Mama, Damien

Card: Sage 2017
Acquired: 2017, Box Breaker. 2019, San Antonio Commanders v San Diego Fleet

A classic road mauler, Damien Mama played guard at USC and clocked in at a whopping 6’3″, 342. A second team PAC 12 selection in 2016, he’d declare early for the 2017 NFL draft, but go unselected. He’d sign as a free agent with the Chiefs and eventually land on their practice squad. Later in 2017, the Giants signed him to their roster- but Damien was released in mid-2018. He’d join the Cowboys in training camp, but again be waived in final cuts.

I found out that Damien was playing in The Alliance of American Football for the San Diego Fleet, so I packed a card of him for the first game of the season. He was practicing with Marc Bercovici before the game and decided to come over and sign some autographs in the visitor’s end zone. A super nice guy, Damien’s sleeve tattoos are even more amazing up close.

Mama was shifted from guard to center for the Fleet for the opening day game against the Commanders. Despite his best efforts the Fleet were overwhelmed by San Antonio and surrendered 6 sacks.

Throughout the season Mama’s play improved and the team finished in 4th place giving up just 19 sacks in 8 games. The Fleet themselves as an offensive unit finished 3rd in the league in total yardage and second in passing yardage.

Currently with the dissolution of the league, Damien is a free agent but could find a home in the XFL 2020.

Rankin, Martinas

Card: Panini Contenders 2018
Acquired: 2018, Box Breaker

Marinas Rankin played tackle for Mississippi State from 2015-2017. In 2017, he earned first team All-SEC Honors and the Kent Hull Trophy (which is given annually by the state of Mississippi for the best offensive lineman in the state).
 
He’d be selected near the top of Round 3 by the lineman needy Houston Texans. The Texans had an abysmal offensive line in 2017 and it didn’t get any better after trading longtime stud Duane Brown to Seattle. In the offseason Houston cut guys who underperformed and signed a few free agents to try to shore up the front. Rankin started off slowly as a foot injury slowed him during camp, but he returned before the preseason concluded to get some much needed playtime. 

Martinas would be thrown into the fire however as starting RT Sentrel Henderson broke his ankle during the first game of the season against the Patriots. The Texans shuffled the line and Rankin entered the starting lineup at Left Tackle playing there the next three games. He started one last game late in the season against the Eagles and finished the season garnering experience at both tackle and left guard.

Going into 2019, Martinas has received a fair amount of praise with his improved play at guard and with Zach Fulton locking down the left guard position, Rankin is in a battle with Senio Kelemete for the RG spot.

Morris, Jamie

Cards: ProSet 1989, Action Packed 1989
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Work
Sent: 11/7    Received: 11/16   (9 days)
Failure: 2011, C/o Michigan

Jamie Morris is one of the smallest players to play runningback in the NFL. At a mere 5’7″, 188 he towered over opponents toting the rock for the Michigan Wolverines. He had 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons for Ann Arbor, culminating in his Senior campaign in 1987 when he had 282 carries for 1703 yards and 14 TDs. He finished his college career as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 806 carries for 4392 yards, 25 TDs and 99 receptions (also a school record) for 756 yards and 3 TDs. Jamie was selected in the 4th round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.

Jamie made it onto the regular season roster of the Redskins, where he was designated primarily as a kick returner. Still over the course of the 16 game schedule, Morris managed to put together 126 carries for 437 yards and 2 TDs. He also returned 21 kicks for 413 yards. Jamie is perhaps best remembered by Redskins faithful as the back who set the NFL record with 45 carries (152 yards) in a 20-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in 1988.  It should be noted that over his short but notable NFL career, Jamie posted a 38 carry game and a 26 carry game in 1989 as well. 

Morris signed with the New England Patriots in 1990 where he served primarily as a kick returner. He finished with 11 returns for 202 yards and 2 carries for 4 yards. Afterwards Jamie joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in 1991. He had a career high 591 yards rushing, 263 yards receiving, and 435 kick return yards.

Jamie lives in Michigan and is involved deeply with his Alma Mater. I tried writing him a few years ago care of Michigan when he was working for the Athletic Department as a development manager but had no luck. Recently some successes popped up of him through the radio station where he hosts a show talking all things Wolverines- so I decided to give him another shot on these two awesome cards. Although I was happy to finally knock this retry reply off my list, I was pained to see he knew enough about Action Packed that he should sign the card in the autograph slot on the back of the card. It is truly a beautiful card however.

Action Packed did sort of a test run in 1989 with the big two titans (ProSet and Score), but got lost in the mix. The only difference between the lesser known 89 and 90 releases is that the marquee was colored on the front of the card. The 1990 set even reused some of the photos from the previous year.

NFL  G/GPRUSHYDSAVGTDLG
33/72527773.1427
RECYDSAVGTDLG
9687.6017
KRYDSAVGTDLG
3261519.2035

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CFL RUSHYDSAVGTDLG 
1395914.3232
RECYDSAVGTDLG
282639.4158
KRYDSAVGTDLG
1943522.9035

Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.