1993-94 Classic Draft Picks card #113 – Paul Kariya
Classic Games put out a few nice cards in the early-to-mid 1990s. This isn’t one of them. Supposedly, the illustration of the hockey player on fire is Anaheim Mighty Ducks draft pick Paul Kariya. At least that’s what the name at the bottom of the card says.
Classic’s focused on draft picks and minor league prospects. Most didn’t pan out, but a few like Kariya would go onto NHL superstardom. Classic was so excited about the potential of Kariya becoming an NHL superstar that they commissioned this awful painting of him. Notice that it looks nothing like him.
Hey Paul – stop, drop and roll already!
At age 17, Kariya was already being called “The Wayne Gretzky” of collegiate hockey.
Never mind the fact that Classic got his age wrong (he was 18 when he debuted with the University of Maine.) Kariya scored 100 points in 39 games during his freshman year. I can see the scenario unfold now between two executives at Classic Games, circa 1993.
Exec #1: Wow! That Paul Kariya kid sure is on fire this season.
Exec #2: That’s it! We should make a trading card of Paul Kariya on fire!
Exec #1: Um, he’s Canadian – not flame retardant.
Exec #2: Fine…we’ll hire some guy to do a mediocre painting of Paul Kariya on fire.
One thing I do like about this card is that it conjures up happy memories of watching MTV in the mid 1990s, back when the station actually showed music videos. In particular, the flaming Kariya card reminds me of the song “California” by Wax. The band was forgettable, but the video was not. Directed by Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are), it depicts a man on fire running down the street in slow motion.
Not ringing any bells? Here’s the video: