Johnson, Derrick ‘DJ’ (3)

Cards: Score 2013, Score 2010, Topps 2011, Score 2014, Panini UT 2015 (2), Upper Deck 2009
Acquired: 2019, IP Heisman House Tour
See Also: Derrick Johnson, DJ Johnson (2)

The past few years Nissan has done a promotion for the Heisman where they set up a tent and bring down a college legend to sign and take photos with fans. Calling it the ‘Heisman House’, previous years have netted me guys like Vince Young, Ricky Williams, and even LenDale White. It seemed like a shoe in that I’d be able to nail down 2nd half guest Derrick Johnson on a few more cards but as luck seemed to have it- the organizers changed the rules and almost incurred the wrath of fans waiting in line.

You see their Facebook posts indicated that players were signing for fans or taking selfies. For the vast majority of fans who were there, we just wanted the autograph. So after the DJ tried to tell us that we could only get a selfie, a group of us got frustrated and voiced our displeasure. It took a few minutes but the situation was resolved in time for us to get both Ricky and DJ’s autograph with no issue.

One of the highlights of the event is that you could ask Derrick any question you wanted, so naturally there was one thing on my mind.

I want to apologize to you on behalf of the entire Houston Texans organization for trading down and not selecting you during the draft.

DJ let our a hearty chuckle and then told me that nobody had apologized for that, and that while he did appreciate it, it was unnecessary. He then recounted how he was selected 15th in the 2005 draft and that the Texans passed him over and traded down- had the chance to select him, but instead took Travis Johnson. DJ’s memory was sharp. He then talked about the LB talent in the draft that went before him, and the rest of the players selected before him- but no he didn’t hold a grudge- <insert wide smile>. He did however enjoy himself to some degree every year when the Chiefs hammered the Texans.

DJ has signed previously for me, so I was beginning to run out of cards of his. I had been angling since 2015 to get these Panini UT cards signed. A bit over produced, but I do like them, and the ink looks good on these canvases. I just don’t really understand why they did 2 cards of every player and then variations on top of that. The set (other flaws notwithstanding) is confusing enough as it is.

I absolutely hate this Upper Deck card. Don’t like the design and I never have liked camp photos where players are not in pads. It was sort of the bottom of the barrel to me. I’ve earmarked it for my friend Mark to have.

I liked the Score 2010 set. I like the deconstructive elements of the set, but not so much the 2013 Score card. It’s a boring design and it almost requires the photo to be a portrait, so this landscape just seems a bit off. I thought the Topps card was alright. It was a soft evolution of the card design. The only problem I had with it is that it looked a bit too much like a grill or that it was lifted off of a Fox Sports presentation from that era.

In 2018 Derrick was inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Ring of Honor.