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80sFootballCards

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December 8, 2019

It was considered the worst bad-weather game in Lambeau Field history, perhaps the worst in the Green Bay Packers’ long, storied history. Considering how nasty December weather in northeast Wisconsin can be in December, that’s saying something.

On Sunday, Dec. 1, 1985, the Packers were set for an NFC Central Division match-up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Players got up that morning to find snow falling outside their windows. Many believed playing in the snow would make for an interesting experience. However, as blustery conditions overtook Green Bay, the snow kept coming and coming. By game time it was a relentless blizzard. The game was dubbed the Snow Bowl.

The...

November 12, 2019

A season that began with hope and plenty of hype in Cleveland could end up being another dismal campaign for Browns fans. It’s been a long time since the Cleveland Browns were a Super Bowl-caliber team, but it hasn’t always been that way. In 1980, the Browns were one of the league’s hottest teams. Coach Sam Rutigliano’s squad was coming off an 8-8 season in 1978 and a slight improvement to 9-7 in ’79. Could the Browns take the next step in ’80?

Led by veteran quarterback Brian Sipe, the upstart Browns finished 11-5 and claimed the AFC Central Division title. But the Browns, full of dramatics even then, didn’t exactly roll to a division title. Cleveland survived so...

October 29, 2019

For most sports fans, it’s difficult to recall the exact moment or even specific season when they fell in love with their favorite team.

Oftentimes, adulation for a team begins at birth when the parents bestow their devote fandom unto the child. Or it might occur a few years later when a child favors a team their older sibling follows. For me, there is no doubt when my love affair with a team become one of the most important aspects of my young life.

I became a Green Bay Packers fan in the fall of 1989.

I had just turned nine years old. My dad wasn’t really into sports and my older brother was more of a baseball fan. He helped foster my joy for baseball and the Milwa...

February 26, 2019

You may not recognize the name, but chances are you've seen his work. For over 3 decades, sports photographer Jim Turner has captured moments with his camera from countless games including five Super Bowls & all three USFL seasons. His photos have also appeared on trading cards from Topps, Pro Set, Score, Upper Deck and Fleer. Recently, Jim was nice enough to answer a few questions and share some stories with me... 

80sFootballCards: Thanks Jim, for taking some time to tell us about your career! How and when did you first get involved in the sports photography field?

Jim Turner: As I was growing up, I was always a Yankees fan. When I was in my la...

October 14, 2018

After many hours of sifting through shoe boxes, endless nights flipping through page binders, and days on end of back and forth debate, the 80s Football Cards Hall of Fame Inaugural Class has been selected! An exhausting 37 point scoring system was used to rank every card made by Topps, Score, and Pro Set from 1980-89. Intense scrutiny was done to each card using categories such as hue complexity, focal point contrast, and design duplicity to help narrow down the nearly 6,000 cards to the best of the best!

Okay, that's a lie. I basically just went through all of my sets and picked out the ones that I thought looked the coolest. It would have been eas...

September 6, 2018

Jeff Pearlman, author of several sports books including Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton and Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre, took a few minutes to answer some questions about his new book Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL.

80sFootballCards: What do you remember about the USFL as a kid, did you go to any games? When did you get the idea to write a book on the league?

Jeff Pearlman: Never went to any games because I was raised by parents who knew nothing about sports and didn't really show much interest in attending (to be clear, Stan and Joan Pearlman were fantastic in all other areas)...

August 7, 2018

St. Louis Cardinals rookie running back Ottis Anderson had a phenomenal 1979 campaign, earning himself many accolades including: 

The Sporting News NFC Player of the Year & Rookie of the Year, the UPI Player of the Year, the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, the NEA Rookie of the Year, the Football Digest Offensive Rookie of the Year...pretty much any NFL Rookie of the Year award that year had Ottis Anderson's name on it. He also earned the distinction of having the first Topps football card of the 1980s. 

Which, looking back now, was quite fitting since the 80s was such a great decade for NFL running backs. 1984 was especially big with Walter Payton passi...

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About the Author

In 1985, when I opened my first pack of Topps football cards, baseball was king. Wiffle Ball, Little League, & collecting baseball cards were all that mattered. It wasn't until Bo Jackson took over the sports world in the late 80s that I really got into collecting football cards. 1989 was a huge year with the arrival of Score and Pro Set, two series that really took card photography and design to a new level. I remember going to a card show with my dad and buying that Score set for $20 when it first came out. The box is a bit banged up from all the moves since then, but to this day it remains one of my favorite sets.

As the 90s arrived, my interests changed and I grew out of the hobby, but would return back in 1999. Pro Set was long gone by then, but Score was still around and celebrating its 10 year anniversary so I had to get a few packs for old-time's sake. Those couple of packs turned into a couple more, which turned into a few boxes, and before you knew it, I was hooked again! Soon, I was building sets and chasing autograph rookies, jersey cards & short prints. 20 years later, I still love the hobby. 

These days, I've scaled back my collecting and found new interest in my old cards with my Twitter page. It's been a lot of fun looking through stats and finding facts on guys I forgot about or never heard of! I enjoy being taken back to the days of Wiffle Ball, Nerf Football, and stale bubble gum. And although the cards that we collected as kids didn't end up buying us a house or allow for an early retirement, they are far from worthless. In fact, I would even go as far to say that they are priceless.

Scott Spaulding currently resides in the Philadelphia, PA area. All cards pictured on this site or associated pages are from his personal collection.