The Daily Helmet: 1985 Topps Football

One of my favorite card sets is the 1985 Topps football set. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of cards of this set leftover from my youth. One reason is because it was just prior to me really getting into football. I was interested, but I don’t recall being obsessed like I was the next year in 1986 when I turned seven. That year I was all about the Bills and the Raiders. I received a complete set of Raiders gear and Marcus Allen was my hero. Because of that the few packs that my mom bought me are pretty much long gone with the exception a few cards which are well, not exactly in mint condition. This was a particularly hard set to keep mint with the black border. It may be surprising that I would consider this my favorite set given the fact that the cards do not have any logos or helmet artwork. They are very simple and plain, with the black border, player name and team name. There is just something about this year that hits my nostalgic sweet spot and i really like it. I also have a soft spot for the 1987 set just because this was peak football fandom as a kid. Never again would my fandom be so innocent or novel. it was a time period where I attended my first NFL game, got to stay up late to watch Monday Night Football for the first time and long before my teams became perennial losers with little to no hope of success for decades at a time.

I have to say, Topps was not my favorite card brand with their lack of action shots and too many helmetless shots on the cards, but again there is just something about this set. I just wish I had more. Here are the few I have:

Lionel James. I love this card. That era of Chargers uniforms looked great. It was the final year of yellow pants, which were my favorite part.

I also apparently have this Tony Dorsett. This card is in rough shape. What the hell did I do to this card? Use it as a plate?

Here are the rest of the 1985 cards I had:

This set contained some great cards, like the Warren Moon rookie. Moon, who started his pro career in CFL was a rising star and his card looked great with the Oilers helmet front and center. I need to get this card.

Not my card.

John Elway couldn’t be bothered to wear his helmet on his card, but there is a great shot of his Broncos 25th Anniversary patch.

Also Not my card.

Looking on ebay, it looks like you can have a complete set for around $50-$60 bucks. What I really want is to get some unopened wax packs. A whole box of those will set you back a little more though. I love these cards, but i don’t see many scenarios where I’d be willing to spend $400 on a set of cards. There are plenty of these grocery packs, though!

Some other cards I like from this set.

Joe Theismann. What a great shot of his famous single bar helmet:

Don’t have this one either.

Marino’s early mask always looked so huge.

My favorite card of the entire set has to be of the QB of my Buffalo Bills. While 1984 was the first of the two worst combined seasons in Bills history, I love those teams uniforms, especially the white jerseys, blue pants and blue masks. Joe Ferguson looks so cool in this shot. Just standing in the tunnel, leaning on a wall. It does appear he forgot his shoulder pads, though.

Need this card.

I was also excited to get this faux 1985 Bo jackson Card. I have no idea what it is from, but it uses the 1985 template, just not horizontal like the real cards. . Obviously, Bo was still at Auburn in 1984 and 1985, so not really from that set.

I will be hitting a card show this weekend, hopefully I will find some good stuff. I will report on my loot next week!