Monday, May 18, 2009

Random Nets Crap - Joe Netsfan 2002-2003 Nets Greeting Card

As a long-time Nets fan, I've compiled a shitload of Nets memorabilia and freebies throughout the years. Dating back to 2001, I've made dedicated effort to save almost everything. Now, feast your eyes on the more ridiculous and obscure paraphernalia in a blog feature I call....RANDOM NETS CRAP!

2002-2003 Nets Team Greeting Card

Click on images to enlarge

From left to right: Brandon Armstrong, Chris Childs, Jason Collins, Lucious Harris, Richard Jefferson, Anthony Johnson, Jason Kidd, Kerry Kittles, Kenyon Maritn, Dikembe Mutumbo, Rodney Rogers, Brian Scalabrine, Tamar Slay, Aaron Williams, Joe Netsfan

From left to right: Sly the Fox

Again, this is just further proof that I don't throw anything out. These were sold on Joe Netsfan was a site I discovered towards the end of the 2000-2001 Nets season. In 2001, a website talking about sports from a fans point of view? What a novel concept! Currently, every idiot with a keyboard has his or her own blog (howdy there!), but Joe's was one of the early pioneers of Internet fortune and glory. It started in the 00-01 season, and after that the Nets became contenders - leading many fans to dub it "the website that turned around a franchise!"

The writing and analysis was great, but the part of the site that drew me in was the illustrations by his partner, Champagne. Just look at the card above, and tell me those aren't great and hilarious. Let me show you a few other Nets legends from the site:

Vince Carter

Stephon Marbury

Kendall Gill

Keith Van Horn

If you go to the Archives page, you can find a bunch more. It is definitely worth a look.

The above card was purchased in 2002, through the Joe Netsfan Cafepress store. I believe he had to stop selling things with the Nets player images on them, but I'm glad I could snag something illegal! Other things I had purchased from him were Joe Netsfan stickers and this snazzy "Keep the Nets in New Jersey" shirt:


Yes, while I am pro-Brooklyn now (well, I'm pro-anywhere near NY/NJ), I was a proud Jersey-ite back in the day. I even attended the Joe Netsfan led rally to keep the Nets in New Jersey!

During the Nets hey-day (2001 to 2004), I remember Joe Netsfan's fanbase growing. It received coverage in local newspapers, tons of people wrote in e-mails, and there were frequent fan articles and contributions (even a couple "Heckles" myself!) But, I sort of lost track with Joe Netsfan over the years, and it looks like the site is defunct, with almost no updates in 2009. In his last update, he mentioned he had some health issues, so I hope all is well in the Netsfan family.

Joe Netsfan is one of several influences to myself and this blog - as well as Ball Don't Lie, Bill Simmons, Basketbawful, etc. So, Joe, if you are reading this, please come back! And tell Champagne to crank out some more great illustrations! The world needs to see Devin Harris and Brook Lopez as cartoon characters!

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