All posts by Lee Bolton

Morris, Mercury

Cards: Topps 1977, SP Signature Edition 2005
Acquired: TTM 2010, c/o Home.
Sent:  4/28     Received:  7/9   (72 days)

Before I begin, I’d like to express my outrage towards the NFL and solidarity with former players in their attempts at trying to get medical assistance and their ‘fair share’ of the retirement pie. Case in point:

Mercury Morris was another AFLer that I sent away for after watching “Full Color Football” on the NFL Network.  Morris was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the 3rd round of the 1969 draft, playing in the final year of the AFL before the merger.   Initially Morris found himself playing as a backup running back and special teams returner to Jim Kiick with gradually increasing playing time. (He started 39 games over his career.) In 1973, Mercury combined with Larry Csonka to form the first 1,000 yard duo, playing with two broken vertebra for a good portion of the season. (Mercury was not informed of the break when it happened, rather he was told that the injury was a ‘sprain’ after the game by team doctors.) Morris would play through 1976, where he was traded to the Chargers and then retired shortly thereafter due to the lingering neck injury from 1973. Eugene “Mercury” Morris was aptly named, based on his mercurial quickness, and later proven by the fact that he stands 1st amongst halfbacks on average yards per carry at 5.1 (with at least 750 attempts) and his kick return average of 26.5 stands in the NFL top ten.  He is also a member of the NFL’s only completely perfect team, (the 17-0 1972 Dolphins) and was a 3 time ProBowl selection from 1971-1973.

Since retirement Morris has been involved in television, public speaking, commercials, and wrote a book about his life entitled “Against the Grain” (1988). An outspoken advocate for improving player benefits, Mercury has continued to battle with the NFL to acknowledge and compensate him and his former gladiator brethren for their increasing medical expenses caused by their playing days.  (Mercury has suffered from lingering and debilitating headaches from his fused spine and deadened nerves.) Morris has pressed on with multiple legal actions against the league (for the money he is entitled to) and the Groom Law Group, which supervises the NFL pension plan. He has chronicled his latest attempts at getting answers through former defensive lineman Dave Pear’s blog at: www.davepear.com/blog .

G  99       Att  804           Yds   4133           Avg  5.1           TD 31          LG 70
KR  111          Yds  2947          Avg  26.5             TD  3            LG 105

Beuerlein, Steve

Cards: Action Packed 1992, Fleer 1990, ProSet 1990, ProSet 1992, ProSet Power 1992, Score 1989, Score 1990, Topps 1992, Upper Deck 1992.
Acquired: In Person, 1991-1992 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. In Person, CGA Youth Golf Tournament 1993.

Steve defines accessibility and patience. When I went to Cowboys training camp, I found myself struggling to find new cards to purchase of Steve because he was a tireless signer who would autograph hundreds of cards after practice. Beuerlein was one of the better backups that the Cowboys had, and probably is the one of the better journeyman quarterbacks in NFL history.  A streaky passer,  Steve had his ups and downs, typically suiting up as second fiddle for around half his career.  He would go on to play or start for 6 teams over a 17 seasons including the Raiders, Cowboys, Cardinals, Jaguars, Panthers, and Broncos. Of small note, Steve was the first quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Steve would go to his only Pro Bowl in 1999 playing then for the Panthers, throwing for 36 touchdowns that year where he appeared out of nowhere, and stood a good chance of being MVP that year- if not for a certain somebody named Kurt Warner. He then disappeared under the radar again in 2000 but put up respectable numbers. Beuerlein signed with the Broncos and played back up behind Jake Plummer through 2003, but elected to resign with the Panthers on a one day contract so that he could retire with them. Since retirement Steve has taken up NFL broadcasting and is an avid golfer.

G 147      Att  1894       Comp 3328         Yds  24046
Td 147        Int 112          Rat 80.3

Doleman, Chris

Cards: Action Packed 1991, Pro Set 1990, GameDay 1992.
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Minnesota Vikings

Chris Doleman was the 4th overall choice of the 1985 draft. Originally drafted as an outside linebacker, where he was converted to a defensive end in 1987 where he formed a dynamic duo with Keith Millard at DT.  The change was immediate as Doleman became a force at right end, dominating the sack charts for the next 13 seasons notching at least 7 sacks in each season for the Vikings, Falcons, and 49ers.  In the 1987 playoffs the defensive line of the Vikings crushed the Saints and 49ers in the playoffs.  He was traded to the Falcons after the 1993 season, and played there 2 years before going to the 49ers. In his final season he returned at the grand old age of 38 to the Vikings and notched 8 sacks before retiring.  Doleman was named All Pro from 1987-1990, 1992 and 1993, lead the league in sacks with 21 in 1989, and made the Pro Bowl 8 times. His sack totals currently rank him 4th overall in league history and he is listed on the NFL All 90s team. Unfairly cast as a ‘pass rush specialist’ Doleman had a streak of seasons with 90+ tackles (1989-1991) in addition to his high sack totals demonstrating his overall ability against both pass and run.

I sent off for Chris’ autograph in 1992, on a whim not expecting to get his autograph for my collection and received back all 3 cards signed.  Most people still don’t respect ‘sackers and tacklers’ but the league over the last few years has made a concerted effort to induct more of them into the HoF. With John Randle’s impending induction scheduled for 2010, the hope is Doleman should be next in the logger jam of defensive sack talent to go in.

In 2011, Chris was honored by the Vikings who selected him to announce their 2nd round pick during the NFL draft.

Games  232       Tac  914        Sac  150.5        Fum  44       Int   8        Yds  121      TD  2