Retro Football Cards — Super Bowl XLVI edition (Manning/Gronkowski)

Eli Manning retro football card - 1956 Topps

(For all my retro cards, click here.)

OK, now that we’re through the farce that is the Pro Bowl, it’s almost zero hour for the 2011 NFL season. So I thought it only proper to bust out a pair of Super Bowl-related retro cards. Up first is New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, as grafted onto a 1956 Topps card.

Eli Manning retro football card - 1956 Topps

And for the AFC’s New England Patriots it’s Pro Bowl tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, on a 1984 Topps.

Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski, on a 1984 Topps.

Of the two, the Manning was the easier to produce. I used a ’56 Charley Conerly card. Conerly was the QB of the Giants during the 1956 championship season, which is why I went with it. The stroke/halo effect is present on that ’56 set so I reproduced it as close as I could. Like with the Drew Brees card, I had a hard time finding a good helmetless pic so I just went with a regular shot.

The Gronkowski was a little trickier. I was going to go with a 1963 Fleer as the template, as that was the only year the Boston Patriots even made the AFL postseason. But it’s not a particularly inspiring layout to work with, so I went back to the ’84 Topps set. It’s probably the one I collected more than any other as a kid, and is still one of my favorites.

The trick was to find a usable picture of Gronkowski wearing the Pats throwback uniform. I then grafted it onto a John Hannah card, as it already had the additional Pro Bowl graphic on it. All I had to do was replace the name and the position text.