Lions OL Matt Nelson's football dreams started with trading cards

Matt Nelson Lions
Posted at 6:07 AM, Dec 14, 2020

(WXYZ) — Lions offensive lineman Matt Nelson grew up collecting cards of Adrian Peterson and Matthew Stafford.

Now he blocks for them.

"If I had five dollars in my pocket, it was burning a hole and I had to go to the card shop," the Iowa product told 7 Action News.

The Iowa product said when he was young, he begged his mom to take him to the card shop, picking up cards of his favorite players from Texas, Iowa, and Iowa State.

"I would go buy my favorites," he said. "I would make a team out of everybody, build a starting lineup with draft-eligible guys, or my favorite guys in the NFL."

Nelson's collection is back home with his mom. His priorities have changed as he's aged. Married and recently becoming a new homeowner, he spends money on making his house a home.

"My wife says the habits of hoarding are still there," Nelson laughed.

Nelson stepped up in a big way against the Bears in the Lions comeback win in Chicago. He eyes his first career NFL start against the Packers.

Panini has the exclusive NFL trading card license. Offensive linemen cards don't exactly draw attention or high prices like quarterbacks cards, but with digital platforms and made-to-order cards, Panini has opened up creative ways for guys like Nelson to get their own cardboard.

So is it time for the collector to get his own NFL card?

"I mean if they want to, that'd be sweet. I would definitely want to buy one," Nelson smiled.