I had a friend who actually had his hair cut like Brett Hull as a kid… and it looked identical. I was jealous as hell. I mean, look at how much fun Brett looks like he’s having on that 1989-90 Topps card. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
The thing about Brett’s haircut is that it wasn’t the mullet in its purest sense. If you consider that a pure mullet is truly business in the front and party in the back, Brett’s ‘do was a bit off. What Brett had was fun, spiky party in the front, and all-night-kegger-gongshow in the back – party at both ends. The only business that Brett was conducting in the late 80’s and early 90’s was scoring goals. 1989-90 was the year of 72 tallies, followed by 86 the year later, followed by 70 the year after that. And he did it all with his signature party flow. Unbelievable.
I remember my disappointment when my mother told me that this testament to human ingenuity in the early 1990’s wouldn’t be possible for me. Apparently, I just didn’t have the right kind of hair for that, like my buddy had. I think what she was trying to tell me was that I would look ridiculous if I tried, so I give her some credit for sugar coating it for me. But, 20 years later I’m still bitter – especially since my buddy doesn’t have The Brett Hull anymore, even though he’s fully capable of doing so. What a waste.
The 1989-90 Topps set (and of course its Canadian O-Pee-Chee counterpart) is one of my favourite hockey sets of all time. The design is great and the rookie selection, while not high end in value like the lesser-produced 1988-89 sets, is still pretty good. Rookie highlights include Brian Leetch, Theo Fleury, Gary Roberts, and my personal favourite, Joe Sakic.
The set is full of great players and some pretty solid photography for the era – plus, full stats on the back and they are easy to sort by teams. Also, this was the last year that there were just Topps and O-Pee-Chee in the hockey card market. The next year brought us Upper Deck, Score, and Pro Set, and things would never be the same.