A dynamic playmaker everytime he touched the ball, Kordell Stewart was a 3 year starter for the Colorado Buffalos option attack from 1992-1994. A legend for the Buffs, Kordell had 1,725 yards rushing and 15 TDs on 302 carries to pair with 6,481 yards and 33 TDs to 19 picks. Again, as with many gifted black ‘athletic’ quarterbacks of this era- the NFL still did not know what to make of Kordell. They felt his talents were best suited at wide receiver.
He’d be selected in the 3rd round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kordell eventually earned the name ‘slash’ because the Steelers didn’t have a classification for his position so they just used the designation ‘/’ to identify his position, as the Sellers did everything they could to get the ball to him they could, but he spent the majority of his time at receiver his first two seasons.
I’m not sure what the plan was for Kordell, but he quickly became endeared to fans who wanted to see what Slash could do at quarterback. With starter Mike Tomczak struggling in 1997 Kordell got his shot and excited fans with his versatility at throwing the ball or taking off on his fleet feet. Over the next 5 seasons with the Steelers, Kordell led Pittsburgh to two AFC Championship games earning a Pro Bowl nod for his 2001 efforts when he threw for 3,109 yards and 14 TDs, while rushing for 537 yards and 5 TDs.
In 2003 Kordell signed with the Bears, and entered the season as the starting quarterback, but was benched due to ineffectiveness. He’d sign with the Ravens the following year and back up Kyle Boller through the ’05 season and then retire.
Kordell has done guest appearances on TV game shows, commentary work, radio, and sideline reporting (for the UFL). Currently he works for ESPN, and is an avid golfer.
Cards: Playoff 1999 (6279), Leaf Rookies & Stars 2004 Slideshow, Panini Classics 2016 NL, Panini Classics 2016 Legends*, Panini Contenders 2018, Panini Elite 2018, Atomic 2002. Acquired: In Person 2018, 43 and 34 Camp, Heisman House Tour See Also: Ricky Williams, Little Earl (2), Ricky Williams (3), Ricky Williams (4) * future considerations D-Rock
There is really no end to the plethora of cards I can find that I like for Ricky, so I just keep stacking them up- as long as he keeps signing of course. I’ve gotten Little Earl more times than any other player, and each time I meet him, each interaction is a unique experience. When I went to the 43 and 34 Camp, it was a blisteringly hot Texas day. After the event ended, people swarmed him as he slowly made his way to his car. He knew if he didn’t start that way at that moment, he’d be here all night. Still Ricky practiced an immense amount of patience, realizing perhaps that he was stuck, he just stopped at the entrance to the stadium and started signing. His gatekeeper tried in vain to get people to line up, and although there were cutters I waited to get up to him. It’s like the world goes silent and nobody is there. Ricky has that effect, or I do- I am not sure. He was like, “Hey man! Long time no see.” I told him that having a kid will do that to you.
Ricky has a new line of cannabis/ natural herb wellness products. I’m hoping to get some shipped to Texas to see if it can be of benefit to my father who suffers from lupus.
These cards are just flat out amazing. Every time I think I run out of cards, I find a few more that I really like. The Leaf 2004 Rookies & Stars Slideshow is translucent. The scan just doesn’t do it enough justice, but it is a well designed, exciting card. The Playoff 99 card is another gimmicky card. It’s translucent with the numbers in a velvet material.
Later I went to the Heisman House Tour that came to DKR before the Texas USC game. Knowing Ricky was there I packed quite a few cards for him to sign. The problem was they had a nasty gatekeeper. I got up to the stage and Ricky recognized me. We chatted for a few seconds while he signed a card. This woman came out from the door connected from the tent and shooed me away before I could get the rest. I just said to Ricky with a smile, “I’ll come back around again.” The line was not long at all for Ricky. The humidity or the weather prediction (of rain that never happened) kept people away. I got back in line, cruised back around, and got the rest of the cards signed.
We had a good and quick chat this time. I asked him if he’d have a touchdown dance now- since the league had lifted the restrictions on the rules. He initially told me no, but then re-thought it when I suggested Arian Foster’s ‘namaste pose’. I then quickly suggested that he go on Arian’s intriguing podcast as they both had really interesting philosophical ideals. He said he’d be interested and consider it, but he and Arian hadn’t talked in a while.
All in all again, some really nice cards I got signed at the Heisman House Tour. I really liked the NEXT LEVEL card the best- even if it is the same photograph from the Panini Elite card. The backside has him in a New Orleans Saints uniform, and could also be mistaken for the front as well if not for its lack of gloss on it. The Elite card is nice and flashy. I like where they have taken the design of this set over the years. Even the logo is a much needed improvement over the Donruss Elite logo. It’s a shield/chevron. That’s smart design.
The Classics 2016 card is for D-Rock on Sportscollectors.net. He had previously helped me out by sending me a Eugene Chung autograph I needed. What was touching about it was that he was reaching out to me because he hadn’t seen me on the boards in a while.
I had been stung badly by another collector on Sportscollectors.net who offered to get me some autographs and then pulled the rug out from under me as soon as I agreed. Anyway D-Rock’s kindness really struck me, so I offered to help him out when I had a chance. It took me a lot longer than I thought to get this autograph, but I can see why he wanted to get this one signed as the Classics card is not only a nice card, the autograph really sticks out on the canvas.
Jamal Anderson was a 7th round pick out of Utah in 1994. He had two decent seasons for the Utes, rushing for 1275 total yards on 223 carries, while catching 35 passes for 342 yards. It wasn’t head turning by any means, and by the time he was drafted nobody really was watching at home. His rookie year was far from impactful. In fact, Anderson had -1 yard on 2 carries, but hand it to June Jones’ coaching staff. They saw something in the Dirty Bird and allowed him to flourish.
It was in 1996 that Jamal had his first 1,000 yard season on 232 carries. An encore was provided in 1997 when he rushed for another 1002 yards on 290 carries. He’d have a career year in 1998, leading the Falcons to their first Super Bowl appearance rushing a league leading 410 times for 1846 yards and 14 TDs. An injury wrecked his 1999 season, but he came back in 2000 to again eclipse 1000 yards with 1024 on 282 carries. Injuries though caught up with Jamal and after 2001 he’d retire.
Like the great players before him that defined an era of football with their style such as Billy ‘White Shoes’ Johnson (Funky Chicken) in the 70s and Ickey Woods in the 80s (Ickey Shuffle) Jamal was the originator of the TD dance called The Dirty Bird. In it after scoring a TD Anderson would get up and strut around flopping his arms like a bird. It became a sensation after the Falcons’ Superbowl appearance, and is considered now part of NFL lore.
Anderson has been involved in sports media/ broadcasting since retirement. He’s also a member of the concussion lawsuit against the NFL. Jamal had some nice cards out there. At this point, the different card manufacturers had figured out that fans valued design and were really working on improving the quality of it. Among the entries into the market was Atomic- a kitsch card design with die cut edges. I’ve gotten a few of these signed over the years and I’ve always liked them. The Playoff Memorabilia card with the football swatch is actually game used- down to identifying that it was from a game against the Eagles in 2000 when Jamal carried the ball 19 times for 42 yards. I thought that was a nice touch.