Therefore, I grew to despise all the Dolphins players past and present. I still kind of do, but I've mellowed out a lot on that stance over the years. I've got bigger fish to fry these days (pun intended). I spend a lot more of my time hating the Jets and Patriots. On top of that, the Dolphins and Bills have spent the greater part of this century stinking up the joint.
I also don't have to worry about the punks in high school giving me a hard time.
One Dolphin from the team's golden era of the 1970's that I have a lot of respect for is Larry Csonka. Hall of Famer, MVP of Super Bowl VIII, and one of the toughest S.O.B.'s to ever put on shoulder pads. One thing I learned from watching all those beloved NFL Films productions over the years was that Csonka was always breaking his nose, among other things. Also, he was always caked in the muddy remains of the Orange Bowl's turf. And sometimes, his football pants were splattered with blood -- his own or that of some unfortunate defensive back.
With that imagery in mind, I absolutely had to add this card to my football collection when I came across it last weekend at the card show:
|1974 Topps, #131|
Does this not look like a man who gave 110% every Sunday from September to January? This photograph captures every ounce of mystique that surrounds Csonka's football career. It's borderline mythological! I can almost hear the voice of John Facenda: The bruised and battered warrior pauses a moment in the unrelenting Florida sun to collect his thoughts before he takes up the battle once again.
Or something like that.
The back of the card, by the way, features a cute little cartoon that informs us that Csonka was born on Christmas Day.
In Part 3, I'll share a card featuring a sack master of the highest order, and one of a player who spent most of his career running for his life.