Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thanks Fuji!

I loves me some Fuji.  He writes an excellent blog, and I always especially enjoy his flea market posts where he shows off the random stuff he picked up locally.  He mentioned that recently he had a Cardinals quad for my set and I like to think that he found it at one of those flea markets (though really I have no idea hahaha).  He asked if I needed it, I said "HECK YES," and whadya know...I have it in my hands now.  Funny how that works.

In all it's glory, here is the 2nd Cardinals quad in the Heads Up Quads set.  I don't know why the Cardinals got two team cards when some teams didn't even get one, but that's cool for the Cardinals anyways!  The front:
Martay Jenkins...there's a name I haven't thought of in a while (jk he was in Madden 04 like all the other cool cats).  Jenkins was a 6th round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 1999, but he was actually cut in training camp and signed by the Cardinals.  In 2000 he took over the kick return duties for Arizona, and actually showed great promise with a league leading 82 returns for a a league leading 2,186 yards including a 98 yard touchdown.  He was actually a great returner during his entire three year Cardinals stint, as he led the league in return average in 2002 too.

He never did a ton as a WR though, with 70 receptions for 987 yards and 4 touchdowns over three seasons.  That, injuries, and a somewhat absurd contract request spelled the end of his Cardinals career, and he then spent offseason time with the Falcons and Broncos before leaving the NFL.  He spent a year in the CFL and has since gone into athletic training (he actually founded his own company which is pretty cool, kudos to Mr. Jenkins!).

Bill Gramatica...everyone knows that guy even if you don't think you do.  He's the kicker who knocked himself out for the year celebrating a first quarter field goal.  He's also the lesser Gramatica, as Martin is the one with the long career while Bill's was just four true seasons.

Bill was a 4th round draft pick in 2001, and actually had a decent rookie year with 16/20 field goals made before that injury ended his season. He played a little worse in 2002, and then only played four games in 2003, losing his job to Tim Duncan (no no the NBA one) and Neil Rackers.  Gramatica then bounced around the league, with his only stats coming in one game for the Miami Dolphins in 2004 where he played for an injured Olindo Mare.  In that game, against the Arizona Cardinals of all teams, Gramatica kicked three field goals to keep the game close.  But he missed his only extra point and the team lost the game by one point, so that was the end for Mr. Gramatica.  He now works with his brother Martin in other business ventures.

Joel Makovicka - another FB in this FB rich set, which is awesome!  Makovicka was a 4th round pick of the Cardinals in 1999, and like Martay Jenkins he spent 1999-2002 in Arizona before his career pretty much ended (that 1999 Cardinals draft was not great, with the highlights including David Boston - who left after 2002, L.J. Shelton - who left after 2004, Johnny Rutledge - who left after 2002, Tom Burke - who left after 2002, and Coby Rhinehart - who left after 2002.  Not exactly staying power when most of your draft is gone in three years...).  Makovicka had 35 starts over his four years in Arizona, serving mostly as a blocking back but also having some surprising offensive effectiveness at times, including 5 receiving touchdowns on 47 career receptions and a career 5.2 yards per carry.  On just 17 carries 2001 he has one carry for 19 yards and in 2002 he had five carries for 54 yards, so those heavily affected his career statline.

Last guy here is Tywan Mitchell, and man, is he hard to find information on.  Cobbling together stuff from a few websites, it looks like Mitchell was a WR at Minnesota State who went undrafted in 2000.  Baltimore signed him and then released him, and then the Cardinals took a look because they had Terry Hardy, but he was no great shakes (lifetime 68 catches for 461 yards and 3 touchdowns over 37 starts from 1998-2001).  Mitchell got the one start that Hardy didn't get in 2000, with 5 catches for 80 yards for the year.  In 2001 Mitchell played in all 16 games and saw 4 starts, but only caught 25 balls for 196 yards and two touchdowns.  With just 7.8 yards per reception and some subpar blocking, Mitchell was released after the season and never saw NFL action again.

Who wins the card?  This is a tough one, what with three four year careers and one two year career.  None of these guys really "left a mark" on the NFL in terms of statistical success.  I think this card really comes down to Martay Jenkins and Bill Gramatica, and it really depends on whether you value league leading stats (of which Jenkins had a few in the kick return department) or infamy (Gramatica's injury).  I'm going with Martay Jenkins.


  1. Sorry to break the news... but I didn't grab it at the flea market. Found it at an online card shop (Tromp's Sports Cards) and figured you could use it.

    As for the players... I vaguely remember Makovicka and Jenkins... but my pick goes to Martin's younger brother.

  2. Ooo I love Tromp's! Good guy to support, I can get behind that!

    And it was really a toss up between Bill and Martay, but I'll take the brief top of the peak status of Jenkins in the KR department over Bill's 2.5 seasons of glory. Very close though.