2016 was the year of trading for me. I discovered Zistle, started this blog, and spent a lot of time trying to find some trading partners. These were my first card trades since I took my binder to school and traded at lunch in 8th grade. I find it more fun now. I think that's because I have a bigger pool of possible trading partners with more varied interests. Back in junior high, all my friends wanted my Emmitt Smiths, Jerry Rices, and Michael Jordans. I was the most serious card collector among them, and I took about anything. Looking back, I probably gave up a lot of value by trading off the superstars for cards that I found interesting.
My point about trading here is that most of the Internet gang collects mainly baseball. As a result, I was able to add hundreds of cards to my All-Star MVP and Rookie of the Year collections without even making it a focus. That's just what people had to send me, and I welcomed it all. I still will. But I've decided to focus on building one aspect of my collection this year. It's not a goal; I don't have any numbers or anything that I need to hit. It's just a focus, which is something that I've found I need in my hobby or I spend money indiscriminately and wonder where my budget went. My 2017 focus is my ex-BYU collection.
This has come about because of heightened interest from my boys. They hear Dad and Grandpa talk about all their memories of attending BYU games, players they've seen, memorable games, etc. and they want to know more about these players. I learned a lot of football history from collecting cards, so I would really like to use cards help tell the story. However, as I've looked at the former Cougars who have played in the NFL, I've realized that I don't have many cards. I've just never focused on acquiring players from BYU. I keep them when I come across them, but I've never really sought them out. My BYU collection totals 105 cards. In 2017, I plan to remedy that. My only collecting goal is to spend less money than I have the past two years. My focus when I buy cards will be to seek out former Cougars.
With that goal in mind, I hit ebay this month for cheap BYU cards. Here are the results, from several different purchases, setting me back less than $10 total.
Steve Young went on to have the most NFL success by far of any BYU alum. As a result, my BYU collection is very Steve Young-heavy, and I expect to add quite a few more. I got all of these cards for pennies apiece with free shipping. I've never really seen cards up with auctions starting at $.01 and free shipping. These cards all came from different sellers. I had to snatch them up.
I'm not going to lie; I know next to nothing about Leon White. He played for the undefeated '84 team, but was not even one of the top 3 defenders on the team. He is not mentioned much by all those who remember that season--I was too young--but he did make the NFL and spent a few years with the Bengals. I know of only 9 Leon White cards in existence, all between 1989 and 1991. I'm a third of the way there.
Austin Collie one of my favorite former Cougs. His pro career looked bright for a couple of years, until injuries hit. Suddenly a guy who never missed a game in college became the hard-luck poster boy for concussion protocol. Some of the hits he took were vicious, and they ended his career after 49 games in 5 years. Today, he's working with scientists studying brain injuries.
This ebay lot is a hodge-podge of guys who played in Provo.
A few random notes:
- Bart Oates started 3 Super Bowls at center: twice with New York and once with San Francisco. He came away as a winner in all three. I don't think any other BYU player owns 3 Super Bowl rings.
- I am lifelong Packers fan because of Ty Detmer. The Pack drafted Detmer in the 1992 draft, so I started paying attention to Green Bay. 1992 was the first year Brett Favre started for the Packers. I was hooked.
- The hideous uniform modeled by linebacker Rob Morris was universally disliked. The particular incarnation shown on the card is the home uniform. Opposing teams complained that the white "bib" was too confusing on the field. Thankfully, those jerseys only lasted two years. Morris was a first-round draft pick in 2000 who also won a ring, with the Colts. This is my first Morris card.
- Wide receiver Todd Watkins attended high school and played on the same team with quarterback Alex Smith and running back Reggie Bush. Must have been quite an offense.
- Speaking of Super Bowl rings, Kyle Van Noy has a chance to collect his first ring next week, as he currently plays for New England.