Tag Archives: Carolina Panthers

Harbaugh, Jim ‘Captain Comeback’

Cards: Fleer 1990, GameDay 1992
Acquired:  TTM, C/o Stanford University, 2010.
Sent: 2/3   Received: 8/13  (210 days)

Jim Harbaugh was drafted from the University of Michigan in the first round of the 1987 draft by the Chicago Bears, – 5 years after taking incredibly popular Jim McMahon. The Bears had a long history up to this point of being a vaunted ground attack with Walter Peyton and later Neal Anderson. Over the team’s history, (as of 2009) the Bears had only 1 quarterback repeat as a 3,000 yard passer.

Harbaugh rode the bench for the Bears through 1989, when McMahon was traded to the San Diego Chargers.  Jim claimed the starting role but still had to look over his shoulder with Mike Tomczak backing him up.  Jim in 1991 threw for 3121 yards (2nd in team history). In 1994, Harbaugh was traded to the Colts, after finishing second on the career yardage list for the Chicago Bears.

Jim led an improbable Colts team back from the dead, into the playoffs and one game away from the Superbowl, knocking out the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers. During the 1995 season Harbaugh would have perhaps his finest moment leading the NFL in passer rating, being named AFC player of the year, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and finished second in the NFL MVP race.  By 1997, the Colts fell back down to the Earth, and Harbaugh again would find himself traded, this time to the Baltimore Ravens.  He’d sign with the Chargers in 1999, but by 2000 he was splitting time with Ryan Leaf. Harbaugh then suited up briefly with the Lions and Panthers before retiring.

In retrospect over Jim’s playing career, he was a cannon armed quarterback who had to learn the minutia of the NFL game. He was a formidable rusher finishing with 2700 yards, a 5.0 average, and 18 touchdowns over his career. Jim was rough around the edges and was prone to force the ball, especially early in his career, but once surrounded with the right talent and placed in the right offense to hone his skills and check down targets properly, Harbaugh briefly became one of the most dangerous quarterbacks of his era.

Jim Harbaugh had been planning all along to go into coaching. From 1994-2001 while he was still in the NFL, Harbaugh was working as an offensive consultant and scout for Western Kentucky University. He then hopped over to the Raiders  for two seasons, and by 2004 was head coach of the University of San Diego.  In 2005 Harbaugh was named to the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor where he was dubbed ‘Captain Comeback’ by the Colts faithful during his playing days there. By 2007 he was head coach at Stanford University defeating rival USC in the what is considered to be the greatest upset in college football history (43 point favorite) and in 2009 hung a record 55 points on them, where the Cardinals were named to their first bowl game since 2001.  Jim also has pursued a variety of hobbies, including his foundations and a variety of children’s hospitals. He is also co-owner of Panther Racing in the Indianapolis Racing League. In 2011, he took over as head coach of the San Fransisco 49ers.

Jim Harbaugh gets the ironman award for the longest response, clicking in at 210 days. Nonetheless I was quite pleased to notch this former decorated Chicago Bear in my collection.

GS 140   Att  3918   Comp 2305  Pct 58.8
Yds 26288    Td  129     Int 117    Rat 77.6

Trudeau, Jack

Card: Proset 1990
Acquired: Colts Blitz 1992

Jack Trudeau. Now that is a walk down memory lane for Indianapolis Colts and fans of the original Tecmo Bowl game on the Nintendo. Trudeau was the slowest, and most ineffective quarterback in the original Tecmo Bowl game. He was incredibly easy to intercept. Let’s not forget the roster which had such notables as Pat Beach and Albert Bentley (since Eric Dickerson would not allow the makers to use his likeness). It was tantamount to insult if you beat somebody with the hapless Colts, and the easiest way to win with them was to kick 60 yard field goals with Dean Biasucci. That aside, you can tell the makers clearly based his ability on his statistical output, as Trudeau throughout 1987 shared quarterbacking duties with Gary Hogeboom, (yes the one from Survivor).

Again in 1988 and 1989, Jack shared QB duties, this time with Chris Chandler.  He’d then have to go toe to toe with cannon-armed overall #1 pick Jeff George in 1990.  (Oddly Trudeau never earned the respect of the Colts fans and from the organization, despite playing for the Fighting Illini in college.)  In 1994, he played for the Jets, and then was selected by the Carolina Panthers in their expansion draft (#56) where he served as the team’s 3rd team quarterback behind Frank Reich and rookie Kerry Collins. He retired after the 1995 season.

After retirement Trudeau bought a golf course and has been President of Enviro-Save USA, an environmentally conscious corporation that deals in fuel saving technology and production. He’s also garnered quite a following on the radio, where his morning talk show at WNDE AM 1260 (Indianapolis) was picked up in 2011 for national syndication.

Games   67         Att  1644        Comp 873     Yds  10243
TD 42        Int 69    Lg  82       Rat  63.3

Zgonina, Jeff

Cards: Fleer Premium 2002
Acquired: TTM, Texans Blitz 2009, C/o Houston Texans

/Scone- ina/ is roughly how you pronounce Jeff’s last name. An ironman journeyman Jeff Zgonina played in the NFL from 1993 to 2009, -or roughly 17 seasons for 7 teams. At 6-2, 285 he played on the interior line as both a NT and a change of pace DT.  Zgonina would play on the St. Louis Rams’ Super Bowl teams, after bouncing around, but would find his final home with the Houston Texans where he finished out his career after a short stint in Miami. (Zgonina was a fringe player who found himself frequently on the cusp of the final cut, or called back a week later when more room was made and despite his age, didn’t have as much wear on his tires as people thought.)  Zgonina will be best remembered by Houston Texans’ fans for when he recovered a Kerry Collins freak fumble against the Titans in 2009  for a victory. An outspoken member in the locker room, players could expect to hear the straight up truth from Jeff, and he provided guidance for the younger members of the defensive line.

G 219     Tac 308        Sac 26            Fum 13
Int  1               Yds  0       Avg 0.0        Td  0