1992 Upper Deck Christmas card #8 of 10 – Ruff Play
Every so often, trading card companies would release Christmas-themed cards. The most famous for hockey collectors is most likely the 1991-92 Parkhurst Santa Claus card. A distant second might be this card, of a humble dog-turned-goalie.
During the 1992 holiday season, Upper Deck released a 10-card Christmas themed set that is every bit as stupid as it sounds. Each card features Santa, or one of his friends, playing sports. Two of the 10 cars focus on hockey: one shows Santa driving a Zamboni while this one has a cross-eyed Dalamation/Beagle mutt named Spot Gardien de Pooch.
Yep, the fine folks at Upper Deck spent about 5 seconds thinking of a name for this critter.
The front of the card shows the wannabe-Snoopy poised on an outdoor rink, defending a net while clenching a stick in his teeth. The card back tells us – with as many bad jokes possible – about Santa’s puck-stopping pooch:
Spot Gardien de Pooch
Goaltender for Fallon’s Fidos
Property of Saint Nick
Height: 30″ (from nose to tail)
Weight: 50 lbs.
Age: 3 (Dog) years
Main Characteristics: known for his aggressive, bulldog style…his keen sense enable him to sniff out scoring threats…has a fetching personality…his bark is not as bad as his bite…often disciplined for his occasional “ruff” play.
His X-Mas wish: a vulcanized rubber chew puck.
I count 6 puns. That’s enough to constitute animal abuse in most states and/or provinces. (Yes, that includes shoddily-drawn cartoon animals, too). Had the Long Beach Ice Dogs existed as a minor-league team back then, the copywriter might have shoehorned in that reference too.
But the worst offense is Spot’s Christmas wish; forget the chew puck, a true hockey dog would dream of eating Kibble-N-Bits from the Stanley Cup.