Well, I do realize that baseball is not the only sport out there. While hockey playoffs started last night, basketball playoffs are about to, and the first of golf's four Majors just wrapped up, football is definitely in offseason mode.
|1999 Upper Deck Victory #83 Shannon Sharpe|
I don't have a lot of football cards. Or many cards from any other sport. Hockey's a little bit higher, but when I say my collection is 99% baseball, that's rounding down. Still, it's an action-packed sport (perhaps too much so, say neurologists) and can make for some great cards. Here, Tight End and now-broadcaster Shannon Sharpe is evading a Washington defender.
Though the Broncos just won their third Super Bowl, most of these cards are from the late-1990s era of their first two wins. Shannon Sharpe was a key member during that period, and this is probably my first card of him.
Because there's only one game a week, and because it's rare to have a repeating matchup in a season (outside your division, anyway), football cards should be significantly easier to date than baseball cards. However, this Sharpe card has me a little bit stumped, because while the Broncos definitely played Washington in 1998, it was in D.C., and Sharpe is clearly wearing a home jersey here. Regardless, I'll go with Sept 27th, 1998, because that's the only possibility based on the copyright date and the new Broncos jerseys.
|1991 Score #496 Simon Fletcher|
You've probably noticed by now that I'm dancing around using the actual team name of Washington, and unless you're living under a rock, you've probably heard about the controversy around their team name. "Chiefs" seems to be fine, as do the "Braves". So the NFL isn't the only sport with Native American names. In fact, looking through the various native-themed logos of other teams, Washington's probably had the least offensive logos of them all, even since the early 20th century. But that name. Wow.
It's a bit of a relief that most of the team names in Denver are named after geology (Rockies, Nuggets) or various phases of water flowing downhill (Avalanche, Rapids).
But in the naming controversy, I have to side with the challengers on this one. Of course, the name of a football team is a drop in the bucket compared to the high unemployment, racial profiling, poor education, and general lack of opportunity that exist on Native American reservations (and among most minority groups in this country, for that matter). But an offensive NFL team name is just one consequence of the attitudes that led to all the other problems.
And while I think the name should be changed, I'm sure plenty of people on this continent could care less, and would rather have electricity and running water than a 32nd non-offensive NFL team name.
|1999 Donruss #38 Ed McCaffrey|
These are the things we miss when we focus on just one sport.
There's a little bit of foil in the upper right, and while it's a good action shot, this one looks pretty overexposed to me. Perhaps it's just the printing. And more than the Chiefs these days, the Patriots have become one of the Broncos' main rivals, especially in the playoffs.
|2000 Private Stock #30 Ed McCaffrey|
Pacific didn't save their odd cards for baseball, as this premium card from Private Stock applies a bit of rotoscoping to McCaffrey's photo. If you saw Waking Life or A Scanner Darkly, you know what I'm talking about. And this card was printed before either of those movies were released. But there's a slight error on the back, as the paragraph refers to the Broncos winning Super Bowl XXXIII against Green Bay. Though they did win SB33, Pacific put one extra Roman numeral in there, since the Broncos' win against the Packers was in SB32.
|1999 Bowman Chrome #114 Marcus Nash|
I don't know if all players signed their team name and position on the football set, since on the baseball side it's just a facsimile autograph. And I don't have nearly enough football cards to compare. But this certainly stands out from the ocean of black borders that Bowman is known for.
|1998 Playoff Momentum Hobby #74 Rod Smith|
|2000 SP Authentic #25 Terrell Davis|
Thanks to Daniel for these cards, as they certainly mixed things up around here!