1986-1991.
I see the Fleer Ultra football sets looked exactly like the hockey and baseball sets. I guess I didn't expect any different.
Finishing things off was quite a few consecutive 1988 Topps cards. A few years after this card came out Wilson was at the helm in New England when the team went 1-15.
Judging by this photo I'd say Todd could have almost gotten away with not wearing a helmet.
The NFL's career points leader! This is probably my favorite card not to make the top 5 that I saved for the end.
Apparently admitted to abusing his ex-wife on the Oprah Winfrey Show?
Walter was the final card in the top section. And now, the moment you've been anxiously awaiting, my top 5 cards from the first 50...
This card was just so strange that it got my attention. What an awkward photo of a young Japanese boy jammed between somewhat creepy looking Denver Bronco and Seattle Seahawk mascots and a couple of cheerleaders.
With Halloween right around the corner, I don't think this one needs any explanation.
Lofa had a hell of a start to his NFL career, but after some serious injuries the Seahawks released him this past summer when the two parties couldn't come to terms on a restructured contract. He's currently unsigned. The reason I chose him though is that he grew up not far from where I live now, and went to high school with my wife! The card is nothing special but I thought it was pretty cool to pull his rookie.
I'm a sucker for a good horizontal card, and this one fits the bill. A great action photo of the play-action pass. There was one card in this section though that blew all of the others out of the water, in fact it's a card I've almost purchased a couple of times despite not being a football collector. I was psyched when I saw this one:
Oh yeah! This card is freakin' awesome. I don't care that its book value isn't very high, it's a rookie card of one of the most exciting players I've ever seen with the football, and a Hall-of-Famer to boot. Barry's rookie is a card that even someone who doesn't collect football can appreciate. This is definitely my new favorite football card!
Well, I hope you've enjoyed this random smattering of football cards on this Fall Sunday. I'm off to watch the action myself, including what I hope will be a merciless beating of the Cowboys at the hands of the Patriots in a couple of hours. The second section of 50 cards can't top this first one, but if there's any interest I'll post it anyway.
no. 734 - rob gardner - *Who is the man:* Rob Gardner spent most of the 1970 season pitching for Triple A Syracuse in the Yankees' organization. Playing an hour away from his ho...