Sports Related Articles

Index-
Clay Matthews – It’s All in the Family
Clay Matthews – Is Mixed Martial Arts the Key to His Success?
Prince Fielder – Power Hitter
Real Leatherheads
Lambeau Field
Green Bay Packer’s Memorabilia – Sports Art
How to Decorate Your Mancave with Sports Art
Autographed Memorabilia – Fine Art Prints
Decorate with Sports Art

Clay Matthews – It’s All in the Family


By S. Nica

Green Bay Packer player Clay Matthews carries on the family name in the NFL. There is a long history of football in the Matthews family going all the way back to Clay Matthews, Sr who was an offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1950’s. His son Clay Matthew, Jr was a linebacker who played for the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons. Clay Jr.’s brother Bruce Matthews was one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history and played for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise from 1983 through 2001. Clay Matthews III is currently a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers and could very well be on his way for NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. Clay III also has a younger brother Casey who also aspires to NFL status. Casey currently plays as linebacker for the University of Oregon.

The brothers Clay and Bruce, and Clay III and his brother Kyle all attended University of Southern California. Though Clay III entered USC as a walk-on student athlete he was granted a full athletic scholarship in 2006. He was awarded USC’s Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 and was awarded USC’s Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2008, making him the only player in USC history to be awarded three consecutive Special Teams Player of the Year awards

One would think the pressure to perform coming from such famous lineage would daunt some players. Not so with Clay Matthews lll! He fully embraces his football heritage and uses the wisdom of his family members who have traveled the road before him to better his game. In a recent interview with Bob Costas, Clay was asked if his family members critiqued his performance? Clay answered, “All the time, all the time, if you’re in the Matthews family it’s tough growing up. They let you know what your doing right and what your doing wrong so, I wouldn’t have it any other way though. They have been very instrumental where I’m at and why I’m here and get me better….I’m going to keep looking to them for guidance”. Pressure from other players can be a motivational tool as Andrea Kremer from NBC Sports reported that Clay III had this to say, “”Players gave me a lot of grief about being a Matthews but it really pushed me. It became one of many motivational tools. There’s great pressure because of the name but it’s not worse than the pressure I put on myself”.

Clay III and his father share not only the DNA that makes them the athletes they are but they also share the honor of being the only father-son to be named Defensive Player of the Week in the NFL. Another strange twist of fate is that they have/had the same strength and conditioning coach, Dave Redding.

By all accounts the Matthews family appears very close and dedicated to family as well as their beloved game. Clay Matthews III has finally come into his own after much hard work and determination.

There are numerous nicknames out there for Clay today, ‘Claymaker’, ‘The Beast’, ‘Predator’, ‘Fabio’ and now a new one coined by sports artist Andy Goralski, Storm Chaser Clay’s hard work has paid off, you don’t become a fan favorite with pet names by sitting on the sidelines! Go Pack!

S. Nica is a fan of both the Green Bay Packers and of sports artist
Andy Goralski- Goralski recently released a new Green Bay Packer print of Clay Matthews titled Storm Chaser Click on the links to see this great piece of sports art!

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Clay Matthews – Is Mixed Martial Arts the Key to His Success?


By S. Nica

By now everybody is familiar with the story about Clay Matthews III being undersized in high school. So much so that his own father did not play him due to his small stature. What some people may not know is that Clay has added mixed martial arts to his workout routine. Could mixed martial arts be the key to his success?

Clay’s incredible physique is proof of his dedication in the weight room. While in USC he was thought of as the most intense player in the weight room. Putting on 80 pounds is no easy feat! He was able to makeover his 165 pound 6′ 1″ frame into the 255 pound linebacker he is today. He was so dedicated to the game and his own personal improvement he has said that he basically had no social life.

Clay III is always looking for ways to improve be it watching films or listening to the advice of his famous football family and recently he has added MMA or mixed martial arts to his workout in the off-season. At first he was skeptical thinking it would not relate to football but in and interview while at MMAthletics he said, “..everything we do in here somehow relates to what we do on the football field’. The benefits of mixed martial arts is not only the mental toughness but a completely different kind of workout than most ball players are accustomed to. Using body on body work rather than traditional weight training; leverage, balance, knees and hips are worked in a completely new way for most players. Many football players just getting into MMA believe it gives them an edge on the field. The Atlanta Falcons must agree, they were the first NFL team to offer MMA training to their players. Clay III said he could feel his body transforming while doing mixed martial arts and I’m sure other players will also see Clay’s improvements and want to try it out as well.

Clay Matthews III is an outstanding example of hard work and sheer dedication. From a small hopeful to a force to be reckoned with he is finally coming into his own and could possibly be named Defensive Player of the Year. He is certainly a fan favorite in Green Bay with Packers fans! See this celebrated Packer here

S. Nica is a fan of both the Green Bay Packers and of sports artist Andy Goralski. Goralski has recently released a new print of Clay Matthews titled ‘Storm Chaser’. Clay Matthews is a fan favorite who is being considered for the Defensive Player of the Year award! See sports artist Andy Goralski’s latest Green Bay Packer print today!

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Prince Fielder – Power Hitter


By Sally Nica

Prince Fielder: is this home run slugger destined for the Hall of Fame? If his past is any indication of what his future may hold, I would say yes! His powerful performances as a power hitter has many teams thinking about acquiring his special skills for this season or the next. Where ever he ends up we know he has already surpassed many other players in career hits and is on his way to superstar status.

While Fielder has always been a great hitter there has long been a rumor concerning Prince Fielder that as a boy of only 12 he hit a home run into the upper deck at Tiger Stadium when his father, Cecil Fielder, played for Detroit. This popular urban legend however is not true and was cleared up by Prince during a 2007 interview with Fox Sports saying it “just went over the fence”. Still, at 12 and already showing great promise!

This left handed slugger ranks second in the National League as of this writing for the 2010 season. In this writers opinion he will eventually be a shoe in for the Hall of Fame if his career continues as well as it has begun. Fielder was the youngest player to date to reach the 50 Home Run Club which he accomplished in 2007. Fielder shares this exceptional honor with the likes of Babe Ruth (the ‘founder’ of the club), Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, all ‘Hall of Famers’ just to name a few.

Fielders other accomplishments include 2005-PCL Player of the Week Nashville, Baseball America Triple-A All-Star, 2006-Brewers Top Newcomer Award, 2007-Hank Aaron Award, All-Star, Player of the Month, Player of the Week, and Silver Slugger, 2009- Brewers MVP and All-Star. In 2009 he was the only player in the entire Major Leagues to appear in each of his team’s games. Prince was also the first Brewer to win the Home Run Derby which he did in 2009.

Consistency and sheer power are what make Prince Fielder such an extraordinary player. See Prince hitting one out of the ballpark here.

Sally Nica finds autographed Prince Fielder fine art here See sports artist Andy Goralski’s newest autographed fine art sports print of Prince Fielder titled ‘The Detonator’ signed and numbered by the artist and licensed by MLB.

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Real Leatherheads


By S. Nica

Leatherheads, what exactly is a leatherhead?

Is it a movie starring George Clooney? Well, yes, that is one definition. The leatherheads I am talking about are actual players who wore the helmets we now refer to as ‘leatherheads’. We may very well thank the very popular movie for coining the phrase ‘leatherheads’ as I was unable to find historical references to the general public referring to early football players as ‘leatherheads’. However, there is some indication that the helmets themselves were referred to as leatherheads.

Leatherheads-The Early Years

The very first leather football helmet was worn in an 1893 Army-Navy game. An Annapolis shoe maker developed it for Admiral Joseph Mason Reeves who had been advised by a Navy doctor that he would risk death,insanity or paralysis should he take another blow to his head during a game. Later helmets improved design with padding, ear flaps and eventually face guards.

Padding but No Helmets

Players often devised their own method of padding the body and crude shoulder and hip pads were worn throughout the early years of football particularly in the early 1900’s. Helmets were a rarity to see on players and often some player wore them while others did not. In the 1920’s leather helmets became more accepted but were still not mandatory.

Logo’s

Early helmets had no identifying marks upon them whatsoever. As with all games, fierce competition and team pride resulted in some colleges and high schools to paint their helmets by hand. Certain colors or team mascots were eventually painted on to easily distinguish team players. Imagine being a quarterback attempting to find the receiver far down field with no identifying marks on the receiver! Imagine that being a mud game! how difficult that must have been especially if the receiver was well covered! Modern day players can thank the Rams for starting the painting of team logo’s on helmets. In 1948 the Rams horns were painted on team helmets and soon after all football helmets bore a teams logo or colors.

True Grit

While we cannot imagine playing a game of football without protective gear the era of ‘leatherheads’ shows the true grit those early players had. They took a beating week after week and often went to their regular jobs during the week. Their sheer determination and love of the game has given us the football we know today and thankfully our players are much more protected.

Leather Helmets Today

If you can find a leather helmet from that golden era you would be lucky! To find one that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg would be an even bigger accomplishment. Finding images of ‘leatherheads’ can be difficult as well. International sports artist Andy Goralski has just finished a fine art piece titled “From Leather to Legendary’ that portrays the Acme Packers team with the infamous leatherhead helmets. In the back round is the legendary Lambeau Field in Green Bay showing off its newly renovated look. This fine art piece is available in fine art prints and also available on canvas. To find out more and see this legendary piece of sports art complete with a team of ‘leatherheads’ go to coleengoralski.com

S. Nica is an avid football fan particularly the Green Bay Packers! A collector of fine art sports prints. See ‘ From Leather to Legendary ‘ by sports artist Andy Goralski. The original Acme Packers and the newly renovated Lameau Field rising in the mist. You can view this beautiful piece of Packer’s history at coleengoralski.com.

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Lambeau Field

By S. Nica

Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers! This stadium and team has one of the richest histories of all of NFL history. It was the very first stadium built exclusively for a NFL franchise. Though it was originally called ‘City Stadium’ until 1965 after the death of the much beloved founder of the Packers Curly Lambeau it was renamed.

Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun founded the team in 1919. Lambeau played for the Packers in their early years and was the coach until 1949. Curly Lambeau led the Packers to six NFL Championships during his tenure.

Also known as the ‘Frozen Tundra’

The nickname of ‘Frozen Tundra’ was first spawned by the infamous NFL Championship game in 1967 between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Bill Woodson in his narration, coined the phrase ‘frozen tundra’ during the NFL Championship game in 1967 which also became known as the ‘Ice Bowl’. The famous game was played in temperatures as low as -13F along with high winds.

The Lambeau Leap

No article about Lambeau Field would be complete without a mention of the ‘Lambeau Leap’! LeRoy Butler was the first to do the leap into the arms of adoring fans after he scored a touchdown during a game in 1993. Robert Brooks, another fan favorite became known for his leaps into the stands as well. Many teams have tried to imitate the Lambeau Leap and some have even attempted a ‘leap’ of their own in Lambeau Field itself! Faithful fans were disturbed by this and was the talk of many talk radio and news/sports shows in the week before and after the incident with Cincinnati Bengals player Chad Ochocino. To be fair, Ochocino did ask the fans before he did it the week before the game. With mixed reviews he did do the ‘leap’ into the arms of Bengal fans.

The Fans-Cheeseheads

You can’t talk about Green Bay Packers without a quick mention of ‘cheeseheads’either! Cheeseheads (or Wisconsinites) love their Packers! Packers fans are known throughout the league as the most loyal of all the NFL franchises. No doubt you have seen the many ‘cheeseheads’ in the stands of a Packers game! President Obama recently atuographed a cheesehead the secret service confiscated at a speech and it was recently donated to a local museum. The fans appreciate the rich history of Lambeau Field with football greats as Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Reggie white, Ray Nitschke, Jim Taylor, Bret Favre, and many others who have graced the field and guided the team to victory.

Packers Products

Packer products are always in high demand due to the nature of Packers fans. Maybe because the Packers are the only publicly owned team in the NFL the fans feel such fierce loyalty to ‘their’ team and indeed it is their team! The fans literally own the team through the last stock sale in 1997/98 where fans bought stock and raised raised over $24 million, money used for the Lambeau Field redevelopment project. Throughout the year one can see Packers products in WI and elsewhere on hats, coats, clothing, etc, even tractors bear the logo of the Green and Gold! During the holidays Packers products are always in high demand and many homes wake up to gifts bearing the Green Bay Packers logo under their tree on Christmas morning. Lambeau Field is always a hot product and the perfect gift for any Packers fan. This renowned stadium in art is a unique way to show your loyalty to the rich history of the Green Bay Packers. Many are already familiar with sports artist Andy Goralski and his many pieces depicting football greats such as Brett Favre, John Elway, Walter Payton and many more. Goralski has recently released his new piece titled “From Leather to Legendary” which illustrates the days of yesteryear with Curly Lambeau’s Acme Packers in front of the newly renovated Lambeau Field. This fine are limited edition would be the icing on the cake for any Packers fan under the tree this Christmas, Father’s/Mother’s Day or birthday and would make a great addition in their sports room.

Football and Wisconsin

The legendary Lambeau Field is an important part of Wisconsin history and has defined what football is really about. The teams change over the years but Lambeau Field and its unique history will stand as a testament of fan loyalty. Should you wish to purchase season tickets for the Green Bay Packers you may want to put your name in now because the tickets are sold out for about the next 35 years or so! That is how loyal Packers fans are to the team and to the history of Lambeau Field!

Go Packers Go!

S. Nica is an avid football fan particularly the Green Bay Packers! A collector of fine art sports prints. See ‘ From Leather to Legendary ‘ by sports artist Andy Goralski. The original Acme Packers with Curly Lambeau and the newly renovated Lambeau Field rising in the mist can be viewed at coleengoralski.com

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Green Bay Packer’s Memorabilia – Sports Art

By S. Nica

Green Bay Packer memorabilia is a must have for any sports enthusiast! The Green Bay Packers have one of the most storied histories in all of NFL. A mere mention of the Packers brings up images of die hard fans and sport legends playing infamous games that fans still love to reminisce about today. I think it would be rare occasion indeed to go somewhere in WI and not see the famous “G” logo on clothing, dangling from purses or key chains, even license plates bear the green and gold!

Packers Art is Everywhere!

Sports bars and eateries are common place in every corner of America now and it is not unusual to see Green Bay Packers art on the walls of these establishments even outside of WI. I remember on a trip to CA our family was in the LA airport lounge getting a soda and seeing a Ray Nitschke fine art print by sports artist Andy Goralski on the wall! Visit sports bars and restaurants from FL to CA and you will find Packers fans in every state. The far reaching effects of this beloved team on the general public is a testament to the rich history and respect fans have for their beloved Green Bay Packers.

Investing in Sports Art

Sports art has become big business for many collectors. The secondary market can produce a nice return on sports art. Be it from the athletes signature alone or a combination of the artist and athlete signature, profits from reselling at the right time can be quite lucrative. Naturally a print that has sold out commands the higher prices. I know one man that bought a few extra prints, hung on to them for awhile and resold them on the secondary market and used that money to take his family on a nice vacation!

WI Sports Artists

Andy Goralski is probably one the most well known Packers sports artists. His works are seen across the state and across the nation! He has painted some of the Green Bay Packers greats including Vince Lombardi, Brett Farve, Reggie White, Ray Nitschke, LeRoy Butler, Bart Starr, Robert Brooks and now his new piece titled ‘From Leather to Legendary’. You may have seen Andy Goralski as a featured artist on Channel 10/36 auction over the years. If you attend any fund raisers you will likely have seen his works at those auctions as well. Sports artist Andy Goralski has recently released his new painting of the original Acme Packers complete with their leatherhead helmets and the legendary newly renovated Lambeau Field directly behind Curly Lambeau’s Acme Packer’s. Check out his new print at coleengoralski.com

S. Nica is an avid football fan particularly the Green Bay Packers! A collector of fine art sports prints. See ‘From Leather to Legendary’ by sports artist Andy Goralski. The original Acme Packers with Curly Lambeau and the newly renovated Lambeau Field rising in the mist behind the legendary team makes a great gift!

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How to Decorate Your Man Cave With Sports Art

By S. Nica

Finally won out and have secured your spot in the house for your very own man cave? Surprising your spouse with a man cave of his own? Decorating a man cave is one of the most enjoyable rooms to decorate! There are no rules and nobody has to appreciate the place except the owner of the man cave!

Setting the Place Up

Hopefully you are able to put your large screen TV there to keep up with all your favorite teams. You have ‘your’ chair, you know the one everybody knows is ‘yours’ and would never dare to take over while you are making a pit stop. Next you need some comfy seating for your man cave friends to lounge in with you. Go with something durable that can take the occasional spills from beverage or food. Add some games to play for the days when it is just too painful to watch the rest of a disappointing game on the big screen is always a nice addition. A pool table if you can manage it, darts, and throw in some Nerf games for nostalgic sake.

Your Walls Need Something

They need sports art. Nothing says man cave like a nice collection of sports art on the walls. Conversation pieces that show your loyalty and respect for sports greats throughout the history of your favorite team. Not only will sports art add to the ambiance of your sports room but some are a nice little investment as well! Autographed fine art by an athlete and/or artist often has a great resale value on the secondary market.

Collecting Sports Art

Collecting sports art has become quite lucrative for some people. An autographed litho or fine art giclee that portrays the athlete in his/her finest hour can become a great collectible or heirloom to pass on. Today fine art is not limited to costly originals or only signed and numbered litho’s, you can also purchase some beautiful giclee’s on paper or canvas. Giclee’s are a different method of printing than traditional lithographs and often the canvas reproduction or giclee looks like the original painting especially if it has been enhanced by the artist.

You could decorate your room as many greats such as Reggie White, George Brett, Robin Yount, Walter Payton and many others have with an Andrew Goralski giclee, print or original. Many of the athletes Goralski has painted has ended up hanging on the walls of the athletes themselves! A fine edition to any man cave or sports art collection would be his new piece titled “From Leather to Legendary”. This new piece by Goralski illustrates bygone days of football with Curly Lambeau’s Acme Packers in their leatherhead helmets and the newly renovated Lambeau Field rising out of the mist. A great piece for both serious sports art collector or a piece of nostalgia for your man cave! See coleengoralski.com to find out if this beautiful piece of sports art fits in with your decorating scheme.

S. Nica is an avid football fan particularly the Green Bay Packers! A collector of fine art sports prints. See ‘ From Leather to Legendary ‘ by sports artist Andy Goralski. The original Acme Packers and the newly renovated Lambeau Field rising in the mist a must have for the die hard Packers fan!

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Autographed Sports Memorabilia – Fine Art Prints

By Sally Nica

Collecting autographed sports memorabilia can be fun and profitable! Fine art prints are one unique way to add to your collection of autographed memorabilia. Add a well known sports artist to the mix and your autographed piece becomes even more valuable. Sports artist Andy Goralski is one of a handful of nationally recognized artists who produce autographed fine art sports prints and originals.

Fine art prints, especially an autographed print, can be a great investment. Often the secondary market on a piece goes up in value and one can make a nice profit when re-selling a print. There is no guarantee that an athletes signature will ensure profit on the secondary market so caution is advised. Make sure you have an authentic autograph! Certificates of authenticity, getting a piece signed in your presence, a video or picture of the athlete signing is a sure way to have an authentic autograph. Purchasing officially licensed memorabilia usually guarantees authenticity as well. Artists often have their athlete signing sessions on video and include photographs of the athlete signing with the certificate of authenticity.

Limited editions are an important factor when purchasing fine art. A limited edition is signed by the artist and numbered 1/250 for example, that is one out of two hundred and fifty made. Artist proofs will be marked AP 1/10 as an example. Usually the lower the number of the edition the more valuable they will be in the secondary market and artist proofs are always more expensive. Many people wish to purchase the athletes jersey number but often the athlete themselves want that number out of the print edition. Numbers one and the athlete number are almost always more expensive in both the original sale and secondary market.

When storing your fine art prints take the proper precautions and your print will look good for many, many years. Hopefully you will have it framed professionally and you need not concern yourself with the intricacies of framing your fine art print. Should you attempt to frame it yourself make sure you use all acid free materials including the matte, tape and any backing required. Do not hang your print in direct sunlight even though most, if not all professional artists use state of the art printing techniques and UV inks and coatings. Direct sunlight is never recommended for artwork. If you are storing fine art prints, store them flat and away form excessive heat and humidity. Again, use acid free materials for storage.

You may have seen some fine art sports prints of Andy Goralski’s in a sports bar or restaurant near you or even in an airport lounge. His works depict athletes in their finest moments. Andy’s works are nationally recognized and can be seen in establishments across the country along with many other fine sports artists. His most recent work is a Prince Fielder piece titled ‘The Detonator’. Another hit by Goralski depicting this popular power hitter of the Milwaukee Brewers, Prince Fielder. Find out more about this print and the hidden numbers in the piece at coleengoralski.com

Sally Nica goes here to find the latest prints by nationally recognized sports artist Andy Goralski! Find his latest piece an autographed Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers titled, The Detonator. Find other fine art photography and vintage images for all your decorating needs at coleengoralski.com

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Decorate With Sports Art

By Sally Nica

Decorating with sports art is an ideal way to show your enthusiasm for your home team or favorite player! Sports art can give your sports themed room a finished and sophisticated look. Your man cave can be decked out in no time with a few well placed autographed fine art prints or canvas giclees.

Theme rooms have always been popular in decorating and today they are an easy answer for those who struggle with how to decorate a room. At times a spouse may have different ideas for that rec room or man cave but once you both settle on a sports theme it becomes easy. Easier yet if you both are rooting for the same teams! You love team A and she loves team B? No Problem! Nothing wrong with some good natured competition. Perhaps a line down the middle or ‘end zone’ is in order? Each gets a side to decorate as they see fit? Family and friends will have to choose sides when you are entertaining in your newly decorated sports room or man cave!

A line down the middle with opposing team colors sounds to chaotic? That may be so, but decorating need not be difficult. Decorating with a sports themes make choosing colors easy! Simply pick your favorite teams colors and use them on the walls, pillows, covers for bar stools or drapes! Now if you have a spouse who is bold enough to root for that ‘other’ team maybe a neutral color will be in order and simple highlights of favorite team colors will be quite enough.

Autographed sports art can be a good investment as well as being great image of a beloved player. Even for a child’s room a fine art print or canvas giclee will last them a lifetime and be a possible investment for the future. An autographed fine art print is not a sports collectible that mom can inadvertently toss out either! We all have heard the stories of autographs that go for big money years down the road, no guarantees but there is that possibility. If you are purchasing for the investment sake, make sure your autograph is the real thing! Professional sports artists prints and canvas giclees should come with a certificate of authenticity and a photograph or video of the athlete signing the piece and be licensed by the NFL or MLB if football and baseball are your sports of choice. An autograph while a player is young or before he is traded can often be worth more in the secondary market in the years to come. Some players severely limit their autograph sessions or price themselves out of the market with outlandish signing fees when they become the next superstar.

A professionally framed fine art sports piece will give your room that final finished look. A fine art sports print can give the room an air of sophistication while keeping the sports theme both fun and elegant. If you have chosen to keep your room more neutral in color you can still bring in colors of the favorite team with matting choices when framing. A double mat can give you many options even for those who are a bit more timid with color. Using the second or inside mat can give a ‘reveal’ of the team color for a more subdued look. Though canvas prints are usually more expensive, canvas giclees that are gallery wrapped do not necessarily need to be framed and there can be a cost savings by not framing a canvas print.

It depends on the look you are after when deciding on a print or canvas giclee. Framed and matted art is more traditional but often a canvas giclee can look like an original painting without the price tag of an original. Have fun decorating your sports room or man cave! You have a lot of future seasons and memories with family and friends in that room! Make it special with fine art sports prints on your wall.

Sally Nica goes here to find the latest prints by sports artist Andy Goralski! Decorating your man cave is easy with autographed fine art sports prints. See Andy’s latest piece autographed by Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers titled, The Detonator. Find other fine art photography and vintage images for all your decorating needs at coleengoralski.com.

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