Saturday, June 11, 2011

Burbank Post Two, Obscurity Part One

Some of you non-NFLers might not know a single name from this first post. But believe me - it gets so, so much more obscure.

Scan one features a GSNHOF regular, ex-Tampa Bay QB Shaun King, and a J.J. Moses card (that features some excellent kick return photography), both from 2004 Upper Deck:
King needs no introduction if you're read my site for a while. Mostly I just found it odd that he was ever anything but a Buccaneer, and so I had to get my hands on a card that mentioned that time, even if it is typical Upper Deck with the photo not matching the team logo. Mission accomplished.

As for Moses, I know of him part through my admiration of kick returners and part through my brother's love of the Houston Texas. We quickly became big fans of Moses after a few electric returns in the 2003 season, which left many fans expecting more. Unfortunately the next season saw a drop in his kick return average and no return longer than 49 yards, which meant it was out of Houston, then Miami, and then the league. His career was a short one (4 years), but like any good kick returners, I don't think it'll ever be completely forgotten, especially since he has a pretty cool name.

The other two defensive guys, Patrick Chukwurah and Dmitrius Underwood:
This is where the players from this lot start to get more obscure, particularly with Chukwurah, whose only card release was this 2001 Bowman and its variants. I used to think football players with dreadlocks flowing out of their helmets were pretty damn cool, and that was the case with Chukwurah for a while. He never amounted to much, but I followed him around the league for a while, especially when he was with the Texans during training camp. He's now in the United Football League, where he led the Florida Tuskers in sacks in the league's first season.

And finally, you've all heard of Dmitrius Underwood, even if you don't remember the name. He's the 29th pick of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, despite the fact that many scouts cited Underwood psychologically unfit for the game. Underwood then signed a big contract, quit football because of his relationship with God, came back to football a few weeks later and joined the Dolphins, was cut by the Dolphins, tried to kill himself, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, played two seasons with the Cowboys, tried to kill himself again, and then was cut by the Cowboys and never played another down in the NFL. On the surface his story is just kind of nuts, but below it's the sad tale of a player whose mental issues were never really met by the league. And for some reason his whole story always captivated me, so I had to pick up one of his two card releases for my PC to remember the face behind the tale.

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