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.
Connor Davis hails from Stony Brook. At 6’7″, 275, the tight end towers over other defenders, but he played all over the place during his time with the Seawolves, playing defensive line, offensive tackle… and tight end. He bulked up and turned some heads at mini camps with the Giants, but did not make the squad. The Alliance of American Football liked his athletic skill set in tryouts and thought he’d make a great fit for the league, so Davis was signed by the Birmingham Iron. Connor played in two games, starting one, and had 3 catches for 9 yards on 5 targets- before he was injured and his season ended on IR.
Connor’s football journey continued as he was selected by the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL.
Nick Novak is just one of those kicking mercenaries- and he’s been all over now FIVE different leagues. It started at the University of Maryland in 2001. As a four year starter for the Terps, Novak was 153/159 on extra points, and 80/107 on field goals. He finished overall with 393 total points (5th all-time in college history), and lurked near the top of the college leaderboards for both total points and field goals made in 2002 and 2003.
Going unselected in the 2004 NFL Draft, Nick tried out with both the Bears and Cowboys, before ultimately landing on the Redskins in 2005 as an injury sub for John Hall appearing in 5 games. Nick was then snapped up by the Cardinals- who also had an injured kicker. After failing to unseat incumbent Neil Rackers in camp the following year (2006), Nick found himself in a familiar place again- back with the Redskins as an injury replacement for John Hall. After losing out to Shaun Suisham, Nick was signed by the Bears and allocated to NFL Europe.
Novak had a solid campaign with the Cologne Centurions. He’d finish 25/25 on extra points, and 10/17 on field goals (including a game winner) with a long of 49. Although Nick had a solid preseason with the Bears, he lost out in camp to All Pro kicker Robbie Gould.
After trying out for the Jaguars and Chargers, Nick made the roster of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 but after an inconsistent start to his season, he’d be cut in mid-October. Not one to give up, Nick then joined the Chargers in 2010 but he’d again lose out, this time to incumbent Nate Kaeding.
Nick then took the path less traveled. He joined the upstart United Football League. While playing for the Florida Tuskers, Nick was 24/24 on extra points and 15/18 on field goals (69 points). He’d also hit a league record 54 yard field goal. He’d earn Special Teams Player of the Week Honors twice, and then later be named the UFL Special Teams MVP at the conclusion of the season.
Again after signing with the Jets this time, Nick lost out to Nick Folk. He’d be welcomed back to the Chargers, where he spent the next five seasons. Over those meritorious seasons Nick set field goal percentile records and consecutive field goal records for San Diego and ended up 6th all-time in scoring for the franchise with 503 points.
Nick signed with the Houston Texans in 2015, where he again set franchise records hitting 35/41 field goals in 2016. The Texans in 2017 decided to get younger at the position, and went with Ka’imi Fairbairn.
Novak proved you could indeed return home- well sort of- as he was signed by the nomadic Los Angeles Chargers in 2017 replacing the current kicker Younghoo Koo, but Novak himself was injured just two short months later.
Nick joined his 4th league in 2018, playing for the Birmingham Iron of the AAF. He finished 13/16 on field goals, including a 47 yard long, and earned AAF Special Teams Player of the Week Honors for his Week 1 effort. – The league would be shuddered after the 8th game.
For some reason his certified autograph has hovered pretty solidly at about $10.00 on Ebay. – Most expensive kicker ever! Anyway I got lucky and got a great deal on his certified for not even half that price.
In 2019, Nick’s journey continued as he was drafted by the LA Wildcats of the XFL 2020 initiative. He was 2-5 with a long of 47 yards before he aggravated an injury after 4 games.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.