A few months ago, I ventured into a thrift shop that was using Craigslist as its sole means of advertising. I think I was searching for comics first, but also saw that they had sports cards. When I got there one Saturday morning, I found this:
That, my friends, is the Dirty-Ass Binder. It was on a shelf along with several others like it, but its disgusting exterior was merely a facade for the treasures within. (Okay, "treasures" might be exaggerating a whole lot, but compared to the other binders filled with page upon page of bent 1990 Fleer football cards, the DAB was in a class of its own.)
I rolled up to the register and offered the proprietor, a portly individual of indeterminate Eastern European descent, five bucks for it, since that the price that was scrawled on the inside cover in permanent marker. He quickly angered, apparently not having been the one to write this price. We eventually settled on some other amount less than $10 after I won his trust asking him what he thought about the relegation battles then being fought in the fifth tier of the Croatian football league system. He also offered me a few comics from the junk pile, but how many issues of Star Brand does a guy really need? I rudely declined.
In any case, this binder has been sitting on the lower shelf of an end table since before Easter, and it's so filthy that not one child has moved it an inch. This is in a house where everything gets taken off the shelves once the 2-year-old wakes up at 6:15. Let's stop pussyfooting around and see what made this binder, dirty-ass or not, so special.
Incomplete Set of Coca-Cola Monsters of the Gridiron Cards
I remember these things coming out in 1994, probably through print advertising more than anything else, if memory serves me right. Basically, Coke invited a player from just about every team, hired a makeup artist to dress them up in spooky attire, and then photograph them for a card set. The entire set had 30 cards, including Jaguars and Panthers cards that were just drawings of the team mascots. The pages in my binder hold a little more than half of the set. The five shown below are my favorites.
Emmitt Smith "Lone Star Sheriff"
So stupid looking it actually works. Not tough at all, just sad. Maybe the crime rate is so low in his jurisdiction that he just sits around bored all day.
Marco Coleman "Cobra"
All the effort on this one went to face paint. (Clearly this was not the case for poor Emmitt.) The gloves fail, but the headpiece is pretty cool.
Chester McGlockton "Renegade Raider"
Less involved than most Raiders fans' costumes.
Ronnie Lott "The Rattler"
Upon closer look, I don't think there's an inch of actual Ronnie on this card. Looks more like a matte painting from head to toe.
Jesse Tuggle "Tarantula"
Excellent costume, scary as shit. If I saw this coming at me on the football field, I'd gladly lie down for an eight-yard loss just so it wouldn't have to touch me.
Stay tuned for more from the Dirty-Ass Binder.