Clowney, Jadeveon

Card: Sage 2014
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker

While opening up this completely uninspiring box of Sage 2014, I got to the last pack of cards and pulled this gem in Jadeveon Clowney.

After the Texans monumental collapse in 2013 that resulted with the unceremonious termination of Gary Kubiak‘s staff, Houston had a new sheriff in town with Bill O’Brien. To make up for the additional dismissal of popular defensive coordinator Wade Philips, the Texans got Romeo Crennel- a mastermind in his own right. It was clearcut that Clowney was the most imposing and physical player in the 2014 draft by far, but no team was willing to pay the lion’s share in order to pry him from the Texans. So Houston did the most logical thing and drafted Clowney with the first overall pick to be a part of their already stout defense.

At 6’5″, 266, Clowney ran an eye popping 4.53 40, and dominated the combine as the leader at his position in the broad jump and vertical jump.  Clowney is tremendously quick and is known for his high motor pursuit sideline to sideline.  The Texans plan was to shift Clowney to the pass rushing linebacker position in their 3-4 alignment.

Jadeveon displayed some of those tantalizing abilities  during the preseason but had to have micro fracture knee surgery ending his rookie campaign. He finished 2014 with 7 total tackles (3 STF).

It was pretty rough for Clowney. A lot of people just wanted him to fail. The ‘bust’ label was thrown around a lot, but hand it to Jadeveon for ignoring and fighting through it. 2015 was more like his rookie season and in 9 starts he had 4.5 sacks, 27 tackles (5 STF), a forced fumble, and 6 passes defended. So when you think about it, Clowney’s 2015 was a solid debut.

With JJ Watt out for the 2016 season, the Texans had to rely on Clowney as the big dog on the defensive side of the ball. Crennel shifted Jadeveon back to his natural position of defensive end and he responded by leading the defense to a #1 overall ranking. He put up a solid line of 40 tackles (12 STF), 6 sacks, 2 passes defended, and a forced fumble.  During the playoffs Clowney was moved back to linebacker and with a new bag of finesse moves from a standing position he wrecked the Raiders game plan, coming up with numerous pressures and an interception early in the game deep in Raider territory. (The play was reminiscent of JJ Watt’s coming of age during his rookie season against the Bengals in the playoffs.) After the season, Clowney was the only player on the Texans defense to earn a Pro Bowl berth.

Texans fans were eager to see Watt and Clowney at full speed for 2017 but the Texans got bit by the injury bug in a bad way- as the team lost both Watt and Whitney Mercilus during the same game. Clowney however turned it up a notch. In fact he came to play especially in big games. With 3 games to go in the 2017 season, Clowney already has a career high 9 sacks. A true game wrecker, Jadeveon also returned a Tom Brady fumble for a touchdown.

Tomczak, Mike (2)


Cards: Skybox 92, Action Packed 1989, Score 1989
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Work
Sent:  12/4/16    Received: 2/11/17 (65 days)
See Also: Mike Tomczak

Mike’s dreams came true when he joined the Chicago Bears- a team he idolized as a kid. While Ditka put so much pressure on Mike that he considered quitting the sport he loved, Mike ended up carving out a 15 year career in the NFL playing at a variety of stops in the league after Chicago. Infamously during his stay in Green Bay he opted to hold out for a better contract- which caused the team to cut him, and brought about the Brett Favre era that much quicker. Mike had no problem spreading the love around, throwing to 35 different players in 88 touchdown strikes. While Mike only topped the 300 yard mark one time with the Bears, Packers, and Browns, he blossomed late in his career adding 3 more to his career with the Steelers. Mike is known for being the lead guitar player during the Bears infamous 1985 ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ video. He also shares the same birthday with fellow quarterback Doug Flutie.

Tomczak had some great cards over his career. It took me some time to figure out which ones to send him. After some deliberation I decided on these three. I liked the design and photo for all three of these cards. Action Packed did a short run test promo in 1989 that covered a few NFC teams. It was pretty much identical to their 1990 run, minus the copyright. Score 1989 was blockbuster by any right with the vibrant colors and strong action photos standing out. Skybox was a late addition to the market, coming from the basketball arena, but its initial offering was simple, clean, and impressive.

Shipley, Jordan (3)

ab11 jshipley st

sco10 shipleysco10 jshipley HRCards: Score 2010, Score 2010 Hot Rookies, Adrenalyn 2010, Donruss Rookies & Stars 2010 Studio Rookies, Photo Memorabilia, Donruss Rookies & Stars 2011, Score 2011, Donruss Rookies & Stars 2010 Dress for Success, Absolute Memorabilia 2010 Rookie Jersey Collection, Absolute 2011 Stargazing, Panini 2011 Plates.
Acquired: IP 12/19/2015, Bud Light Austin Tour. IP 6/25/2016, Jordan Shipley Camp
See Also: Jordan Shipley, Jordan Shipley (2)

Knocked out a few more Jordan Shipley cards at a signing I heard about through BAM in December. dor&s10 shipley SRadr10 jshipleyI got to the event location even before Shipley did and was a bit nervous to go in since it was such a random little corner store in Lakeway. Then I saw Jordan and his wife pull in, and right afterwards- a cop pulled in behind

them to issue a ticket. Pretty funny. When I brought it up with Jordan, I told him that I didn’t take a photo because I thought it would have been in bad taste, he and I had a small chuckle.

Jordan signed all these items in a really nice gold Sharpie. He was mightily impressed by the classy Donruss Rookies & Stars to which he dor&s11 jshipleysco11 jshipley jcstopped and looked at, and then remarked that he hadn’t seen the card before. It’s really nice that these events are taken care of the way they are. BAM runs a tight ship, and they are really getting this down to a science. The photo memorabilia is nice, but the logos are garishly
large.

I went to Jordan’s event in June the next year reloaded with a bunch of patch cards. The weather was seasonably humid, with a touch of evening showers. Thankfully the downpour cleared up before the event ended. Nathan hooked me up with this event, and initially I had dor&s10 jshipley dfspoff10ab jshipley jchoped that it would’ve been a crown event for a fellow collector who was going to visit- but that fell through. Still I managed to fly solo and scoop up Jordan on all the cards I had brought. Again he was in awe of some of the cards that he had never seen. We briefly talked about the patch cards, which surprisingly he questioned the authenticity of the Score and Donruss cards, because the threads were so tight.

That’s entirely possible, but since these were from the rookie premiere, the jerseys may have actually been made of other materials. These cards are very nice issues. I really like mem15 shipleythe Absolute Stargazing card. Lots of space for an autograph to take off on the card.

I ran into Gameday Sportstours while I was there. I was impressed by their staff and dedication to the hobby.  It renewed my faith in their operation and I will probably use them again in the future.  They are definitely a mom and pop type operation, but overall after talking to the owner I got a good feel for
him and his crew. It’s a shame he pretty much just specializes in Cowboys events. I’d love to see him put something together for the Texans or Oilers. The highlight of talking to his crew was them trying to sell me an autographed helmet, but thanks to my aversion to getting footballs and helmets signed, I was largely uninterested. It also helped that my collection is so deep, that I had already gotten many of the classic names in their collection.

pa11 jshipley pl

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