DeBerg, Steve


Cards: Score 1989 Supplemental, Action Packed 1991, Score 1991 Leader
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent:  1/9   Received: 1/20    (11 days)

Steve DeBerg is a warrior of old. Over his career, Steve played from 1978-1993, and 1998. He played some 17 seasons in the NFL and almost pulled off one of the rarest of feats of appearing in 4 different decades of football.  DeBerg is considered one of the great masters of play action, which served him well during his revival in the late 80s and early 90s for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Originally a 10th round choice of the Dallas Cowboys in 1978 out of San Jose State (and thought to be Roger Staubach‘s heir), Steve was traded to the 49ers before the regular season began. He’d start 11 games his rookie year in the NFL, but his numbers were atrocious (8 TD, 22 INT), and his win/loss record reflected it (1-10).  In 1979, DeBerg was allowed to spread his wings and led the NFL in Attempts (578) and completions (347), but young rookie QB Joe Montana was chomping at the bit.  In 1981, Deberg was traded to the Broncos, and he’d play there for through 1983, (when Denver got a hold of… John Elway).

In 1984, Steve was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’d throw for a career high 3554 yards that season and throw 19 TDs to 18 picks. In 1986 he’d back up future NFL HoF QB Steve Young, and then in 1987, back up Heisman Trophy Winner Vinny Testaverde.  After his 4 year stint with the Bucs concluded, DeBerg signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1988.

It’d be in 1989 that DeBerg was introduced to ‘Marty Ball’, and after fighting off Ron Jaworski, Steve Pelluer, and rookie Mike Elkins, posted a 6-4 record and almost led the Chiefs to the playoffs. It was a huge turnaround for the franchise- one that had been a doormat of the AFC West for most of the 80s. DeBerg continued his magical reinvention in 1990.  During that era of NFL football, only throwing 4 interceptions in 444 pass attempts was almost unheard of- but DeBerg did just that, leading the NFL with only .9 % of all his passes intercepted that season. He also had the highest adjusted average yards per completion at 7.58, leading the Chiefs to the playoffs. He played one more season with the Chiefs before being replaced in 1992 by Joe Montana (again).

Steve signed with the Bucs again in 1993. He’d be the backup QB for them for a few games over 2 seasons. Cut during 1994, DeBerg found his way onto the roster of the Dolphins and backed up Scott Mitchell after Dan Marino was injured.

DeBerg was long thought retired after that and was hired by Dan Reeves to be a QB coach with the Giants in 1995. Later when Reeves moved to Atlanta, he hired DeBerg as his QB Coach in 1996, however in 1998 they’d decided it’d be best if DeBerg backed up starter Chris Chandler. Steve finally reached the Superbowl with the Falcons- a game that they lost to the Broncos and… John Elway.

Truly, in the football universe for a while there, everything was six degrees of Steve DeBerg, with him being connected to so many great quarterbacks. A true competitor, Steve always left it out on the field. I remember during one season, he played a few weeks with a cast on his non-throwing hand during his time with the Chiefs.

Steve’s a signer who does so in random spurts, so it was somewhat difficult to peg down when I should send out to him. Along the way, Steve’s modern era cards (let’s say post 1988) were pretty nice, and it was hard for me to trim it down to under 3 of them. Sadly the Score 1991 Leader card that I liked the most got smudged- Usually a by-product of rushing signatures before they dry back into a sleeve or envelope. Still one can’t complain. I liked all 3 of these a lot. They really stood out among the sets to choose from. The simplicity of the Action Packed 91 almost couldn’t be touched, and the Score 1989 card is vibrant.

G/GS  206/140    ATT  5024    CPD 2874    YDS 34241    PCT 57.2
TD 196      INT 204        RAT  74.2

RUSH 204     YDS 200     AVG 1.0       TD 7       LG 15

Holmes, Priest (2)

Cards: Upper Deck 2006, Fleer 2003 Top Prospects, Upper Deck 1999, SP 1999, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2005 Longevity (146/250), 2003 Upper Deck Sweet Spot, Leaf 2005 Certified Materials Gold (228/750), Upper Deck 2002 All-Star Authentic.
Acquired: IP 9/26/15, Little Taco Factory Magic Show, 11/6/16, 3rd Base Round Rock.
See Also: Priest Holmes

I had enough notice but for some reason did not order the cards I wanted for the Priest Holmes show. Still these two gems look immaculate with Holmes’ autograph on it. Priest has a great autograph with a firm signature. It looks good on nearly any card and stands as one of my favorites. On top of that he’s pretty engaging with fans. This was the second time I’ve met him in person and he takes the time with each fan to engage them for as long as they’d like.

Twitter pays would be the lesson of this story.  Priest put the word out that he was going to be at the Little Taco Factory with the members of the Austin-San Antonio NFLPA.  Shawn, my recent cohort (who went with me to the Lone Star Challenge) decided to attend this event with me because he really wanted Priest. While the tacos were pretty good and there was a magic show to boot, the true prize was when Priest arrived nail bitingly halfway through the event. We talked about the good old times, Raycom sports, and how Austin has really changed over the years, making the drive from Austin to San Antonio totally worth it.

One of my friends, Anthony, (is not only Native American,) is a huge Chiefs fan.  During  the season he frequently met up with other members of his Chiefs group to watch the game on Sundays. It just so happened that he gave me a lead in 2016 on Priest- not even knowing that I was a collector. It was a perfect storm for me to nab Priest again, as it was an off week for the Texans. I packed to the brim as usual with cards knowing that I’d give a few away to other fans to keep people from getting upset when I would get Priest to sign 4 or 5 cards.  It turned out to be a really good event.  I patiently waited for the chance, and he signed everything I had on me. I even ran into Longhorn Legend John Walker who reconnected with me about the customs I did for him.

Priest was kind enough to sign everything for fans and patiently took photos with everybody. He very much enjoyed the photo of me with the sleeping mask on too!  Priest has recently also been found to be a decent signer through the mail as of 2017. Currently he signs for a nominal donation to his foundation. In 2016 Priest made the list of semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Again there was no end to the amazing cards in Holmes’ pantheon of cards. I had been kicking myself after I missed out on the stellar die cut star patch AFC ProBowl card that Upper Deck did. Just a superior piece here. I love how they wrapped it with All-Star Authentic around the card and then separated Priest from the canvas. I also really wanted to get a few of his Baltimore things signed since that’s where he started it all.  The Upper Deck Blackud06 holmes 4x1kRDiamond card has an odd cut to it, but still it’s a very interesting and unique design. The Sweet Spot Classics 2003 is gaudy, and the patch leaves little room for a signature, but it’s still pretty nice looking. Priest is active in the Austin-San Antonio Corridor, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I get him on a few more of those cards that he has still out there.

 

Robinson, Keenan (2)

sage12 krobinsonCards:  Sage 2012, Upper Deck 2012
Acquired: IP, Aaron Williams Lone Star Showcase 2015
See Also: Keenan Robinson

The Redskins took the training wheels off Keenan Robinson in 2014 when he replaced longtime starting linebacker London Fletcher. Keenan had 71 tackles (33 assists), 1.5 sacks, 6 TFL, 3 passes defensed, and a fumble recovery in 13 games this last season.  In back to back seasons, Robinson had season ending injuries before the season began, but he took the best from it and decided to play relentlessly- because any day it could all be over. With an increased fire for the game, Robinson had assumed duties as the defensive play caller in the huddle in 2015.

ud12st krobinsonIn 2016 Keenan was surprisingly allowed to sign with the division rival New York Giants. He dressed for all 16 games and started 6 at middle linebacker putting up 79 total tackles and 7 pass deflections. An athletic and speedy defender, Keenan has the speed to keep up with runningbacks and tight ends in pass coverage. He also has the odd honor of picking off Tom Brady twice in his short career.

Robinson was being interviewed off to the side at the Lone Star Showcase. He was very happy to sign anything that anybody had at the event and patiently talked to every fan if they had something to say. The Showcase was fun, but listening to kids participating in the Showcase chide and heckle fans and adults who wanted autographs was a disappointing sight. It’s easy to bite the hand that feeds you if you do not understand that: Simply put, fans dollars are what keep the sport going and fan patronage is what pays for camps for kids.

 

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