Category Archives: Arena

Branch, Cliff (1948-2019)

Upper Deck Legends 1997, #AL-80

CARD: Upper Deck Legends 1997
ACQUIRED: EBay, 2021


  • Breathtaking track man and WR played in ’70 and ’71 for the Buffs.
  • Caught 36 passes for 665 yards and 3 TDs, while rushing for 354 yards on 31 carries (5 TDs).
  • Selected in the 3rd round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.
  • Played during the prime years of the ‘Dead Ball Era’.
  • Had 60 catches, a league leading 1092 yards and 13 TDs in 1974.
  • Added another 893 yards and 9 TDs in ’75.
  • Had 1,111 yards, an 88 yard long, and a league leading 12 TDs in ’76.
  • Curiously his 24.2 yards per catch did not lead the NFL that year- despite catching 46 passes.
  • In ’77 posted 33 receptions for 540 yards and 6 TDs.
  • Continued to be a long bomb threat throughout the remainder of his career, posting an 86 yard catch in ’80 and a 99 yard TD in ’83.
  • Retired after the 1985 season.
  • Was the bridge between two eras of the Silver and Black winning Super Bowls XI, XV, and XVIII.
  • Played one season in the Arena Football League in 1988 for the Los Angeles Cobras.


  • NFL Record – 99 Yard TD reception (tied)
  • All-Pro 1974-’76
  • Pro Bowl 1974-’77
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame 2022


It is a testament to the Silver and Black that Branch finally is in the HoF. Long overdue, he was being held back by his ‘Dead Ball Era’ stats, a logger jam of WR with sexier stats, and a stigma against inducting too many Raiders from that era into the HoF. Frequently the most dangerous offensive player on the field, Branch’s honor was long deserved.



Cliff Branch passed away August 3rd, 2019 of natural causes. He was 71. He was posthumously was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022.

Kubiak, Jim (2)

Bowman 2000 Chrome, #154

CARDS: Bowman 2000, Topps 2000, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2000
ACQUIRED: TTM 2022, C/o Work
SENT: 4/18 RECEIVED: 7/15 (88 days)



Jim had a few cards that came out at the turn of the century that I came across. After researching possible places he lived, I took a shot at where he’s currently coaching. Jim Kubiak is not related to former coach Gary Kubiak.

Lester, Tim

Topps XFL, #17
Topps XFL 2001, Loaded Cannon #8

CARDS: Topps XFL 01, Topps XFL 01 Loaded Cannon
ACQUIRED: TTM 2022, C/o Work
SENT: 4/11 RECEIVED: 4/30 (19 days)


  • QB at Western Michigan (96-99) that helped put school on the map.
  • Set 17 school records, throwing for 11,299 yards and 87 TDs.
  • Went undrafted in 2000, but was selected in the 6th round of the XFL 2001 draft.
  • Threw for 4 TDs and 554 yards playing for the Chicago Enforcers, but was cut midseason.
  • Signed by the Arena Football League, playing for the Nashville Kats and Carolina Cobras in 2001.
  • Then spent 2002 with the Memphis Xplorers of the AFL2.
  • Has been pretty much coaching since he left college, slowly working way up college ranks.
  • In 2017, returned to Western Michigan and was named head coach of the Broncos.


Nice response here from Tim who inscribed this note on his own card. I was surprised he didn’t have more cards or play in the NFLE.