Ben Bennett was a prolific quarterback for the Duke Blue Devils finishing as one of the top passers in NCAA history, throwing for 9614 yards on 820 completions (1375 attempts) and 55 TDs from 1980 to 1983.
Selected in the 6th round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, but ended up playing in the USFL for the Jacksonville Bulls. Bennett then bounced around camps for the Falcons, Oilers, Cowboys, and Bears, eventually seeing a little action playing for the Bengals in ’87. He’d join the Arena Football league playing for the Chicago Bruisers in 1988 and 1989, leading the team to the championship in the latter season. After playing for the Dallas Texans in 1990, he was selected by the Sacramento Surge of the WLAF during the first round of the positional draft.
Ben was expected to be the starter for the Surge, but he’d be supplanted by former KC Chiefs 2nd round pick, Mike Elkins- who took all the snaps after the first game. Bennett returned to the Arena Football League later that year with the Orlando Predators. Ben at this point became a star for the young league. He’d play for Orlando through 1995, before taking one season pitstops with both the San Jose SabreCats and the Portland Forest Dragons. Ben is known in Arena lore for the ‘Miracle Minute’ in which he engineered a 16 point comeback in under 1 minute. Ben was inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Outside of his impressive Arena Football resume, Ben has been involved as coach for the Milwaukee Mustangs (1998), Greensboro Prowlers (2000), Florida Bobcats (2001), Florida Firecats (2002-2004), Manchester Wolves (2005-2007), Austin Wranglers (2008), Orlando Fantasy LFL (2010), the New Orleans Voodoo (2011), and the Orlando Predators (2012).
I had previously tried to get Ben way back in 2011, but had no luck. Since then, I’ve seen no successes or addresses for him that I could use, so I went ahead and just picked this autograph up off of EBay after verifying its integrity.
Lewis Tillman is another member of the solid 1989 NFL Draft Class. Graduating from Jackson St, Tillman was a two time I-AA All-America, breaking Walter Payton’s single season rushing (1,436 yards) and career rushing record with 3,969 yards. Tillman was selected in the 3rd round by the New York Giants, who collected runningbacks for their offensive rotation.
Lewis finished his rookie season with 79 carries for 290 yards as the Giants won Super Bowl XXV. He’d score his first professional TD in 1990, during a 31-7 win over the Rams. The Giants continued to employ Lewis consistently, but sparingly in 1991. He’d rush for another 287 yards on 65 carries. After a quiet 1992, Tillman had 585 yards and 3 TDs including a career long 58 yard long run.
Lewis signed with the Bears in 1994. He’d have the best season of his career. He’d set across the board personal highs with 275 carries for 899 yards and 7 TDs to go along with 27 receptions for 222 yards. He wouldn’t be able to duplicate his feat in 1995- as the Bears drafted Rashaan Salaam in the 1st round. Buried on the depth chart behind Salaam and Robert Green, Tillman retired after the conclusion of the season.
Tillman has enjoyed a fine career after his playing days. He’s gone into coaching and has climbed to the college level. Currently in 2019 he’s a coach for the Texas Southern Tigers.
Great cards of Lewis here, but I really would’ve loved to have gotten his autograph on his Score 1990 entry, but he must have really liked it and didn’t have it for his collection, as he kept it. A solid TTM repsonder, I loved getting his autograph on these cards nonetheless.
A Seahawks Legend who just doesn’t get respect outside of the Pacific Northwest, Dave Krieg played at tiny Milton College and by the time he finished playing for the Wildcats he basically owned their record books. Coming from such a tiny school Dave didn’t get drafted, so he signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks in 1980.
Krieg worked his way up to 3rd on the team depth chart behind Jim Zorn and Sam Adkins. It wasn’t until ’81 that Krieg got some regular season reps, taking over for Zorn and from there a quarterback controversy emerged. About mid-way through the 1983 season Dave established himself as the favored starter with some truly memorable games, and earned his first Pro Bowl appearance in 1984 as he passed for 32 TD passes and 3,671 yards. He’d later break the team record with his 108th career TD pass in 1987. Still it seemed that Dave got no respect- as critics pointed to his up and down QB rating and injury history, but it seemed with the competition, Krieg thrived, and in 1988, Krieg again saw a Pro Bowl appearance, despite having the first of many ‘QBs of the future’ in Kelly Stouffer looking over his shoulder- a feat he’d engineer again in 1989. Dave held on through 1991- even with a new ‘QB of the future’ Dan McGwire also breathing down his neck.
Dave unceremoniously was allowed to become a free agent after the 1991 season, beginning a long and legendary journeyman phase to his career. To the chagrin of many Seahawks fans, he’d join one of Seattle’s division rivals- the Kansas City Chiefs. Although he’d engineer another playoff berth for the Chiefs, the franchise opted to sign Joe Montana to lead the squad in ’92. Dave would be a key backup playing with them through the 1993 campaign. Krieg played one memorable season in Detroit, backing up incumbent Scott Mitchell, posting a career high 101.7 QB rating. He’d then have less than stellar moments with the Cardinals (1995), Bears (1996), and the Tennessee Oilers (1997-1998) before retiring.
In a nod to Krieg’s stoic presence in the pocket with a porous offensive line, or his lack of awareness and small hands, Dave held the NFL career record for fumbles by a quarterback at the time of his retirement (153- since surpassed). He joined the Seahawks Ring of Honor in 2004, and briefly owned an AF2 owner of the Green Bay Blizzard. Currently he’s a motivational speaker, loves golfing and attends Seahawks events at least once a year in the Seattle area.
And with Dave Krieg- My revenge is finally complete.
To understand what I just said, you have to realize that a little over a two to three years ago, a passive aggressive collector decided to not help me- from what I understand, over the fact that I asked him what it’d cost or what he wanted in order to help me.
JustGreg initiated contact initially with me through SCN and asked me if I needed any Seahawks. I told him that I’d love to get Dave Krieg or Curt Warner on a few items, and to let me know what I needed to do make this happen. He told me he’d get back to me.
2 years later he hit me up a second time. I had forgotten about his offer. He offered it to me again to which I asked him if there was a cost associated with it, to let me know. JustGreg apparently took offense to me saying this. He then refused to help and accused me of calling him greedy. I tried to reason with him, but he became more and more obstinate, as it became painstakingly obvious he was trying to lord something over me or hold me to some collecting ethos that I clearly didn’t understand.
Greg then word vomited on me his dislike for many of the other collectors on the site. -It was very discouraging, and I considered ramping down my collecting. A few other collectors on SCN discussed the situation with me, and told me to keep my chin up.
I didn’t understand what his deal was. Did he read something on my site? Did I make a comment on something of his? Was he having a bad day? Why did he need to lord over me? Anyway. Who knows what his vendetta was.
Thanks to one of my collecting buddies, I was able to secure the address and get a success out of Curt Warner, but Dave was a different manner. He was not answering fan mail even if you found him. He was just signing in person at events- so I concocted a plan to get it done right under JustGreg’s nose.
JustGreg’s words, “Good luck with your collection,” Just kept rattling around in my head.
Another collector anonymously approached me for a need he had. I have had a lot of great luck with players from the University of Texas, and after posting a success- I struck up a conversation with him and agreed to help him get Ricky Williams, if he acted as a go between for me to get Dave Krieg through JustGreg. I’d send him the card with a return envelope, and he’d contact Greg and send the card to him. Greg would get the autograph and send back to him, and then my broker would send the autographed card back to me. The plan worked flawlessly, and I received back my card via Greg despite his best efforts to frustrate me. I also made a new friend to boot which was a bonus.
I did think that Greg and I have a lot in common as far as collectors go, and I am sure I could’ve helped him as well, but it is what it is. It is a shame really because in a way I now treat him the same way he treated me. Maybe he’ll read this post and gain some perspective and reach out- but I seriously doubt it. He’s set in his ways and I could only be so magnanimous.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.