Okine, Earl

Card: Topps AAF 2019
Acquired: 2019, EBay

Earl Okine is a giant of a physical specimen clocking in at 6’8″, 290. He played defensive end and tackle for the Florida Gators from 2009-2012. Over that period he managed 27 tackles and a sack. He’d go undrafted in 2013- later signing with the Houston Texans, and then briefly joining the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. In 2014, Earl played for the Orlando Predators of the Arena leagues, where I saw him play against the San Antonio Talons that year. He notched 28 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 pass blocks, and a forced fumble. Later he hopped over to the FXFL to join the Brooklyn Bolts.

Earl finally found a home in the NFL with the Colts in 2015, spending nearly the entire season on and off the Colts regular season roster and practice squad. He then spent the next year on the Kansas City Chiefs on the bubble of the roster as well at OLB. After a short stay on the Lions, he’d spend the entire 2017 season on the practice squad of the Cardinals.

He’d join the Alliance of American Football in 2018- signing with the Orlando Apollos. The Apollos decided to put Earl’s strengths to best use at outside linebacker. Earl started 7 games for the 7-1 Apollos. He finished with 26 tackles, 5 sacks, and a critical tipped ball interception that he made to seal the win against the Memphis Express in Week 8.

Munoz, Anthony (2)

Cards: GameDay 1992, Skybox 1992, Proset 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C.o Home
Sent: 12/2 Received: 12/14 (12 days)
See Also: Anthony Munoz

Anthony Munoz sometime during 2019 decided to let go of his very stringent signing policy which required fans to jump through the hoops and pay a fee in order to get his autograph. Surprisingly he was signing anything and everything with no fee. I decided to give him a shot again since I had some really nice cards I had always wanted to get his autograph on. I thought that 3 was a tall order, so I felt I needed something that’d really stick out among his autograph requests- so I wrote my entire letter in Spanish. There’s a first for everything, and while I didn’t get complimented for my syntax, I did get these 3 cards back autographed in a very short amount of time.

While Anthony had an outstanding ProSet and Action Packed entry, I decided to pass them up in order to get a few nice set needs. The ProSet 1991 card art card by Merv Corning is outstanding. The autograph looks very nice on the canvas- especially on the white. I’m sure he signs this card more than any other.

The other two cards are cards that I really liked the design of, and were sets that I collected near the end of my first collecting phase in 1992. The GameDay set I am particularly fond of, and this is a nice, unique card of Anthony. I really like how it shows his padded, gloved hands- something that has become more rare and rare over the years in the league. Skybox remained near the top there at the end for me , and when I can, I love to pick up an autograph here or there on one of them.

Sometime in 2020, Muñoz closed the door again on signing for free and without the acrimonious signing policy. As of this post he is back to asking for $25.00 per item.

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.

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