Sunday, January 13, 2013

Some '97 Upper Deck QBs

Back in the pre-merger days I was never much of an AFL fan but looking back I can see that the league had a lot of appeal. Three of the standouts are quarterbacks featured in the 1997 UD Legends set.

First we have a shot of the 'Mad Bomber' Daryle Lamonica. He came out of Notre Dame and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills. He developed a reputation as a guy who'd throw deep in almost any situation but was languishing on the bench in Buffalo when he was acquired by Al Davis to replace the popular Tom Flores. Look back on Lamonica's numbers with the Raiders and they don't seem too impressive given the kind of pinball stats you see out of modern qbs, but in his day he was very impressive.

That's a cool shot of him on the card looking to throw down field. Throw off that back foot, Daryle, and throw as far as you can! He ended up winning Player of the Year awards in the late 60s.  

Jack Kemp shows up on one of the few portrait cards in the set. Kemp was the guy who started in front of Lamonica in Buffalo. He might have been the best of the AFL's quarterbacks and played in the league for it's entire 10 year run. He picked up an MVP award, too.

And yes, he is that Jack Kemp, former Cabinet member under the first George Bush and the Republican nominee on the Dole ticket in 1996. He died a couple of years ago. And, to beat the wise old Night Owl to the punch, the 'left leaning' scan is NOT a political statement, just a bit of technology-induced irony.

And finally we have the one and only Joe Willie Namath. I hated the guy for his brash ways when he began his pro career. Then he beat my Colts in Super Bowl III after predicting it! So I hated him even more. But through the years I've mellowed on almost everything when it comes to sports and rivalries. Besides, how can you hate a guy who hits on Suzy Kolber while drunk on national TV?