11.11.2010

Steve Tasker, 1993 Skybox Kelly's Heroes (Football Friday No. 60)

Name: Steve Tasker
Team: Buffalo Bills
Position: Special teams
Value of card: Shrapnel from a tank blast
Key 1992 stat: Zero trips to the dentist for Jim Kelly
Wow. Just wow: Skybox was known in the 1990s for some of the cheesiest gimmicks in the sports card business, but the Kelly's Heroes football subset in 1993 may have been the most blatant embrace of the nonsensical. We could talk about the 3 pounds of product in Kelly's hair, the yellow tinge to his teeth, the cartoon tank or the hyperbole — "Steve's a lunatic." — ascribed to the Bills quarterback, but none of these things compare to the back of the card:

That's right, Magic's Kingdom and Kelly's Heroes — each a groan-inducing pun in its own right — were combined on one card. Kelly has a tank; Magic gets a star, hearkening to his time on the "showtime" Los Angeles Lakers. Kelly's teeth are front and center; Magic gives collectors the thumbs-up. The writing on the card's back is as putrid as what's on the front. Magic all but admits he chose Elvis Patterson only because he watched him play more than other players. Who cares if he's not good, right? Which brings up the most important failure of the subset: Why in god's good name should football fans care what a basketball player thinks of the NFL? Nothing heroic, nothing magical for this thinking outside the Skybox.

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