Thursday, September 26, 2019

1971 NFL Rookies of the Year

In 1971 there were a total of  5 different Rookie of the year presenters each giving out 2 awards each. Some were divided among offensive and defensive, others AFC or NFC. But for the most Part they were in agreement and the 10 awards were split between 3 players; John Brockington, Jim Plunkett and Isiah Robertson. None of these players had Topps cards in 1971. All three made their Topps debut the following year.

John Brockington won 4 different Rookie of the year honors. He was named NFC ROY by The Sporting News (TSN), United Press International (UPI) and the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA).  He was also named Offensive ROY by the Associated Press (AP). Brockington was the Packers 1st round pick from Ohio State. He was a 3 time Pro Bowler.

Jim Plunkett also collected 4 Rookie of the Year awards. He was the AFC Rookie of the Year per TSN, UPI and NEA. He was crowned Offensive ROY by Pro Football Weekly (PFW). Plunket was the overall #1 pick in the 1971 Draft. He was the 1970 Heisman Award winner for Stanford beating out Joe Theisman and Archie Manning. He led the Raiders to 2 Super Bowl victories despite being the back up quarterback both seasons.  I made this card several years ago for Jim from Downingtown's 1971 Football Cards blog.

Isiah Robertson was named Defensive ROY by both PFW and AP. Robertson was the Rams 1st round pick in 1971 out of Southern University. He was a six time Pro Bowler for the Rams. He was traded to the Bills in 1978 and was among the highest paid linebackers at the time.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

1970 NFL Rookies of the Year

Another crazy-busy summer.  I just haven't found the time to post.  I am working on getting a few more baseball sets based on rejected Topps designs and will be posting them soon. In the meantime, here are a few more football Rookies of the Year card that never were.  We're already into the 3rd week of the season, so lets get into the '70s.

1970 was the first year of the newly merged NFL. The Steelers, Browns and Colts moved to the AFC. Other than that the conferences maintained the "old" NFL teams in the NFC and the AFL teams in the AFC. The breakdown of the divisions was difficult, too. Because there was no consensus among owners, the top five plans were thrown into a hat and the winner was drawn by Pete Rozelle's secretary.

There were also still 5 different presenters for the Rookie of the year. You'd think combining the league would reduce the awards. Instead, TSN and UPI began giving ROY awards to AFC and NFC. AP and PFW still gave out separate offensive and defense ROY's. NEA still gave out only one overall ROY award.

The breakdown went like this: the NEA gave its sole award to Raymond Chester, TE Raiders. AP and PFW agreed on the offensive ROY Dennis Shaw QB Bills. They also agreed defensively. Bruce Taylor CB 49ers was their choice. Oddly these were the same picks for TSN and UPI. Shaw was their AFC pick and Taylor was the NFC ROY.

Dennis Shaw and Bruce Taylor made their Topps debut in the 1971 set. Raymond Chester waited until the 1972 set for his rookie card.