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Football Memorabilia

Signature Royale offers authentic football memorabilia with superior craftsmanship. Our products make outstanding gifts for all of the football fans in your life. 

The Legacy of American Football

"Football" means different things in different countries. Here in the USA, football means young children with flags on their belts wishing they were in full pads in front of 100,000 fans wearing team jerseys, painted faces, and maybe even foam "cheese wedges" on their heads. It means "Friday Night lights" illuminating high school players all over the country, in towns large and small.  It means "tailgating" at a college campus in the "Big Twelve", the "ACC", the "PAC twelve", the "SEC", and all the other conferences, be they in Division One, Division Two, or Division Three of the NCAA. Sundays and Monday nights take on new meaning for 16 weeks a year. For the fans of two teams, the season has 19 or 20 games.  Entire TV channels are built around the National Football League, with satellite TV offering "Red Zones" and "NFL Packages" so fans does not miss a single game their favorite team plays—not even one touchdown.

Of the 100 most watched television programs in history, 41 are professional football games. Of the top ten most watched programs of all time, 4 are Super Bowl games. Football is the 4th most watched sporting event in the world, behind only the FIFA World Cup, the Olympics, and cricket.

Official gambling statistics show nearly ten billion dollars are wagered each year. The unofficial numbers are estimated at 380 billion dollars wagered through offshore accounts and illegal betting. That is "Billion" with a capital "B". Even if that number is exaggerated by 50%, it is still a huge number. No sport captures the attention of the American public like football.      

"Football" was created when students at the English School of Rugby decided the “no hands” rule of soccer was boring, so they picked the ball up and ran with it. Despite attempts to ban the new "game", it persevered and became widely played, even spreading to the USA. Rugby was a violent game, and still can be to this day. The first games were played in the New England States, eventually becoming a staple of intercollegiate competition in the mid 1870s. Walter Camp was the coach of the Yale Rugby team. He "civilized' the game between 1880 and 1882. Smaller fields were introduced, eleven players per side. First downs and the quarterback were all his creation. Intercollegiate games now had structure and rules, but rugby remained a violent pastime. 18 players were killed in 1905, and 1908 saw the "sport" the reason for 33 on field deaths. Protective padding and a ban on interlocking formations saw a reduction in the demise of players.

Professional football was instituted in 1892 with formalization of the National Football League in 1921. College and professional football became a staple of American life shortly after the end of World War II. The College Football Hall of Fame was established in 1951, and the first class of inductees included Walter Camp, Fielding Yost, George Gipp, Red Grange, Don Hutson, Elmer Layden, Bronko Nagurski,  Ernie Nevers, Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and Pop Warner—many of them pioneers of the game and men who changed the game to what we know it today.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in 1963. The first inductees numbered 17: Sammy Baugh, Bert Bell, Joseph Carr, Dutch Clark, Red Grange, George Halas, Mel Hein, Pete Henry, Cal Hubbard, Don Hutson, Curly Lambeau, Tim Mara, George Marshall, John McNally, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, and Jim Thorpe—many are not exactly "household names". The history of the games, the best of the best, are highlighted and remembered not only during the Hall of Fame televised game, but throughout the year as well.

These great pioneers and players are remembered not through TV, but through old, grainy black and white photos, programs, tickets, and the early football cards produced by Mayo in 1894.  That original set had 35 football players from the Ivy leagues, and the images are a treasure trove. In 1933, Goudy issued a set of “Sport Kings", including Red Grange and Jim Thorpe. This was followed by Bowman and Leaf in 1948, who each issued football cards in gum packs. Many of the early football cards were used as "noise makers" in bicycle spokes. Many were "thrown out by my mother", but if neither of those instances had happened, they would not be as rare—not as collectible—as they are today.  

Football tickets, especially to the big events, are collected to this day, with collectors scouring the Internet for their missing items: the first Super Bowl ticket; the earliest known football program for the games between Notre Dame and the University of Southern California played in 1926; Michigan vs Ohio State's end of season game, played since 1935; Alabama vs Auburn, played since 1893; Oklahoma V Texas has been played since 1900; Florida v Georgia has been played since 1904. More recent big time rivalries include Florida vs Miami, since 1938, and Air Force vs Colorado State, since 1957. I am sure you have your personal favorite rivalry. Most fans have two favorite teams: the team they follow and the team that is playing their bitter rival.

Fans show their pride in many ways. The team jersey is staple to wear on game day. Faces are painted, team flags fly from cars, team colors wrap cold necks, and logoed clothing keep the fans warm. Memorabilia takes many forms. Photos of favorite players adorn walls and are propped on dressers everywhere. Sometimes the fans remember the past great players, and sometimes they just want the latest "star". Lynn Swan, the Steelers receiver, is remembered for his 1976 Super Bowl heroics; Joe Namath guaranteed his city a Super Bowl victory, then did it;  Doug Williams became the first African American to quarterback a team in the Super Bowl and led the Redskins to victory; Kurt Warner was plucked from NFL Europe to lead the Rams to Super Bowl glory; Marcus Allen ran amuck over the Redskins; Timmy Smith holds the record for Super Bowl rushing, and yet few know his name; Joe Montana won four Super Bowls and was MVP in three; Jerry Rice caught the ball at the right time, winning the 1989 Super Bowl for the 49'ers; Phil Simms had the game of his life at the right time, beating Denver to win the 1987 Super Bowl; Steve Young led the romp over the Chargers in the 1995 Super Bowl; and Drew Brees not only led New Orleans to a Super Bowl victory, but he also restored hope in a shattered city.

Quarterbacks tend to be fan favorites. Not surprisingly, the best selling jersey currently is Russell Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl winning quarterback.  Peyton Manning from the Denver Broncos, Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco, and Tom Brady of the Patriots were the top selling jerseys before Seattle's Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman interrupted the quarterback success.Drew Brees of the Saints, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, and Ryan Tannerhill of the Dolphins make up the top ten most purchased jerseys.

The memorabilia is not limited to jerseys. Logoed and signed footballs are in demand, full size and mini helmets are desired, football cards are produced and purchased by the millions each year. Players have agreements with memorabilia dealers to sign officially licensed, NFL cards, giving the fan the opportunity to purchase hologramed, authentically signed products that meet the constant demand for such items.

 We at Signature Royale are committed to using such products in our matted and framed items.  Signature Royale sell officially licensed jerseys, photos, and balls, all matted and framed for the fan to hang in the location of his or her choice.  Signature Royale offers custom framing for the "special" memorabilia you have hidden in a draw or on a shelf in a closet.  Why not have it framed to your specifications and show it off with pride!  Whether you are looking for something already matted and framed or wish to have your collectible framed, Signature Royale will be honored to help you. Thousands of our discerning clientele have trusted us to do the same for them.


 

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