Archive for August, 2012

Right Angles…or at Least Correct Ones

Being shaped the way he was, Jim Katcavage fit into any square hole.

Foremost among Jim Katcavage’s many attributes is the ability to set your watch to his haircut. The Atomic Clock at the Bureau of Weights and Measures in Washington DC is less accurate than his crew cut. I actually owned this football card and found it to be the least inspiring card ever produced. This card spoke to me with the same passion as a man hole cover. I’m thinking it wasn’t Photo-shopped and was probably cropped by the Indiana Home for the Criminally Insane. The background color was selected by Zsa Zsa Gabor. And of course hair and make up was provided courtesy of General Motors. Suffice to say this card possesses the artistry of a blast furnace.

This “Big Ugly” grunted in the NFL trenches from 1956-68 — when men were stereotypes and “Mad Men” women were strictly scenery. I’d go back to the New Frontier, but I probably couldn’t see through the haze of Chesterfield cigarette smoke. I predict a mania is about to occur for this phosphorescently florid football card. Katcavage’s blockheaded still life will soon grow to iconic status much like Marvelous Marv Throneberry or Warhol’s soup cans did. Some will call this mania Kat Cavage Fever. Others will refer to him as The Fab One. The larger point is; Rosie Grier, Andy Robustelli, Dick Modzelewski and Jim Katcavage once formed a forbidding defensive line for the NY football Giants and their bravura performances and fierce camaraderie paved the way for what today we call luxury boxes.

Mr. Katcavage, who died in 1992, had his last haircut on October 28th, 1962. And although it grayed as he aged, it never dared to grow out in defiance of its owner’s wishes. He was the master of his hair follicles. When all the world was in tumult one merely had to look to his unerring crew cut and revel in the surety that there was indeed order in the cosmos. Time and tide stop for no man, but once upon a time, long ago, it did at least slow down for Big Jim Katcavage.