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A new found love…

November 8, 2011

Continuing the back story of why a born and bred Aussie is blogging about U.S. Sports trading cards…

So not too long after High School I joined the working masses. My first job, which I must admit wasn’t anything I particularly aimed for, was in the automotive sector. I’d always been interested in cars, had built up a decent working knowledge of car componentry after helping my Dad many a time work on the family car, so working in the car industry made sense. As it turns out this is the industry I’ve worked in for the last 27 years, all be it now in a totally different role to that which I started in.

Now that I had an income, the collecting bug was back and a new interest  started with me – collecting and growing Cacti. But something else had also caught my eye.

About this time one of the local TV stations had begun broadcasting late at night what we call Gridiron (as calling it football causes massive confusion down here) and I was hooked. There was just something about the game that appealed to me, where two sides battled along a trench line for control of the field. Unlike our local code, or the soccer I played as a kid, there was a bigger part played by structure and strategy, and yet there was still the chance for a true star to put on a show. For me, that show came in the form of a Yellow and Blue jersey bearing the number 29. On seeing Eric Dickerson blow away the Cowboys in the 1985 playoffs I became then and there a Rams fan, and have continued to be through thick and thin to this day.

So I watched the games, read books, subscribed to Football Digest and Rampage magazines. I learned about the greats of the game, the legends and the busts, and over time the rules and 100’s of player names wrote themselves into my subconscious. I was well and truly hooked on the NFL !

Come 1990 and like all young people of that age, I felt the need to see more of the world, and with so many interests seemingly based over in the United States, a trip there seemed obvious. So I saved and studied, and managed to get leave to do a near 10 week circumnavigation of the US in a rental car. It was the trip of a lifetime, and of course the opportunity to do a great many things NFL related. I toured  Rams Stadium (then in Anahiem), spent way too much in the gift shop, but unfortunately couldn’t get to see a home game.

However as luck would have it I was in Chicago when the Rams were visiting, so maybe there was a chance I could see them play. I asked the hotel desk what the chances were of getting tickets, Unlikely I was told,  they’d sold out ages ago. But I wandered down to Soldier Field anyway. Wasn’t having much joy getting a ticket as many scalpers wouldn’t split pairs, but luck was with me when I ran into a couple whose friend had cancelled and they had a free ticket. I gladly paid the ticket price and the very little on top they were asking and I was in! To my amazement the seats were absolutely fantastic, front row, 40 yard line….albeit behind the wrong bench ! But it was a dream come true and here I was at my first ever NFL game…

There were a lot of great memories on that trip, but that Chicago stay was something else. To this day I still count Chicago as my favorite US city, it reminded me of my hometown of Melbourne, Australia and my visit there, and what happened during it, were high points of the trip.

But there was something else I’d found on the trip. On nearly every counter of every service station were these packets or cards, emblazened with the NFL logo and called “Pro Set”.

Of course, I had to buy some, just to have a look…and you can guess where that led…

To be continued…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Stormy permalink
    October 19, 2012 7:18 pm

    When are you going to finish your ‘story’?

    • ausram66 permalink
      October 19, 2012 7:45 pm

      When they start making 4 day weekends !! 😉

      Suppose I should liven this thing up again !

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