Be A Player, which was produced by the Upper Deck and the NHLPA, was kind of a big deal back when it was first released because it was the first set to include an autographed card in every pack. Hopefully, the excitement of finding an autographed card was enough to off-set the disappointment of finding out that the set was not licensed by the NHL, meaning that none of the players were shown wearing their team's jersey. When the players are shown playing hockey (which isn't as often as you'd expect in a set of hockey cards) they are wearing a variety of ugly NHLPA jerseys, and when they aren't playing hockey, you find some of the worst hockey cards in existence.
The set can be divided into ten different, but all terrible, sub-sets:
- Hockey players being hockey players - This includes the few action shots, the many posing in hockey equipment shots, and the poorly airbrushed uniform shots.
- Hockey players being golfers - Golfing might be fun, but it isn't very cool. No one collects golf cards, and no one should have ever made cards of hockey players golfing.
- Hockey players being models - Half of this set looks like a NHLPA clothing catalog.
- Hockey players being themselves - This is one of my favourite parts of the set because I get to see how professional hockey players are just like regular people: they like playing pool, rollerblading (note that this is from the same photo shoot as his 91-92 Upper Deck card), dogs, being gay, impersonating Kenny G, and arson!
- Hockey players giving tips - The boring part of the set.
- Hockey player snapshots - There's shots of 14 NHL stars or up-and-comers, and then, for some reason, Garry Valk.
- Hockey players as kids - You get to guess who the person is from their childhood photo. I guessed Cammie Granato on this one, but it was actually this guy.
- Denis Leary talking about hockey players - You remember him? The guy who had that comedy song 'Asshole'. He makes some 'PG ' jokes on some players' cards.
- Hockey players in the news - I always hate these cheesy fake newspaper things. It usually means that their are too many words and not enough action, but this card makes up for it on the back-- a player playing real hockey!
- Hockey players as fanimated superheros - Try to imagine the worst thing you could possibly put on a hockey card. This is worse.
#34 - Jason Arnott - I snuck into these waterslides at the West Edmonton Mall once when I was on a band trip. I'm a little disappointed I didn't get a photo on a trading card.
#62 - Steve Smith - Too bad Steve isn't as good at golf as he is at scoring in his own net in the 1986 playoffs.
#141 - Denis Leary - It's sad that a comedian is one of the few people shown playing hockey in this set.
#174 - Curtis Joseph - Touching his balls!
#178 - Eric Lindros - I always wondered what Eric Lindros would look like as a pimp from the year 3000. Not that he was a bad dresser back in the 90's though.