Name: Jack Christiansen
Position: Defensive Back
Pro Career: 1951 – 1958
Team Affiliation(s): Detroit Lions
College: Colorado State
Induction Class: 1970
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Brief Bio: A small but crafty specialist, Jack Christiansen almost didn’t even play college football due to his size. Fortunately, he was coaxed onto the squad and was an instant star for Colorado State. His size also caused many NFL teams to doubt his value, but the Lions were quickly rewarded for drafting him. Twice in his rookie season, he returned two punts for touchdowns in the same game. Opposing teams quickly switched to the spread punt formation when facing the Lions and developed a don’t punt to Jack mantra. For as good of a returner as Christiansen was, his forte was as a defensive back where he wrecked havoc on passing schemes. Twice he led or co-led the league in interceptions and was name to six consecutive All-NFL teams and played in five consecutive Pro Bowls. With Christiansen in the defensive backfield, the Lions dominated the 1950s, winning four divisional and three world championships.
Career Stats: 89 games played; 1,084 punt return yards; 8 punt return TDs; 1,329 kickoff return yards; 46 INTs; 3 INT TDs; 7 fumble recoveries; 2 rushing TDs
Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #129. With such a strong rookie campaign, there is little doubt why Bowman opted to include Jack Christiansen in their 1952 football set. Fans still love this legendary set, which came in large and small variations. Current eBay auctions are fairly evenly spread from a low of $125 to a second highest $579, with a slight grading preference. There is the token excessively priced $5,000 listing – a small PSA 8.5. Christiansen also has several other vintage football cards as the hobby was finally starting to catch on in the 1950s. He has also been featured in more modern HOF-focused sets.
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