Card: Topps AAF 2019
Acquired: IP 2020, Houston Roughnecks / Tampa Bay Vipers Joint Practice
See Also: Reggie Northrup II
After the AAF folded, Reggie’s football dreams did not end. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Vipers during the XFL 2020 draft.
When I heard that the Vipers and Roughnecks were doing a joint practice, Reggie was one of the top players I was after. I wasn’t sure if he’d be a viable TTM candidate due to his pending litigation against the former AAF. I thought perhaps he might have sour grapes over even signing autographs- so in person was the way to go.
Reggie stayed after the joint practice to work the kids clinic. I loved his energy, how he smiled, and had fun with all the kids. He made them each feel special. It so moved me that it made me wish that these sort of initiatives existed when I was a child, and that my father had taken me to one.
After the clinic ended Reggie and a few other players retrieved their backpacks and equipment that they had left stashed by the visitor’s wall. I caught him on the way out, and he beamed when I asked him for his autograph on his AAF card. He excitedly pointed out to his teammates that I had his card, and then when I asked him if he knew where Obum Gwacham was, he flagged him down for me! Then Reggie jokingly leaned in and said, “I didn’t even know he played for the Hotshots.” It was a great experience, and we wished each other the best and that the AAF didn’t need to end the way it did.
Reggie was on and off the roster of the Tampa Bay Vipers throughout the short 5 week season. His litigation against the former AAF is still pending.
With how things have happened since then with COVID, which occurred a month or two after this event, it seems so long ago now how I was able to go to public events like this and get autographs.