Thursday, September 3, 2015

Call Him... Jim?

Being somewhat burned out on the current card industry, I have recently been revisiting those cards of yesteryear. Well, the '80s MLB and NFL, anyway...

I've had the pleasure of attending three NFL games in my lifetime. They were exhibition games, but NFL games nonetheless. And they were back in the 70s and early 80s- when it seemed like the regulars played more than just a couple of series like they do today.

The very first game I attended was in 1978- Rams vs. Seahawks. I remember watching players from the visiting Rams team getting off of the bus. Pat Haden. 'Hacksaw' Reynolds. And then there was John Cappelletti- who, my father pointed out, had no neck. After the game we were walking in an area near the place the players had gotten off the bus, when I saw a man who I thought was Seahawks QB Jim Zorn (my favorite player!!). Timidly, I walked over to the man and asked for his autograph. 'Who do you think I am?' the man asked. 'Jim Zorn,' I responded. Laughter. It wasn't him. I shook the dust off my feet and moved on.

In my defense, at that point in my life I had probably never seen any photos of Zorn without his helmet. His rookie card (1977) featured Jim without his helmet, but I didn't have that card- I had maybe one card of his at the time ('78 Topps, if it was even out yet). I had become a fan by the few games I had seen on network tv, as well as from reading the sports page in the local paper and perhaps in a Sports Illustrated magazine (my grandparents had given me a subscription for Christmas). They were our regional team and so there was that natural inclination to root for them. 

Even though I had mistakenly called some stranger "Jim Zorn" there's no doubt that Zorn's offensive coordinator got his quarterback's name right. At least he should have, given how often Zorn is shown on the phone on his early cards. I was amazed at how often Jim was pictured with his headset on, or at least with him speaking into the speaker. I've found four cards/stickers online and there may be more. While four isn't a huge number, it is more than I've seen of any other player in a similar shot. 

Calling all collectors: I'm looking for a 1986 McDonald's Packers #18 Jim Zorn card. If you have one and are interested in trading it, please let me know!


  1. It's probably the same photo as that last card, just airbrushed to make his jersey greener.