Round about the age of 16, I stopped collecting. As strange as it may seem, I determined my hard-earned money was best spent on gas and girls. And a new collection: CDs. Now I'm not all that old, but I'm well-aware just how well my preferred musical medium dates me. Not to mention my tastes.
These guys are all still around, right?
Anyway, 1996 was my last big collecting year. Through high school, I bought one box a year, just for the heck of it, but I was no longer big into the hobby. After I got married and moved away, my entire collection ended up in my mother's storage unit. It wasn't until my mom decided to get rid of her storage unit that I rediscovered my old cards. Fifteen years and two kids later, I didn't really think much of the collection. I decided to sell. I did want to keep some, however, for the sake of my two boys. I had to choose which cards to save before I sold the rest of my collection.
Of the thousands of cards to choose from, I settled on a category of players I thought fitting to pass on to my kids: All-Decade Teams. There was plenty of reasoning behind the choice. It mostly has to do with my childhood, as do most things I'm trying to pass on to my kids. In 1994, the NFL celebrated 75 seasons, and part of that celebration included a large, coffee table style book.
I had that book, and I probably came pretty close to memorizing it. At the end of each decade, it had an illustration of all the guys who made up the All-Decade Team. That was my favorite part. I studied those pictures until I could recognize each and every face. So when it came time to choose which pieces of cardboard featuring my childhood heroes to keep, I decided to keep a collection of two cards of each player from the decades of my childhood: the 1980s and 1990s.
Allow me to introduce you the NFL's All-Decade Team, as shown on some of the cards of my collection, starting with the 80s.
Since this team is selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, I'm not going to analyze the picks here. Suffice it to say that I wonder where some people are (Hello, Tony Dorsett?) I'll save my commentary for times that I am the one doing the choosing.
And here is the team of the 90s.
So there you have the cards I selected to keep for myself, as a token to my children of the guys I grew up idolizing. The rest I was going to sell.
The only problem was that almost all of my cards were overproduced, mostly worthless 90s cards. So I bought a few Dutch auctions off eBay to sweeten the pot for potential buyers. And that was it. I was receiving cards from the nearly 15 years I spent away from the hobby, and I was hooked again. I stopped collecting before the days of memorabilia cards and autographs in every box. Now I was getting my first, and it was awesome! I started collecting again in 2012, inspired by old cardboard of some guys from my past, and I'm in again. I do sell at local card shows, but any all-decade player I come across goes to my PC, not my seller's table.