Saturday, April 10, 2010

Animal House icon on a football card

In the half-dozen years that I have been working on creating 1955 All-American style football cards as an exercise in creativity and computer-graphics problem solving, I have created more than 120 cards "that never were" of college footballs players -- some of whom also never were.

One of my favorites is this card based on the Animal House movie character "Bluto," famously played by John Belushi in the 1978 National Lampoon movie.

You may be surprised to see Bluto in a football uniform, as there is absolutely no mention in the movie of the character ever taking the field for the Faber Mongols. I'll admit it: I have never taken such liberties in creating one of my cards as I did with this one.

Animal House has, since its initial release, appealed to the puerile(Keith Olbermann taught me that word)
portion of my psyche. I still watch it about once a year when I can find the uncut version on DirecTV .

Some years back, while paging through a copy of Playboy, I encountered an article about Belushi. The portrait in the accompanying photo clicked with me, and I decided a Bluto football card was next up on my to-do list.

I found an appropriate uniformed body picture on which to graft Belushi's/Blutarsky's head, and I was ready to roll. In the spirit of the movie, I sat down in front of a rerun with a bottle of black Jack and took notes. In some scene or other I saw a felt pennant on a Delta house wall that indicate the Faber nickname was the Mongols. In a stroke of very good fortune, a Google search of Faber turned up the Mongol team logo that appears on the front of my card.

Virtually everything that appears on the biography on back, however, is of my own creation, although -- while I can't verify this with a citation at this late date -- I seem to recall that I found on some website or other the fact that Blutarky's middle name was Adam.

The process of fictionalizing a fictional character in furtherance of creating one of my custom football card creations was especially satisfying. I believe true fans of Animal House will appreciate the effort.

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