Miracle on Cardboard

1980 Kellogg’s Olympic Stick’r Trading Cards

1980 US Olympic Team Hockey CardKellogg’s–the makers of cereals such as Corn Flakes–issued a set of smaller-sized, Olympic-themed trading cards. The cards could be peeled away from their cardboard backing and “stuck” to a flat surface-hence calling it a “stick’r trading card”. Released in 1980, these were most likely packed in boxes of cereal. One such card deals with our favorite sport: ice hockey! Here we see some sweet but random hockey action on the front. I’m not sure what teams these are, as the logos have been airbrushed off of the jerseys, but I guess we could assume that the players in white are from Team USA. Adoring the lower left corner of this card is a large and distracting Winter Olympics logo.

Now, most of you probably know what happened in 1980: the U.S. Olympic hockey team beat the Soviet Union team and then went on to win the Gold Medal. The U.S. players were amateurs, mainly from the college ranks, while the Soviet team was comprised of world-class players such as Vladislav Tretiak, Viacheslav Fetisov and Sergei Makarov. This stands firmly as one of the greatest upsets in sports history, as well as one of the crowning Olympic moments for the U.S.

What makes this card unique is that it has to do with the U.S. Olympic hockey team beforeall of that happened. Because this photo is from before the 1980 Olympics, it depicts just some random (but presumably American) hockey dudes. The back gives a simple overview of the rules:

Ice hockey is played by two opposing teams on an ice surface known as a rink. 5 players and 1 goal keeper from each team are allowed on the ice at any one time. The rink is 100 feet (30.5 meters) by 200 feet (61 meters) with goal nets at each end. The rink is divided into 3 zones-a defending zone, an attacking zone, and a neutral zone. The object of the game is to score a goal by shooting the puck with the stick into the opposing team’s goal net. A game consists of three 20-minute periods of playing time with 15-minute breaks between them. A team scores one point for each goal. For a goal, the puck must cross the goal line between the goal posts and under the crossbar. The team scoring the most goals wins.

This card is visually uninteresting–the country logos are gone, and the colors are quite dark. It’s still cool as it is one of the earliest “Miracle on Ice” collectibles to date.

Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

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