Wednesday, March 13, 2013

'68 Jets custom cards trilogy, Part 1

I've had a busy week creating some custom cards of players who were members of the World Championship 1968 New York Jets.

As I've written before, I was an AFL fans throughout the 1960s, with particular emphasis on Joe Namath and the N.Y. Jets.

Regular readers know that I have already created three different Joe Namath custom cards, two 1974 Jets cards and a 1977 Rams card. I also have created 1958 and 1959 customs of Don Maynard.

This week I enhanced the football card legacies of three of Namath's teammates, Emerson Boozer, Johnny Sample and Matt Snell. I'll show them all to you in the next few days. Each of the three cards was a first for me in terms of an homage to a particular Topps format.

The first of my Jets customs is a 1972-style card for Matt Snell, the fullback of the championship-era Jets and the only Jets players to score a Super Bowl touchdown. 

I chose the 1972 format because it was Snell's last year as a pro, though for all intents and purposes, his career was over after the 1969 season; he played in only 12 games in 1970-72. I could have done a 1973 career wrap-up card, but I simply preferred the '72 style.

Topps had not ignored Snell during his career. He had regular Topps football cards every year from his rookie season on 1964 through 1971, and appeared on a number of their special inserts, etc., as well.
Snell was also included in Bazooka, Kellogg's 3D, and Eskimo Pie issues during his playing days, and in several 1990s sets from Pro Set, Ted Williams Card Co.,  Fleer, etc. There is even a Lite Beer card from 1985. I was previously unaware that Snell was the first ex-pro football player to star in that series of Lite commercials.

Something else of which I was unaware is that Snell has been estranged from the Jets "family" since his retirement. He has refused invitations to attend Super Bowl reunions and similar Jets' functions. He expresses the belief that the team did not live up to commitments it had made to him about a role with the club following his playing days.

That's not the way the retirement of a guy who spent his entire career with one team should play out.

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