Category Archives: Heisman Trophy Winner

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.

 

Sims, Billy “Kung Fu”

udcollgd11 simsCards: Topps 1984, Upper Deck Legends 1997, Upper Deck College Legends 2011, OU Upper Deck 2011 MM.
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home.
Sent: 1/2     Received: 1/21   (19 days)

Billy Sims had a relatively short NFL career due to injury, but he left it all on the field, and harnessed accolades and awards along the way. The 1978 Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma after rushing for 1,896 yards and 22 touchdowns , Sims was drafted with the first pick of the 1980 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions.

ouud11 sims mmThe tiny dynamo took the #20 that he made so famous at OU during his college career and won NFL Rookie of the Year Honors that season, leading the NFL with 16 touchdowns (13 rushing and 3 receiving). In 1981, he’d up his numbers with 1,437 yards and another 13 TDs rushing in 14 games. While the 57 day long strike reduced Sims contribution to only 9 games, he’d still have 639 yards, and the team made the playoffs for the first time in 20+ years in 1982. Billy took the NFL by storm his first three seasons earning All-Pro honors from the NFL in each of those years. He’d have his final 1,000 yard season in 1983 rushing for 1,040 yards in 12 games. During the season he rushed for to82 sims replaya career high 189 yards against the Packers. The one man wrecking crew was beloved by the people of Detroit, and led the Lions to its first division championship in also over 20 years.

1984 was a catastrophic season for Sims and ultimately the Lions. In the 8th game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings, Sims took a routine handoff and got his foot awkwardly caught in the Metrodome turf.  Unbelievably his season was over- and the Lions spiraled out of control. The Lions were 23-11 since Sims joined the team. Without him, Detroit went the rest of the way 1-6-1 that year.  Sims had ligament damage to his knee, and the injury was so severe that he failed every physical he took after rehab.  As fast as Sims established himself as the Lions career leading rusher, both in yardage and touchdowns, Billy’s career was over.  He was only 30.

Sims has been held with reverence since by the franchise. Detroit likes to unofficially retire jerseys from circulation for extended periods of time, and such is that, the Lions refused to issue his #20 jersey until NFL great Barry Sanders asked to wear it. Billy was also well known for his celebratory high stepping as he scoredudldg97 sims touchdowns, and his strong and creative running that allowed him to pick a hole and make 3 yard gain out of nothing. There was just about nothing Sims could do. Leaping over a pile (like in his Upper deck Legends card), or catching a pass out of the backfield. Sims averaged 11.1 yards on 186 career receptions.  Despite playing only one full season in his short lived 5 year NFL tenure, Billy averaged over 1,000 yards per year.

While Sims has had a share of well publicized financial missteps much like Earl Campbell, Billy has bounced back and currently has chain of Billy Sims BBQ restaurants. He also spends time as a motivational speaker and is involved in sports marketing.

mem simsInducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995, Sims has also had his likeness immortalized as a statue on the OU campus as a Heisman Hero. His nickname was given to him by Chris Berman from ESPN, because during the highlight of a game against the Houston Oilers, Sims lept through the air over a defender and kicked cornerback Steve Brown in the head.

Billy is a wonderful signer through the mail for fans. He signed these
4 cards in less than a month for me, and also enclosed a free drink coupon for his restaurant in case I was ever in the area.  You can visit his restaurant site at billysimsbbq.com.

G/Gs 60/58    Rush 1131  Yds 5106   Avg 4.5     Td 42    Lg 81t |
Rec 186    Yds  2072   Avg 11.1   Td  5   Lg 87