Sunday, October 07, 2007

1988 Topps Football

It's football season, so let's open up some football cards! I'm not talking about that newfangled UV coated, foil stamped junk, I mean REAL football cards made of REAL cardboard. Back when men were men and if you tore an ACL you gutted through it and Lombardi was a leader, not a trophy. Of course I can't afford packs from the 50's so 1988 Topps will have to do. I bought out a dusty box of this stuff and I'll run through it throughout the season. I'll start with a couple of packs.

Pack 1:
one stick of surprisingly well preserved gum
351 Frank Garcia
339 Cincinnati Bengals
295 Jackie Slater All Pro
134 Bobby Joe Edmonds
208 Chip Banks
213 Billy Ray Smith
114 Keith Bostic
224 Andre Reed
1000 Yard Club #13 Ruben Mayes
324 Mark Murphy
376 Pete Mandley
14 Ricky Sanders
247 Jerome Brown Super Rookie
193 Mark Duper
203 San Diego Chargers
388 Bill Fralic All Pro

Ahh, good ol' football card photography. Out of 15 cards, 8 are shots of players sitting on the bench. The team cards have nice action shots though. The chargers show Kellen Winslow making a great catch against the Cowboys, while the Bengals card features Boomer with his hands on another man's nether regions. The team cards are also cool for showing the results of each of their games from the 1987 season. The totals include the results from the games with replacement players, although they are not noted as such. The Chargers lost the opener, rattled off 8 straight wins (including all three scab games) then lost the rest of their games, usually by a big margin. The strike really screwed up the 1000 Yard Club insert set, only 750 yards is required for entry and your very own Glossy card. Ruben Mayes puts up a respectable 917 yard in 12 games. He would have broken 1000 if not for lousy games against the Eagles and Bengals.

This pack has some good names in it, Jackie Slater, Bill Fralic, Andre Reed, Mark Duper, Ricky Sanders. Jackie Slater deserves a better picture than one where he is sitting on the bench next to the Gatorade coolers. Tampa Bay punter Frank Garcia looks like someone just told him that his dog just died, or perhaps he just realized he plays for the creamsicle era Buccaneers. It also has a battle of the double names with Billy Ray Smith and Bobby Joe Edmonds (Bobby Joe wins hands down by virtue of his Dumb Donald stocking cap). The best card in the pack is easily Jerome Brown's rookie card, a card that makes me a little sad.

Pack 2:
one stick of nasty gum, leaving a sticky residue on the Boz
144 Brian Bosworth Super Rookie
189 Garin Veris
256 Freddie Joe Nunn
252 Vai Sikahema
154 Gary Zimmerman
78 Steve McMichael
95 Carl Hairston
1000 Yard Club #23 Stump Mitchell
263 Marc Wilson
57 Dalton Hilliard
241 Reggie White All Pro
391 Tony Casillas
244 Clyde Simmons
315 Randy Wright
278 Raul Allegre
20 Dexter Manley

Out of two packs I've managed to get most of a really good Eagles' defensive line. Reggie White may be the best card out of the box, let alone the pack. The back of Bosworth's card is slightly marred by sticky stuff oozing from a stick of decomposing gum. The front looks ok though, and I've seen much, much worse cases of gum meltdown on cards before. At least the gum didn't have time to chemically bond with the cardboard. For some reason I was under the impression that Gary Zimmerman was still playing in the league. I think he might be under an assumed name.

I also pulled a trio of awesome St. Louis Cardinal names in this pack: Stump Mitchell, Freddie Joe Nunn and the pride of Tonga, Vai Sikahema. In the dark days before Tecmo Bowl, I used to play Strat-O-Matic Football, and Vai was always my return man. The pack ends on a downer, Dexter Manley should have been in the Hall of Fame. The bio on the back of the card states 'Dexter's "rock 'em, sack 'em" defensive ways have made him a big play performer for the Redskins.' Dexter himself got sacked by the crack rock and was banned for life by the NFL in 1991. After prison, rehab and surgery for a dangerous brain cyst, Dexter is now sober and spends time on the lecture circuit warning about the perils of drug abuse.

1 comment:

Mainsoccerboi said...

Hey I collect 1988 topps football and took a lot of my time to find which cards i need i already have 281 cards of the 396 card set which means i need 115 cards left. And i onlyhave 2 of the insert set of 1000 yard club. I need these cards for the 1000 yard club: 13, 25, 22, 23, 27, and 28. Also i need these cards which are part of the base set but are leader cards in the base set: #4 Joe Montana Leaders and #217 Eric Dickerson/Charles White Rushing Leaders. Now for the base cards i need 36 of them. I need cards:
8, 10, 14, 20, 29, 32, 38, 57,75, 80, 95, 106, 114, 121, 152, 160, 193, 203, 209, 224, 241, 259, 263, 272, 273, 314, 315, 336, 339, 355, 364, 372, 375, 383, and 388.

Also you incorrectly listed Garins Varis as card #195 when it is card #185. Just wanted to point that out to you.