Eyes in the Cards

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Drew Pearson Topps trading card
Topps Trading Card, 1970s
My way into the romance of football came when I was 9 or 10 years old, and I stumbled upon a few NFL trading cards on the street. Naturally I picked them up. Back in those days (the 1970s, so far gone!) many players posed for close up pictures, and many of those without helmets.

Walter Payton Rookie Card

Dave Casper

I would put row after row down on floor or table and study faces, consider personalities, thoughts, emotions of those players. Some looked angry — game face on — others innocent and hopeful, or determined. Some stood in the 3 point stance and smiled good-naturedly, and one looked up with pleading eyes as if he needed protection.In my mind, I created alliances between the players on the cards whether they were on the same teams or not. And on Sundays I’d watch as many as I could.This was my original Fantasy Football.