Friday, March 7, 2014

Too Many Nice People!

So you'd think this is a Dennis post...but it's not lol.  There's a guy on the forums who has a Too Many username as well, and he actually collects the Pacific Heads Up Quads set as well (along with a large number of 00's era Pacific sets).  He traded me a quad for some trade bait I had early on, and recently was able to find me a key card for my set that he offered to me at a nice price.  He also offered me another Quad and a Stith I needed for a bit more, and I turned him down, but then he sent them anyways.  So I'll be showing the two throw in's today, with the key card coming in a few days!

The first card he sent, and one he actually mentioned way back when I announced I was collecting Stith, is this nice Private Stock card:
It's got a very classy look to it, which is how I think Private Stock was supposed to look for a little while.  Smaller print runs, glossier finish, whole nine yards.  I wonder what Private Stock would have looked like in future years had Pacific hung on.
The back is neat, I really like the Jaguars colored text for the name and vital information.  And as always I love the numbering, 053/278 on this one.  It's really impressive to see how well Stith played as a freshman, but then that really begs the question why the Hokies redshirted Stith as a sophomore.  I'm not too familiar with redshirting, but I'd imagine this one was either tied to academics or injury.

Here's the other freebie I received, which the guy referenced as "#47 in your set."  It's one of the most truly random cards in the whole set, as it's a position card (everyone's a WR) but unlike the other position cards no one on this card is even close to a star or HOFer, let alone a true fan favorite.  I mean with the fullback card you at least get Jim Kleinsasser, with the TE card you get Mark Bruener and Aaron Shea, but with this card it's all randomness.  Anyways, let's get to the guys.

Tony Simmons comes first, and man do I love the silver Patriots jersey piece he has!  He's most known, to me anyways, for being the guy who caught Michael Bishop's only career touchdown pass.  Simmons' future started brightly with 6 games started as a rookie, and his 23 receptions for 474 yards and 3 touchdowns weren't half bad.  A year later Troy Brown saw more offensive snaps and Vincent Brisby also cut into some of Simmons' playing time at WR3, and so he had only 1 game started, 19 catches, 276 yards and 2 touchdowns.  In Simmons' third year he had less competition, but a bigger focus on RB/TE play led to even lower totals of 14 catches for 231 yards.  He was released after the season and spent the next few years wandering around, first splitting a year with the Colts (with whom he had two catches for 17 yards) and Browns, then being signed and released by the expansion Texans (hence the Texans logo here), and then finishing his NFL career with 3 games in 2002 with the Giants.

After that, Simmons' career got kind of nuts.  He played in NFL Europe a bit while in the NFL, but afterwards he went to the CFL was 2004-2007.  He then completely left the continent, traveling to Denmark in 2010 to play WR and act as offensive coordinator and special teams coach for the Triangle Razorbacks.  He then played coach/WR in Hungary, helped as a consultant/coach/referee developing football in India, acted coach of all trades for Austia's Amstetten Thunder and Italy's Cagliari Crusaders, and was head coach of Brazil's East Sao Paolo.  He is due to head coach next year for Finland's Kouvola Indians.  It would appear that Simmons is fairly dedicated to bringing the game he loves to people all over the globe, which is awesome.

Na Brown was a 4th round pick of the Eagles in 1999.  He is known for having some pretty epic training camp/preseasons, and that was enough to get him 9 starts over 42 games in his three year career.  He didn't do a lot with those starts though, with a career total of 34 catches for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns.  So like one and a half games for Josh Gordon or Calvin Johnson.  Brown later played with the Orlando Predators of the AFL and then spent some time away from the game before signing with the Huntington Hammel of the UIFL in 2011.  According to Wikipedia he is still on their roster, which is pretty cool since Brown is now 36.

So I said that all of these WR were fairly humdrum, but to be truthful Charles Johnson is the exception.  He isn't a legend by any means, but he did put together a nine year career that spanned four teams, and that's legendary by the standards of this card.  He was the 17th pick of the 1st round in 1994, which made him the first WR picked.  Rod Smith went undrafted that year, and Issac Bruce/Willie Jackson/Derrick Alexander/Johnnie Morton would've been good picks too, but all things considered Johnson brought decent value to Pittsburgh.  In his five seasons with the team, he had season highs of 65 catches (1998), 1,008 yards (1996), and 7 touchdowns (1998).  His main issue was being on a run-first team with iffy quarterbacks (like Mike Tomzack and early career Kordell Stewart), which meant he didn't even see 16 starts in a season until his fifth year in the league.

Pittsburgh let him walk after that year, and the Eagles snatched him up and gave him 27 starts over two years.  Again the QBs were bad (we're talking Doug Pederson bad) and the team was run-first, and Johnson's two year totals included 90 catches for 1,056 yards and 8 touchdowns.  The Patriots picked him up in 2001 (to replace Tony Simmons?) and he won a championship with them, even adding 2 receptions for 22 yards in the AFC championship game.  But after the season he was released, and his final year occurred in 2002 when he caught three passes over 16 games with the Buffalo Bills.  Something you might notice at this point is that this set skipped over some years with some guys, like Johnson being pictured as an Eagle and noted as a Bill (what about the year in New England?) and Simmons pictured as a Patriot and listed as a Texan (Browns and Colts?).  But that's because they tried to have the picture match the jersey piece, which is actually kind of nice compared to some of the debauchery you see today in jersey cards.

Finally we come to Bobby Shaw, who was a 6th round Seahawks pick in 1998.  Shaw had a real hard time sticking anywhere, and bounced around from the Hawks to the Steelers to the Jaguars to the Bills to the Chargers over his 6 year career.  His career year was definitely 2003 with Buffalo, where he put up 56 receptions for 732 yards and four touchdowns in 7 starts.  He had two other 40 catch years and hadn't ever had a year under 20 receptions or 387 yards in his first five seasons, so it seemed like he would still be useful for an NFL team.  But the Bills drafted Lee Evans in 2004 to pair with Eric Moulds and Josh Reed, so Shaw became the odd man out and was released during the season.  San Diego signed him and seemed excited to play Shaw, but his stats over 7 games were limited to one rushing attempt for one yard.  The following year he tried out for Seattle but after not making the team his career was finished.

Who wins the card?  As much as I'd like to say Simmons, I think you've gotta go Charles Johnson. I'm sure Pittsburgh faithful wish he had been Issac Bruce or Rod Smith, but he still had a pretty consistently nice career and won a championship ring.

No comments:

Post a Comment