A couple of years ago, my son Hunter scored a sweet purchase at a garage sale: a NFL All-Pro Football game (Ideal # 2520-5, from 1967) for $3. He helped me review the vintage National Football League board game too, which prompted an email from Larry — and if you ever wondered why I spend so much time documenting (babbling about) collectibles online, Larry’s email ought to clue you in.
Larry’s email tells the tale of how nostalgia and childhood memories drive us to “buy back” or collect, of how our desires can frustrate and elude us because we just can’t see the name on the cover… And how writing online can save the day!
Here’s what Larry wrote (with photos of Hunter & his vintage All-Pro Football game mixed in):
I have been poking around on the internet intermittently for months/years, (not in an obsessed kind of way, but in a once-in-a-great while, when-the-wife-and-kids-are-in-bed, all-other-husbandly, fatherly, business-related-things-are-done kind of way,) unable to figure out the game I used to play at my grandparents’ house in the country with my cousin when I was a little boy.
I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name, or if I did, how the heck I’d hunt it down. I remembered it being a very generic-type name (alas, All Pro Football,) and remembered vividly what it looked like, and that was all. My grandparents were dirt poor and had few games, (& maybe just this one,) in the house. Most of our fun was comprised of finding things to do outside with sticks, rocks, railroad tie nails and anything else we could find. I’m in my mid-40’s now, remembered this game once I saw it as if I played it yesterday, with the board, game pieces, etc… Obviously, Hunter is a lucky boy to have found the real thing!!
Both of my grandparents are deceased and no one in my family either a) remembers the game I’m talking about or b) would have any idea where it could’ve possibly ended up after they moved all the family belongings off the farm. I’m sure it ended up getting thrown away, was ruined from being stored in their cellar, pieces lost, etc., or a hundred other negative possibilities.
I’m not trying to pry or badger, but I would give anything to own a piece of my childhood again and have something that instantly reminds me of my more innocent, carefree days at their farm, and everything that went with being there. I have two children of my own now, 11 and 6, and wouldn’t dream of asking one of them to give something up that became precious to them, but if Hunter ever grows tired of the game and, (contrary to his promise!), would ever dream of letting it go, I would pay handsomely for the chance to have it. …I am not a collector of any sort, nor do I do any (real) looking or know the avenues where I could get hold of the board game myself.
Thanks for taking the time to read the ramblings of a total stranger — I hope Hunter enjoys the game and it possibly creates memories later for him as it does for me, and if there’s ever a time you would consider selling it, I would jump at the chance to discuss purchasing it.
The bad news is that Hunter’s not interested in selling his vintage NFL All Pro Football game. Nor do I have another one here to offer you (if and when I do, I will email you!)
But the good news for Larry (and other fans of the game) is that now that you know the name of the game you can check out eBay and other online sales venues. Try searching for (or clicking these links to the searches for) NFL “All Pro” Football game as well as ideal “All Pro” Football game.
Now that you know the name of the game you so vividly remember and so touchingly talk about, Larry, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t search for it and buy it as soon as possible. It’s clearly not “just a game” to you. Wouldn’t you love to play the game again with your own children — to share the stories of your childhood memories of the game with them, creating new memories too?
I’ll be honest and acknowledge that your boys may not appreciate the game or your stories right now — what kid does? *wink* But, like you, they will remember years later.
And whether or not the physical game is an actual heirloom from your childhood or not, this new-to-you vintage board game is destined to become one of your family’s heirlooms.
In fact, I suggest you get two copies of the game. That way each one of your children can keep a game along with their memories and share them both with their own children in the future… A future where the memory of Grandpa as well as Grandpa’s memories live on and on and on.
PS At the risk of being entirely too girlie for covering a vintage sports game, this whole thing brings a tear to my eye. I can only hope that our children’s treasured memories include family game time.