September 23, 2011
Remember these: 1989 Pro Set Announcers
Remember Pro Set? They flooded the market with billions of football cards in the late 1980s and early 1990s, making it possible for you to own rookie cards of Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders for pocket change.
Many of the company's ventures didn't work, including Guinness World Records cards and a Santa Claus insert. Eventually Pro Set filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and that was it for the inexpensive football cards.
But within the failures came one of the greatest - and unintentionally funny - sets of the current collecting era, 1989 Pro Set Announcers.
The orange-bordered cards appeared in football packs, bringing cardboard glory to some of the game's greatest voices:
Dick Enberg, looking dapper with an aquamarine pocket square
Bob Costas, getting ready to wax poetic about something
Dick Stockton, once married to Leslie Visser
Chris Berman, before Nutrisystem, Applebee's and male pattern baldness came calling
Jack Buck, broadcasting legend
John Saunders, ESPN
Verne Lundquist - preparing for his greatest glory, a featured role in the Adam Sandler film "Happy Gilmore"
Steve Sabol, the NFL films guy
Al Michaels, "Do you believe in moppy hair? YES!"
1989 Pro Set Announcers would be legendary if it featured another dozen cards of broadcast school grads. What makes it world-class is the set's inclusion of players-turned-broadcasters with dubious on-air careers.
Joe "I wanna kiss you" Namath
Tom "TJ" Jackson, who deserves humanitarian awards for enduring Chris Berman's screaming for all these years
Frank Gifford, who's married to Kathy Lee, the brightest star on NBC's Today Show (during the fourth hour, not named Hoda)
Terry Bradshaw, who once bared his butt in a Sarah Jessica Parker-Matthew McConaughey movie
Ahmad Rashad, whose ex-wife Phylicia starred as Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show"
And O.J. Simpson, famous for a nationally-broadcast drive in a White Bronco, among other things
You can find the set online for less than $5.