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

(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.