Tag Archives: football

The Repercussions of Concussions – Chris Borland’s Effect


It’s the NFL’s biggest problem. Concussions have dominated the news for the past few years.  We’ve seen the devastating effects it has on life after football.  From Jim McMahon’s interviews where he frequently gets lost in his day to day life to Junior Seau’s suicide.  If you are an NFL player it’s literally like playing Russian roulette.

Chris Borland was a third round pick in last year’s draft.  He was the 2013 Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year, started for the injured Patrick Willis and did amazingly well as a rookie.  With Willis’s recent retirement, he would become the anchor of the 49er’s linebacking corp.  He would be off to a 10+ year career, making close to 100 million dollars.  So what did he do? He retired! At the age of 24, he did the research, a lot of research and what he read scared him.  He’s had concussions and with each play of the ball he concluded that he was rolling the dice with the remainder of his life.

There has been so much debate of whether or not the NFL should be scared, whether the first shot has been fired and now a lot more people will retire.  I don’t think that’s true.  We had seen this before, people retiring early on in their career.  I immediately though back to the 1990s when running back Robert Smith, who retired even though he seemed to be in the prime of his career.  His retirement didn’t move the needle.  Neither will Chris Borland’s.  What his retirement will do is make parents think twice about letting their children play football.  We may not see the effects of this for 20 years, when sports like soccer, baseball and basketball will be seeing more athletic players.

The real concern in the card world is now down to prospecting.  It was tough enough to figure out who will be good and who will be a bust out of a draft, now you have to figure out who will not retire early due to injury concerns.  Borland’s cards have already taken a hit.  He’s gone form a $20 autograph to a $10 one and will more likely drop from there as the years go on.  I’ve stopped prospecting years ago, I want players that are established as rock solid assets and not one year / amateur wonders.  I am very curious as to how other people feel about not only prospecting NFL players, but also how the Borland announcement will change the football landscape.

Through The Mail Success – Tedy Bruschi

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This one came back about two weeks ago.  As many of you know I am an University of Arizona alumni.  I thought it would be great to post a pro – Wildcat TTM success.  I was at U of A from 1989 – 1993, right in the thick of Desert Swarm.  I met many members of this defense over the years while I was a part of KAMP student radio, serving as the Sports Director.  Bruschi is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.  He was great to do interviews with (of which I did quite a few) and was just so down to earth.  I have a bunch of his autographs that I have gotten over the years, but I wanted one that was on my new design, so off it went on a three week journey.

His awards are as follows:

  • 2× Consensus All-American (1994, 1995)
  • 3× First-team All-Pac-10 (1993, 1994, 1995)
  • Morris Trophy (1995)
  • Pro Bowl (2004)
  • 2× All-Pro (2003, 2004)
  • 3× Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX)
  • 5× AFC champion (1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007)
  • 2× Ed Block Courage Award (2000, 2005)
  • AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2005)
  • PFWA NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2005)
  • New England Patriots All-2000s Team
  • New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team
  • College Football Hall of Fame inductee (2013)

Where I sent it:

Tedy Bruschi
c/o ESPN
935 Middle St.
Bristol, CT 06010

Turnaround time: 25 days

Number of cards signed in the set: 4

Finally, I hope that U of A gets the number one seed in the west later today.  They deserve it, they won their conference and the conference tournament, unlike both Virginia and Duke.

Multiple Through The Mail Successes – Cory Snyder / John Cappelletti

Cory Snyder

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This one I chased after, even though it doesn’t fit into my personal collection profile of All Stars and Hall of Famers.  It doesn’t even matter though because it’s Cory Freaking Snyder.  Anyone from the 80s knows why this autograph is awesome!  Snyder is from the heyday of my childhood collecting.  I still have north of 50 of his cards, and I will probably not get rid of them.  He has long since left the sport and the value of those cards will remain at a constant 50 cents a piece (a full dollar less than I paid for them), but I can’t let them go.  He was my first prospecting card.  After Mark McGwire’s cards went through the roof, I started gobbling up those beautiful orange and blue cards, Shane Mack, John Marzano, and Odibie McDowell.  I couldn’t get enough of them, they were going to be my college education.

In the end though, they all became good players, but not super stars and certainly not Hall of Fame members.  Cory Snyder is a reminder to me, never fall for prospecting, ever!  One out of a thousand prospects turns into a star, an even smaller percentage become superstars and a minuscule amount become Hall of Famers.  Just ask all those Dice-K collectors.  Still, this autograph will be among my favorite in the collection. It will go right up there with Kevin Elster’s when I get that one back.

John Cappelletti

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Before there was Reggie Bush / Darren McFaddon / Adrian Peterson, there was John Cappelletti.  I know you’re all like who? Here is a list of awards won during his senior year (1973) at Penn State, Heisman, Maxwell, Walter Camp, Chic Harley, UPI Player of the Year, and first team All American.  He was the 11th overall pick of the 1974 NFL Draft.  Joe Paterno once said that of all the players he has ever coached, Cappelletti was his favorite.  He was one of the best college players of all time and in 1993 he was inducted into the College football Hall of Fame.

He had a decent NFL career, nothing spectacular.  He played for the Rams and the Chargers, never amassing more than 700 yards in any one season.  His NFL career is not why I went after his autograph, it was his college play.  Growing up in NJ, you hear of all the great PSU players and I always knew about Cappelletti as one of the best running backs in PSU history and that’s saying a lot since for years it was known as Running Back U.

Both of these autographs are special to me since they bring me back to my childhood.  I’m so happy to have gotten a chance to get a through the mail success with either of these guys, and yes if they would have asked for a donation to their charity, I would have done it in a heartbeat!  In fact if either is reading this now, email me using the envelop in the top left corner of my site and tell me your favorite charity to donate to.

Their Autographs



Their Rookie Cards

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New Through the Mail Design – 1989 Score Rookie

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It’s that time of year again.  The time of the NFL combine and the draft.  I’ve always been a QB guy and in each draft I like to follow the draft status of all the QBs that I liked in the previous college season.  This year there were four:

  • Brett Hundley
  • Bo Wallace
  • Bryce Petty
  • Garrett Grayson

I will also go after specific defensive end and offensive linemen as well, but that will be later.  I really don’t care where these guys will end up, I will root for them where ever they go.  I just liked watching them play last season.  I got home addresses for all of them and I’m sending them out today and tomorrow.  In the past I’ve done pretty well with sending out to their homes before the draft.  I’ve gotten Andy Dalton, Nick Foles and also helped out Adam from SCU with a Christian Ponder TTM as well.  This is the best time to send these requests out.  I almost never miss on these.

As for the design, I tried to imagine what a cut autograph would look like for the 1989 Score rookie card.  I am elated with the front of the card.  I don’t think I could have done better, the back is a different story.  I’m not in love with it, too much white space.  Not quite sure what to do to make it better.  If you have any ideas on how to tweak it let me know!  These are business card size and I really do wish there were cases or top loaders for that size.  It seems like 75 pt. is the perfect thickness to store them in.  I’ve recently taken on some projects from other collectors, helping them make custom cards to send out so if you are interested I can help.


Through the Mail Success – John Offerdahl

FullSizeRender (6)This one came back on Monday.  I am embarrassed to post it.  I made the picture small so that you wouldn’t see the obvious error on the card.  For those that don’t know, John Offerdahl was the cog in the Miami Dolphins defense that kept Dan Marino in the games.

He’s a five time Pro Bowler and two time All Pro selection.  The only thing holding him out of the Hall of Fame was his extremely short career of just eight years. An extremely smart guy both book smart and business sense.  He owned a Bagel store venture that later was sold and became Einstein’s Bagels.  Now he runs a restaurant chain called Offerdahl’s Cafe and Grill.  To top it off he graduated with a FullSizeRender (7)Biochemistry degree from Western Michigan.  Two years ago he was inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame.

My embarrassment comes with placing his position as pitcher on the card, when it should be linebacker.  This is why it’s important to please pay attention when creating custom cards.  Something that me, a person who is completely ADD, sometimes seems to do.  Oh well, I hope that John O. got a giggle out of it.


So how did this TTM break down?

Address sent to:

John Offerdahl
2749 NE 37th Dr.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308

Turnaround time: 21 days

Set for: 2014 Bad Wax Heritage Cut Autographs

Running Number of signed cards in set: 1

Remaining cards from the set still out for signature: 2


2014 Vintage Cuts: Sonny Jurgensen (Sold)


Cad Number: VC-SJ

Card Subject: Sonny Jurgensen

Ebay link: Cut autograph

Football Reference Link: FR Link

Player information: This one was obtained in person, I think I was about 14 or 15 and was at a Redskin’s game.  Just happened to see him leaving a VIP area and my dad got him to sign for us.  Even though he seemed to be in a hurry, he took the time to give a nice autograph.  The only problem was that it was on an angle.  I gave this one a lot of though before final placement.  The problem was, if I was to rotate the card, I would have to lay down a white surface behind it since the index card would end in the cut window. I just hate that blank background on a cut autograph.  I feel like it detracts from the autograph.  So in the end I chipped off a bit of the S and the bottom of the loop from the J and fit it in the window.  The card was slightly yellowed from age, so I thought the contrast between the white of a background card and the index card would detract from the piece.  In the end I like the way this one came out.  It’s imperfect, like when Sonny originally signed the card on an angle.  Also I went with the more modern Redskins logo, since the 60s one (when he played) is so ugly.

What it originally looked like:


The dashes you see are where my cut marks would end up being.  The long dash on the side was how I was going to originally cut it but decided against it.

A certified autograph:


Rookie Card:


1958 Topps #90

2014 VINTAGE CUTS: Clarence “Ace” Parker

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Card Number: VC-AP

Card Subject: Clarence “Ace” Parker

Ebay link: Cut autograph

Football Reference Link: FR Link

Player information: Living in Durham, NC, the hometown college is Duke University.  There aren’t a whole lot of football players coming out of Duke and being elected to the Hall of Fame.  However if you go back far enough (to the 1930’s) you’ll come across an amazing individual, Ace Parker.  Not only was he a great football player in the pre-passing world of football, but he also played professional baseball, and became the head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Duke.  From there he became the Durham Bulls (minor league baseball) manager before his retirement.  He along with Bobby Doerr were the last living players ever to appear on the same field with the likes of Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby.  He is also the only member of the Football Hall of Fame to survive to be over 100 years old.  This card was signed at an event I attended in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  The signature was easy enough to fit inside the window, the hardest part of this card was finding the logo for his old football team.  I went with the Tigers, only because I couldn’t find what the old Brooklyn Dodgers football team’s logo looked like.

What the original signature looked like:

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Image of a certified autograph:

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Image of one of his cards: