Apparently, Upper Deck learned absolutely nothing after printing out the disaster that was their first Be a Player set.  People must have actually taken the time to walk or drive down to their local card shop back in 1994-95 and buy packs of these things.  Why? I have no idea.  The cards must have been somewhat popular though, because Upper Deck was able to justify printing out a second Be a Player set.  Somehow, they were actually worse than the first ones.  For one thing, there are no team logos to be found on any uniform.  None!  I’m guessing Upper Deck couldn’t get the rights to put them on the players’ uniforms, so instead we get airbrushing galore!  Helpful tip: When you want to sell anything involving professional sports, but you’re not allowed to include any logos whatsoever, it is time to pack it in, otherwise it looks really bush-league.  If ever I acquire a time machine, I promise I will go back to 1995 and explain this to the jokers at Upper Deck very carefully.


So we got no logos whatsoever here… Oh boy, this is going to be sucktacular… Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks and analyze these rectangular shaped turds.  First off, we have Kevin “Los Angeles” Stevens.  Apparently, “Los Angeles” was his nickname, which is something I did not know.  I discovered this using the power of deduction, because he is clearly wearing a Boston Bruins uniform, so “Los Angeles” must have been Stevens’ nickname.  After all, why else would the words “Los Angeles” be written right in the middle of Kevin Stevens’ name?

What I found interesting when going over the images from the Be a Player set is that back in 1995-96, a lot of players had nicknames that were also cities.

You’ve got…


Tomas “Pittsburgh” Sandstrom…


Teppo “Winnipeg” Numminen…


and John “Tampa Bay” Tucker.

Something else I learned from going through this set… Mathieu Schneider once played for the Kansas City Scouts? I certainly don’t recall the New York Islanders ever using those colours on their uniforms, so once again… powers of deduction!  Hmm… Maybe I should ask him about that time machine, since the Scouts haven’t iced a team since the Bicentennial.


And did you know that this…


is apparently the Colorado Avalanche? Since when did the Avalanche ever have bright orange uniforms?  My memory must be getting foggy in the autumn years of my late-thirties.

Here’s another thing that bugs me about this set… Where’s the golf?  In my humble opinion, the golf cards in the last set really captured the spirit of playing in the NHL, but in this set there was nary a golf club to be found.  Instead, we get…


Curtis Leschyshyn and two of the saddest looking puppy dogs you ever did see…


Chris Pronger lookin’ sexay on his couch at home…


Randy Wood sitting backstage on a movie set holding… wait, is that a putter? Yay!


Ahh! Get it away from me!  Get it away…!


Whew!  Thanks Trevor, always such a calming influence.


You too, Rudy.  That must be one pretty sunset you’re gazing at in the distance.


OK, back to more serious matters, like Joe Juneau rockin’ à la John Bonham!


Rob Blake auditioning for the new season of Survivorman


Jeff O’Neill lookin’ really proud of his skate collection…


Shane Doan?  Well, he’s really more of a puck man, as you can see…


Luke Richardson’s passion is apparently chowing down on some sticks before a game…

Some players like to chillax by taking their clothes off and posing for pictures.  I will give the Be a Player set this… it definitely is progressive.  Upper Deck printed out cards for both the male and female demographics!


Steve Smith here is gettin’ ready to hit the beach for a little volleyball action…


and we got Roman Hamrlik toweling off after a long sweat in the sauna…


while Pavel Bure still sits comfortably in the sauna.  Can you imagine trying to trade one of these cards with your friends in the schoolyard?  What other weird imagery could Upper Deck possibly include in this set?  Adam Creighton dry humping Kenny Jonsson?


Oh, never mind…

Look at the dude with the backwards baseball cap sitting behind Creighton pretending he can’t see what’s going on right in front of him.  Priceless!

I just cannot emphasize my utter confusion and disbelief that young kids actually chose to spend their hard-earned lawn-mowing money on cards depicting players hitting the links, eating hockey sticks, sitting in a sauna, and dry humping.  Maybe the 1994-95 Be a Player set wasn’t so bad after all.