Category Archives: Heisman Trophy Winner

Dorsett, Tony ‘TD’

udldg97 dorsettCard: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: IP, 11/22/14 Star Power Signing, Dallas,Tx

So Josh and I went to Dallas to nab Tony Dorsett. We thought that by leaving a few hours early, it’d get us a decent place in line. We got lucky. Encountering 2 hour delay due to an overturned semi on I-35, we arrived with only an hour and 15 minutes before the event. Still we hopped in line and took our place 3 quarters of the way around the building.

Two observations about the actual event:

I have never been to a ‘Star Power’ location. I probably would never go there again. Glitz, glamour, and a lot of the usage of the word ‘affluent’ to put off anybody who would ask, “How much is this?” It screamed of excess and the place flat out embraced it. To them, most of us who showed up were just a working class sideshow at the event.

In my time collecting, I have never been as incensed by the amount of flagrant double-dipping going on. There is no need for you to get your children to go and get the same item signed. 3 Tony Dorsett helmets, with one for each kid who didn’t care about football or who they were meeting.  It was just so obvious that there was a lot of people getting paid for this and that there was going to be an Ebay flood of items later that day.

Tony Dorsett was a one man dynamo for Pitt from 1973-1976, leading the school to a National Championship, Heisman accolades, and was the all-time leading rusher in college history with 6,082 yards.  A first round choice of the Cowboys (#2 overall) in 1977, he won NFL Rookie of the Year Honors  with 1,007 yards and 12 TDs. Over the course of his 11 year career in Dallas, Dorsett was named All Pro 4 times and won a Super Bowl title. He also holds the NFL record for longest TD run with a 99 yard gallop against the Minnesota Vikings in 1983. As injuries began to take their toll on the venerable back and the arrival of fresh legs in the form of Herschel Walker in 1987, Dorsett was traded to the Denver Broncos in 1988 playing one season before he retired.  At the time of his retirement, Dorsett was the second All-Time leading rusher in NFL history, and of a less distinguished note, was top 5 in fumbles with 90. He is the only player in NFL history to win the Heisman, and then win the Super Bowl and NFL Rookie of the Year the following season. To top it all off, Tony was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994, and had his number retired at Pitt.

Dorsett is one of the major names that has come out in regards to concussion litigation against the NFL. Tony in particular has suffered so many concussions he lost track. He suffers from memory loss, depression, and dementia due to CTE.  He was not in in great shape when I saw him, but Tony very graciously stayed over his appointed time to get everybody knocked out who was in line. He signed this one card for me, and tried to interact with every fan he met.

G/Gs 173/152      Rush 2936     Yds  12,739   Avg  4.3    Td 77     Lg 99t      |
Rec  398      Yds 3,554    Avg 8.9     Td 13    Lg 91

Wuerffel, Danny

udcolldg11 wuerffelCards: Upper Deck College Legends 2011, Bowman NFL Europe Prospects 2000.
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home*
Sent: 1/2    Received:  1/13  (11 days)
* Donation enclosed of $20 to Desire Street Ministries

Danny Wuerffel has had a colorful football career. The catalyst behind the 1996 Florida Gators National Championship, Wuerffel rewrote many of the school’s records en route to a Heisman Trophy and All-American Honors that year.  He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 3rd round of the 1997 draft, – where he received the ‘quarterback of the future’ label for much of his time there while Billy Joe Hobert and Billy Joe Tolliver handled being the quarterback of today. In 1999, injuries plagued the Saints quarterback rotation, but he only continued to see backup time, this time to Jake Delhomme.

Afterwards Danny decided to hone his craft in Europe. Assigned to the Rhein Fire, Danny had an incredible season playing in the NFLE, culminating in a World Bowl victory and MVP honors.

bow00 WeurffelHe returned stateside but did not see any playing time for the Packers and Bears in 2000 and 2001. Left exposed to the Texans expansion draft for the 2002 season, the Texans drafted Wuerffel, and then immediately traded him to Steve Spurrier in Washington. It would be the Texans first trade in franchise history, and for Wuerffel it would be a coming home of sorts- sort of- being reunited with his former head coach from Florida in Spurrier. With Wuerffel in place the Redskins could get Spurrier’s Fun ‘N Gun offense off the ground in DC.  The problem with the Redskins was their pourous offensive line. Still Danny came in relief for the first 3 games before being named starter. He’d post a 2-2 record and throw his first 3 professional touchdowns in a 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving day that year.  The team remained surprsingly competitive even in their losses, but he’d head back to the bench for promising rookie Patrick Ramsey.

After the season Danny retired, and has focused much of his time into charity and religion. His ministry, Desire Street, was doing well in its outreach program in New Orleans- before it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. There was nothing left. He rebuilt it from scratch again and now services needy people in the Southeast, primarily in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia. Wuerffel was also diagnosed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome, and has become an unlikely spokesperson for understanding the disease and the treatments available.

NFL   25/10       ATT  350      COMP 184      PCT  52.6%        YDS 2123        TD  12   INT  22     RAT   56.4
RUSH  31         YDS 189       AVG   6.1      TD  1   LG 29t

NFLE   ATT   260    COMP 161    PCT 61.9%        YDS  2042    TD 25    INT  7    RAT 107.2
RUSH 24    YDS 80    AVG 3.3    LG 18    TD 2

Campbell, Earl “Tyler Rose” (3)

mem campbell 2Photo Memorabilia
Acquired: IP 2013, GMC Texas Tour November
See Also: Earl Campbell, Earl Campbell (2) “The Tyler Rose”

Well Earl Campbell puts the saying, “You can’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”, to the test with this autographed photo. While I was happy to once again get Earl on something I would have been a bit happier if it was on a card. I had even ordered a couple thinking I might have a chance at getting him, but when I arrived at the event, the promoters and handlers for the event made it clear he was only going to sign the stock photo memorabilia. Still when Earl was chauffeured up in his signature black GMC with a handicapped placard I couldn’t help but feel slightly sorry for the guy. He’s been through a heckuva lot, and people just keep heaping more on him, in addition to treating him like a demigod. A woman in front of me said he had a responsibility to sign autographs, and basically make people happy because of his celebrityship. I really disagreed and tried to be more diplomatic about it. We are all human after all.

IMAG0531When Earl emerged from the passenger side of the vehicle, I’m sure many fans were surprised to see what condition their hero of lore was in. (It’s hard to live in an information vacuum, but it’s much easier if you are only a casual fan of sports and did not see the 30-30 ESPN presentation on him.)  Earl was clearly using a walker, and had to be helped to the table.  While I had heard differing tales of his stubbornness at events, such as when he only signed “E Campbell” at the Fan Fest in 2012, or how he both refuses to allow for personal photos with him or outside personal items now at non-paid signings, Earl for the most part seemed in good spirits. While I was not going to poke the bear, I noticed that on a few larger families of autograph seekers at the beginning, he simply penned “Earl”.  First his legs. Now his hands. As the line coiled through the queue and out into the street, I realized how thankful and fortunate I should be to even get an autograph. A few people who were there went up and complained to his hapless son about how they had driven from here or there and wanted to get Earl’s autograph on some sort of memorabilia they had packed, but they really had no excuse, especially after receiving a charity autograph from a Texas and NFL great, clearly doing this out of the kindness of his heart and for some pocket change.  Again, the GMC event was very mechanical. When I said to Earl: “Luv’ Ya HOUSTON OILER Blu’ “, he was too busy talking and smiling at his handlers, that were interfering with the whole mystique of the event. I doubt he even heard me.  It was a poignant end to an uneven event.