Item: Sports Illustrated, January 19, 1999
Acquired: Future Considerations, 2015
Lance came through with this one and gave me a copy of a Sports Illustrated autographed by none other than Keyshawn Johnson. I am neither a fan of EBay purchases or autographed magazines, but I won’t look this gift horse in the mouth. At the time he also gave me a certified Billy Sims autographed card as well. I always give extras whenever I can to friends in a pay it forward maneuver, so it’s always nice to get something back in return.
Keshawn Johnson came off the board #1 overall (first time since Irving Fryar, 1987) in the wide receiver deep 1996 draft. Selected by the New York Jets, Johnson recorded his first two 1,000+ yard seasons in 1998 and 1999, earning him ProBowl berths in both years. He’d be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2000, and have the best season of his career in 2001, when he posted 106 receptions for 1266 yards, earning his 3rd and final Pro Bowl berth. Keshawn posted his last 1,000 yard season and won the Super Bowl in 2002. He was traded to the Cowboys in 2004, narrowly missing the 1,000 yard mark at the end of the year. Johnson played one final season in 2006 with the Panthers, retiring after the season.
Post playing days, Keshawn has been an in studio analyst and was the first celebrity voted out of Dancing With the Stars -17th Season.
G/Gs 167/162 Rec 814 Yds 10571 Avg 13.0 TD 64 LG 76
Card: Topps 1990
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 12/14/16 Received: 1/9/17 (23 days)
Dean Biasucci is a Tecmo Bowl legend. As the strongest kicker in the game, he could kick a field goal from his own 45. This came in handy especially when you were piloting the Colts anemic offensive playbook.
A barefoot kicker out of Western Carolina University, Biasucci was originally signed by the Atlanta Falcons in 1984. Cut in camp, Dean was picked up in week 2 by the Baltimore Colts, who needed an injury replacement to Raul Allegre. After bouncing off in 1985 and back onto the roster in 1986, Dean would go on to eclipse many Baltimore/ Indianapolis Colts records. He kicked an NFL record 6 50+ yard field goals in 1988, and a career long 56 yarder in 1991. Late in his career with the Colts, he’d take over as the franchise’s top kicker in history in field goal percentage and points. Dean was signed by Pittsburgh in 1995, but was cut when the team brought in fellow veteran Norm Johnson. He wouldn’t be out of work for long as he played the final 8 games of the year with the St. Louis Rams.
After retiring from football, Biasucci spent 9 years or so pursuing an acting career, garnering small roles in movies and TV. He’s also been involved in building apartment complexes and communities.
Well Dean threw me for a loop. I sent him a slew of really nice cards to sign, thinking that a kicker would love to sign his cards, but instead he sent me back one card, and it was his worst one at that. At least he was nice enough to sign one…
G 163 XPA 275 XPM 268 PCT 97.5%
FGA 262 FMG 185 PCT 70.6% LG 56
Cards: ProSet 1989, Score 1989, Score 1991 MVP
Acquired: 2016, Future Considerations
See Also: Kevin Mack
Deadhorse comes through again for me. My Cleveland connection who gets a rare bone thrown to him from time to time set me up with a signing that included 3 great Browns backs: Earnest Byner, Mike Pruitt, and Kevin Mack.
Kevin has a lot of great nicknames because of his indelible last name. My friends and I used to call him ‘Mack Attack’ in Tecmo Bowl (circa 1987/8), but I’ve heard ‘Mack Truck’ and a few others because well, not only did he hit like a truck in Tecmo, he attacked the line in real life.
Former revered head coach Marty Schottenheimer has been quoted as saying about Mack:
“K Mack was a between the tackles runner who had power as well as good speed. He had that tremendous step of acceleration you have to have when he saw that little spot he had to run to or through.”
As of 2016, Kevin is the head of Cleveland Browns Alumni relations. He kicked the can for many years on returning to the sport in a coaching or front office capacity- inquiring with the Texans in 2000 about becoming a scout once the franchise took a foothold. Eventually he ended up returning to the Browns. Among the things that Mack laments is the glory days of the AFC South and the rivalries between the Steelers, Oilers, Browns, and Bengals. (I for one second that.)
Some really nice cards of Kevin here that I got signed the second time around. Each of them showcase Mack’s power and ability to lead with his massive shoulders. The ProSet 1989 is a marvelous action shot with just perfect framing, while his Score 91 is a solidly designed illustration. The Score 1989 is why Topps was caught so flat footed by both ProSet and Score’s entry into the card market. Not only did they use dynamic photography and action shots, the colors on the higher grade card just illuminated the canvas.