Tag Archives: Atlanta Falcons

Tupou, Tani ‘Tongan Thor’

CARD: Topps AAF 2019
ACQUIRED: 2019, Box Breaker

Tani Tupou played college ball for the Washington Huskies from 2010 to 2015 at defensive tackle. He recorded 59 career tackles and was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Seahawks liked what they saw out of Tupou during mini camp and invited him back. He made the roster and saw action briefly during the season opener but didn’t record any stats, and be released about a month later. In 2017, he successfully transitioned from the Spring League back to the NFL signing with the Atlanta Falcons. Tupou would be on and off the roster through the season and into early 2018.

After a brief stint with the Arizona Cardinals, Tani signed with the Alliance of American Football. He’d be assigned to the San Diego Fleet for the 2019 season, and recorded 13 tackles, 4 QB hits and a sack in the Fleet’s 3-4 alignment. In April of that year, the AAF folded, so he played for the XFL with the Seattle Dragons in 2020, and then later for the Jousters of the Spring League, during their showcase in San Antonio.

In 2021, Tani made the transition to play for the Colorado XO’s of the World Rugby League and is considered one of the top prospects.

Lewis, Tim

Card: Topps AAF 2019
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o The St. Louis Battlehawks
Sent: 2/18 Received: 2/29 (11 days)
Failure: TTM 2019, C/o Home

Tim Lewis was an imposing defensive back out of Pittsburgh. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with their 1st round pick in 1983. Lewis’ career was off to an incredible start. He started just 7 games in his rookie year at right corner, but recorded 5 interceptions for 111 yards while forcing 3 fumbles. In 1984 Tim returned a pick 99 yards for a TD, en route to adding 7 more interceptions on his resume, and 4 more the following year in 1985. It’d be then that Lewis’ football playing career came to an end during 1986, when he suffered a terrible neck injury against the Bears.

In 1987, Tim went into coaching, first at Texas A&M, then later at SMU, Pitt and then back into the pro ranks with the Steelers in 1995. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2000 with Pittsburgh, then joined the Giants in that same capacity from 2004-2006. Since that time, he saw stops with the Panthers, Seahawks, Falcons, and 49ers.

2019 was an interesting year in football. With the Alliance of American Football on the radar, Tim took the coaching reins of the Birmingham Iron. They’d finish 5-3, as only the second team to clench a playoff berth in the short lifespan of the AAF. The team very much reflected Tim’s style with a smash mouth defense that begrudgingly gave up yards.

Unable to get his autograph through his home address, I sent this card to the Battlehawks where he was coaching the defensive backs of that solid squad, before COVID wiped out the XFL in 2020.

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51/42N/A0.03
INTYDSAVGTDLG
1626616.6199T

Tucker, Mark ‘Rebel’

Card: Wild Card World League 1992
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Work
Sent: 9/16 Received: 10/8 (22 days)

A four-year starter at right guard for USC from 1987 to 1990, Mark Tucker was selected in the 7th round of the 91 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons spending most of the year on the practice squad. The next year he joined the Colts in a similar capacity and then was allocated to the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League where he spent a season with the squad in 1992.

After the World League reorganized, Mark joined the Arizona Cardinals, playing for them the next two seasons (1993-1994). In the meantime, Mark moonlighted on ‘American Gladiators’ as an injury replacement gladiator named ‘Rebel’. His interesting career journey continued from there spending a season with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an expansion selection in 95. With the following season under his belt with the New Orleans Saints in 96, Tucker decided to take his talents to the Arena Football League, playing for the Arizona Rattlers. He experienced his best football years with the franchise, and played from 1997 to 2006 with the squad.

Mark quickly jumped into coaching offensive and defensive lines for the Rattlers, and then later the New Orleans Voodoo. He moved to the high school ranks, where he has become an acclaimed position coach over the last 20 years.