Friday, January 3, 2014

On Schedule(s): 1980-85 Los Angeles Rams

You may not have an interest in collecting examples of every sports schedule ever printed (a true fool's errand, indeed), but you can certainly have success -- and show steady, measurable progress -- while collecting the schedules of your favorite team or league. Pulled from the depths of our shoebox, we hereby randomly present a consecutive run of Los Angeles Rams pocket schedules, printed for the 1980 through 1985 seasons.

Beautiful, colorful, borderless photos are the trademark of these issues. The 1980 schedule features a painting of 1,000 yard rusher Wendell Tyler, inexplicably trying to avoid being tackled by a member of the USFL's New Jersey Generals (a team that would not exist for another three years). 

Actual game photos were used on the fronts from 1981 onward. The '81 release shows linebacker Jim Andrews (52), with a host of other Rams defenders, coming out of their stances for an all-out blitz. 

Hall of Fame Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett is tackled for a loss on the '82 sked, with defensive tackle Phil Murphy (95) and linebacker Howard Carson (54) getting their time in the spotlight. 

Starting quarterback Vince Ferragamo (15) is pictured on the '83, with Dennis Harrah (60), Hall of Famer Jackie Slater (78) and Preston Dennard (88, far left) lining up for a play against the Saints. 

All-world running back Eric Dickerson earns his place as the lone player on the 1984 schedule.

Finally, the '85 release pictures three Rams defenders preparing for the next down. Nose tackle Greg Meisner (69), linebacker Jim Collins (50) and linebacker Mel Owens (58) get the nod this year.

And now for the backs:

Three of the schedules (1980, 1984, 1985) feature sponsors whose advertising does not mention a specific location, while the other three do. The 1981 schedule mentions Toyota dealerships in Santa Ana and Anaheim, and the 1982 version lists three branches of Heritage Bank. The 1983 schedule is a bit puzzling, as the sponsor on the back is located in Orlando, Florida! (but their skin care products were sold in Southern California). 

Schedules such as these often have a variety of different sponsors printed on the backs, with many variations escaping detection by the hardcore collectors who are attempting to checklist them. The seemingly endless variations, and the inability to catalogue them, are why many team collectors aren't concerned with collecting schedules.

All of the schedules pictured above were folded in half (bi-fold) except for the 1984, which was longer and folded into thirds (tri-fold). The third panel on that 1984 sked is a Ralph's coupon that could be used to save 25 cents on Chunk Cheese at the deli! The photo above pictures the inside of the 1982 schedule, which wound up being a strike-shortened season.

Click here to find Rams Schedules on eBay

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