Dillard, Jarett

Card: Sage 2009
Acquired: 2018 Box Breaker, Walmart Autographed Memorabilia


Jarett Dillard played for the Rice Owls back in 2005. He posted 3 1,000+ yard seasons back-to-back-to-back. In both 2006 and 2008 he had 21 and 20 touchdowns receiving- respectively.  Dillard owned many of the receiving records at the school upon his graduation. He finished his collegiate career with 4,138 yards on 292 catches and a whopping 60 touchdowns receiving- an NCAA record.

Jarett was selected in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.  (At 5-10, 185, it was thought that Dillard could not stand the rigors of a full NFL season.) During  his rookie season he logged 6 catches for 106 yards, before suffering a season ending broken ankle. Dillard’s season was ended before he even played a down in 2010, when he injured his foot and was placed on IR. In 2011, he started 5 games and caught 29 passes for 292 yards and his only professional TD – an 11 yard pass from Blaine Gabbert in a 17-3 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The following year in 2012, Jarett was released before training camp. He’d sign with the Lions but not make the final cut. Dillard signed with the Cardinals in 2013, but again failed to make the final roster.

Jarett retired and went into practicing law, specifically: Construction litigation, contract disputes, and alternative dispute resolution, to go along with Mechanic’s lien filings… both domestic and international.

So every once in a while I pick up a Walmart or Target Autographed memorabilia hangar box. It’s a cheap frill, that keeps the autograph beast at bay for a few days while I wait for a TTM to arrive. Typically they do not hold very much of value. I like the Walmart ones just a bit more because they typically have one autograph and one bonus patch along with 4 packs of cards. In this box I got not only this autographed Jarrett Dillard card, but also a patch card- autographed by Christine Michael. Not a bad find for 10 bucks.

G/Gs   21/5        Rec 35         Yds 398            Avg 11.4          Td 1         Lg 33

Barney, Lem


Cards: Topps 1970, Upper Deck Legends 1997, ProLine 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  6/11    Received:  6/25        (14 days)*
* Donation included

When you talk about a player- a throwback- somebody who played for ‘the love of the game first’, one of the first names that should come to mind, is Hall of Fame inductee Lem Barney.  One of the greats of his position it just so happened he played in a studded secondary with Dick LeBeau and Dick ‘Night Train’ Lane while with the Detroit Lions.  Lem did it all for the Lions from 1967 to 1977, playing corner, return man, and even moonlighting as a punter. A man about town, Lem was good friends with singer Marvin Gaye, and had a great set of pipes, singing backup on one of Gaye’s tunes, and tried his hand in acting as well.

His first season in the NFL was- well- easy.  He led the NFL in interceptions with 10, returned 3 of them for TDs and earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors. Over the next 3 following seasons, Lem added 22 more interceptions to his resume.  During his storied career he posted 11 career touchdowns on 7 interceptions, a kick off return, a blocked FG, and 2 punt returns, earning all-NFL Honors in 1968, 1969, 1972, and 1975.

It’s surprising that Barney did not attract more attention before he was selected by the Lions in the second round. Playing for Jackson State, Lem racked up 26 interceptions, and earned All-Southwestern Athletic Conference Honors.

His career came to a ignominious halt in 1978 after he was heard on tape during a wiretap investigation. While Barney was not part of the investigation, the press focused squarely on him which may have made both the Lions and other NFL teams skittish to sign him. Lem retired in 1979.

That didn’t stop Barney from accomplishing all the things he wanted to do in life however. He has spent a lot of his time in PR, marketing, and broadcasting. Lem is good to the TTM community, however he requires a $15.00 fee. It was very kind of him to inscribe these cards with his HOF information, although- unlike most collectors it’s appreciated but not necessary.

As far as these cards go, Barney had very few actual action shots because well Topps didn’t go out of their way back then, so in steps my favorite classic set Topps 1970 with that great press pass looking image of Lem. I can’t really complain. The Upper Deck Legends card was a really clean action shot of Lem- and it is a set I like to get as well. The design of the card (on the front) is almost second to none and has been emulated over the years. The ProLine NFL Throwback was a curious choice for the third autograph. I always maligned the set, because it was the NFL- but it typically was NFL players doing things other than NFL, so it was sort of an oddity at the time of collecting in the early 90s. This card of Lem however, with the trench coat and bowler hat is absolutely classy, and it seems to really capture the style and the subliminal statement that the set was trying to project on the canvas in encapsulating the players’ voices.

G/Gs 140/136     TAC  N/a     SAC N/a     FUM 25
INT 56        YDS 1077       AVG 19.2      TD   7     LG 71T

KR  50     YDS  1274     AVG 25.5     TD 1    LG 98T
PR   143    YDS 1312   AVG 9.2        TD  2    LG 74T

P 113     YDS   4006     AVG 35.5    LG 55   BLK 1

Fox, Mike (DL)

Card: Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: 2018, Paid Signing

At defensive tackle, Mike Fox could come alive and take over a game during his college days. A dominant defender, Fox was considered one of the best defensive linemen  to ever play for West Virginia. He had his best year in his Senior campaign, when he had 71 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks earning him Honorable Mention All-American.

He’d be selected in the second round by the New York Giants, who decided that his massive frame (6’6″, 272) was a good fit for their 3-4 alignment. They thought he had the versatility to play both defensive end and nose.  The Giants were pretty stacked with Erik Howard and Leonard Marshall, but were always looking for up and coming talent. Mike played sparingly his rookie year, but won Super Bowl XXV as a member of the team.

Mike’s best year with the Giants came as a full time starter in 1993. Playing at right defensive end he had 32 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. He’d play with New York through 1994, and then was selected by the Carolina Panthers during their expansion draft. He had his best season as a pro for the expansion Panthers in 1995, posting 42 tackles, and 4.5 sacks in 16 starts. Over the next 3 additional seasons, injuries would catch up with Mike and hamper his productivity. The Panthers left him exposed for the Cleveland Browns Expansion Draft in 1999 but he’d go unselected. Soon thereafter he’d be cut and retired.

Mike seldom signs through the mail, so to get him on a cheap paid signing didn’t really ruffle my feathers too much. His autograph is pretty pedestrian, but the card is really nice. Thankfully he signed it on the front and not in that tiny autograph box on the back.

G/GS 133/84    TAC 198    SAC 17.0    FUM 4
INT 0     YDS 0       AVG -.-    TD 0    LG -.-

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