Do You Remember Pete Harshnish?
Today I had planned on presenting a very keenly researched and well-written treatise on the perils of mid-level marketing on college campuses, taking into account current geographic boundaries, tariff restrictions, subway fares, and of course the introduction of glucose to an already helium-saturated environment. However, while searching my extensive private library for a pen with which I could twirl around in my hair and murmur "hmmm… how intriguing," the top shelf broke and I was quickly buried under hundreds of binders, filled with collectible sporting cards.
I was trapped under this bulky pile of baseball buffoonery for several hours, as I had foolishly given the maid, the butler, and the greens keeper the day off. As my screams echoed futilely through my cavernous mansion home, I passed the time by perusing page after page of bubblegum trading cardboard, an activity I had not partaken in since my formative years.
It sucked. Why did I buy so many photographs of middle-aged men waving their arms at flying balls? Wait, don't answer that, I just thought of Lowtax's "Crime Wave" update and don't want to spend Christmas in a jail cell. I mean, what was I thinking? And when I found out that I hadn't actually given any of my servants the day off, because I didn't even have any servants, or live in a mansion, for that matter… well, I felt even more foolish!
I really do have an extensive private library, though. But it's basically just a stack of "Choose Your Own Adventure" books.
Anyhow, I was in no mood to write a research paper. So I thought it'd be a good idea to merely scan in some of my baseball cards and make insightful comments about them, you know, like that Yablonski feller does, only not as good. Let's, shall we?
First up, some Stadium Club cards. Topps' Stadium Club produces only "premium" collector cards, made with only the most freshly murdered trees and coated generously with a highly flammable and toxic combination of lacquer and Capri Sun.
(from left to right) A) Bill Pulsipher played for an ill-fated expansion team called the "Corporate Sponsors." He's pictured here in his "Casual Friday" uniform. B) Oscar Azocar savors the feel of a hard, long stick of wood against his face. Nope, no gay here! C) "I HAVE COME FROM THE ALTERNATE FUTURE WHERE BILL & TED RULE THE WORLD WITH ROCK AND ROLL AND I AM HERE TO CATCH A FLY BALL OR PERHAPS A GROUNDER! DAMN I LOOK GOOD!"
Leaf's Studio line of cards featured glamour shots of baseball players, suitable for use in high school yearbooks or perhaps a memorial service.
A) Huh? What's the deal with this old-timer? The card claims that he's "Jimmie Reese, CH," but what the hell is a CH? Charbroiled Hitter? Cock Handler? I'm guessing the latter. B) Hey, it's one of the guys from those "House Party" movies! Kid? Play? Oh, it's just Sammy Sosa. Ooops. C) These two guys obviously don't require the services of a CH like Jimmie Reese, they've got each other covered. The card even identifies who catches! D) "YARR! SHIVER ME TIMBERS! THROW A FASTBALL, LANDLUBBER!" Sorry, Steve Lake, the "P" on your hat stands for Phillies, not Pirates.
When card collecting was big in the early 90's, a bunch of companies got really stupid and made cards for the most retarded things. Examples include senior league baseball cards (seriously, I have a set), Stadium Club: "Batman Returns," and… country music singers? Yes, it's true; they actually made cards for Eddie Rabbit and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. As for why I possess these, don't ask.
A) Hank Williams Jr.'s rookie card, I guess. Yes, I am ready for some football, Hank. Baby football, that is, and you're going to get spiked! B) Let's all laugh at the silly clown woman-man! C) Wayne Newton?! What are you doing here? And why are there third-degree burns on your face?
Finally, we come to one of the dumbest ideas in the history of sports collectibles: Pro Line Portraits. My guess is some gay photographer lisped something like this: "Let's take a bunch of those silly handsome big strong football players and dress them all up in cute little outfits, just like I did for the Sears catalog!" And this set of cards was the result.
A) See what I mean? An uncomfortable amount of these pictures are merely a sad excuse to see football players in an even more extreme homoerotic fashion. B) Wow! You pranced right over the goal post and scored an extra two men! Someone's fabulous! C) O.J. Simpson, before the… incident. I took the liberty of slightly editing the personal quote O.J. wrote on the back of his card, my changes are in bold:
"I thought as a murderer the most important thing was to be in good condition. Throughout my college and pro career, for the most part I thought I was the best conditioned homicidal maniac in the game. I learned early in life that it wasn't always the toughest kid who won the fights; quite often it was the guy who beat his wife to a bloody pulp. So I made it a point always to be in the best condition, and I think it may have accounted for my effectiveness in not getting convicted for multiple homicides."
"I hired you people to try to get a little track laid, not to jump around like a bunch of Kansas City faggots," says some guy in "Blazing Saddles." And it's true; Kansas City is the San Francisco of the Midwest. Not surprisingly, Lowtax's favorite team is the Kansas City Chiefs because he's from… Kansas, or Missouri, or wherever the hell, so I scanned in some pictures for him. I'm sure he'll "enjoy them" more than I ever could.
A) Coach Marty Schottenheimer is coming for your soul! RUN OR YOU'LL GO ZERO AND FIVE! B) No comment. C) A forty year old failed soccer player convulsing on the floor and trying on shoes. Is this part of some place kicker fetish I'm not aware of?
A) A guy in a red bow tie holding a football and a horse. Is he a player? Is he a farmer? What's the horse's opinion on the Electoral College? B) Troy Aikman climaxing all over his exercise machine. Charming! C) These two Russian people are merely laughing at all the gay Kansas City Chiefs in the pictures above. Unless the kid is Hank Williams Jr. or something? Help?
Once all the Pro Line player portraits were taken, somebody in the NFL's marketing department must have gotten a hold of some copies and said: "Dear God, this is the gayest thing I've ever seen!" And by "gayest" he didn't mean "retarded," he meant "abundant in homosexual innuendo." So to counteract all the gaydom, he ordered that pictures of some players' wives be included to balance things out. Actually, there are only a dozen or so wifey pics, which undoubtedly means that the aforementioned gay photographer got "tackled" a lot. Unfortunately, too many hits to the head caused a good majority of the players that stayed straight to marry dumpy broads. The quotes on the back of these cards are hilarious, but the best part is that they all list their positions as "wife" in place of "running back" or "missionary" or "sleeping with another man while hubby is off playing some childish little game," which would be more accurate.
A) Joe Montana's wife shows off her ass, because she's probably flat-chested and ashamed of her lack of mammary glands. Or maybe she just likes to hump walls. B) Oh look, Barbra Streisand! Stupid bitch, thinking she can sing and… oh, my mistake, it's Janet Elway, John Elway's wife. I don't like you either! C) Just for good measure, here's a pic of a man with moss growing on his chest.
As my professor in journalism school always said, "When lacking for stories, scan in football cards and make fun of them." Wait a minute, I never went to journalism school, I don't live in a mansion, and here I am with a binder full of bare-chested football players on my lap. I sure am confused!
(note to all you ladies: just kidding, I'm sure I'm straight)
(note to all you ladies again: yes, I'm aware that you couldn't care less and that I'm desperate and you hate me, so go piss up your respective tampons)
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
For fans of meaningless awards, these awards are extra meaningless.
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