It wasn’t enough to simply cheer on your team as a sports fan growing up. You had to buy all of the gear, get all of the baseball cards, and obtain as many collectibles as possible, because they surely were going to be worth a whole ton of money later on. When it came to decorating our rooms, posters were the foundation. Going through the posters at Wal-Mart or K-Mart or a sports shop was a thrill, especially when a new one showed up and took the place of the outdated Delino DeShields poster. That was the thing about posters, when the newest big thing came out, it was only a matter of time before they had their own poster. That’s why the following seven posters have to be the greatest ever.
7. Eric Davis
I couldn’t find the exact wording online, but I am pretty sure it said “44 Magnum.” It was Davis, whose number was 44, and a freaking gun. That’s just awesome. I’m pretty sure that you couldn’t get away with having a children’s poster with a gun on it nowadays, and that’s one strike against today’s society. By the way, Eric Davis is highly underrated—he was a better baseball player than Bo Jackson, but was just as athletic or more, hit just as monstrous of bombs, and had a baseball card that was nearly as cool (the ’85 Topps rookie card where he looks all pissed off).
6. Brian Bosworth
It is highly disturbing that this poster used to hang in kids’ rooms. The Land of Boz. It should have been a rule that you can only have one sports figure to play off of the Wizard of Oz per decade, and Ozzie Smith had that market cornered years before this. Bosworth was a cross between Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jose Canseco, and Brock Lesnar, as well as one of the original “guys who were so heavily hyped but not good at their sport so they became famous for being famous.”
5. No Bull
If you lived in Illinois in the late 90s, it was pretty much mandatory to own this poster of Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman. Not doing so would have been the sports equivalent of attending the University of Illinois around the same time and not having a Dave Matthews Band poster.
4. Magic Johnson
This one is outstanding, the Magic Thrillin’/Chillin’ poster, it’s two posters in one! On one side he’s throwing a behind-the-back pass, and on the other he’s sitting on the hood of a car with a leather jacket and his arms crossed. It sums up the silly “mandatory for a poster to have a catchy phrase” on it phase perfectly. You just imagine a brainstorming session at the poster company (wasn’t it called Starline?) where they are up against a deadline and just throw out the first two rhyming words that come into their head. It’s the Master P “get as much crap out as possible as fast as possible” theory from last week.
3. Bo Jackson
The Black and Blue poster was half Royals stuff, half Raiders stuff, with Bo in the middle. A Bo poster had to make the cut somewhere, and the football/baseball shoulder pads poster was a baseball card before it was a poster, so this one gets the call. Bo is like the kid in your neighborhood or from your little league team that you tell stories of the amazing things that he did, only it’s at a national level. He probably is the biggest legend of this generation that’s the furthest away from ever making a Hall of Fame, at least until Barry Bonds becomes HOF eligible.
2. Bash Brothers
You could include Mark McGwire in that discussion too. Anyone who hasn’t voted for McGwire for the Hall of Fame is not allowed to vote for Bonds, Sosa, A-Rod, Manny, or any other person who has more evidence of their steroid use than he does. McGwire really showed off his acting in the Bash Brothers poster. While Canseco looks like he’s about to burst laughing at any moment, McGwire is dead serious and well into the role.
1. Jordan free throw line
Without looking, what time is it in the poster? If you didn’t get “3:51” right away, it’s probably only because it’s been almost 20 years since it was hanging on a good 99% of the young population. You could have probably included the Jordan “Wings” poster on the list too, but we’ll stop at two posters, though Jordan being in three on the list pretty much shows how huge he was in the 80s and 90s. This poster was the greatest moment in the greatest extra-curricular contest in sports history.