Tag Archives: Action packed 1991

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.

Everett, Jim (2)

Cards: Action Packed 1990, Action Packed 1991, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 1/2/19 Received: 4/9/19 (97 days)
See Also: Jim Everett

With a smooth autograph and many cards, I really wanted to come back again and ride the Jim Everett train again TTM. With the Action Packed and the GameDay cards down I liked, it’s still tough sledding the rest of the way if I ever hit him up again in say- 10 more years. I really liked these Action Packed entries. They really showcase the amazing sports photography that was available throughout those years. The lighting is just right to feel that Californian sun in Anaheim stadium. The Gameday is also pretty nice, but I am almost too curious as to what is going through that San Fransisco defender’s mind as Everett launches that pass. Jim has one of the better autographs in the game. Strong, connected, loopy, dynamic- It’s about everything you’d want out of one.

Since the last time I wrote Jim he’s become one of the celebratory NFL figures of the LA Rams old guard (- along with Eric Dickerson) welcoming the team back to the city after its long hiatus in St. Louis. Despite his numerous injuries that he suffered from his playing days- Jim has a certain excitement and vigor to him as he takes in the new landscape of Los Angeles Rams football. He’s done some pregame color analysis for the Rams during the preseason to get his appetite wet as well.

Hoge, Merril

Cards: Score 1989, Score 1990, Action Packed 1991, Fleer 1990
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20   Received: 10/27      (7 days)
Failure: 2011, C/o Home

Merril Hoge. Few players angered me more than Merril Hoge during the Red Gun/ Run ‘N Shoot era of the Houston Oilers. I considered him an ‘arch’ and he loved saying nasty things about the upstart Oilers, who by 1987 had started becoming bullies in the AFC Central under head coach Jerry Glanville. The Steelers had finally gone into a deep depression, and the Oilers were eager to take the stick to their rivals. Nobody expected much of the Steelers in 1989 as they had just come off of a 5-11 record from the previous year. Despite this they rallied down the stretch and put together a 9-7 record. The Oilers had thumped the Steelers twice during the regular season, but they’d be denied in the playoffs losing 26-23, causing Jerry to lose his job. I want to even say that Hoge said something to the media nasty about the Oilers, and it just stuck with me all those years.

I remember opening up my first packs of cards, and in a lot of cases, there was a Merril Hoge card to twist the knife just a little more. Even when I played Tecmo Super Bowl, I was reticent to use Merril because of the fact that he epitomized that Steelers working man mantra and the upset that made me so sore. Then after his playing days concluded, he became a commentator, and the Oilers left Houston even- I still got a furrowed brow when he’d come on ESPN. 


Dependable fullback Merril Hoge played for the Idaho State Bengals (a fact often repeated by national commentators almost every time he touched the ball) from 1983 to 1986. He finished his 4 years there with almost 5500 all-purpose yards, but more importantly the Big Sky Conference despite its trappings, prepared him for the rigors of pro level offenses.

After being selected in the 10th round of the 1987 draft, Merril played 7 seasons for the Steelers at fullback.  A versatile player out of the backfield, Merril was an excellent receiver and blocker who was rarely missed an assignment.  He had a career high 772 yards rushing in 1990, and a career high 487 yards receiving in 1988.

In 1994, Merril signed with the Chicago Bears, but suffered a terrible neck injury ending his career. Merril is also a cancer survivor beating non-hodskin’s lymphoma. 

Merril had a great selection of cards, so it was tough to even settle on just these 4. His Score 1990 is one of my favorite, and was from a rain soaked affair versus the Miami Dolphins that year. (Sammie Smith has a corresponding card from that game, and Mike Mularkey has been immortalized in a sports photo from that game that ProSet did.)  His Action Packed 1991 card does everything right in this one, and the determination on Merril’s face really makes you feel as though you are a part of the action.

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