Sidney Rice made the best of it while he was playing for the Gamecocks of South Carolina. He rolled up 142 catches for 2233 yards and 23 touchdowns over the course of 2005 and 2006. Rice snapped school records in only two short years at Columbia, and declared for the 2007 NFL draft. He’d be selected in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings. Rice caught 31 passes for 396 yards and 4 TDs his rookie year over 13 games and 4 starts. After a poor showing in 2008 due to a lingering knee injury from 2007, Sidney made up for it in 2009, cashing in with a Pro Bowl season. He’d make the best of it catching passes from Brett Favre in his twilight, with 83 catches for 1312 yards, 8 TDs and a career long 63 yard catch.
After a hip injury wrecked his 2010 season, Sidney joined the Seattle Seahawks in 2011. His best season came with the franchise in 2012 when Rice posted 50 catches for 748 yards and 7 TDs. Notably it’d be the only time during his career that he’d start a full 16 game schedule. in 2013, Sidney blew out his ACL and was shelved the rest of the season, but not before he contributed to the Seahawks Super Bowl run. He’d return for 2014, but retired before the season began, citing concussion concerns.
Reece Horn played wide receiver at Division I football for the University of Indianapolis from 2012-2015. In both 2014 and 2015, Reece eclipsed the 1000 yard barrier, posting 1046 yards and 12 TDs in 2014, and 1396 yards on 108 catches in 2015. Playing 48 games for the Hounds, he posted 272 catches for 3562 yards and 31 TDs. In addition he spent time returning punts, and had 2 TDs in his senior year- including a 92 yarder.
After going undrafted in 2016, he spent the preseason with the Tennessee Titans, then took his game to the European circuit, playing in both Italy and Austria. In 2019, Reece signed with the Alliance of American Football. He was allocated to the Memphis Express.
The Express had offensive woes that stemmed from the quarterback position. Their #1 QB pick didn’t even make it through camp, and after Brandon Silvers became entrenched as starter, Johnny Manziel was brought in to keep the heat on him. As the season continued on however, Reece established himself as the go to receiver on the Express offense. He never failed to catch less than 4 passes per game, and in back to back games (in Week 6 and 7), Reece went over 100 yards (129 in Week 6 and 113 in Week 7). On the 2019 AAF season, Reece caught 28 passes for 429 yards and a TD. He returned to the NFL seeing some preseason work with the Miami Dolphins.
Reece was selected by the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL 2020. I remember hearing the pick and saying to myself, “That’s a good pick. Ugh, I wish the Roughnecks had gotten him.” He finished with 27 catches for 246 yards and a TD. His best game came in the final contest against the Wildcats when he caught 9 passes for 90 yards and a TD in a 34-31 loss.
I went to the Houston Roughnecks / Tampa Bay Vipers scrimmage before the season began with my buddy Lance. I felt that the players I really needed to concentrate on were from the Vipers, so I camped on their side of the field where they put their gear down. I knew Reece was on the Vipers from his days on the Express, but I was pretty surprised he didn’t have any cards of any sort. When he came over, I stopped him out of respect and told him I knew who he was and wanted to shake his hand, and that I knew that he was the machine behind the Express’ improvements over the last few weeks of the AAF season.
In Reece’s letter back to me, he thanked me for being a fan, and told me that the best is yet to come!
An 8th round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 1990, Thomas ‘TD’ Woods played college ball for the Tennessee Volunteers from 1986-1989. At 5’6″, 182 TD was one of the smallest speedsters to hit the gridiron. He caught 124 passes for 1617 yards and 7 TDs, and 60 punt returns for 656 yards and a TD as well. After not making the final roster of the squad, TD was selected by the Barcelona Dragons of the WLAF. In 1991 he caught 20 passes for 223 yards, returned 13 kicks for 263 yards, and returned 9 punts for 123 yards.
In 1992, Woods became the primary receiver after the departure of Gene Taylor. He caught 51 passes for 546 yards, and a barn burning 86 yard TD. Thomas was also the primary punt returner, with 19 punt returns for 147 yards.
He returned to Tennessee and finished out his degree in 1996. Since that point, TD has spent a lot of time at the college level as a wide receivers coach for Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Mississippi, Jacksonville State, Tulane, and Eastern Illinois.
TD has two cards in the Ultimate World League 1992 set. I had hoped he’d sign both of his cards, but I was happy to get one of two out of him, after searching high and low for years, for his address.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.