Cards: ProSet 1991 Legends, Score Supplemental 1989
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20 Received: 10/27 (7 days)
During the Jurassic Period of football, there were some absolute beasts of defenders that took the league by storm in the 70s. One of them was Carl Hairston, a little known defensive lineman prospect out of UMES or (University of Maryland Eastern Shore). He played on some terrible teams during college, which allowed him to really hone his game. Hairston was named to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team 3 times. In his final year with the team, he posted 147 tackles and 15 sacks, good enough to get noticed by the Philadelphia Eagles, who selected Carl in the 7th round of the 1976 draft.
He’d make the squad and in fact lead the NFL in sacks in 1979 (unofficially) with 15. Then in 1980, he’d help champion the defense that got the Eagles to Super Bowl XV. Injuries began to slow Hairston down in 1983, and soon thereafter he’d be traded to the Cleveland Browns, where he’d be a mainstay on the line until 1989. He’d finish his career in Phoenix the following season.
Carl has an extensive coaching resume at the Pro level, and has seen stops in the NFL (Phoenix, KC, St Louis, and Green Bay), UFL (Florida, Omaha), and CFL (British Columbia). He earned a Super Bowl ring as the defensive line coach for the St. Louis Rams (Super Bowl XXXIV).
Carl is another one of these players who should probably be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A dominant lineman during his time, unofficially he has 1,141 tackles and 94 sacks to his name in 184 starts.
Both of these are really nice cards of Carl. I almost feel like they are nods to him out of respect- like these card companies knew he was long in the tooth but they still wanted to pay him respects with their brand of card. The ProSet Legends 1991 card is an absolute gem. Merv Corning can make a player standing on the sideline look exciting, and this highly detailed image is no different with its nicks and bumps. It’s a fine card with excellent minimal design- which screams classy. The Score Supplemental 1989 had always been floating around my doubles box, so I had been kicking around the idea of getting it autographed for sometime. It’s unique because it’s obviously a special teams shot, but he’s just sort of popping up in a sea of helmets.
Card: Bowman’s Best 2002
Acquired: 2015, Target Autographed Memorabilia
Charles played 8 seasons in the NFL from 2002-2009. He recorded 424 total tackles, 47 sacks, and 16 forced fumbles over his career. He was selected in the first round of the 2002 draft by the New Orleans Saints with the 25th overall pick. Over his college career at Georgia, Grant posted 136 tackles and 15 sacks. He received a Super Bowl ring for being a member of the New Orleans Saints 2009 NFL Championship run. After the season he’d be released by the team.
Charles appeared on the rosters briefly of the UFL Omaha Nighthawks, the Miami Dolphins, and Chicago Bears, before retiring in 2010. After his playing days ended, Charles has been spotted coaching football in the Baltimore area.
G/Gs 118/106 TAC 424 SAC 47.0 FUM 16
INT 1 YDS 8 AVG 8.0 TD 0 LG 8
Card: Playoff Contenders 2005
Acquired: 2017, C/o EBay
Jerome Mathis was a phenomenal track man while he was at Hampton. He took it to the gridiron too, setting the NCAA record with a gaudy 26.6 career kick return average and 6 TDs. During the combine, Mathis created quite a buzz posting the second best 40 time in history at 4.26. Still he waited to hear his named called until the 4th round of the 2005 draft, because he was considered just a return man from a small school.
The Texans are a very patient team and felt they could wait for Mathis to mature as a receiver. His speed was proven and he could be used on kick and punt returns at least. Mathis took the league by storm his rookie year. He posted 54 kick returns for 1542 yards (28.6 yard average) and 2 touchdowns, including a 99 yarder. His strong rookie campaign earned him Pro Bowl and special teams player of the year honors. During the Pro Bowl he fractured his foot, but it went undetected, forcing him to miss nearly the entire next season on IR. He came back to the squad for 2007 but after 3 games lost his entire year to injured reserve. He still managed to post 11 returns for 320 yards and a 84 yard TD.
Mathis was in a contract year with the Texans in 2007, and as a restricted free agent in 2008 the Texans had first right of refusal or tender. Late in 2007 he had a run in with the law- but whether or not that had anything to do with it, Houston cut him outright 9 days after being charged with a misdemeanor. He signed with the Redskins but was cut a few months later.
In 2009 he joined the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and was on and off their roster for the season. He spent 2010 briefly with the UFL Hartford Colonials, before playing one final glorious year in the Arena Football League for the Pittsburgh Power. There he set a variety of Power records, retiring after the 2011 season.
NFL 17 Rec 6 Yds 80 Avg 13.3 Td 1 Lg 34t
KR 72 Yds 2154 Avg 28.5 Td 3 Lg 99t
PR 12 Yds 68 Avg 5.7 Td 0 Lg 19
Arena Rec 30 Yds 418 Avg Td 7 Lg 46t
Ret 31 Yds 688 Avg Td 1 Lg 49t