Category Archives: NFLE

Metzelaars, Pete

Cards: ProSet 1989, ProSet 1990, Fleer 1990
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 7/3 Received: 8/13 (41 days)

Pete Metzelaars made his mark at tiny Wabash, as a two sport star playing basketball and football. He was selected in the 3rd round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. After catching just 27 passes in 3 seasons for the Seahawks, Pete was traded to the Buffalo Bills in 1985.

He caught 49 passes for 485 yards and 3 TDs in 1986 starting his first 16 game slate. In 1988, Pete put up another 33 passes for 438 yards and a TD. After a few years being used primarily as a blocking tight end Pete saw an uptick in 1992, and then caught a career high 68 passes for 609 yards and 4 TDs in ’93 starting all 16 games for the first time since 1989. Metzelaars played one more season for the Bills in 1994, adding another 49 catches for 428 yards and 5 TDs.

In 1995, Pete was allowed to walk via free agency. He joined the expansion Carolina Panthers for a season catching 20 passes and recording 3 TDs. He then played 2 more additional seasons for the Detroit Lions in 1996 and 1997 catching 17 passes in both years. Metzelaars retired after the ’97 season, and decided to go into coaching.

Pete spent 5 years honing his craft at the high school level as an offensive coordinator. He then coached in Europe with the Barcelona Dragons in 2003, and Wingate College as well. In 2004, Pete joined the Indianapolis Colts where he saw the most success, coaching the offensive line from 2004-2011. He then saw a one year stint as tight ends coach of the Bills in 2012, and then the Chargers in 2014 and 2015. After spending another two years back at the high school level, Metzelaars coached offensive line for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football in 2019.

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Bellamy, Mike

Cards: Score 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990, Bowman 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 12/31/19 Received: 4/10/20 (101 days)

A JuCo star in 1987 at DuPage, Mike Bellamy played wide receiver for the Fightin’ Illini from 1988 to 1989. There he’d be one of the primary targets of overall number one pick Jeff George. He’d post 59 catches for 927 yards and 8 touchdowns in 1989, and finish his overall college career with 90 catches for 1,404 yards and 10 TDs. He also flashed skills on special teams as a kick returner. His finest moment came when he caught 10 passes for 189 yards , as the Illini beat the Cavaliers in the 1990 Citrus Bowl.

Mike parlayed his impressive performance and pro day into a second round selection. He’d be drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, a team notorious for their abuse of their wide receiver corps under head coach Buddy Ryan. Mike had a hard time getting onto the field because of injury, and only saw limited time on the field on punt returns, in a quickly bustling wide receiver corps behind fellow rookies Calvin Williams and Fred Barnett. Only after a season on the Eagles, Mike was released.

From 1992 to 1995 Mike spent time on and off the rosters of the Indianapolis Colts, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Chicago Bears, and Oakland Raiders. During his stint in the CFL in ’93, Bellamy played slotback for the Blue Bombers, catching 12 passes for 104 yards.

In 1995, Mike joined the Frankfurt Galaxy of the newly reformed World League. He’d have his finest moment since his college days catching 30 passes for 479 yards and 7 TDs. Mike returned to play for the Galaxy again in 1996, adding another 22 catches for 313 yards.

After returning stateside, Mike turned his eye towards coaching. He’s seen positional stops as a receivers coach, quality control coach, relations, and as an assistant coach, with Mississippi State, with his Alma Mater, the Fightin’ Illini, and most recently with the Toledo Rockets. Mike was also honored by the JUCO HOF in 2009.

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Ware, Andre (3)

Card: Fleer 1990, Action Packed 1991, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home
Sent: 3/17 Received: 4/5 (18 days)
See Also: Andre Ware, Air Ware

Andre sure got in a lot of great cards in his short amount of time on the starting stage in the NFL. Even after this third stab at a few more autographs, there are a few more cards I could probably nab him on.

I loved Action Packed and GameDay’s sets. Action Packed 1991 was a pretty well designed set, with that simple swoosh that goes through the left side of the image- it maximized the canvas area to focus on the player image. I also really liked the flat helmet image at the end. It’s a really underrated set, and despite the slight smudging is great to get autographed. Most of the images are indeed- action packed. This Gameday image is really nice, however one of the set’s design flaws comes forward a bit when the silver blends against the gray, the image looks a bit more flat. The Fleer 90 card was one of 4 (technically) that had a college photo of Andre in it. (The others being Topps, ProSet, and Score.) We always laughed at the fact that Fleer didn’t find a shot of Andre actually throwing the ball- but instead chose to get a shot of him pitching the ball out. All of these cards were distant set needs for me in my never ending autograph quest.

About the time that Coronavirus broke loose and some stay at home notices were put into place, Andre started signing his TTM mail after a 5-6 year absence from the game. He was initially playing catchup and then started signing some newer requests. I always liked Andre, and I hadn’t TTMed him since 2012, I decided he was ripe for the picking.

As of 2020, Ware remains the steady voice as the color commentator for the Houston Texans game day radio show.