For the seventh straight year, Topps offered a 528-card set of football players. Once again, the company recycled design elements from a previous set. This time, however, the incorporation of those isn't as obvious and actually gives the cards a nice touch.
Card fronts feature player photos that are mainly sideline shots, with airbrushing used to eliminate any team logos that might appear. A two-colored border frames the picture. At one of the corners is a football that contains the player's position. A ribbon (similar to the one used in 1973, but not running down to the bottom of the card) appears to run behind the football. The player's name and team appear in the other upper corner. The backs return to a vertical format, beginning with a yellow box containing vital stats. A football-shaped icon contains the card number, with the player's name in a purple strip that extends outward from it. The player's position appears below his name. Year-by-year statistics appear for most players, with a biography that fits the empty space. At the bottom is a cartoon about the player.
Members of the previous year's All-Pro squad are given credit for the honor inside the football-shaped icon on the card front. The ball is gold instead of brown and the player's conference noted as well. Each team has a checklist card that features its 1978 leaders in two offensive and defensive categories. Those cards (like the regular checklist cards) are scattered throughout the set. Cards #1-6 feature 1978's leaders in various categories by conference. Cards #166-168 recap the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, while #331-336 showcase highlights of the 1978 NFL season.
Earl Campbell appears on three different cards, which would end up being the only cards ever issued of him during his playing career. James Lofton, Steve DeBerg, Doug Williams and Ozzie Newsome are also featured for the first time. An odd rookie instance also appears on the Steelers' Team Leaders/Checklist card. Tony Dungy is credited as the team's 1978 interception leader. It would be his only appearance on a Topps card during his playing days.
Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.
I love 70’s football cards and this is my favorite set from that era.
Beautiful old set, I bought a partial set minus a couple cards on Ebay and put the rest together, was a great deal BUT that’s not the point. I didn’t start watching football till the late 80’s so the legends in this set like Payton, Bradshaw, Campbell, Staubach, Dorsett, Harris and a lot more all retired long before I saw them take a snap. The design I noticed gets blah reviews as reused or bland but its a nice basic design IMO. Plus it is an affordable set that allows collectors on a budget to own a set from an era when defense won championships, running the ball was critical and the pass happy, flag happy game of today would have been pounded into dust.