Sunday, February 2, 2014

Heads Up Quads Card #1 (and Card #2) - And a little explanation

I'm already almost at my Michael Bishop yearly goal, I have about 25% of non printing plate Rod Smart cards, and I own one of five Shyrone Stith 1/1's.  So most of my new collections are moving right along.  But for whatever reason (mostly because there's a slight price increase on this set compared to the other cards I collect), my Heads Up Quads collection cupboard has been bare.  Well no more, thanks to a lovely trade with a guy on the Blowout Forums...who also collects this set and has some doubles!

But first...why in the heck do I want to collect this set?  I posted some pics of it on Blowout and a user mentioned how a lot of guys in the set have one team logo but their picture is them from a former team with the patch marked "worn while with team x."  Isn't that silly?  And there are scrubs on scrubs on scrubs in this why would I even care?

Well in regards to question one - I think it's kind of neat that you might find a Saint player with a Buccaneers picture/Buccaneers note.  If anything it's at least honest...the card lets you know which team the jersey truly originated from.  I also LOVE journeymen, so the more guys on the move the better.  As for question two regarding scrubs...well I player collect Seneca Wallace, Shyrone Stith, Michael Bishop, and Rod Smart.  2 of the 4 of those guys might be regarded as college stars, and none of the four have had prolonged success at the NFL I guess you could say I love scrubs.  Especially early 00's scrubs given my Madden 2004 passion...which I'm sure will come up a lot with this set.

So I think that's all pretty self explanatory.  And up til now the only Heads Up Quads card that has been on this blog is my Seneca custom, so I guess I'll post the real cards now and let them speak for themselves (well I'll speak about them too...but you know what I mean).
The front of card #1...appropriate for the start of a collection. This front features a red jersey of Thomas Jones and a white jersey of David Boston.

Jones was only two years and one team into a twelve year career that saw stops in Tampa Bay (I do not remember that year), Chicago, New York (Jets), and Kansas City.  His best year was definitely 2008 with the Jets when he made the Pro Bowl on the strength of 1312 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns (and set a Jets rushing touchdown record), so he was kind of a late bloomer.  He didn't even hit 1,000 yards until his 6th season in the league with his third team (the Bears), but that set off a streak of five straight 1,000 yard seasons.  Jones is probably one of the quietest members of the 10,000 yards rushing club, and he's also in the top 25 all time currently in rushing yards.  A pretty cool guy all around, he got his Bachelor's in Psychology in three years as well.

Boston is the bigger name on this side of the card, though his career was only six years long (wow that seems short considering his hype).  Jones and Boston were both first rounders, with Jones picked #7 in 2000 and Boston picked #8 in 1999.  Neither was in Arizona long, but Boston was the more successful guy by far in his four years there.  He had two thousand yard seasons, including a 2001 where he led the league with 1,598 yards receiving and made the Pro Bowl.  The guy looked like a legend in the making.

But then it all fell apart.  In 2002 Boston got hurt and played only eight games.  After the season he was a free agent, so San Diego signed him to a 7 year $47 million dollar deal ($12 million guaranteed), but that ended after one 880 yard season due to a moody personality and lazy practice habits.  San Diego dealt Boston to the Dolphins for a 6th round pick, where he tested positive for steroids and was suspended four games before tearing a ligament and missing the rest of the season.  The Dolphins cut him and then resigned him for 2005 at the veteran's minimum, and he was able to catch four passes for 80 yards before again tearing ligaments.  The Buccaneers signed him during the offseason in 2006, but released him after Boston was arrested for a DUI.  And since then Boston has never played in the NFL again, due to a combination of recurring injuries and recurring legal trouble.

Here's the back.  Everyone knows QB Jake Plummer, who has a white jersey piece.  Frank Sanders is a little less known, but he's pretty highly ranked in Cardinal WR history.

Let's talk Plummer first.  Actually just 10 years in the NFL, which seems brief, with six years as a Cardinal and four as a Bronco (he was traded to Tampa Bay in 2007 but retired rather than continue playing...Tampa Bay seems like a common future thread on this card).  Plummer was really a guy with two careers, with Arizona being his devil may care gunslinger period (90 TD to 114 INT with a 30-52 record and 15 4th quarter comebacks) and Denver being his accurate veteran period (71:47 ratio with a 39-15 record).  Such a bizarre little career, so I guess it's no wonder he's keeping the bizarreness alive with his post career stint as a four wall handball champion.

Raise your hand if you thought Thomas Jones was going to be the guy with the longest career on this card. neither, but he did.  Sanders tried though, with nine years in the league which does better Boston.  He was about on his way out with this card though, as 2002 was his final year in Arizona before he spent a single year in Baltimore.  Sanders never made a Pro Bowl and never scored a lot of touchdowns  (24 for his career) but he did go over 1,000 yards twice and was the go-to guy for some bad Cardinals teams.  At the time of his retirement, he was third all time in receptions and fifth all time in yards in team history (he has since been passed by Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald).  I'd argue he's at least the third most successful guy here, which is pretty nice considering that Boston was probably THE guy on this card back in the day.

Who wins the card?  Thomas Jones, though Jake Plummer is probably the guy more people could name post career.

The other card that I received in this trade was a Seahawks quad:
Alex Bannister and Shaun Alexander.  I'll start with Alexander this time and keep it brief - in 2000 he was Ricky Watters' backup, in 2001 he led the league in touchdowns with 14 and became a pretty big deal.  His career is hardly talked about now, but for five years from 2001-2005 he was the premier RB in football with five straight 1,000 yard seasons, culminating in a 28 total touchdown performance in 2005.  He's more remembered now as a cautionary tale for overuse since his final three seasons (two in Seattle and one in Washington) consisted of less than 1,650 yards in 27 games, but he's pretty unforgettable in the minds of most Seahawks fans (Thomas Jones did beat him in total yards though...whoa).

Now Alex Bannister...he's a Madden 2004 guy.  He was a great special teams player, and since he was elected to the 2003 Pro Bowl for his special teams talent, he actually had the best tackle rating of any WR in Madden 2004.  So I signed him often to be a 5th or 6th WR who played on my kicking units, with great success.  In real life he had a six year career with five years in Seattle and a final year in Baltimore.  His total offensive contribution was 9 receptions for 121 yards and 1 touchdown, but he also recovered two fumbles and probably made a bunch of special teams tackles (though that data is not readily available sadly without quite a bit of digging sadly). He caught a lot of passes for me in Madden since he was also 6'5," and I remember playing him on defense in late game situations too.

The back of the final card has arguable the most famous duo in Matt Hasselbeck and Darrell Jackson.  I'll start with Mr. "we want the ball and we're gonna score."  I'm sure he'd take that moment back, but he nas actually had a pretty successful career that is still going in his fifteenth year.  His last three years with Tennessee and Indianapolis and his first two with Green Bay aren't a lot to talk about, but his middle ten saw Hasselbeck go 69-62 with 174 touchdown passes and an 82.2 QB rating, which really ain't too bad.  That's also with a 5-6 playoff record which included one Super Bowl appearance.  I remember him as the reason Seneca Wallace never got a fair shake, but to be fair the guy definitely earned it, so it's hard to really fault Hasselbeck.

Finally we come to Darrell Jackson, who was a BEAST in Madden 2004 so I thusly remember him as a beast.  His career was actually only nine years though, with seven years in Seattle followed by forgettable seasons with Denver and San Francisco.  His Seattle career actually was pretty awesome though, as he finished fourth all time in franchise history for receptions and third all time for yards.  No Pro Bowls, but three seasons over 1,000 yards and three seasons over 8 touchdown receptions so you know he was still pretty good.

Who wins the card?  Although Hasselbeck is still playing, I think you have to go with Shaun Alexander since his star burned brightest during his brief NFL tenure.

Thus ends the first lot of Heads Up Quads, which were even better than I imagined.  I can't wait to get some more!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Hawks quad! I'll have to track one down for my collection.