Monday, October 29, 2012

I miss my BALTIMORE Colts

Don't get me wrong. I love the Texans. I got in on the ground floor with them, I've had season tickets since the first day they were available. But I grew up a Baltimore Colt fan. Not just a fan. More of a religious follower. I say that because I spent my Sunday mornings during the football season in prayer for Johnny Unitas, John Mackey and all the rest.

The day they left for that other city was one of the worst days of my life. Oh, I know the franchise had already been run into the ground by their drunk owner but they were still my team. After they left I tried rooting for the Oilers since I was here in Houston. I was a very lukewarm Oiler follower. And when the Ravens arrived in Charm City I just couldn't make myself root for a club that arrived in the same underhanded way the Baltimore Colts had left. 

So I wandered around until the NFL birthed the Texans. Meanwhile I've continued to collect Baltimore Colt memorabilia. Press guides, cards, pictures, all sorts of things. Which brings me to this item. It's an NFL publication which is essentially an 8x10 magazine-style yearbook covering the whole league. I can't remember where I picked it up but I used to buy a lot of publications from a couple of dealers who regularly showed up at Houston card shows.

The covers are comprised of an illustration by George Bartell. He has an unmistakable style seen in all sorts of ways back in the 60s and 70s. He did the illustrations for some great NFL posters and tons of program covers. He's best known for his automotive illustrations. He also did album covers and book illustrations. A great blog, the Fleer Sticker Project featured those NFL posters Bartell awhile back.

The inside features a four page spread on each team. There is a write-up and a head shot of almost the whole roster. I'd have loved this back in the day. 

And the inside front cover just screams late 60s.

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