Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jacob's Ladder

There are plenty of things to which the title of this post could refer. A student of the Bible might read into it the passage in Genesis where it speaks of angels ascending to and descending from heaven. The student of science may think it's a demonstration of the electric spark that jumps between two parallel wires and then 'climbs' up the ladder. The fitness fanatic will probably think of the cardio machine that sits in his bedroom, while the movie buff will remember the 1990 psychological horror movie staring Tim Robbins. But this 'Jacob's Ladder' is one of my own creation. It involves cardboard and a former NFL defensive end.

Before being drafted by Seattle as the 10th overall pick in the 1980 draft,  Jacob Green had earned All-American honors during his senior season at Texas A&M, recording a school record 20 sacks. He would finish his collegiate career as a two-time All-American and 37 sacks, a total that would stand as a school record until Aaron Wallace finished with 42 career sacks ten years later.

As a professional, Jacob was nearly unmatched at the defensive end position. Despite the sack not being an official stat until his third season, Green finished his fourteen-year career with 97.5 official sacks (116 unofficial)- which were good for 3rd all-time at his retirement. The two players ahead of him, Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor, are both Hall of Famers. Unfortunately, the two-time All-Pro has yet to get elected to to the Hall of Fame. He was, however, named to the Seahawks Ring of Honor in 1995 and is still considered one of the best- and most popular- players in team history. Many believe that it's inevitable that he will one day be enshrined in the Canton.

I recently picked up ten cards of Jacob in a purchase on Sportlots.

This 1983 Topps is considered Green's Rookie Card- but his first appearance came in the 1981 Topps set, where he appeared on a team checklist card (#19) as well as in the Topps Stickers set (#115) and the odd-ball Seahawks 7-Up set (#11). 

Jacob was also featured in the 1982 Topps set (team leaders card #243), 1982 Seahawks 7-Up (#5) and 1982 Seahawks Police (#13) sets prior to his rookie card.

Following his NFL career, Green returned to his alma mater as V.P. Major Gifts and Endowments for the university's 12th Man Foundation. He has also been very active in raising money for the Fred Hutchinson Research Center in Seattle and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

Green's son-in-law is Red Bryant, himself a former Aggie and starting DE for the Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII-winning team.

As a defensive end, Green's appearances on cardboard is pretty limited, even with a fourteen year career. With his popularity among fans- not to mention a great career- Jacob is an ideal candidate for collector looking to add a new player collection.

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