I put a 40-inch NFL roundup in the newspaper last night. For you people who don't speak "column inches," that's around 1,320 words.
That's a tremendous amount of words for a sport whose season ended 23 days ago. But I've learned over the last few years that football, particularly the NFL, never ends. It shows up on the wire, on TV reports, everywhere, around the calendar. I'm trying to think of a month in which the NFL doesn't broadcast itself: June, maybe. There doesn't seem to be much NFL news in June. That's about it.
(You could probably say the same for baseball, although the baseball news is pretty slow in parts of December and January. But I'm never ready for baseball to end, so seeing offseason baseball news is never a bother).
I'm probably contributing to the ubiquitous NFL info glut by publishing a post that features mostly NFL cards. I recently received a few cards each from readers Chris and Henry. And NFL cards were a key component of each package. Why both of them even sent the 1977 Topps Reggie McKenzie card!
That's because my main NFL collecting interests right now (and probably for good) are 1970s Bills and 1977 Topps.
So let's see some cards from that sport that ended already, as well as from that sport that is just beginning!
Chris sent me a '77 leaders card, which is very much in the style of the Topps baseball leaders cards of the time. I don't have a large handle on NFL '70s sets so I don't know if this was a regular occurrence. By the way, you will see John James later in the post. That's right, a John James-centric post. You never thought you'd see the day.
Moving back a year to the '76 set (also one that I collected a bit as a kid). This is a classic design. Pure and vibrant. It means business, just as Dwight Harrison does here.
Just in case you baseball fans thought I've gone over to the dark side -- a baseball card! Really, I am 99.979% about baseball, I hope you know. The NFL thing is just a little side project to keep the '70s juices flowing.
Carlos Ruiz here (I still get a 2010 Toppstown vibe from these cards, which is not good) means I'm a Howie Kendrick away from completing the 2017 Series 1 Dodgers set. Exciting times.
What? More baseball cards?? Yes, Chris sent me two 2003 Topps "Home Team Advantage" Dodgers. I think these were hobby issue only? (IDK. I wasn't collecting then).
These foil-stamped parallel sets depress me as a team collector. I really don't want to collect these. That 1993 Topps set when there were foil-stamped parallels of Marlins and Diamondbacks, I just look at those and sigh. Really? These are the same flipping cards!
OK, moving on to some cards from Henry:
This is the second-to-last need from the 1979 portion of last year's Archives. Only Ozzie Smith remains. Plus some SSPs (stupid short-prints) if I decide to be stupid.
Have you ever got the mini parallel version of an insert before you get the actual insert? Annoying, huh? This card ends the annoying. Russell Martin 2009 OPC insert and mini parallel can room together in harmony.
I know. That's a bit of ugly. But when I decided I wanted to collect the stand-ups insert set from last year's Heritage, I knew there were quite a few players I didn't care for in it. That's the drawback of collecting modern sets.
I didn't expect to get hit with a double-shot of Giant grossness, but I made up for it a little by sending a Bumgarner card to Henry.
I still need around five cards from this set. I'll probably save up for it by not buying very much 2017 Heritage.
The rest of the cards Henry sent were 1977 Topps football. I was able to hand-select a few key cards from that set. Here are two stars of the Bills from that period.
Dave Jennings went to a college my newspaper covers, St. Lawrence University.
The rest of the cards were favorites from when I was collecting this set as a kid.
My fascination with long-haired athletes progressed from baseball to football back then.
Gee, I wonder why they called him "Golden"? The Cowboys cards from this set were pretty darn special to me. When I land the Harvey Martin, Randy White and Billy Joe Dupree cards, I'll be in '77 heaven.
Finally, we're back to John James.
I was enthralled with this card as an 11-year-old.
Didn't matter that he was a punter.
Didn't matter that he played for the Falcons.
He couldn't have been more of a superstar in my mind when I owned this card. Obviously, he had to be good! Look at that purple All-Pro bar!
I still love this card. I couldn't tell you a lick about John James.
OK, that's enough about football. We're going to have a whole page of football in tomorrow's paper, too. It never ends.
But I promise tomorrow, the blog will be nothing but baseball.