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Collector’s Corner for September 7, 2022

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NFL Opening Night is tomorrow night, so here we are with the All-NFL edition of Collector’s Corner. Let’s start here: Sadly, NFL Hall of Famer Len Dawson passed away on Aug. 24. The 1970 Super Bowl was when I first Got It™, with his red/yellow Kansas City team against the purple/yellow Minnesota Vikings. Here he is staring down the defense on the cover of his 1969 book, Throwing, Ball Handling, and the Quarterback Technique. RIP No. 16.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• A fellow named Benny Ricardo kicked for several teams in the WFL and NFL in the 1970s and 1980s and was the first Paraguayan to play in the league. As a result, he became a suction cup action figure in 1976, the season he played for the Bills. Looks rather fierce for a kicker, no?

• Lambeau Field tailgate parties could use this 1960s 31″ Green Bay Packers folding table.

• One more for the Pack: Yes, kids, we really did wear shorts this short back in the 1970s, like this pair from Champion. We called ’em “gym shorts.”

• Check out these white (of course) 1970s Joe Namath autograph Puma cleats, done up with a decidedly non-Jets red trim.

• Here we have a multi-sleeve-striped 1970s Philadelphia Eagles No. 84 jersey from Russell Athletic. The tag at the bottom of the jersey also says “Gold Medal,” which is a new one for me. 84 was worn at the time by Keith Krepfle, whose name I could not pronounce at the time.

• This late-1960s Cleveland Browns helmet bank from Citizen Savings is in great shape.

• Settle into your recliner this Sunday with your favorite cold beverage in this 1970s IHOP NFL-NFC “Thermo-Serv” cup.

• While you’re in your recliner, you can also slip this 10-CD set into your CD player: Autumn Thunder: 40 Years of NFL Films Music. I have this set and it’s worth it!

• That would be OJ on the box cover of this (gonna say 1978 since the seller references Broncos/Cowboys) NFL Electric Football game from Tudor.

• Don’t miss this set of 1960s NFL gumball helmets, part of a Coca-Cola “Go With the Pros” set. You get “helmets, faceguards and emblems” for the seven-team Western Conference — the Colts, Packers, Lions, Bears, Rams, Vikings, and 49ers. (How did the Baltimore Colts end up in the Western Conference, anyway?)

That’ll do it for this edition of CC. See you back here next week!

Comments (8)

    Gold Medal was a retailer in the Philadelphia area…they may have done custom jersey work in-house.

    The suction cup Bills player is NOT from 1976 or Benny Ricardo as the eBay seller mistakenly attests. The Bills didn’t go with the red helmet until 1984. Some bad misidentification here on the part of the seller.

    And why are were the Colts in the NFL Western Conference? It’s because they took the place of the one-year wonders, the Dallas Texans, who played in the league for one season, 1952. After the Texans dissolved there was an opening in the Western Conference that Baltimore jumped into when they began play in 1953. The Colts stayed in the Western Conference through 1969, and in 1970 joined Cleveland and Pittsburgh in the AFC, where they were placed, appropriately, in the AFC Eastern Division.

    Those 1970s vintage Eagles jerseys were derided at the time, with sleeve trim that was criticized as pointlessly ornate. Then in the ’80s the wide mesh revealing the pads beneath was ugly. Funny how we’d do anything to have them back, now.

    When I was young (those are the Eagles uniforms when I first started following football) I always thought the Eagles had too much silver/gray.
    I thought when they introduced black, they were on the right track. I was wrong of course, but still think those unis have too much silver in them.

    Today, I’d prefer straight green & white for them.


    “How did the Baltimore Colts end up in the Western Conference, anyway?”

    First, they replaced a failed Dallas Texans franchise in 1953, and keeping Baltimore in the West made for two six-team divisions.

    Second, Washington was in the East. In the same way that the Chicago Cardinals were in the East while the Bears were in the West, there may have been a thought that having nearby teams play very different schedules would be helpful.

    Hey, I have that IHOP mug. I also have the matching one for the AFC. That one is orange and has a different handle shape.

    Also, Baltmore was in the Coastal Division, a bizarre concept. Problem in Baltimore was the “Sunday blue law” at the time prohibited alcohol sales before noon on Sundays. So they played a lot of 4 p.m. ET games, which put them in the same time slot as the West Coast teams.

    An old Maryland Blue Law prohibited any Colts game from starting before 2 PM on Sunday. This was changed to 1 PM in 1984 in a last ditch effort to keep the Colts in Baltimore. Has it not been changed the Ravens would not exist and the Redskins never would have built that monstrosity in Landover.

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