Spearman, Ike

Cards: Topps AAF 2019 Certified, Topps AAF 2019
Acquired: 2019, EBay. IP 2020, Houston Roughnecks /Tampa Bay Vipers Joint Practice

A 3 year starter for Eastern Michigan at linebacker, Ike Spearman medical redshirted his 2015 season, granting him a 5th year of eligibility. He’d play for them from 2012-2017, posting 179 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble.

Ike joined the Alliance of American Football in 2019. He’d sign with the Birmingham Iron and start 1 game, posting 8 tackles and 3 assists for the team before the league folded. Afterwards he’d join the XFL Tampa Bay Vipers for the 2020 season.

Noticing that players from the Vipers had their gear against the wall, I waited patiently for them to finish practice and come over. Ike was one of the first players over, and he gladly signed this card for me. Early in February though, Ike suffered an injury and was placed on the Vipers injured reserve.

Pinkett, Allen (2)

Cards: Action Packed 1990, Topps 1990, ProSet 1991, Pacific 1992
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 11/18 Received: 12/2 (14 days)
Failure: TTM 2017, C/o Home
See Also: Allen Pinkett

Allen had some incredible cards over the year and as an Oilers fan I had wanted to get back around to getting these cards signed. I tried back in 2017- but for some reason I did not receive anything back from the usually reliable Pinkett. Luckily I had duplicates for many of the cards that I wanted autographed and just reloaded and waited.

I was also inspired by recently watching his titanic efforts over again in the historic 1988 Houston Oilers v Cleveland Browns playoff showdown. The game- between coaches Jerry Glanville and Marty Schottenheimer, while highly contested, with the Oilers eventually advancing, sealed Schottenheimer’s fate in being unceremoniously fired by the Browns.

The game turned out to be one of Pinkett’s finest moments, as he ground up 82 yards on 14 carries and a TD, as well as 2 catches for 24 yards and a TD. – Come to think of it, his 1992 Pacific entry could be from that game. Anyway it’s worth it if you can still find the game online somewhere to look at as you will also see NBC in all its broadcasting greatness with Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy behind the mic.

After sending out to Pinkett that first time TTM back in 2010, I gave myself a hearty headslap that I left out his ProSet 1991 entry. It’s a dynamic and beautiful card of Allen, where his expression can clearly be read along with his running style.

While I really liked the shot of Allen off to the races in his Pacific entry, his Action Packed card was a classy shot. In one of those rare Topps entries, Allen can been seen catching a pass in a near profile view, however I suspect this was probably during warm ups like many of Topps cards during that period.

Coutee, Keke

Card: Panini Contenders 2018
Acquired: 2019, EBay

At Texas Tech, Keke Coutee posted stellar stats in his Junior year catching 93 passes for 1,429 yards and 10 touchdowns while seeing punt return duty on special teams. He declared for the 2018 NFL Draft, and was selected by the Houston Texans in the 4th round.

Keke’s debut was derailed by persistent hamstring issues which lingered into the regular season. He’d finally make his debut during a week 3 contest against the Indianapolis Colts. Coutee played a key role in the team’s overtime win, contributing an NFL and franchise single game debut record with 11 receptions, however injuries throughout the season hampered his production. Keke finished his rookie season with 28 catches for 287 yards and a TD playing primarily out of the slot. Although the Texans fell flat during the post season, Coutee caught 11 more passes for 110 yards and a TD.

In 2019 it was thought that Keke would finally be that missing piece of the Houston offense, but after landing OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills, Keke had to fight for playing time. Still Keke came along starting 4 games and catching 22 passes for 254 yards and a 54 yard long.

With a very limited budget and some declining market value I was able to snipe out this nice card of Keke, at about 25% of the going price I saw it at over the past few months. This set has really grown on me over the last year or two. It has a concise group of college legends and some promising rookies. The design on this card is pretty nice and Keke’s autograph isn’t bad looking at all.

Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.