Saturday, December 17, 2022

2022 Card-vent Calendar: December 17

December 17, 2022:
1982 Topps Stickers #150 Billy Sims All-Pro
I'm from the generation where the #20 in a Lions jersey means someone else, but I'm not too young to lack any memories of Billy Sims.  Here's my main remembrance of the playing career of the great Billy Sims.

It all goes back to a weekly sports segment on the 10:00 news broadcast by the local ABC affiliate, channel 12.  When I was in my formative sports years, the sports anchor was a younger, slightly chubby guy named Kevin Hunt.  One of the highlights of the week, if I was allowed to stay up late, was a segment called "Kevin Hunt's Sunday Funnies."  It would be a minute or two of bloopers or otherwise fascinating moments from the week in sports.  Well, one week they must have been doing a year-end spectacular, where the station gave Hunt like ten minutes to run the best bloopers.  It just so happened that my parents taped this on VHS.  For years, I could watch the mega-episode of "Sunday Funnies" whenever I wanted.  I believe it was at the tail end of a cassette with like an Ewok movie or something on it, but I definitely watched that segment more than whatever movie was on the tape.

The Billy Sims moment comes during the big run of bloopers.  If I'm remembering it correctly, there was a clip of Sims getting tackled or run out of bounds on a run, and he was extremely disappointed that he didn't gain more yardage.  Sims becomes so upset, in fact, that he goes up to the team water table where there are dozens and dozens of cups of water and Gatorade that have been set up, and he takes a huge swipe at the table, knocking everything to the ground.  Just a great clip.

Now I might be reaching here, but there's another memory from this same segment where I believe it's Sims again, and he's running close to the sideline and gets pushed out of bounds again, but this time there's a careless official's assistant who is carrying the first down marker PARALLEL TO THE GROUND about waist-high.  At the end of the run, a decelerating Sims takes the yard marker pole right to the stomach.  I don't believe there was serious injury, but it certainly looked bad.

I believe that my parents might still have this tape in their basement.  I'll be sure to do some digging on Christmas day when I'm over there, and hopefully I can verify and share these Billy Sims clips with you faithful readers.
By the way, it looks like Kevin Hunt is still working in the sports broadcasting world.  He switched to the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee after his channel 12 years, and then in the mid-1990s (?) he was hired at an Arizona station, where he still appears to live now.  He was certainly missed here in town.  His approach to sports was carefree and slightly irreverent without being annoying.


  1. Sims was the first star I remember. If only he didn't blow out his knee.

  2. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. It made me think of Wayne Walker the sportscaster I grew up watching when I was a kid. He was a Lion too... but played his final game when I was only a few months old. However I did get to watch him talk about sports every night every night during my childhood and adolescence. I'm off to COMC to track down a card of his for my Sports Card Smorgasbord binder.

    P.S. Hope you find that VHS tape at your parent's house.