This Does Not Look Like A Photo Of A Professional Athlete

Check out this 1973 Topps card of Tom Dempsey.
No offense intended to Tom Dempsey, he was a fine kicker in the 1970’s, but he certainly doesn’t look the part of a professional athlete on this card. The only clue that this isn’t just the UPS driver dressed up for Halloween is how high his kicking leg is. I don’t think I can do that.

Then there’s the industrial-looking building in the background. Of all the things to photograph an NFL player in front of, this was the best available? Are you sure this isn’t the UPS driver?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mr. Dempsey, he used to hold the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal, one that won the game for the New Orleans Saints on November 8, 1970.  Aside from being a league record for over 40 years, it also allowed the Saints to win their 2nd game that year… and that’s all they’d get, finishing 2-11-1.

One other thing that’s interesting about this card – it’s one of the few cards which allows a look at at Tom Dempsey’s kicking foot.  He was born with half a right foot and fingers missing on his right hand, but he didn’t let that stop him.  He went on to play in the NFL, kick a record-setting field goal, and get a Topps photographer to take his picture in front of some building somewhere.