Mother Ducker

1999 Sports Illustrated For Kids card #792 – Paul Kariya

1999 Sports Illustrated For Kids card #792 - Paul KariyaSports Illustrated for Kids is a spin-off of the magazine Sports Illustrated, but aimed at the younger set. Each issue includes a sheet of nine trading cards featuring athletes from various sports. The magazine’s editors decided to have some fun, and put “April Fools’ Day Cards” in the April 1999 issue of SI for Kids. This card shows Anaheim Mighty Ducks captain Paul Kariya skating on the ice with other ducks – real ducks.

In addition to Kariya’s vitals (height, weight, etc.), the back of the card offers this explanation:

Paul and the Mighty Ducks play their home games at an arena called Arrowhead Pond. A family of real ducks lives on the pond. Paul takes care of the ducks. He feeds them and fluffs up their feathers. He also helps them get ready on game days. “Those little fellas are really cute,” says Paul. “And they’re quack, er, quick! The mamma duck had an assist on one of my goals last season.”

1999 Sports Illustrated For Kids card #792 - Paul KariyaFluffs up their feathers? Such are the responsibilities of a team captain: motivate your teammates with your locker room speeches and take care of any wildlife inhabiting your arena.

Someone who scrutinized the front of the card for more than five seconds will notice that Kariya’s shadow is going in one direction while the non-mighty ducks shadows’ are going the other way. Plus, the “mamma duck’s” shadow oddly cuts off once it reaches the boards. Any digital designer worth his or her salt would have at least gotten the shadows right. Not that children would really heed that detail anyway.

Fortunately, the card is clearly labeled “April’s Fools’ Day Card” on the back, ensuring that only the most gullible or illiterate of children would fall for this ruse.

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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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