Somebody Told Me It’s Football Season

I’ve been a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers since I was in college, but I have to admit that I’m not the most devoted fan around.  For me, football always takes a back seat to baseball, and in those years where I take more than a casual interest in the MLB postseason, football stays in the back seat into November.

So after the excitement of the Mets getting to the World Series, and a week or so to wind down from that excitement, I finally got back around to the NFL and said “What’d I miss?”

“OK, so the Steelers have had three different starting quarterbacks and I seem to have missed the Michael Vick era, I think I’ll get over it.  The Bengals are undefeated?  The Panthers are undefeated?  The Carolina Panthers?!?  Seriously?  OK, man, don’t get upset, I’m not questioning you, just making sure I heard that right.”

Anyway, in observance of my refamiliarization with the National Football League and it’s constituent franchises, and to give you some cards to look at after three straight wordy posts, I wanted to share some vintage football I’ve picked up lately.

When it comes to Football, my original goal (“There he goes, talking about goals again,…”) was to complete the 1975 Topps Football set (done) and complete the Steeler team sets from 1976 forward.

…But somewhere along the line I decided I should have at least one card from every football set going back to the 1950’s.  Steelers from before the 1970’s Super Bowl dynasty years are largely unknown to me, but even so it seemed obvious to focus mainly on them for my type collection, unless desire or circumstance (AFL and CFL sets which are Steeler-free) dictate otherwise.

This first card I’m featuring is from the 1958 Topps set, and features the Steelers uniforms which inspired the popular throwbacks of recent years.
1958 Topps Football George Tarasovic
George Tarasovic is now 85 years old and I saw reference to his being among the oldest living NFL players.  He played for the Steelers, Eagles and Broncos from 1952 to 1966

This next card is a 1962 Topps card, and when I looked at it I said “Whoa, Preston Carpenter has a George Clooney thing going there…”, and then realized that it was George Clooney who has a Preston Carpenter thing going because George was 1 year old when this card came out.  At any rate, I’m sure the ladies loved Preston Carpenter.
1962 Topps Football Preston Carpenter
Preston Carpenter was a Pro Bowl selection in 1962, and also played for the Browns, Redskins, Vikings and Dolphins.

In my younger days I was aware that the New York Jets started out as the New York Titans, but I’d never seen any photos or videos and I didn’t think much about it. Just one of those “fun fact” things.

Years later, I found out that the Titans had uniforms that were similar to the Giants (blue and yellow as opposed to blue and red) and it finally clicked that “Titans” was intended to be more-or-less synonymous with “Giants” and when this all fell into place for me, I exclaimed “Oh, dude, that is LAME.”

So here’s a 1962 Fleer AFL card of those lame New York Titans.
1962 Fleer Football Robert Brooks
Bob Brooks played in 14 games in 1961, and that was the entirety of his career.  I couldn’t find much information on him in the 5 minutes I spent Googling his name.

For four years in the 1960’s, the NFL’s trading card licensed belonged to the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Co., makers of Swell gum.

Back in January, Commish Bob over at The Five Tool Collector featured a number of Philadelphia football cards, including this one, which featured a fantastic shot of old Yankee Stadium.  I knew then that I had to have it… and now I do.
1967 Philadelphia Football Allen Jacobs
Allen Jacobs was part of the 1965 NFL Champion Green Bay Packers and played for the Giants in 1966 and 1967.


7 thoughts on “Somebody Told Me It’s Football Season

  1. I’m doing the same,re-acquainting myself with the NFL.I haven’t been into,I mean really into It since the late 80’s early 2000’s.I’m actually starting to pick up singles of players I loved from those eras. Sanders,Kelly,Reed,Bo Jackson,Terrell Davis etc. All I’ve gathered from this years young football season Is that Rothlisberger has been hurt twice,Cam Newton Is doing his best impression of Superman,The Pats are winning again,presumably without cheating and that the Bills have an outside chance of making the playoffs.

  2. My interest in the NFL seems to be less and less every year. The Steelers are my team, but it really doesn’t bother me when they lose. I find myself following the Rams because of the strong WVU connection (Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey) and just seeing if my fantasy team is doing well. Pro football probably falls in the pecking order of sports for me.

    college basketball
    college football
    pro football.

    Hockey and college football are probably neck and neck.

    • For years, my #2 and #3 were the NFL and the NHL… Not necessarily in that order. The NHL lost me with the canceled season, but I enjoy the occasional NCAA hockey game that pops up on cable.

      One of my problems I have with the Steelers right now is that I don’t like Roethlisberger, but he’s such a key part of the team that it’s hard to work around that.

  3. I followed your link to Five Tool and was rewarded with Bob’s astute review of the four years of Philadelphia NFL cards. I’m proud to say I own every card from each of these four seasons. And while I LOVE the overall now-retro look of each years’ selections, I have always scratched my head about the 10-12 players selected to have their own cards each year. Who decided which players would have their own cards and who would not? I can remember the Packers in those years, who always had star-studded lineups, with way more than 10-12 worthy players for their own card. Who made the decision?? To my knowledge, there was never a Max McGee card in the ’66 or ’67 Packers set, and he would play a prominent role in the first couple of Super Bowls. That’s just one example of many such exclusions of worthy players who merited their own card.

    • My knowledge of football cards started with 1974 for the longest time, but I’ve recently become fascinated with the 1960’s football, hockey and basketball cards I’d ignored for years. I like what I’ve seen of the Philadelphia sets so far… And yes, the 5 Tool Collector posts on Colts cards was well-done and I keep referring back to them.

  4. I love vintage football cards. Much more than I love the current NFL. I own Texans season tickets (and have since Day One) but I usually pass them to my sons.

    But back to the cards…..the Philly Gum Giants cards, particularly those with shots at Yankee Stadium have a real meaning to me. Back the there obviously wasn’t the proliferation of NFL games available on the tube as there came to be. In fact many Giants games were unavailable (blacked out) in the NYC market so my Dad, a huge Big Blue fan, would spend his Sunday afternoons with the radio tuned to Marty Glickmann and Al DiRogatis doing the play-by-play and analysis. I can ‘hear’ those voices perfectly after all these years and invariably I think of my old man and his love for Y.A.Tittle, Joe Morrison and Rosey Brown, etc.

    I remember listening to the 1963 Giants-Bears NFL title game on the radio. I know there was a TV broadcast but it was either blacked out in NY or my father chose to follow it on the radio as he was used to doing. I tend to think it was the latter.

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