Monday, February 6, 2017

A Venerable Old Card Part 44

Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday.  It's the first Sunday since 1995 that I have not had an NFL team to call my own.  I have lost two different NFL teams during my lifetime, the Cardinals and the Rams, so I am just going to ignore professional football from this point forward.  I will keep track of a few players I watched at NC State or Mizzou, but other than that my Sundays are now free.

Which reminds me that congratulations in order to former NC State players Jacoby Brissett and Joe Thuney who both won Super Bowl rings last night in their rookie seasons.  Brissett is a back-up quarterback and made a start or two in place of Brady during his suspension.  Thuney was the guard much of the season.

While basketball is the sport of choice in these parts, it's still fun to watch the local football teams too.  This year I managed to make it to games at both NC State and Duke.  Both fun places to watch games.....

Duke has a smaller stadium, but you're close to the field.  When I first moved to North Carolina more than 10 years ago the Blue Devils were terrible.......

but have improved greatly over the last few years since hiring David Cutcliffe to coach the team.  While I was in grad school I had to do an internship in a local school district as a school administrator for the year.  We used to have administrator meetings at the district office, Duke Football would give out tickets at the meetings, not many people took the free tickets.  

I do a lot of posts about NC State, obvious favorite school of the blog.  They have my money, I have a degree.... Probably the best football atmosphere of the four ACC schools in North Carolina.  

Since I do NC State posts all the time, I am going to do a little post on Duke's football team.  Yes, it still has something to do with baseball cards....

For those unfamiliar with Duke's football program, their current coach is David Cutcliffe is excellent, but the best modern coach in the school's history is one Steve Spurrier.  He was always proud of his time at Duke and kept a helmet from his time there in his office....

on the top shelf, left-hand side, white helmet towards the middle.  One of the football's on the shelf is from his last game at Duke which was a 41-0 win over the dreaded Tar Heels.  I am not sure if that team had an NFL players on the roster, but they did have a future Major League outfielder on the roster.....

a defensive back who also returned kicks and punts.  

Quinton McCracken.  

He ended his Duke football career with 5 interceptions and 1 kick off return for a touchdown against Clemson in 1988.  I did not live here at the time McCracken played for the Blue Devils, there have also been some very lean years in their recent history, but many of the avid Duke football fans in my life remember him well.  

Beyond football, McCracken also played baseball for the Dukies and ended up being selected in the 1992 amateur draft by the Colorado Rockies.  He made his way through their system fairly quickly and made his first appearance at the very end of the 1995 season for a brief 3 games.  He went on to play two full seasons with the team before he moved on to the Devil Rays.

While many two sport stars are giving a lot of attention McCracken's football career seemed to generally fly under the radar.  Every once in awhile someone would bring it up, but it's not like he was Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, Brian Jordan, or Drew Henson.  One late 1990s baseball card broached the topic.....

While the 1997 Topps set is not necessarily one of their better base sets, this card is a pretty cool one for fans of the Duke football program.  Flip the card over to the back and.......

there is mention of his football career on the back of the card.  It also mentions that he was a double major and graduated from the prestigious school in 4 years.  I have no idea what his two Majors were while he was in school at Duke, but there are not really any cheapie degrees at that school. 


  1. I stopped caring about the NFL a handful of years ago. I don't regret it.

    1. The extra time on Sunday is nice! Especially during the cross over with baseball season.

  2. I'm not too much into football these days, in large part to the fact that where I currently live they don't televise most of the Bears games (and I'm not getting satellite just for that).
    According to the book "Baseball in New Haven", McCracken majored in Political Science and History:

    1. I'm not sure about their history program, but there poly sci college is highly regarded. Pretty impressive. Thanks for the link.