Yesterday I added 1974 Nebraska Cornhuskers Playing Cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. The 54-card deck includes cards of 52 players, Memorial Stadium, and Head Coach Tom Osborne. The cards’ design is nearly identical to that of the year before, but there is an easy way to tell the two years apart: in 1974, all of the players’ jerseys have “NEBRASKA” printed on them. For a couple of players, this required some cutting-and-pasting–literally, it appears. Willie Thornton’s image, for instance, is the same as on his 1973 card, except for the “NEBRASKA” pasted onto his jersey. Maybe Thornton had his eyes closed in his 1974 photo, so they used the one from the year before? Bobby Thomas’s image also appears to have gotten some primitive photoshopping.
The 1974 ‘Huskers team finished 9-3, tied for second in the Big Eight, and ranked #9 nationally. (Oklahoma went undefeated and won both the Big Eight and the National Championship.) By my count, 14 players in the 1974 ‘Huskers playing card deck made it onto NFL teams, at least for a few games. Wikipedia’s 1974 Cornhuskers page lists a few additional team members who played in the NFL, CFL, or WFL.