Cards: Topps 2010, Donruss Rookies & Stars 2010, Upper Deck Star Rookies 2011, Score 2011
Acquired: IP 4/25/2013, 1300 The Zone Texans Draft Party
So after last year’s event with James Casey and Danieal Manning, I pretty much circled the calendar on draft day to ask off early so that I could get to the Texans Draft Party this year. With the original lineup featuring Brooks Reed and Darryl Sharpton, I was pretty enthusiastic about the event, however a last second change forced JJ Moses in for Sharpton and the event was not held at the LaVaca Street Bar & Grille like last time. Still I managed to sidle up to the corporate cut Buffalo Wild Wings where Rod and the crew from 1300 the Zone were held up in, and made my way in about an hour early. Amazingly again, I met another member of the TAC message board right at the door on the way in, and we hit it off immediately talking about our path to the hobby.
Initially the Texans organization informed everybody that the players would only sign one card, and only the corporate provided merchandise that they brought with them. I was not happy with that at all, because I love getting cards signed. Furthermore, it brings up a very tricky slope for the organization to climb: Declining fans from getting licensed merchandise signed that they (the fans) have paid for in the first place. I really don’t like the recent efforts of leagues to squish out adult autograph collectors, in favor of kids, especially when adults are the ones who are spending the money in the first place. Within limits I can understand where players and the organization are coming from in regards to resellers, but to make that blanket jump and deny everybody the opportunity to get what they want signed is just plain wrong. Again I always preach to the player community that if they don’t want resellers taking advantage of them, personalize items in ball point pen only. In the end however the players were more than happy to sign anything that was provided by fans, and after going through the line the first time, – which moved remarkably quick, I got 3 additional cards signed by Reed on my way back around.
Brooks bears a startling resemblance to WWE wrestler Shawn Michaels. When I told him about it, he told me that he had heard that 3 times already that day, but still got a laugh out of it. We discussed briefly the status of the linebacker corps and the fact I had so many cards of him, which he was amazed by. I offered him a few to keep, but he declined and signed them all for me instead. Topps finally hit this one on the head, and their 2012 release, is just flat out amazing. With that precious white edge, great focus on the team logo, and a good framed photo, they finally hit the nail on the head on a base release. It seemed that every card used this hokey workout shot of him from the combine. I absolutely hate combine photos. I’d rather see the player in their college garb instead. Speaking of which, the Upper Deck Star Rookies release does just that, but showcases a hideous photo of Brooks at just the right moment when he looks exhausted and- well like he’s going to the sideline to pick up a phone.
Overall I was very pleased with the results of the event, however, I just don’t like Buffalo Wild Wings. It was so evenly loud across the whole place that I could not hear the 1300 the Zone crew unless I was right on top of them.
Brooks was a second round choice of the Houston Texans from the 2011 draft. An Arizona native, he went to college at Arizona, where he etched out quite a nice career with them recording 85 tackles and 15 sacks. It was thought that he was an insurance play for the departure of either Mario Williams or Connor Barwin. Reed though in his rookie season was forced into the lineup after a pectoral injury to Mario Williams, but performed admirably notching 6 sacks, 3 pass defensed, 2 FR, and 36 tackles in a largely patchwork middle 4. Reed received a lot of buzz entering the 2012 season, as Peter King from CNN said that Reed would be the season’s defensive MVP. King was close, as another teammate of Reed, JJ Watt, earned the honor. In the meantime, after getting settled down for 2012, Brooks started 12 games for the Texans adding 2.5 sacks, 3 more pass defensed, and 19 tackles to his young totals. As the linebacking corps of the Texans continues to mature under defensive coordinator Wade Philips watch, it is thought that he has big plans for Reed and the Bulls on Parade.