The roots of contemporary American football can be traced to the late 19th century, when, in 1875, Harvard lost to Tufts. The first professional football league game followed in 1903—the Massillon Tigers won that year’s all-Ohio championship.
Almost from the beginning, marketers tried to capitalize on the popularity of college football. In 1888, cigarette maker Goodwin & Co. published the first football card, an illustration of Henry Beecher, who was the captain of the Yale Bulldogs.
The Beecher card was part of a set of 50 cards celebrating athletes from a variety of sports. In 1894, chewing-tobacco company Mayo Cut Plug released the first actual set of football cards, each bearing a sepia photograph of one of 35 players from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. One Princeton player with the last name of Poe is thought to be the nephew of poet Edgar Allen Poe.
The precursor to the National Football League didn’t arrive on the scene until 1920 and football cards were not produced in sets until after World War II when, according to football-card collector Mike Thomas, Leaf and Bowman began making cards for players such as John Nolan and Larry Olsonoski. Topps cards dominated the 1950s (the Johnny Unitas rookie card from 1955 is a much-traded collectible) and 1960s (ditto Joe Namath’s rookie card from 1965). In that decade, Fleer also entered the picture.
Players were not the only things depicted on cards. In 1960, Fleer issued a set of cards with decals of college-team pennants (Nebraska paired with Purdue, Stanford with Navy, etc.), as well as a set of cards bearing decals of American Football League logos (the gun-toting, cowboy-booted Texans player running for a touchdown in his ten-gallon hat is a collectible classic).
Beyond cards, collectors gravitate to just about anything with a player’s signature on it, from jerseys to helmets to footballs. As with music, unused tickets and ticket stubs are also fairly popular. But one of the most collectible football memorabilia categories is the Super Bowl.
For football fans, it doesn’t get any better than the Super Bowl. Football memorabilia collectors feel the same way about the objects and ephemera commemorating any of the Super Bowls that have been played since 1967, when Bart Starr led the Green Bay Packers to victory over the Kansas City Chiefs...
Signed Super Bowl helmets and footballs are particularly prized, as are signed jerseys. Reproductions of Super Bowl rings have become quite popular in recent years, and the card companies have been diligent about making sure that fans can add special Super Bowl cards to their collections—many are auto-signed to replicate the signatures of players.
Rounding out Super Bowl memorabilia are the actual programs and ticket stubs from the games themselves, for those fans not fortunate enough to actually attend. And then there are the patches, lapel pins, snowglobes, and bobblehead caricatures of players standing next to oversized reproductions of the coveted Super Bowl ring.
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Jimmy 'Jinky' Johnstone Faberge egg up for auction in Glasgowstv.tv, December 9th
on the sale, Brian Clements, Managing Director at McTear's Auctioneers said: "Not only are the Jimmy Johnstone Faberge eggs remarkable examples of high quality jewellery in their own right, they are also important pieces of football memorabilia...Read more
Sir Bobby Robson's iconic World Cup suit on public display for first timeChronicleLive, December 9th
For the first time, Sir Bobby Robson's historic grey suit is on public display in JG Windows in Newcastle. England manager Bobby Robson at Italia '90. An historic piece of football memorabilia is on display for all to see in the North East. For the...Read more
Bill McCartney keeps standing on the rock as life keeps changingDenver Post, December 8th
Football memorabilia is everywhere. There's the game ball from the 1961 Kansas State game he earned as a Missouri linebacker. There's the game ball from the national championship win over Notre Dame. Pictures of buffaloes are everywhere. There are ...Read more
Community Turns Out To Help Deputy Jeff Watson's Wife And KidsWGNO, December 6th
Deputy Jeff Watson was killed in a car crash August 4th along Paul Maillard Rd. The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office hosted a benefit at the Jerusalem's Shriner's Hall in Destrehan. Auctioning off big screen TV's and football memorabilia, like an...Read more
Downsizing Warren Moon moving football memorabiliaCanada.com, December 6th
Downsizing Warren Moon moving football memorabilia. Warren Moon. Former Eskimo and NFL hall of fame quarterback Warren Moon is auctioning off four of the five Grey Cup rings he won while playing for the Edmonton Eskimos. The rings are a part of a ...Read more
Artist designs 'Vintage Panthers' rebrandCat Scratch Reader, December 6th
I'm a total sucker for any vintage football stuff, and yearn for a time Patriot Pat is back in New England. Stevens has moved through a series of design trends, imagining trading cards, pins, helmets and collectibles. My personal favorite is a simple...Read more
Your Christmas wrapped up with Sun+ PerksThe Sun (subscription), December 6th
WITH Christmas just around the corner, we have tons of giveaways and competitions to get you in the festive spirit. Get a free £5 SIM card from EE, 25% off TOFFS vintage football shirts, tickets to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a One Direction...Read more
Super Bowl 2014 tour bus to touch down at RDHSNorthJersey.com, December 5th
Shuttle," the official interactive bus of the Meadowlands Super Bowl 2014, on Dec. 13. The all-things-football extravaganza features football memorabilia, a mini-museum, the Super Bowl trophy, as well as drills and other activities students can...Read more