All posts by Lee Bolton

Randle, Joseph ‘Joe’

Card: Score 2013 Hot Rookies (11/25)
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Joseph Randle is a painful tale.  After an impressive college career at Oklahoma State from 2010-2012, in which he rushed for 3085 yards and 40 TDs, Randle decided to turn pro.  He was selected in the 5th round by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft.

He earned the backup spot behind DeMarco Murray his rookie year, starting 2 games (when Murray was injured), and scored his first professional TD in a 31-16 romp of the Washington Redskins in week 6.  Even though he started no games in 2014 Joseph saw his workload increase, and he saw a career high 345 rushing yards, including a 65 yard blistering scamper.  The timing couldn’t have been better, as Murray would bolt via free agency.

Randle would be named defacto starter in his absence for the 2015 season.  Fans clamored that Randle was a sleeper in upcoming fantasy football drafts, but cracks had already started appearing in Joseph’s football foundation, as he started running into legal trouble in October of 2014.

He’d be arrested for simple theft, which caused him to be the butt of late night jokes for a few weeks, because it was over cologne and underwear. 4 months later in February of 2015, he’d be arrested again, this time for marijuana possession- but the charges were later dropped.  It was a pivotal fall from grace from the heir apparent to the Cowboys rushing mantle. During the bye week of the season the Cowboys installed Darren McFadden as starter, and tried to get Randle psychiatric help.  He’d be cut shortly thereafter, and then received a 4 game suspension from the NFL.  Joseph was lost.

Things didn’t end there as far as Joseph’s legal issues are concerned.
He’d be arrested in November of 2015 for assault of security guards at a local casino.  He’d keep in NFL shape, but no teams were calling. Joseph continued to seek counselling in the meantime.  Then in February of 2016 he’d be arrested for an outstanding warrant for speeding.  At the time of his arrest, he’d sadly state, “This is the end of my career.”

Joseph later claimed that teams were interested in working him out, but Joe- whether it was from drugs, alcohol, or maybe even a lingering concussion, continued to spiral out of control.  He’d be again arrested later that month for an assortment of charges, including battery and possession of drugs- most of which would later be dropped.  His bond would be pulled after he failed to appear in court.  In February of 2017 he’d be arrested again on disorderly conduct and battery while in a Kansas jail.  He’s been held in solitary for a great deal of his confinement, and as of early 2017 still awaits trial on many charges stemming from his recent behavior.

Joe is a terribly tragic case. It’s not really certain if it is concussion related, mental illness related, or drug and alcohol related- but one thing is for sure: A young man’s life has fallen through the cracks of a system that should have helped him.


Crockett, John ‘Taz’

Card: Sage 2015
Acquired: 2015, Gunderson Trade

A really nice card of runningback John Crockett here. The clean photography and contrast really hearken back to the days of early media photography.

The 2015 combine positional leader in both the vertical jump and the broad jump, John Crockett has many of the athletic tools to make the jump to the NFL level.  Playing for North Dakota State, he rolled up the yardage (4339 yards) in only 3 years with the Bison.  Thanks to the stigma against players in small school conferences, Crockett did not turn very many heads, but still warranted enough interest that he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

After an impressive preseason, Crockett made the squad and was a back up for Eddie Lacy and James Starks. He saw action in 2 games rushing 9 times for 21 yards. John injured his shoulder in 2016.  He spent the entire season on IR rehabbing. In 2017 he was not tendered by the Packers and became a free agent.

Wilson, Curtis

Card: ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent: 3/6/15   Received: 3/16/15  (10 days)

Curtis Wilson was a difficult player to track down- but with a bit of effort I was able to find him connecting a few dots. Wilson’s son plays football in Curtis’ footsteps. This gave me a tip leading me to a small town in Oklahoma. Cross referencing that information to Curtis’ data on his ProSet WLAF card cinched the deal. Curtis was the last player from the original ProSet WLAF 1991 set that I needed from the Sacramento Surge.

Curtis Wilson was originally drafted out of Missou by the New England Patriots in 1989. At Missouri, Curtis distinguished himself as a leader on the line when he was voted co-offensive captain as a Senior. His skillset, speed (4.95 40) and size (6’3″, 273) allowed him to play a variety of positions on the line. After being cut by New England shortly before the start of the ’89 season, he’d be selected in the 3rd round of the WLAF positional draft by the Sacramento Surge.

While the Surge had a difficult 1991 season finishing a dismal 2-8, Wilson was one of the up and coming stars of the offense. He’d help pave the way for Sacramento’s rushing attack from the Center position as both Paul Frazier and Victor Floyd averaged over 4 yards a carry in 1991.  He’d earn second team All-World Honors from the league.

Before the 1992 WLAF draft began, the Surge traded draft positions with the Ohio Glory to move up to the #1 overall spot. Sacramento traded the Glory Curtis in the exchange. The move represented the first trade in league history.  Unfortunately Curtis was injured during training camp and was lost for a good portion of the 1992 season.

Curtis included a nice note with his autographed card and wrote “God Bless You!”, on the back of his card next to his player profile picture.