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  #1  
Old 09-13-2017, 07:33 PM
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Default What draws you to football/football history?

Net54 may not be an accurate representation since it is a baseball board that just happens to have this football section, but it appears that there are many more baseball collectors compared to football collectors. We could go on all day about how baseball has a glorified past which really helps drive the game and the collecting of it. The point has also been made on this board that the NFL has done a less than great job of celebrating its past. If it didn't happen after the Super Bowl era began, it's like it didn't happen.

All this being said, why football for you?? What is it that drives you to collect football? All of us sports card/memorabilia/autograph collectors make up a small part of the general population, so that automatically makes us rare/odd . But, again, why choose to be a small minority of a small minority and collect football? Did you play? Did your dad or uncle or someone pass on the love of the game or take you to games? Did you become a fan of a particular team/school at an early age?

The answer for me is multifaceted. I grew up and live in the South where football of all kinds is king. It is a rare thing for me to encounter people (especially men) who don't at least casually follow football. I can remember playing neighborhood football on freezing cold nights until it was too dark to see. Another factor which sucked me in was the fact that as an 8 year old boy in 1981, I discovered the NFL by way of the San Diego Chargers. Those lightning bolts on the jerseys and helmets and that up-tempo style of play known as Air Coryell, caught me hook, line, and sinker! I will forever be able to picture Dan Fouts taking that snap from center and taking that three or five step drop and throwing to Jefferson, Chandler, or Joiner or pitching the ball to Muncie or Brooks! I was the kid in the South who grew up loving the Chargers. And it isn't just the NFL or SEC football. A small time high school football game has its appeal, too. There's something about the air getting crisp, the leaves turning, and the ball sailing through the goal posts that captures my imagination. Men like Pat Summerall and John Madden captured my imagination together for a long time.

Ok, I collected baseball for quite a while and have a baseball username, but more and more the pigskin sport captures my imagination and pulls me in like it did when I was 8. There is so much I don't know about football history (I am learning). I felt like I've heard the same baseball stories a million times. There is a lot to be discovered and learned with football. From a practical standpoint, a good part of the football collectibles I see are relatively affordable, too. It is really a wide open hobby!

What about you guys? Why?
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:19 PM
revmoran revmoran is offline
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You might think that since my father played in the NFL I would have a long-standing interest in football, but the truth is I only took an interest after his death. I'm very drawn to artifacts as an entry point into research, and the development of the internet for the public user and the emergence of eBay allowed me to dig deep without leaving home.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by revmoran View Post
You might think that since my father played in the NFL I would have a long-standing interest in football, but the truth is I only took an interest after his death. I'm very drawn to artifacts as an entry point into research, and the development of the internet for the public user and the emergence of eBay allowed me to dig deep without leaving home.
That is an excellent point. The internet has changed the common person's access to information and goods (like cards and memorabilia) in ways that are sometimes difficult to understand. For an example not from sports, I finished a doctorate a couple of years ago. I wasn't sure how the dissertation process might go. Some folks who are a few years older than me told me their tales of woe about being in a library for hours upon hours and flipping through gigantic stacks of books, periodicals, microfilm, etc. Thanks to the internet, I did most of my research at home in my underwear. On-line university libraries were my best friend during that period of my life!
Back to your point about researching and ebaying football. I might have given up collecting were it not for these two realities. Where I live, you can pretty much forget about a card show. I would still be living in the days of buying from Tuff Stuff, SCD, etc. Accessibility has certainly aided collectors of all sports.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:59 PM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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For whatever reason football has always been my favorite major sport. As a kid, I was a voracious reader and read every football book in both my elementary and middle school libraries. That's probably what hooked me on the history of the game. It was awesome to read about Thorpe, Grange, Nevers, Nagurski, Friedman and all the other great stars from the early days of the NFL. Not to mention the memorable NFL games like the Sneaker Game, the Ice Bowl, the Greatest Game Ever Played, the Bears beating the Redskins 73-0, etc.

As I got older I realized that professional football started looong before the NFL and I got interested in pro stars and pro teams that existed between 1892 - 1919. This era has been all but forgotten in history but the teams and players in this time period are the true pioneers of the professional game.

Helping to preserve and document the history of the sport has become a passion of mine. I love nothing better than finding an interesting piece of football memorabilia, digging into it to find out what I can learn about it, and writing my findings up to share with others.

What a great hobby this is!

jeff
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:59 AM
AFLfan AFLfan is offline
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I grew up as a baseball collector, but while I was in graduate school I interned for the San Diego Chargers, cleaning up their photo archive. At that time I decided to write my thesis on Sid Gillman, the Chargers first head coach. It was interviewing Sid and his former players that first sparked my interest in the AFL. Since then I have written a couple of books about the Chargers (one AFL, one Coryell era), put together my AFL website, and while they were still in SD, I did a lot of contract work for the Chargers. It was all history-based stuff, a lot dealing with the AFL.

I am drawn to the social aspects of football. I'm fascinated by stories of the AFL boycott and other issues that came about during the Civil Rights Era. I love the story of the underdog AFL taking on the NFL and forcing a merger. I love that the players were just guys, who assimilated into the community with off-season jobs, and were not the whacked out prima donnas that we read about so often with modern athletes.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:16 AM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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Originally Posted by AFLfan View Post
I grew up as a baseball collector, but while I was in graduate school I interned for the San Diego Chargers, cleaning up their photo archive. At that time I decided to write my thesis on Sid Gillman, the Chargers first head coach. It was interviewing Sid and his former players that first sparked my interest in the AFL. Since then I have written a couple of books about the Chargers (one AFL, one Coryell era), put together my AFL website, and while they were still in SD, I did a lot of contract work for the Chargers. It was all history-based stuff, a lot dealing with the AFL.

I am drawn to the social aspects of football. I'm fascinated by stories of the AFL boycott and other issues that came about during the Civil Rights Era. I love the story of the underdog AFL taking on the NFL and forcing a merger. I love that the players were just guys, who assimilated into the community with off-season jobs, and were not the whacked out prima donnas that we read about so often with modern athletes.
While your AFL auto sets are completely awesome, I'm still in awe that you figured out how to write a Master's Thesis on football, Todd! That is incredible. I wish I was that smart ... my thesis was on a bunch of technical gobblygook and would have rather written about Thorpe or something LOL.

jeff
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jefferyepayne View Post
While your AFL auto sets are completely awesome, I'm still in awe that you figured out how to write a Master's Thesis on football, Todd! That is incredible. I wish I was that smart ... my thesis was on a bunch of technical gobblygook and would have rather written about Thorpe or something LOL.

jeff
1000! Sid Gillman is a much better topic than anything I ever wrote about!

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Old 09-14-2017, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by AFLfan View Post
I grew up as a baseball collector, but while I was in graduate school I interned for the San Diego Chargers, cleaning up their photo archive. At that time I decided to write my thesis on Sid Gillman, the Chargers first head coach. It was interviewing Sid and his former players that first sparked my interest in the AFL. Since then I have written a couple of books about the Chargers (one AFL, one Coryell era), put together my AFL website, and while they were still in SD, I did a lot of contract work for the Chargers. It was all history-based stuff, a lot dealing with the AFL.

I am drawn to the social aspects of football. I'm fascinated by stories of the AFL boycott and other issues that came about during the Civil Rights Era. I love the story of the underdog AFL taking on the NFL and forcing a merger. I love that the players were just guys, who assimilated into the community with off-season jobs, and were not the whacked out prima donnas that we read about so often with modern athletes.
Todd, interning for the Chargers?! I am trying extremely hard to not let my awe and sheer envy get the best of me! That was my childhood team (I still can't quite stop myself from keeping up with them even now despite the fact that I stay furious with that franchise ). What an opportunity to be around those guys and the AFL. One of my favorite aspects of the AFL is that it provided opportunities to soooo many players who would have never gotten a sniff by the NFL. These were guys in a lot of cases from small colleges who had serious talent.

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Old 09-14-2017, 06:38 AM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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Originally Posted by vintagebaseballcardguy View Post
Todd, interning for the Chargers?! I am trying extremely hard to not let my awe and sheer envy get the best of me! That was my childhood team (I still can't quite stop myself from keeping up with them even now despite the fact that I stay furious with that franchise ). What an opportunity to be around those guys and the AFL. One of my favorite aspects of the AFL is that it provided opportunities to soooo many players who would have never gotten a sniff by the NFL. These were guys in a lot of cases from small colleges who had serious talent.

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Yeah, Todd's been living the dream for decades ...

jeff
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:39 AM
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Yeah, Todd's been living the dream for decades ...

jeff
That's the truth! Interning for the Chargers! Had I known about it then, I could have lived vicariously through him! Not to mention all the pics and autographs I would have begged him to get for me. Although my Chargers collection isn't as large as my fandom has been over the years, they were a driving force in my love of football.

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Last edited by vintagebaseballcardguy; 09-14-2017 at 07:41 AM.
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