Cards: Bowman 1992, Topps Update 1989, Fleer 1992
Acquired: In Person 2016, Jordan Shipley Camp
See also: Stephen Braggs
Stephen was really surprised to see that there are a few fans of his still out there, and shocked that I had so many of them. He knew my friend Nathan and while they were packing up stopped to sign them for me. Nathan couldn’t find any cards of Braggs, so I spotted him a few extras that I had floating around from over the years.
Stephen’s Fleer 1992 photo was probably the best looking of the bunch, although the design was quite boring. The framing of the Browns helmet with the outline of the NFL logo is unnecessary and the angled Browns helmet is an absolute no-no. Of the 3 the Topps 88 is probably more of a classic than the others, just because the design style (as boring as it was) matched the aesthetic of what was being created then.
Coach Braggs, as of 2017, was head coach now at Trinity Episcopal School in Central Texas. He also serves as the track and girls basketball coach. Stephen also runs the Stephen Braggs Foundation.
Card: Bowman 1992
Acquired: Canton Acquisition 2012
Kent Hull flew under the NFL radar after he graduated from Mississippi State in 1983, but the New Jersey Generals of the USFL would be waiting to swoop him up. He’d block up front for Herschel Walker and Maurice Carthon, paving their way to 1,000+ yard seasons each in 1984, and then blocking for quarterback Doug Flutie in 1985. When the USFL ran into financial trouble the Generals and Houston Gamblers were merged. Jim Kelly was to be his quarterback with wide receiver Ricky Sanders, and coach Jack Pardee running the show in the prolific Run ‘N Shoot, but the league collapsed before it could take the field again.
Kelly and Hull were almost immediately reunited in Buffalo and both became instant starters helping to energize a once woeful Bills team. Buffalo quickly assembled talent and marched into the playoffs with their Hurry Up Offense. With the final piece assembled in 1989 in the form of future Hall of Fame runningback Thurman Thomas, the Bills reached the Superbowl an unprecedented 4 times during the 1990s. During that span Kent started 121 straight games at center, from 1986-1993, and retired after the 1996 season.
In addition to his 3 ProBowl appearances, Hull was named to the Bills’ 50th Anniversary All-Time team in 2009, and inducted into the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame in 2002. Jim Kelly called him one of the finest players that he ever played with and his best friend. Considered a smart tactician, Hull called plays for the line and also was a team captain for 7 seasons. Kent Hull passed away at home on October 18th, 2011 and is survived by his wife and two children.