Sunday, September 12, 2010

Portland Sends First Chop to Northern Rival ...

While this post may have less to do with cards than soccer, when something is cool, it is worth posting. Firstly, I have to ask what is not to like about a team that has a weapon in its logo ?

I've had enough of cute, furry creatures, Disney-made animatrinic mascots and stupid fantasy photoshop emblems that have plagued American sports teams. The saving grace of traditional soccer clubs is that they fought for every square foot of territory in which they play - Arsenal F.C. with a cannon, Sheffield United with crossed swords and Portland Timbers with an axe !

What makes Portland Timbers even more intimidating is that they had the balls to go up to Seattle and post this billboard right near Qwest Field (see sports complex to the right).
Seattle were dubbed "soccer city" by MLS Commissioner Garber as they have over 36,000 season ticket holders and draw over 60,000 for some matches.

You see, Portland will be joining MLS next year from the 2nd division, just like the Seattle Sounders did a few years ago. and now the rivalry they had in the USL gets more intense.

The Portland faithful are chomping (or should I say chopping) at the bit as seen here on youtube.

All this just makes me laugh at the idiots who think soccer is the sport of the future ... its already here bub. You might just want to come out of the cave ... soccer moms need not apply.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Super 70's Seen Through the 1978-79 FKS cards

The English FKS footballers sets of the 1970's are making a nostalgic comeback. Not only do they feature different cards of super star players like George Best and Kevin Keegan (below)

but up and coming players like Peter Shilton (below)
and Glenn Hoddle, who would star well into the 1990's.

A good portion of the cards depict the players coming out of the stadium tunnels. Others are in action while the remainer are posed or portraits. The Hoddle and Shilton photos were taken as visitors to Tottenham's White Hart Lane - noticable by the club banner above the tunnel.
One sign of the times is the lack of modern goal keeping gloves - and as in the case of Ray Cashley - poor technique (think Robert Green - vs. the USA or worse - Sylvester Stallone in the movie VICTORY).

Ipswich's Gary Pierce looks to don a pair of gardening gloves while sporting the UMBRO track warm-ups.

Leeds Utd. keeper Graham Moseley wears some funkadelic mits as a "Bobby" policeman watches from behind.
Derby County's Charlie George (below) has a stiff lipped "Bobby" guarding the exit as well.
David McNiven (below) sports the 70's popular track suit by ADMIRAL as a "Bobby" in rain gear watches ...
Leeds Utd. star Allan Clarke wears more ADMIRAL stuff ...
Luton Town's Pasquale Fuccillo, soon to be with the TULSA ROUGHNECKS, wears an orange version ...
as would another future ROUGHNECK - Manchester Utd. Chris McGrath (with huge ADMIRAL logo)
while Q.P.R.'s Eddie Kelly models the defunct GOLA zip up track top.
A close up of the ADMIRAL kit worn by Crystal Palace's Peter Taylor - the last 3rd division player to be picked for the ENGLAND team.
Here Steve Finnieston is seen in a rare CHELSEA all red away kit - with green socks!.
Some of the photos were stock pictures from previous years as Sunderland's Gary Rowell show him with the embroidered 2nd Division Champions on the shirt. They won that in the 1975-76 season.
One of the most significant revelations is the addition of Black players. While this is common place in today's leagues, it was unusual back then.
Two stars that emerge from this set - W.B.A.'s Laurie Cunningham (later transferred to Real Madrid) ...
and Viv Anderson, a key fixture in the rise of Nottingham Forest and England in the immediate years.
The set includes other emerging stars like Birmingham's Tevor Francis (seen in the bright away yellow kit), who would soon appear with the DETROIT EXPRESS, join Nottingham Forest as the very first $ One Million Dollar soccer player.
The 1978-79 FKS set is 400 small sized cards that were meant to be pasted into an album. In addition to the player cards, there were also Team groups like Arsenal (below).
These cards are still very affordable, but hard to find in unused or mint condition.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Star Wars Fight Against Cancer ...

Sometimes the universe calls for spending time doing other things that card collecting. But not in a galaxy too far away from cards ...
I was honored when I was asked to contribute my artwork for The Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation.
The sketch card art will be featured at the Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo beginning on September 10, 2010. The cards are licensed by LUCAS FILM and carry the sponorship information on the reverse (above)
I was only able to do 5 sketches (Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Boba Fett and Obi Wan) as I was pressed for the deadline. I hope they are appreciated by collectors, but more importantly, giving to a good cause - children's cancer.

you can find out more about the artists and the Chicagoland Entertainment Collector's Expo here.