Category Archives: Pro Football HoF

Dean, Fred (DE/LB)

Cards: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Topps 1979
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent:  7/11   Received:  7/18   (7 days)*
* Donation enclosed

Fred Dean was a rangy linebacker from Louisiana Tech (392 tackles) that was drafted in the second round of the 1975 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He was converted to defensive end and set his sights on terrorizing quarterbacks in the AFC West. His best season for the Chargers occurred in 1978 when he recorded an unoffical 15.5 sacks. A core member of the ‘Bruise Brothers’, Fred played for the Chargers through the 1981 season, where he was traded during the season to the San Fransisco 49ers.  He served notice to the league by helping the 49ers win Superbowl XVI as the final cornerstone to San Fransisco’s defensive front. To top things off he also was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. During 1983, Dean single-handedly humiliated the New Orleans Saints to the tune of 6 sacks, en route to a season high 17 sack season.  He retired after the 1985 season and returned to his native Louisiana.

The awards have slowly but steadily trickled in for Fred since then, with LA Tech honoring him in 1990, the Pro Football Hall of Fame honoring him in 2008, and finally the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019. A fearsome force, one must wonder if the accolades as a premiere defender would have come quicker to Dean if sacks were recognized earlier as a statistic in the annals of NFL history.  He redefined the role of a pass rusher, helped modernize defenses, and be among the first situational pass rushers late in his career. Fred is also one of the rare players who has been recognized by two different teams as part of their anniversary teams. Such as the case it is hard to decide if Dean is represented better as a member of the Chargers or 49ers.

G/GS 141/82        TAC         SAC   93.0      FUM 13
INT 1         YDS 22         AVG 22.0         LG 22T        TD 1

Dawson, Len

Card: ProSet 1990 Super Bowl MVP
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Work
Sent: 12/15   Received: 12/31   (16 days)
Failure: 2013, C/o Work

Len Dawson saw a storied NFL career that stretched from the late 50s to the mid 70s.  After putting together a strong career at Perdue, Dawson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with their #1 pick in 1957.  Unable to dislodge Bobby Layne from the starter position, Dawson was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1960 where he also faced an uphill battle for the starting position under center. He’d join the rival American Football League in 1962, where he’d become the unquestioned starter of the Dallas Texans.  Power plugged into the Texans offense,  Dawson immediately turned the franchise into contenders going toe to toe with the Houston Oilers and winning the AFL Championship. Soon thereafter the Texans moved to Kansas City and Len went on to record numerous accolades including league single-game and season records including career touchdowns with 182 for the American Football League.

The AFL had never earned the respect of the NFL brass. They felt that the AFL played an inferior kind of ball- even though Joe Namath led the Jets to victory the previous year in Super Bowl III. While the Chiefs appeared to be snake bitten all season long- with injuries to Len or just plain bad luck, they made the playoffs after not even winning their division. The Chiefs then dethroned the Jets on their home field in the first round, and then beat the Raiders on the road in Oakland – after not even beating them during the regular season. The hard fought victory, didn’t bring the Chiefs any respect. In fact, most media and sports writers had predicted that the Minnesota Vikings were going to roll Kansas City in Super Bowl IV.

Instead, KC which had become used to the underdog role, relished in victory, smothering the Vikings 23-7.  Dawson paced the Chiefs throwing for 142 yards and a TD on 12 of 17 passing, earning himself MVP honors- all while under duress of a gambling probe that was proven unfounded.  Dawson avenged himself for his previous loss to the NFL, when the Chiefs lost to the Packers in Super Bowl I.
Len played an additional 5 more seasons retiring after the 1975 season- after 19 seasons.

Len is incredibly popular in Kansas City Chiefs’ lore. He had his number retired and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame. Dawson has done color commentary and insider reporting in the NFL for many years. In 1987 Len was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As of 2017, Len is a sports anchor for a Kansas City NBC affiliate.

G/GS 211/159    ATT 3741    COMP  2136   YDS 28711    PCT    57.1
TD 239    INT 183     RAT  82.6
RUSH 294    YDS1293     AVG 4.4    TD 9      LG 43

Faulk, Marshall


Card: SP Game Used Authentics 2002
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home*
Sent:  1/5/2016     Received: 6/11/2016     (158 days)

Nobody told Marshall Faulk about running too much in college. The 2nd pick of the 1994 draft, averaged over 1500 yards each year he was at San Diego State from 1991 to 1993.  He also demonstrated a nice penchant for catching the ball out of the backfield, with 82 receptions. At runningback, the Colts had a platoon of Roosevelt Potts, Anthony Johnson, and Rodney Culver that just wasn’t working in Ted Marchibroda’s offense in 1993.  Faulk gave the Colts the needed flexibility at the time to do a lot of things with their offense, and he responded by being named offensive rookie of the year in 1994.  His rookie totals included 1282 yards on 314 carries, 11 of which went to paydirt. He also chipped in 52 receptions out of the backfield for 522 yards. Faulk would continue to be the bell cow runningback for the Colts through the 1998 season- fellow teammate Peyton Manning‘s rookie season.

At a bypass in 1999 and wanting a new contract the Colts were unwilling to pay, the St. Louis Rams under Dick Vermeil traded for Faulk the evening before the draft.  Faulk became the catalyst of the Rams Greatest Show on Turf offense. As the Rams felt around in the dark until they found Kurt Warner shortly afterwards, Faulk rushed for 1381 yards and 7 TDs to go along with 103 receptions for 1048 yards and 5 TDs- an NFL RB single season record. The Rams were able to capitalize off of their offensive bonanza and win the next two Superbowls. The wear and tear of the football rigors were catching up with Faulk. In 2004, he’d share the backfield with Steven Jackson, and 2005 was completely injury riddled.  Marshall spent the entire 2006 season on the shelf, and retired in the Spring of 2007.

Marshall left an indelible legacy on the league. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility (2011). A member of the 10,000 yard club, at the time of his retirement Marshall led all runningbacks in career receptions yards and was second in career receptions.  He also is the only runningback to have over 70 TDs rushing and over 30 TDs receiving.

So I remember when the Colts drafted Faulk. I was like, “Oh no,” because I knew he was going to run all over the Oilers in the first game of that season.  And true to form his rookie year, he dominated the Oilers in a lopsided upset, running 23 times for 143 yards and 3 TDs in his rookie debut.

Faulk is a respected commentator on NFL Network. He also has a charitable foundation. I follow him on Twitter where one day he frustratingly Tweeted that all the autographs that people receive from him through his foundation are signed by him personally. He takes a plastic bin with him everywhere and tries to do his best to respond in a timely manner. With this information I scoured the internet and learned of the Marshall Faulk Foundation.  So the trick is, Marshall will sign whatever item you have provided you send a check/money order to the foundation for the total amount of the jersey pictured on the photo or card of him. So the above autograph for example, cost me $28.00.  He does not sign without a donation.

G/GS 176/156    RUSH 2836   YDS 12,280   AVG  4.3  TD 100   LG 71t  REC  767        YDS 6875       AVG 9.0       TD 36       LG 85T