Beuerlein, Steve

Cards: Action Packed 1992, Fleer 1990, ProSet 1990, ProSet 1992, ProSet Power 1992, Score 1989, Score 1990, Topps 1992, Upper Deck 1992.
Acquired: In Person, 1991-1992 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. In Person, CGA Youth Golf Tournament 1993.

Steve defines accessibility and patience. When I went to Cowboys training camp, I found myself struggling to find new cards to purchase of Steve because he was a tireless signer who would autograph hundreds of cards after practice. Beuerlein was one of the better backups that the Cowboys had, and probably is the one of the better journeyman quarterbacks in NFL history.  A streaky passer,  Steve had his ups and downs, typically suiting up as second fiddle for around half his career.  He would go on to play or start for 6 teams over a 17 seasons including the Raiders, Cowboys, Cardinals, Jaguars, Panthers, and Broncos. Of small note, Steve was the first quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Steve would go to his only Pro Bowl in 1999 playing then for the Panthers, throwing for 36 touchdowns that year where he appeared out of nowhere, and stood a good chance of being MVP that year- if not for a certain somebody named Kurt Warner. He then disappeared under the radar again in 2000 but put up respectable numbers. Beuerlein signed with the Broncos and played back up behind Jake Plummer through 2003, but elected to resign with the Panthers on a one day contract so that he could retire with them. Since retirement Steve has taken up NFL broadcasting and is an avid golfer.

G 147      Att  1894       Comp 3328         Yds  24046
Td 147        Int 112          Rat 80.3

Doleman, Chris

Cards: Action Packed 1991, Pro Set 1990, GameDay 1992.
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Minnesota Vikings

Chris Doleman was the 4th overall choice of the 1985 draft. Originally drafted as an outside linebacker, where he was converted to a defensive end in 1987 where he formed a dynamic duo with Keith Millard at DT.  The change was immediate as Doleman became a force at right end, dominating the sack charts for the next 13 seasons notching at least 7 sacks in each season for the Vikings, Falcons, and 49ers.  In the 1987 playoffs the defensive line of the Vikings crushed the Saints and 49ers in the playoffs.  He was traded to the Falcons after the 1993 season, and played there 2 years before going to the 49ers. In his final season he returned at the grand old age of 38 to the Vikings and notched 8 sacks before retiring.  Doleman was named All Pro from 1987-1990, 1992 and 1993, lead the league in sacks with 21 in 1989, and made the Pro Bowl 8 times. His sack totals currently rank him 4th overall in league history and he is listed on the NFL All 90s team. Unfairly cast as a ‘pass rush specialist’ Doleman had a streak of seasons with 90+ tackles (1989-1991) in addition to his high sack totals demonstrating his overall ability against both pass and run.

I sent off for Chris’ autograph in 1992, on a whim not expecting to get his autograph for my collection and received back all 3 cards signed.  Most people still don’t respect ‘sackers and tacklers’ but the league over the last few years has made a concerted effort to induct more of them into the HoF. With John Randle’s impending induction scheduled for 2010, the hope is Doleman should be next in the logger jam of defensive sack talent to go in.

In 2011, Chris was honored by the Vikings who selected him to announce their 2nd round pick during the NFL draft.

Games  232       Tac  914        Sac  150.5        Fum  44       Int   8        Yds  121      TD  2

Collins, Todd

Card: Star Pics 1992
Acquired: TTM 1993, c/o New England Patriots

A powerful hitter who was considered a top 5 linebacker in the 1992 draft.  He transferred from Tennessee to tiny Carson-Newman and was incredibly fast, running a sub 4.3 after rehabbing from knee surgery.  Collins was eventually drafted by the New England Patriots and played for them from 1992-1998, and the Rams through 2000 starting in a Super Bowl once for each team.  Injuries shortened his career and he retired briefly for a season in 1995, but Collins was a ferocious competitor who fought through pain including a separated shoulder, a bum knee, a broken foot, and a strained neck over his tenure in the sport.  In a quirky side note, before a big games Todd practiced a superstition of rubbing stones and charms over previous injuries he’d sustained. Teams even began selling an incense before the game that he apparently liked to use to profit off of his behavior.

In 1992 I began sending out for autographs bulk through the mail to teams. I’d write a letter with 20-30 cards included with it trying to get a bunch of autographs at once. Most of the time I’d get letters back saying I needed to send cards to specific players, but on the rare occasion I’d get lucky with a bulk autograph return. I focused on the really bad teams, the 1-15s and 3-12s of the year because I theorized that they’d probably get less fan mail and Todd was one of my successes during one of my Patriot blitzes.

G  106      Tac  329      Sac  3.5      Fum   4      Int  2      Yds  15     Td 0

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