After a decade of 528-card football sets, Topps cut back its set size to 396 cards in 1983. For team collectors, this consolidation meant that fewer players beyond the major impact players would get cards. At the same time, Topps began moving away from its more generic football designs featuring pennants and banners and tried coming up with more modern concepts for the 1980s.
As always, a player photo dominates the front of each base card. The team name is presented above the picture in transparent block letters. Below is a solid-colored box than contains the player's name and position. A solid-colored line frames the picture and a white border surrounds the card. Backs are printed on a red background that contains an image of a football helmet with the player's team logo on it. A box at the top includes the player's name and vital stats. A black football-shaped icon contains the card number. A year-by-year statistical review follows for most players, as well as a written biography. For most players, a small box to the left contains some additional personal data about the player.
The set is broken into teams, with each team being arranged alphabetically by its city and each player by his last name. Each team's series begins with a card naming the team leaders in several categories, but only picturing one of them. Three checklist cards appear at the end of the set, as cards #394-396. Cards #1-9 feature highlights of the 1982 season, cards #10-12 recap the conference championships and the Super Bowl, and cards #202-207 feature statistical leaders in each conference.
Despite cutting its set size to 396 cards, Topps continued to use four printing sheets for the set. As a result, 132 cards in the set were double-printed. Key rookies include Marcus Allen, Mike Singletary, Jim McMahon, Todd Christenson and kicker Gary Anderson.
Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.
love the vintage sets explanations and descriptions, also includes the big cards in the set.
No Joe Jacoby RC #190? Joe Jacoby is highly regarded as one of the greatest OT in NFL history. Jacoby was a member of the vaunted “Hogs” offensive line that won 3 Super Bowls together. Hugely underrated & more than deserving of election to the NFL Hall of Fame period.
Ugly design and not too much in the Rookie department. Photography is average at best. Could have done much better.