Collins, Todd

Card: Star Pics 1992
Acquired: TTM 1993, c/o New England Patriots

A powerful hitter who was considered a top 5 linebacker in the 1992 draft and transferred from Tennessee to tiny Carson-Newman, Todd Collins was incredibly fast, running a sub 4.3 after rehabbing from knee surgery.  Collins was eventually drafted by the New England Patriots and played for them from 1992-1998 and the Rams through 2000 starting in a Super Bowl once for each team. (Collins was eventually replaced by Tedy Bruschi at LB in New England.) Injuries shortened his career and he retired briefly for a season in 1995, but Collins was a ferocious competitor who fought through pain including a separated shoulder, a bum knee, a broken foot, and a strained neck over his tenure in the sport.  In a quirky side note, before a big games Todd practiced a superstition of rubbing stones and charms over previous injuries he’d sustained. Teams even began selling an incense before the game that he apparently liked to use to profit off of his behavior.

In 1992 I began sending out for autographs bulk through the mail to teams. I’d write a letter with 20-30 cards included with it trying to get a bunch of autographs at once. Most of the time I’d get letters back saying I needed to send cards to specific players, but on the rare occasion I’d get lucky with a bulk autograph return. I focused on the really bad teams, the 1-15s and 3-12s of the year because I theorized that they’d probably get less fan mail and Todd was one of my successes during one of my Patriot blitzes.

Games   106      Tac  329      Sac  3.5      Fum   4      Int  2      Yds  15     Td 0