Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh menace...

Everyone's favorite Michiganite, Dennis of Too Many Verlanders, recently sent out a bunch of surprise packages.  I had a feeling one might be headed to me given recent discussions between us that included a healthy dose of Michigan-Ohio comparisons (and some cards I semi-claimed from 2012 Topps football), and I was 110% right!  As typically happens with Dennis, some cards were expected while other cards were not, and as usual all were fantastic!  Here's a look at the goodies in no particular order!

Well I guess there's a little bit of an've always got to put the hits first or last, right?
This one is Syndric Steptoe, who sadly is only the second greatest named Browns WR of all time since Fair Hooker played the same position in the 70's.  But it's a great name nonetheless, and this is a BEAUTIFUL autographed card...nicely centered in the card, nice and big on the card, adds his number for good measure - I straight up love this design.  I've mentioned Steptoe before but I thing he deserves a longer mention here (especially since he still hasn't been nominated for my hall - dumb me!).  He was a 2007 7th round pick who expected to contribute on special teams at the most.  But in 2008 Joe Jurevicius, Donte Stallworth, and Josh Cribbs were ALL hurt to start the year, so Steptoe stepped right into the starting lineup for several games alongside Braylon Edwards, where he remained for a total of 5 games that year.  

To show you how bad the Browns corps was otherwise in their 4-12 1998 year, the third string WR for that opening day game was a guy named Steve Sanders, who has ONE career NFL catch ever...and it was in that game.  And while the combination of Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey, and Bruce Gradkowski wasn't going to win many games anyway (Dorsey and Gradkowski were a particularly putrid 50 of 112 passing with 0 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 4 losses), it's hard for a QB to play well when the WR aren't there.  To Steptoe's credit, he did manage 19 receptions in that season (also his career total), which was 6th on the team behind Braylon, Kellen Winslow, Jamal Lewis, Steve Heiden, and James Wright.  His 182 yards receiving ranked only behind Braylon, Winslow, and Heiden. Not Cleveland's best year.

That's more Browns talk than most of you ever cared to here.  So let's talk Topps base parallels, of Patriots past and future:
 A few nice golds or Jerod Mayo, Alfonzo Dennard, and Deion Branch, as well as a black parallel (always nifty) of Randy Moss.  Moss and Branch are gone from New England, with Branch being one of my personal favorite WR's of all time (if I ever start a Patriots player PC he is right up there with J.R. Redmond and Robert Edwards) and Moss being...well Moss.  I really wanted a card of him in a Titans uniform and I did like his Patriots career even if the guy was kind of ridiculous.

As for the current guys, Mayo and Dennard, I see them as kind of opposites.  Dennard is a flashy young kid who will make plays, sort of more in that classic Ty Law mold, while Mayo is the linebacker who doesn't create turnovers or get sacks but always seems to be in the right spot at the right time, and it's hard not to like that.  I viewed Lawyer Milloy in a similar light when he was still in New England, and so I've always had a healthy respect for Mayo.  But hopefully Dennard and his draft class buddies bring some of that turnover magic to the Patriots D this year and for years to come, because the team could certainly use some flash along with their usual consistency!

Speaking of flash, Dennis also sent along a card of my all time favorite Kent State Golden Flash, Mr. Joshua Cribbs:
We had "football day" at school last Friday, and all teachers were encouraged to wear jerseys.  I'm in Bengals territory so Patriots gear didn't seem appropriate and I didn't think kids would understand my Kywin Supernaw or Seneca Wallace jerseys, so I went with Josh Cribbs.  I think it was a good choice!

Dennis also added more cards of the key Pats guys for me, being Branch and Mayo.  So here are a few cards of Branch, in the snow and in Seattle:

And here are a bunch of cards of favorite is the throwback uniform card where Brett Favre is sitting on his butt:

Nearing the end here, so I'll finish with two QB's.  The first is unexpected - see Dennis, like many guys, throws base in as decoys on either side of the card brick.  So I got some Sage Hit cards, and my favorite one was this Pat White card:
If you have to ask why I think a Pat White card is neat, then you probably don't understand my blog.  Undersized, athletic QB who is undersized and and played a bit of "slash" type QB at the pro he dabbled in another professional sport.  A guy like White is right up my alley for all of those reasons.

The expected card?  Only one of the best QB of all time, Warren Moon.  As much a Fred McGriff backer as I am baseball-wise, I used to be show that passion tenfold when discussing the career of Moon.  So I was glad when Dennis got doubles of this card and could send me one:
One of the greatest offensive QB's of all time - I know when people thing major passing stats they mostly thing of Marino and Favre, but Moon held all of the major "professional" passing records thanks to his time in the CFL up until 2007, when Favre shattered just about every record.  When comparing the guys statswise, Moon threw a few more picks than Marino and was less touchdown happy than Favre, but I like the skills he brought to the game and there's no doubting that his Houston Oilers were always a fun team to watch, especially come playoff time.  So it's always nice to grab a card of his, especially one that captures that Oilers history!

Thanks again Dennis for all the cards!  Once I find another Hill or two for you, I'll send stuff your way!

1 comment:

  1. I love the mentions of Wolverines Braylon Edwards and Ty Law, and more importantly, I wait with bated breath in anticipation of any new Rich Hills you can send my way!