Got a note the other day from Robert Harvell, the auction director at GUU Auctions. “Over the years I’ve collected vintage football photos, circa 1950-1970, from every corner of the net (and from mags, DVDs, newspaper clippings, etc.),” he wrote. “All told, these photos currently total around 80,000-100,000 and reside on my hard drive. I’ve decided to start sharing them with my fellow enthusiasts.” Today will be the first of several installments examining some of Robert’s images.
• I’ve never seen a football player wear a belt like this one.
• How great would it be to have a copy of this Rams publication?
• You’ll never find a better view of the gold stripe that used to be on the Falcons’ helmets.
• And here’s a similarly fine view of the Cowboys’ bicentennial stripe.
• Always fun to see the NFL’s 50th-anniversary patch.
• Some very primitive facemask repair appears to have been done here. Is that duct tape or what?
• Has anyone ever chronicled (or noticed) how often a first initial is followed by a period vs. how often the initial just sits all by its lonesome?
• Painting the Little Brown Jug! Awesome photo.
• This shot is from a Giants/Bears game at the Polo Grounds, 12/6/25. That’s Red Grange with the ball. Naturally, I’m more interested in the bowtie-clad ref.
• Look closely at this sideline shot of the Giants and you’ll see that their jacket clearly featured a baseball-style interlocking NY logo.
• Whoa — Jim Brown was some physical specimen. That’s from his rookie season of 1957.
• White football! That’s Otto Graham playing in an AAFC night game, circa 1955.
• What’s going on here? The caption tells the interesting tale: “10/19/56 — Members of the Cleveland Browns football team demonstrate the use of the high frequency radio and the electronic helmet. Yesterday National Football League Commissioner Bert Bell pulled the fuse and banned all wireless communication devices for the rest of the season. Head coach Paul Brown gives a play to OB Ratterman via the high frequency radio. Ratterman has a receiver built into his helmet.”
• Three Steelers, three different outerwear styles.
• Here’s something I’d never seen before: wooden folding chairs on the sideline!
• Remember when coin tosses didn’t look like crowded conventions?
• Finally, what’s that decal on Mark Herrman’s helmet? I asked Robert, but he didn’t know. So I showed the photo to Helmet Hut honcho Curtis Worrell and he didn’t know. So he showed it to former Purdue player Bart Burrell, who said: “It’s for the Hammer Club. A motivational sticker that was awarded by the coaches. I forget what the criteria were but we all wanted one.”
That’s enough for this round. More of Robert’s stuff will be coming soon.
Punkin’s Collector’s Corner: Remember Punkin, Brinke Guthrie’s cat? Well she’s out of a job, just like everyone else in America. Blame it on cat allergies and a rambunctious nature. So Punkin’s Corner, which debuted earlier this week, is now Collector’s Corner, and the photo you see at left is of the young Brinkester himself, back when he was a wee lad. Not quite as cute as Punkin, but he’ll do.
Before we get to Brinke’s latest round of eBay auctions, one follow-up from last time: He had mentioned that he didn’t know how these NFL mini-records were played. That prompted several readers to refer to this mini-record player, which was designed to play Matell’s mini-records. Jeff Katz still has his, in its original box — with the receipt!
Now then, here’s Brinke with his latest round of eBay picks.
By Brinke Guthrie
Remember the time before the Internet? You couldn’t just get NFL news with a click. You had to buy your info at a newsstand, where you could find things like Prolog, an NFL-published annual. Look at the price on that thing!
In other finds:
• I think they were off on the scale of the Jets logo. Just a bit.
*Love the Carolina Cougars logo. Me, I was a Colonels guy, and then the Chaps once we moved to Dallas.
• Love the facemask on this book cover. The Flower Power stickers just top it off.
• This card is great if for no other reason than the jersey stripes. And it’s marked down by $1.12!
• I love this lunchbox version of the NFL helmets.
• Whoa, Nellie — a complete MLB Slurpee cup helmet collection!
• Here’s something you don’t often see: unused gumball helmet decals.
• Or, even better, a complete make-your-own-gumball kit! Check out the “CB” Browns logo and the odd diagonal Chargers logo.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Phillies are memorializing Robin Roberts by hanging his jersey in the dugout. They’ll also be adding a jersey patch with Roberts’s uni number, although they didn’t have that in time for yesterday afternoon’s game. … Really interesting article about the design team hired to rebrand Fox Sports. Additional images here (with thanks to Marc Swanson). … Lots of chatter about the Redskins possibly moving toward gold pants, which would be a-ok with me. … Interesting story about high-tech F1 pit crew vests here (with thanks to BJ Lanier). … Anyone know why Mikael Samuelsson wears clear tape on his gloves, and/or if any other NHLers do likewise? (As spotted by Kent Foster.) … New field surface for the Ravens. “The video on that page shows how they cut out the numbers and sew them into the field and how they put the sand/rubber in,” writes William Yurasko. “While it is interesting, we’re still talking about artificial turf. Now this is a football field.” … Lebron James is apparently already wearing No. 6 in practices (as reported by Parker Ferguson). … Latest military tribute: Georgia Tech will be wearing camo caps tonight (with thanks to Mike Rich). … Nicole Haase notes that the LSU softball team’s catcher has a very odd wristband. Looks like a football play-calling sleeve, no? Anyone know more about it? … The stirrup-to-sani ratio on these UNC-Pembroke players is perfect — perfect — except that No. 12 is wearing his backwards, grrrrr (with thanks to Nick Phillips). … Here’s a great shot of Ken Harrelson’s nickNOB and the beak that inspired it. That “W” looks more like an upside-down “M,” no? (Big thanks to Warren Humphrey..) … Someone on the Chris Creamer board posted two old newspaper items about the Cowboys’ blue jersey hex. Look here and here. The jersey redesign mentioned in the second article resulted in their blue uni changing from this to this. … Also from the Creamer board: I don’t think I’d ever seen a photo (as opposed to an illo) of the A’s 1999 TATC uniform until now. They also posted two Angels TATC shots (here’s the other one) that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve added these to my 1999 TATC set.