Kevin Ross, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Super Bowl Studs Week No. 5)

Name: Kevin Ross
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Position: Cornerback
Value of card: One broken arrowhead
Key 1991 stat: Four diseases caught from dirty stairwells
It's time for a studly Caption: "His lips sensually parted, Chiefs defensive back Kevin Ross stares thoughtfully into the distance and flexes every muscle in his body while relaxing on a sticky Arrowhead Stadium staircase and wearing only a satiny-soft pair of athletic shorts and a few splotches of chest hair Wednesday in Kansas City."


Michael Cofer, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Super Bowl Studs Week No. 4)

Name: Michael Cofer
Team: Detroit Lions
Position: Linebacker
Value of card: One of those sweat socks — just one
Let's break down Michael Cofer's workout, by the numbers:

15: Spandex stretches
50: Imaginary weight lifts
45: Sweat sock roll-downs
100: Flat top combings
250: Flexes for the camera
10: Continuous hours of standing like a weirdo


Ken O'Brien, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Super Bowl Studs Week No. 3)

Name: Ken O'Brien
Team: New York Jets
Position: Quarterback
Value of card: 3 pounds of monkey dung
Key 1990 stat: 10 balls
Green with envy: Ken O'Brien might look like a Ken doll, but he was so much more. He was drafted in the first round of the famed 1983 draft that produced such legendary quarterbacks as Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and John Elway. A Ken doll can't say that. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame after playing at agriculture powerhouse UC Davis. A Ken doll can't say that. He won the inaugural NFL Quarterback Challenge that measured the physical skills of some of football's best passers in ways that didn't matter in games. A Ken doll can't say that. And, as evidenced above, he had balls. A Ken doll definitely can't say that.


Reggie Barrett, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Super Bowl Studs Week No. 2)

Name: Reggie Barrett
Team: Detroit Lions
Position: Wide receiver
Value of card: 3 ounces of leftover dust on a vacuum filter
Key 1990 stat: 256 women with whom he shared sweat
Let's take a look at Reggie Barrett, by the numbers:

36: Ounces of sweat on his chest
72: Ounces of sweat wrung from his shorts
98: Ounces of sweat left on workout machines that his teammates would have to wipe up

100: Dumbbell curls in his first workout set
150: Dumbbell curls in his second workout set
1: Dumbbell in this photo

1: Weightlifting belt used during a strenuous workout
1: Photographer who acted as a spotter to help with his weightlifting
1: Photographer who nearly passed out from the smell of his weightlifting belt


Joe Jacoby, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Super Bowl Studs Week No. 1)

Name: Joe Jacoby
Team: Washington Redskins
Position: Offensive line
Value of card: That towel — that dirty, sweaty towel
Key 1990 stat: 221 women who blew up this card to poster size and hung it on their walls
Welcome to Super Bowl Studs Week: The biggest single game in American sports takes place this Sunday, so of course we're taking advantage of the massive media event with a series of cards highlighting some of the most sexually alluring men in football. What do the Super Bowl and these super studs have in common? Nothing, really, but we're The Bust, so we know you're not expecting much.
Didn't see you there: "Oh, hello, ladies. I was just checking out how many pounds of stud I am. Turns out, it's a big number. Like big things? Check out these guns — and the 467 rounds of ammunition around my midsection. Ever see a man rock both short-shorts and Spandex to such sexified results? Guess what, it gets even better. I have a third pair of tiny, tight shorts below the Spandex. Boom. I know you like what you see. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm a 10 on a scale. Boom."


Darryl Williams, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Shameful Sunday Portraits No. 43)

Name: Darryl Williams
Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Position: Safety
Value of card: Even trade for a cassette tape dubbed from a hip-hop station in the early 1990s
Key 1990 stat: 27 nightclubs entered wearing this outfit
Little-known facts about Darryl Williams:
  • He played for the short-lived Cincinnati Zebras.
  • He was a superhero who could shoot laser beams from his eyes.
  • He never walked; he floated.
  • He had a recurring role on "A Different World" as Jacques the "tough but sensitive jock."
  • He blinded himself by looking at his pants.



Mike Schmidt, 1988 Topps

Name: Mike Schmidt
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Third base
Value of card: Rhymes with "Schmidt"
Key 1987 stat: One all-star hair helmet
Can't beat a classic: Ahh, the 1988 Topps set. In addition to boasting top-notch photography and high standards of quality (*cough*), it's clear that the good people behind '88 Topps also had a creative side. Or maybe they were just color blind. Purple and green as the base colors for the Phillies? Why not? Pink and yellow for the Dodgers? Terrific! Green and orange for the Expos? Sounds great. Red and blue for the Angels? Absolu     oh, wait, that actually is correct. Carry on, then.

Card suggested by Tyler Kepner


Willie Wood, 1971 Topps (Football Friday No. 187)

Name: Willie Wood
Team: Green Bay Packers
Position: Safety and "all-star"
Value of card: 1 pound of wood
Key 1970 stat: 15 percent of sky missing behind him at all times
It's time for a man-vs.-cartoon version of The Matchup:

Round 1: Massive muscles (Winner: Tiny Yellow Mutated Topps Football Player Icon)
Round 2: Too manly for a face mask (Winner: Tie)
Round 3: Monochromatic uniform choice (Winner: Tiny Yellow Mutated Topps Football Player Icon)
Round 4: Shape of scrotum, upside down (Winner: Tiny Yellow Mutated Topps Football Player Icon)
Round 5: Catchy name (Winner: Tie)
Round 6: Ability to play football despite disfigured left arm (Winner: Tiny Yellow Mutated Topps Football Player Icon)
Round 7: Offseason gig as a "Speed Racer" villain (Winner: Tiny Yellow Mutated Topps Football Player Icon)

Score: Tiny Yellow Mutated Topps Football Player Icon 5, Willie Wood 0, Ties 2

Synopsis: Willie Wood might have been a tough "all star" football player, but he never stood a chance against a competitor who seems to be drawn to victory.


Ernie Camacho, 1986 Topps

Name: Ernie Camacho
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Wimpy-lookin' pitcher
Value of card: One soiled doll of Ernie from "Sesame Street"
Key 1985 stat: Not very many people came to watch the Tribe, apparently
Don't be intimidated, it's just a pop quiz: What's the most macho thing about Ernie Camacho?

A) That jacket's pretty bulky.
B) Those sleeves are long enough to reach out and strangle you.
C) His mustache only begins to hint at his masculinity.
D) His nose has to be really strong to hold up those glasses.
E) None of the above, or anything else for that matter.

Card submitted by Douglas Corti


Tony Pena, 1989 Donruss

Name: Tony Pena
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Catcher
Value of card: It's worth so little you have to throw a quarter in the garbage every time you look at it
Key 1988 stat: 20-20 vision (when wearing the world's biggest and thickest glasses)
Let's meet Tony Pena: This is Tony Pena, a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. He's a good guy and — oh my god, Tony, run! There's a giant red blob crawling on you! It's moving up your neck, trying to eat your face! Try to push it down! Try to pull it off! It's hideous, Tony, it's hideous! It's huge! It's a monstrosity! It has already consumed your neck and is making its way for your chin! Run, Tony, run! Oh, lord! Someone help him! Someone, please!


Pete LaCock, 1981 Topps

Name: Pete LaCock
Team: Kansas City Royals
Positions: First base, outfield
Value of card: One smile from LaCock
Key 1980 stat: 25 mesh nettings rested against
Here's Pete LaCock's online dating profile:

ScreenName: Pete_LaCock_Yes_That's_My_Real_Name
Age: 29
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 200 pounds of LaCock here
Hair color: Which layer?
Hairstyle: Mulletish
Facial hair: Mustache that tastes vaguely of hickory
Ethnicity: Californian
Marital status: Swinging freely
Want children? Yes. Who wouldn't want a little LaCock?
Smoke? You selling?
Drink? I've been known to pound a few
Best feature: Surname

Seeking: A beautiful Midwestern girl (or five)
Her body type: Scantily clad
Her ethnicity: Female
Her interests: Baseball, mustaches and wiener jokes

About me: Hello, ladies, I'm Pete LaCock. You might know me as that professional baseball player with the quasi-erotic name. No, not Rusty. There's nothing erotic about that guy. Anyway, I've been having a tough time since moving to Kansas City. It seems I'm spending more time in bed with a plate of delicious barbecue ribs than with the company of a woman, and I'd like to change that. So drop me a line      first we'll get to LaKnow each other, and then we'll get LaNasty. LaCock out!


Eduardo Rodriguez, 1979 Topps

Name: Eduardo Rodriguez
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: A piece of bratwurst, dropped on the sidewalk
Key 1978 stat: No hat worn for more than five minutes at a time
Real nice, Eduardo: Eduardo Rodriguez hated hats. Ballcaps, derbies, Stetsons      it didn't matter, he despised them all. Sure, he would wear a garbage bag for an undershirt, just as long as he didn't have to don a cap. When he was forced to wear a Brewers hat during games per league rules, he would take it off between pitches and, if the batter struck the ball, he would knock his hat off as though trying desperately to make a defensive play      even if the ball was fouled back into the stands. When umpires or coaches would try to make him keep his cap on, Rodriguez would take it off, point to his hair, say "My head's already warm enough, chief," and then shake his head back and forth, spraying everyone with sweat and loose follicles. It was truly a disgusting display.



Bruce Armstrong, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Shameful Sunday Portraits No. 42)

Name: Bruce Armstrong
Team: New England Patriots
Position: Tackle
Value of card: $1 if you can wrestle that earring away from Armstrong
Key 1990 stat: 2,716 hours spent playing "Street Fighter II"
It's time for The Caption, which may have run in a Boston-area newspaper circa 1991, maybe: "Bruce Armstrong, above, practices his best hadoken after playing 'Street Fighter II' for 11 straight hours and always picking Ken as his character and cheesing by only using the hadoken despite his friends telling him he was a cheater and he should pick a different player or, at least, use a different move, all while Armstrong should have been attending practice with the New England Patriots in Boston, Mass., on Thursday."


Pat Underwood, 1981 Topps

Name: Pat Underwood, as played by Ashton Kutcher
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Two ripped ticket stubs to "The Butterfly Effect"
Key 1980 stat: $22 million loss at the box office
Role of a lifetime: Fresh off his turn as Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Jobs in "Jobs," Ashton Kutcher was looking for a challenge. He found it in a script titled "A Tiger's Stripes" and in a character named Pat Underwood. Kutcher knew he had to dedicate himself fully to the movie and live inside the role, as if he were Underwood. He grew out his hair nearly an inch, gained 3 pounds and kind of learned how to throw a baseball. He was a perfect fit. The movie mainly focused on Underwood's off-the-field life, where he dated well-known women, faced a staggering amount of criticism in the media and dabbled in what could be considered the Twitter of its day, the push-button telephone. Yes, it was as if Kutcher were made for the role, all the way down to the character's vaguely sexually explicit name that would have worked as a poor punch line in "Dude, Where's My Car?"


Mark Clayton, 1988 Topps Mini Super Star (Football Friday No. 186)

Name: Mark Clayton
Team: Miami Dolphins
Position: Wide receiver
Value of card: Mark Clayton's 1988 salary, times 0
Key 1988 stat: Didn't usually come up this small in a game
Ten things about this card that are even smaller than its physical size:

10) Its quality
9) The number of children who wanted it in their collections
8) The amount of thought that went into it
7) The amount of useful information on it
6) The chances it wasn't thrown directly in the garbage
5) Its nostalgic value
4) Its aesthetic value
3) Its entertainment value
2) Its monetary value
1) Itty-bitty Mark Clayton, who's trying desperately to get off this piece of junk


Mickey Rivers, 1983 Texas Rangers Affiliated Foods

Name: Mickey Rivers
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Designated hitter
Value of card: One glass shard from a Mickey's bottle
Key 1982 stat: One double
It was only a kiss: Toward the end of his baseball career, Mickey Rivers developed some strange habits. He started showering in a bathing suit after games, he would give himself a pat on the butt after getting a hit and, perhaps strangest of all, after striking out, he would blow a kiss to the pitcher. As you might imagine, this didn't sit well with everyone. Having K'd Rivers twice in an August contest, Royals starter Gaylord Perry was none too pleased with Mickey's smooches. Thinking that the hitter was making fun of his given name, Gaylord proceeded to plunk Rivers in his third plate appearance, drilling him right in the ear hole. Perry was tossed from the game and Rivers, unable to continue, put on his best bathing suit and hit the showers.

Card submitted by Douglas Corti


Will Clark, 1991 Fleer Pro-Visions

Name: Will Clark
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: First base
Value of card: One insult
Key 1990 stat: One visit to the atmosphere of Mars, apparently
Not so thrilled: Will Clark must have had a beef with Fleer around 1990. How else could one explain this card? See, most of these Fleer Pro-Visions pointed to a strength in a player's game, like speed, power, or the ability to count. Instead, this one seems to insinuate that even a ball of rubber could break the Thrill's bat. Rude. It's not all bad, though. At least they gave him enough sense to pull his head away from the flying shards of wood.


Alex Rodriguez, 1998 Pinnacle Naturals

Name: Alex Rodriguez
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: One used syringe
Key 1997 stat: Had yet to piss off baseball fans everywhere
A handful of other things just as "natural" as A-Rod:
  • Crop circles
  • Spider-Man
  • Manti Te'o's college girlfriend
  • The jackalope
  • Pyramid schemes
  • Barry Bonds



Lenny Dykstra, 1994 Upper Deck

Name: Lenny Dykstra
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Outfield
Value of card: One used pair of orange short-shorts (men's, size XXL)
Key 1993 stat: Often distracted
Lenny Dykstra's train of thought at 2:15 p.m., June 22, 1993: "Now that's a great advertisement! I could just stand here and look at it all day. Wait, why is everyone screaming at me? Oh crap, the game started? Fly ball? Where? Oh hell, it's coming right at me!" (Looks up, crumples to the ground, catches ball) "Whew, caught it! Man, that was close. Why did they put such a distracting photo out here, anyway? Oh, hey, look! There are hot wings in it, too!"


Sean Gilbert, 1992 Pro Line Portraits (Shameful Sunday Portraits No. 41)

Name: Sean Gilbert
Team: Los Angeles Rams
Position: Defensive line
Value of card: Less than that roll of quarters stuffed into Sean's pants
Key 1992 stat: 25 cat-calls
Blue and gold get bold: There it is. Where? I think that's pretty clear, friend. It taunts you, and you know you'll see it in your dreams tonight. It seems dangerous, bursting forth from where it usually rests, posing a threat to personal safety. That Starter jacket can't hope to cover it up, stopping well short of doing anyone any good. And those tight, lustrous pants never stood a chance of containing it. Does Sean Gilbert even know what's happening down there? Or is his tiny little head concerned with other matters, like aligning himself perfectly with the colors of the wall behind him? It doesn't matter      all that matters is that what has been seen cannot be unseen. That dangling shoe lace is almost certain to trip him up soon. What's that? Wait, what were you looking at?


Levon Largusa, 1993 Topps Stadium Club

Name: Levon Largusa
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Six mismatched Legos
Key 1992 stat: 12 minutes spent in timeout
Disregard seeing this: Dear readers, ignore this card. Pretend you never saw it. Look away as soon as possible. You see, Levon Largusa wasn't a big-leaguer. He was a kid who sneaked onto the field in a mesh jersey and his dad's old cap during the Blue Jays' photo day. The Topps photographer got confused and took this photo, and somehow the card ended up in the set. But we're not worried about Topps being upset about the mistake getting revived; we're worried about little Levon's mother hollering at us again about running a photo of her boy. We're sorry, Mrs. Largusa. It won't happen again.

Card contributed by Douglas Corti


Dave Smith, 1972 Topps (Football Friday No. 185)

Name: Dave Smith
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Position: Wide receiver
Value of card: It's hair-raisingly low
Key 1972 stat: One severe stomachache during a photo shoot
Here's what Dave Smith stands for:

Determined look on face actually caused by constipation
Attempted the Soaring Mushroom® by sticking his finger in an electric socket
Veiny forearms are a bit unnerving
Electing to use red and green for the type on this card was a solid choice

Sleeves are elegantly rolled in at the cuff
Masculine jawline had the ladies and Terry Bradshaw swooning
Inside that 'fro resides a family of groundhogs
Team leader in 1971 in touchdown receptions and clogged drains
Hairstyle was an inspiration for years to come


Brian Wilson, 2011 Topps Heritage

Name: Brian Wilson
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Closer
Value of card: Price of a piece of taffy in 1962 (1 cent)
Key 2010 stat: 15 minutes of fame
Introducing ... the Backward Beard®: Many trademarked hairstyles have debuted on The Bust, but this is the first from the 2000s. In the esteemed tradition of The Hill of Hair®, The Greasy Earmuffs®, The SaberMullet®, The GreatScott®, The Soaring Mushroom® and The Ray-May May-Day®, Brian Wilson, always looking for a place in the spotlight, debuts his 'do. His inspiration? The beard he would later grow that would catapult him to fame from San Francisco to Hollywood and onto the national stage. Wilson managed to grow a beard not on his face, but atop his head, cascading upward instead of falling downward, and looking every bit the tangled mess of the beard that Wilson would later unleash on the world. Now that's how you 'do it.


Mike Colbern, 1981 Topps

Name: Mike Colbern
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Catcher
Value of card: See that grass in the back? Below it is mud. The value of this card is equal to the worth of the mud.
Key 1980 stat: 131 times wearing dirty "sox"
It's time to see what Mike Colbern stands for:

Mind was full of hope despite being left in a cow field by his teammates
Idealistic lad who didn't even mind wearing that uniform
Key to happiness: getting a photo taken in as awkward a pose as possible
Even a .259 career batting average couldn't make him frown

Candid photos like this one really let you see a professional athlete's humanity
Optimistic would be an understatement
Left arm probably hs never been in that position before
Bright smile, bright day, not-so-bright pose
Evidence of the power of positive thinking: He's happy to be shot by Topps
Rose-colored glasses were his eyewear of choice
Never met a glass he wouldn't drink from and still declare half-full


George Scott, 1977 Topps

Name: George Scott
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Position: First base
Value of card: One tooth filling (composite, not gold)
Key 1976 stat: One instance of signing his name with his left hand and with his eyes closed
The Legend of George Scott: George Scott was a heckofa baseball player at the plate and in the field. He hit for power and won Gold Gloves. But this burly man didn't hone his skills on a neighborhood diamond. He built up the muscles that supplied his power by wrestling grizzly bears, moose and, once, a 1,300-pound manatee with a mean streak. Scott sharpened his reflexes by chasing down foxes, snatching falcons from the air and catching flying fish in his teeth. He didn't take for granted the animals he hunted and killed. He honored their spirits but consuming every part of them, save for one tooth each. After the kill, he'd clean the tooth and attach it to a necklace he never took off, even during games. Over the years, Scott's skills on the diamond tapered off. A few scouts believed this could have been due, in part, to the 70-pound elephant tusk hanging from his neck.


Will Clark, 1996 Upper Deck

Name: Will Clark
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: First base
Value of card: Rust
Key 1995 stat: Zero autographs signed with the name "Nuschler"
A few outtakes from Will Clark's autograph session:
  • "Yes, Nancy, that is a bat in my pocket, and no, I'm not happy to see you."
  • "To Matthew. Thanks for suggesting I use my cup to steady the ball. It's effective and pleasurable!"
  • "Dear Bobby, no, I can't get you Juan Gonzalez's autograph. Jerk."
  • "Nolan, it's kind of weird that you're pushing all these kids out of the way. Just come down on the field, already."
  • "To Jenny: Yes, I'm aware my uniform vaguely resembles the American flag. Love it or leave it, lady."
  • "For Mikey      gotta go, this cop is bringing me my coffee. Later!"



Ricky Proehl, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Shameful Sunday Portraits No. 40)

Name: Ricky Proehl
Team: Phoenix Cardinals
Position: Wide receiver
Value of card: Three spikes from a cactus in the Arizona desert
Key 1990 stat: 18 inches of shirt tucked in
Let's take a look at Ricky Proehl, By the Numbers:

14: Inches of short-shorts
24: Inches of Spandex
34: Below-the-waist fashion choices that would have been wiser

48: Height of Michael Jordan's vertical leap
28: Height of a respectable vertical leap for a non-athlete
8: Height of Ricky Proehl's vertical leap

3: Wires it took to suspend Proehl for this card
4: Hours it took to get Proehl in the perfect position for this card
5: Pro Line executives who congratulated one another for this card
6: Collectors who still own this card


Rick Auerbach, 1982 Topps

Name: Rick Auerbach
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: Constant drizzle
Key 1981 stat: Neither related to nor as successful as Red Auerbach
Ten things hidden behind Rick Auerbach's sideburns of destiny:
10) The Space Needle
9) Gaylord Perry
8) Rick's boyish good looks
7) A baseball
6) A baseball glove
5) A baseball stadium
4) One gnarly crop of pimples
3) The world's most striking face tan line
2) The Great and Powerful Oz
1) A whole other set of sideburns


Mark Carrier, 1992 Skybox (Football Friday No. 184)

Name: Mark Carrier
Team: Chicago Bears
Position: Safety
Value of card: One rusty rivet
Key 1992 stat: Always wore gloves
10 strange things about this Mark Carrier card:

10) It was made, even though no one wanted it.
9) It was also made into a poster that no one wanted.
8) Mark Carrier's pants
7) Apparently, there is some sort of misty orange lake near the Sears Tower.
6) Apparently, Mark Carrier can stand atop said lake.
5) That plane is about to fall off that ship, but does Mark Carrier care? Nooooo.
4) Mark Carrier's gloves
3) Carrier appears to be lugging a spare jersey around with him, just in case.
2) He's got a towel tucked into his belt like some sort of helmet-carrying bartender.
1) There is clearly room for at least five more patches on that jacket. Get to work, Mark!


Mike Laga, 1987 Topps

Name: Mike Laga
Team: St. Louis Lovely Ladies Cardinals
Position: First base
Value of card: It's in the red
Key 1986 stat: One butt chin
A colorful rant: Folks, please put your hands together for the Topps photography and design departments. What we have here is another iconic example of the pre-Photoshop era, when men were men and jerseys were pink — or some such thing. Mike Laga, whose chiseled good looks and million-dollar butt chin make him ideal for the "mugshot" treatment, was traded from the Tigers to the Cardinals in 1986. Apparently, the photo above was either (A) taken during his Tigers days or (B) he was sporting his favorite Morey Boogie hat while striding around spring training shirtless and Topps figured they needed to make Laga appear more ballplayer than surfer dude. We'll take option A, and we'll note that the Topps designers did a pretty impressive job pasting on that red hat. But we have to ask: What in the name of Bob Gibson's gonads is going on with that pink jersey? Well, maybe the designers were infatuated with a certain team in a certain 8-bit Nintendo game called "Baseball Stars."


Bob Sykes, 1979 Topps

Name: Bob Sykes
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: $50      Syke!
Key 1978 stat: Didn't know how to pose for a photo
It's a rather awkward edition of The Caption: "Tigers pitcher Bob Sykes does a series of lunges in the dirt while wearing a winter jacket that doesn't fit him and chewing an entire can of Copenhagen that he stuffed into his mushroom-shaped head during spring training Friday in Lakeland, Fla."