March 19, 2007
Originally published March 18, 2002
I started collecting football cards when I was six years old. I lost a lot of my worldly possessions through tumultuous life upheavals in subsequent years, but somehow I managed to hang onto those cards. I have a 1959 Johnny Unitas, crew-cut and on top of the world at age 26, after the famous sudden-death championship victory over the Giants. I have Frank Gifford, Bobby Layne, Pat Summerall, Y.A. Tittle, Bart Starr, "Big Daddy" Lipscomb, "Night Train" Lane, Raymond Berry, Alex Karras, Jim Brown and Gale Sayers. I also have Brian Piccolo, which is the most valuable card I own, according to a catalogue I checked recently.
Old football cards aren't worth the kind of money old baseball cards are, but that's okay with me. I'll never sell any of them. Those players were my heroes when I was a boy. I enjoy looking at my cards and remembering when I still believed in magic, and those men were gods. Incredible waves of nostalgia wash over me.
Some of the cards still smell of bubble gum, too.
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