Wednesday, January 24, 2018

1970s Team Of Decade II: Cowboys Runner Up

Topps 1980 Baseball, custom cards

Though the Steelers edged out the Cowboys for 1970s Team of the Decade, there was never a team with more long term flash and glitz than the Cowboys of the 1970s.  In fact, the Cowboys played in more playoff games and graced the cover of more magazines than any other sports team during that time.  Led by Roger Staubach, the Cowboys managed to play in five Super Bowls during that decade, winning two.

Series two of the 1970s Team of the Decade features 26 Cowboys in a 1980 baseball design that shows off America’s Team in style: Tom Landry, Benny Barnes, Bob Breunig, Pat Donovan, Tony Dorsett, Billy Joe DuPree, John Dutton, John Fitzgerald, Cliff Harris, Tony Hill, Randy Hughes, Butch Johnson, Ed Jones, D.D. Lewis, Harvey Martin, Robert Newhouse, Drew Pearson, Preston Pearson, Tom Rafferty, Herb Scott, Roger Staubach, Charlie Waters, Danny White, Randy White, and a stadium card and team card. Get your set here!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1970s: Battle For Team Of The Decade


The 1970s seemed like a simpler time.  We manually rolled down car windows, we could smoke in an open air stadium and there were only three network channels to choose from.  Boys played baseball, girls played with Barbie's, and to kids, the term "playing games" suggested Monopoly and Sorry!  That decade meant Steelers and Cowboys and both teams didn't disappoint football fans, appearing in seven combined Super Bowls during that time.

This set contains two series - one Steelers, one Cowboys, in the 1980 baseball design.  Both sets feature then-contemporary players and its amazing how teams stayed intact for many years, which further endeared them to fans.

The Steeler set includes: Chuck Noll, Art Rooney, Terry Bradshaw, Rocky Bleier, Mel Blount, Larry Brown, Bennie Cunningham, Steve Furness, Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Randy Grossman, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, John Kolb, Jack Lambert, Donnie Shell, Jim Smith, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, J.T. Thomas, Mike Wagner, Mike Webster, Dwight White, a Three Rivers stadium card, team card, and a "We Are Family" Terry Bradshaw / Willie Stargell card! Order it here.

Look for the Cowboys set next!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Johnny "Blood" McNally On The Ice Bowl

Milwaukee Badgers,

One of early pro football's most colorful characters was hall of famer John McNally.  Nicknamed "blood" from the Rudolph Valentino movie Blood And Sand, McNally was know as the vagabond half back who started his career with the Milwaukee Badgers, Pottsville Maroons, Duluth Eskimos, and Pittsburgh Pirates.  But he is most remembered for his seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers where he helped guide the team to four championships between 1929-1936.

By 1970 he was still affiliated with the Packers and wrote a piece naming the Ice Bowl the greatest game ever played.  It appeared in the 1970 21st Annual Midwest Shrine Game program, an annual preseason game that had the Packers host the Bears in their home-away-from-home, Milwaukee County Stadium.  Here is the piece in its entirety.

Blood Calls '67 Packer-Dallas Game 'Greatest'

The greatest game I ever played in or saw? Come now, who can make such a choice? There were scores of great ones and time erodes memory.  What may have been the greatest 20 or 30 years ago has lost its impact and been replaced by another.

Maybe because of that, if the question must be answered, my thoughts turn to one of the more recent games.  I think the greatest was the championship game with Dallas on an ice covered field in Green Bay on the last day of December, 1967.  Green Bay won, 21–17.

There must be guidelines first even to attempt a choice.  It must be a game between two closely matched teams.  It must be a game for large stakes. It must be a game filled with 60 minutes of suspense.  It must be a game of great plays and great demonstrations of skill, daring, good judgment, and endurance.  It must be a game in which the lead changes a few times.  It must be a game decided on the last play.  It must be a game in which the fan is emotionally wrung out at the gun.

The game played in Green Bay on that last day of 1967 meets all these guidelines – and really two more.  It was played in weather 13 degrees below zero and was won in the closing stages by a crippled team with a third string man at fullback.

I'm sure few cities if any have ever enjoyed as many cocktails as Green Bay that night or ever woke up on the first day of the new year with fewer hangovers.  Such is the power of real joy.

To cap everything on this bitterly cold afternoon, quarterback Bart Starr called his own number on the ultimate of all clutch plays, the last one, and scored on a sneak from the two foot line over the tangled bodies of Green Bay's Jerry Kramer and Dallas' Jim [sic] Lilly.

The final play as called was anything but a show of egotism.   It was instead an example of uncommonly sound and courageous judgment followed by extreme muscular effort.  What Starr showed was the ultimate in responsible and brave leadership.  It has to be his finest moment as a football player.

Yes, the 1967 championship game with Dallas was the greatest I ever saw.  It shook me as no other has in more than 40 years.

Taken from Tripoli 21st Annual Midwest Shrine Game, August 15th, 1970






Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Ice Bowl: 50th Anniversary New Documentary

Topps, 1967 NFL Championship, Ice Bowl, Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, Dallas Cowboys

Michael Meredith, son of Don, has produced a fine documentary on this game called, The Timeline: The Ice Bowl [check out the trailer here].  It is told more from a Cowboys perspective but is enjoyable from any perspective!  Many players are interviewed and in the 4 years Michael Meredith spent researching and shooting the documentary, 12 players have died, so it is fitting that this be released near the 50th anniversary of the game.

The much fabled Ice Bowl (official name: 1967 NFL Championship Game) has taken on such legendary status that has been called the NFL's greatest game. Two teams battling in the most extreme of elements is what football is supposed to be about – not replay, not "touching" the passer, and not end zone celebrations with or without props.  Not much need be said about the game, but this RetroCard set tells a chronological story in words and pictures.  Featured heavily in this set is the fan's contribution and their resilience in –40˚F wind chills. Few people left and when the gun sounded at the end of regulation, they tore down the goal posts!  That's hard core.

The design of this set is a knock off of the 1964-1967 Philadelphia Gum cards that produced NFL cards for a short time in the 60s.  RetroCards is calling this set "1968 Philly Action," and is part of a series of team sets that will also be released in this design.

Players featured included Bart Starr, Boyd Dowler, Chuck Mercein, Travis Williams, Vince Lombardi, Jerry Kramer, Don Meredith, Danny Villanueva, Lance Rentzel, Dan Reeves, Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan, George Andrie, Tom Landry, and of course, the fans.  Order your set here.

The Timeline: The Ice Bowl [check out the trailer here].