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09-26-2008, 11:09 PM
Posted By: <b>John S</b><p>I have debated this topic with a number of fellow collectors. Why is it that early professional football players, collectibles, etc. do not seem to be as revered as their baseball contemporaries? <br /><br />The all-time football teams posted on net-54 are laden with modern players (and I am not criticizing, it is difficult to exclude players like Montana, Marino, and Barry Sanders). But all-time baseball teams are often very different. The players selected often broadly represent the 20th century. <br /><br />Is it that baseball and its players have changed so little over the past 100+ years that players like Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson could easily play and excel in today's game? However, Mike Michalske, at 210 pounds, would be laughed at if he assumed his Guard position at Lambeau Field this season.<br /><br />My point is that we should evaluate football players during the era in which they played. Players like Glen Presnell, Al Wistert, and Pete Calac are rarely even mentioned for consideration for the HOF yet based on historical accounts they dominated the game. The early history of the NFL is sparsely documented and has a limited (yet passionate) collector base. More attention and respect needs to paid to early game and its players.

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09-27-2008, 09:11 AM
Posted By: <b>Joe D.</b><p>John,<br /><br />It seems to me that baseball just has a richer 'professional' history.<br /><br />With football - paying attention to the early game and its players seems to mean focusing on the college game.<br /><br /><br />Don't get me wrong, I love it all.<br />

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09-28-2008, 07:16 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe Brennan</b><p>John, I couldn't agree more. Most old time football players are rarely mentioned. Two things are the cause of it. First, the game has continued to evolve into the game it is today. Unlike baseball we would not recognize the game played 60 years ago. The 2nd reason is most avid football fans are very young (16-35) and relate to the modern game. Baseball fans are all old farts and most can still remember Ty Cobb and Matty playing. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14> Baseball is too slow of a game for the instant gratification for most of the youth of today and they lose interest over a 162 game season. <br /><br />On a side note completely unrelated but I found really interesting. Did you know that 70% of the population of Japan is under 30 years old? I'm just full of useless trivia. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14><br><br>In Rememberance of James W. Brennan Sr. 1924-1982. Dad, thanks for everything you did for me.

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09-28-2008, 07:57 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe Brennan</b><p>John, I couldn't agree more. Most old time football players are rarely mentioned. Two things are the cause of it. First, the game has continued to evolve into the game it is today. Unlike baseball we would not recognize the game played 60 years ago. The 2nd reason is most avid football fans are very young (16-35) and relate to the modern game. Baseball fans are all old farts and most can still remember Ty Cobb and Matty playing. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14> Baseball is too slow of a game for the instant gratification for most of the youth of today and they lose interest over a 162 game season. <br /><br />On a side note completely unrelated but I found really interesting. Did you know that 70% of the population of Japan is under 30 years old? I'm just full of useless trivia. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14><br><br>In Rememberance of James W. Brennan Sr. 1924-1982. Dad, thanks for everything you did for me.

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09-29-2008, 06:28 AM
Posted By: <b>Pete Z.</b><p>No disrespect intended, but with Japan's aging population due to low birthrates and increased longevity, I couldn't help but think you meant 30% of Japan's population is under 30. I couldn't find the direct statistic, but looking at the following it's clear there's something awry with your citation:<br /><br />Age structure<br />0-14 years: 13.7% (male 8,926,439/female 8,460,629) <br />15-64 years: 64.7% (male 41,513,061/female 40,894,057) <br />65 years and over: 21.6% (male 11,643,845/female 15,850,388) (2008 est.)<br /><br />

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09-29-2008, 12:44 PM
Posted By: <b>joe brennan</b><p>Pete, Saw that statistic on a special for survivors of the bomb. I may be just off as I think the correct statistic was 70% of the Japanese population was born after 1970. <br><br>In Rememberance of James W. Brennan Sr. 1924-1982. Dad, thanks for everything you did for me.

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09-30-2008, 12:27 PM
Posted By: <b>Michael Moran</b><p>Imagine if baseball started having nine players who came up to bat (offense) and a different nine players who went out into the field (defense). Unlimited substitution in football completely changed the game - I'd say it was more of a mutation than evolution. Yes, the linemen are much bigger, but how many minutes do they actually play? I think that's the reason comparisons are so hard, and that may be another reason, in addition to those mentioned above, that football doesn't cherish its past the way baseball does.

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09-30-2008, 04:44 PM
Posted By: <b>Bill Christensen</b><p>I think the most important thing when you compare baseball to football is that baseball is a 'statistics' game and football was/is not. Most bb people know what 714 & 511 are but can any moderate fb person say how many yards Grange or Nevers or Thorpe or whomever had in any year?

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10-01-2008, 09:56 AM
Posted By: <b>Mike McKee</b><p>I am not sure it is a lack of respect as much as it is a lack of knowledge and the game just being a different experience.<br /><br />To know anything about these guys one really has to look and look hard. Most it seems are not willing to do that. And even when you do look, dead ends abound especially when you are trying to get information on Pre NFL stuff. At that time, the topic was not written about at length and until the NFL was organized almost never. <br /><br />When March wrote his book, Pro Football Its Ups and Downs, basically the treatise on the subject of Professional football, the sport was approximately 50 years old. Compare that with Baseball which had probably 100 books published within its first 50 years. The other issue is College vs Professional. Baseball does not have that problem. Who knows anything about college baseball in the 1800's. Does anyone care about it? The best college baseball pieces all have early Ivy League football players on them and I almost guarantee the buyers are football collectors and not baseball. <br /><br />The other is baseball had its mentors such as Lew Lipset. The sport was popularized in collectors eyes by dealers who for no matter the reason brought the sport alive in the collectibles they sold. Football did not ever have that luxury and probably never will. 1895 Mayos were not followed up until the silver match covers of the early 1930’s with significant collector sets. Not many dealers can feed a family on that few of high value collectibles. A few but not many. <br /><br />Unfortunately, some of the early history of the game is lost because it was never written about and all the participants are now long ago deceased. Try calling a town’s historical society about an early significant Pre NFL football team and note the response you get. A long pause, then a Hummm, followed by “I am not sure, let me get back to you on that”. The return call never comes unless a 90 year old football fan lives in the town. Guess what there are not many of them around.<br /><br />However, maybe the most important reason in my mind is. With baseball, people remember watching a game with someone and remember the scene more than the game. Peace and tranquility is part of the baseball mystic. The air is warm and the air always smells better in the summer. Sharing peanuts with your Grand Dad or taking your father to the game in his old age just like he did when you were a boy are memories as vivid as your first bike under the Christmas tree. Football is about conquest, hard hits and the coldness of winter. Different emotions which are great but nowhere near as warm and fuzzy. So people collect, debate and think about what takes them back to happier times and people who may not be around anymore or are quite a bit older. This is just an opinion and I am sure others will not agree but I honestly feel it is part of the reason. However, as primarily a football collector myself I do not personally subscribe to the theory but the above is many times listed as the reason why people collect. <br /><br />In short, I am not sure football will ever totally supplant baseball in the collectibles realm but it is nipping at its heels and in the current heart of the American public football has become king. My guess is that is where it has to begin and maybe followed by a mentor with some more books written and then maybe, it may begin to get some more respect. Knowledge always comes before respect which is what I guess this thread is about.<br /> <br /><br />

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11-02-2008, 05:15 PM
Posted By: <b>Johnny Mckay</b><p>I think a lot of it has to do with the contract that the NFL has with NFL Films. It seems to me that NFL Films only has footage that they shot themselves from the 60's and later. Anything earlier and they would have to buy the rights which I guess they don't want to do. So they only package footage of the late stuff. If they have very little footage of someone like Jim Brown, then you can probably forget about seeing guys like Tuffy Leemans anytime soon. Which is a shame because in baseball or even basketball, they have tons of footage of old world series and playoff games of Russell and Chamberlain on youtube.