Card: Upper Deck College Legends 2011 Acquired: Box Breaker, 2019
I bought a box of Upper Deck College Legends at the beginning of 2019 with the Christmas money I had gotten. Inside was this gem of a pull. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d get Cam’s autograph so this came as quite a happy surprise and a shot in the arm to start off the year.
After seeing little playing time at Florida, Cam Newton transferred to Blinn Junior College for a year where he won the equivalent of the JC National Championship in 2009. The following year in 2010, he joined the Auburn Tigers and led them to a National Championship. He also won the Heisman Trophy as a dual threat quarterback, passing for 2854 yards on 185 of 280 throws, along with 30 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. On the ground, Cam rushed for 1473 yards and 20 touchdowns on 264 carries.
He’d cap off his monumental year by being selected #1 overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft- who immediately turned over the reins of the franchise to their new starting quarterback. Critics were quickly silenced when he threw for over 400 yards in his first game, and shattered rookie quarterback records, en route to Offensive Rookie of the Year Honors.
Arguably his best season came in 2015 when he won the NFL Offensive MVP award, and led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50. During the regular season he threw for 3837 yards and 35 touchdowns and a career low 10 interceptions, while rushing for 637 yards and 10 TDs.
Since that point, Cam’s career has gone sideways as inconsistency and injuries have forcibly taken their toll over his career. In 2019 he started a career low 2 games, and although he is still considered one of the most underrated offensive threats in the league, Cam has faced withering criticism from fans who feel that his wardrobe is more important than his game. He was allowed to enter free agency in 2020, and after a longer than usual wait, Cam signed with the New England Patriots where he currently is their starting quarterback.
An electric player while at Nebraska, De’Mornay Pierson-El, played for the Cornhuskers from 2014-2017. Over that period the team tried hard to get the ball into his hands any way possible, whether it was rushing, receiving or punt returning. In 2014 he returned 3 punts for touchdowns, on 34 returns (596 yards), and in 2017 he had a career high 623 yards receiving on 45 catches (5 TDs).
After the 2018 NFL Draft, Pierson-El was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Redskins. He then joined the Montreal Allouetttes briefly the next month, before finally landing on the squad of the AAF Salt Lake City Stallions. De’Mornay had a solid year for the Stallions leading the way for the wide receivers with 36 catches for 414 yards, a 2 point conversion, and a TD. (That TD marked the first score of the season at home for the Stallions.) His best game came against the San Diego Fleet, where Pierson-el posted 9 catches for 130 yards.
De’Mornay signed with the Raiders after the league fell apart. Following waiver wire reports like a hawk, I sent this to him immediately after he signed with the Raiders. He has been on and off the squad, which discouraged me from ever seeing this again, In fact Pierson-El was drafted by the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL 2020, but before he joined the team, he resigned with the Raiders again. It was at that point I guess he decided to pen this card and I received this one back only after a scant 240 days.
Sean Price played college ball for South Florida. His best season came in his Senior year when he had 20 receptions for 306 yards and 5 scores, earning him a second-team all-conference selection. Over Sean’s time at the school he logged 76 receptions for 907 yards and 6 TDs, with the yardage and receptions being school records for the position. After the 2016 draft concluded he signed with the Baltimore Ravens but did not make the squad. He earned a workout in May of 2017 with the Packers but was not brought into camp.
This particular card is okay. Here it feels a bit rushed on the player photo. It seems like the eraser tool was used to dab at the edge to make it blend better or a blur was used to try to ease the transition. The result of the blending of the image into the grass makes it appears choppy and uneven.
I recognized Sean’s names from the list of Apollos when he signed with the AAF. I tucked his base card away in the hopes I’d be able to see him at training camp that year- but my father passed away before I could finalize plans. When Orlando came to town, they were the only team that I completely struck out on for autographs. The players were just too intimidating. Price finished the season with 3 catches for 62 yards and a 2 point conversion for the Apollos.
When the league folded I got a hot tip from Mark about Sean so I decided to send these cards out to him. I am happy to get his autograph on his card, however his autograph- which is in pen just disappears on the canvas. Oh well. Can’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
He ended up joining the Dallas Renegades of the XFL in 2020. He saw some playing time behind blossoming star Donald Parham at tight end. His best game came against the Wildcats when he caught 3 passes for 40 yards. Sean finished with 6 catches for 78 yards on the 5 game COVID shortened season.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.