Tag Archives: chicago bears

McMichael, Steve “Mongo”

Cards: Action Packed 1990, Skybox 1992, Gameday 1991.
Acquired: In Person, CGA Youth Golf Tournament 1993.
See Also: Steve McMichael (2)

Steve McMichael before graduating from the University of Texas set the college’s career records for most tackles (369) and sacks (30)  and was named Hula Bowl MVP in 1979. McMichael was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in 1980 and had a quiet rookie season playing for them that year only getting 5 tackles. By 1981 he was already on the street but quickly picked up by the Chicago Bears, where he’d become a mainstay at defensive tackle (and on occasion NT) in the NFC Central for the next 13 seasons (13 for Chicago and 1 for Green Bay). He’d provide solid work in the trenches as a technically sound run stopper and pass rusher. A two time ProBowl selection in 1987 and 1988, Steve would also be a two time AllPro in 1985 and 1987. He’d also notch over 10 sacks 3 times in his career along the way and played in 191 games for the Chicago Bears. (His 191 games started is a club record for consecutive starts). He’d also finish his career with 3 career safeties and was a key contributor to the Bears solid efforts to win SuperBowl XX, ironically against his ex team the Patriots. McMichael would play one more season across the lake in Green Bay before retiring in 1994.

Steve after football would pursue a career in Pro Wrestling, adopting the name “Mongo” and coming in under the WCW banner. His wife would also get into the act and was a part of wrestling’s early 1990’s attempt to sell sex. Mongo would have a much publicized wrestling career and even took on other former pro football players such as Kevin Greene and Reggie White. His life would begin to match that of the soap opera that was wrestling when his wife (Debra) left him for another wrestler in 1999. He’d leave the sport until 2008 where he refereed a match for TNA wrestling. Since those years Mongo, has done pre-game commentary for Bears games and is coach for the Chicago Slaughter of the Continental Football League. He has also since remarried and was inducted into the College Football HoF in 2010.

I got Steve’s autograph when he was riding around with Earnest Byner during the CGA Youth Golf Tournament in 1993. My strange connection to Mongo is that while I was working at a used video game store, his ex-wife’s best friend was my boss. I’d overhear from time to time my boss talking about taking morning jogs with Debra, and how her new husband sometimes was abusive towards her. It’s sad how that ended up but nonetheless things have worked out for McMichael, the hope is things have worked out for Debra too.

Games  213   Tac  838        Sac 95         FF 13
Int 2         Yds 5            Td 0

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

Flutie, Doug

Cards: All World CFL 1991, Score 1989
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o CFL


Doug Flutie is a player who has seemed to have an amazing amount of luck and heart follow him to every stop along the way in football. A heartwarming story, Flutie was considered well undersized to be a quarterback in the NFL after a storied career at Boston College where he threw a hail mary against the University of Miami in 1984 and won the Heisman Trophy that year.

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round of the NFL draft, Flutie opted to sign on with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. In 1986 he signed with the Chicago Bears and then was on board with the Patriots, where got the starting duty in 1988. Unable to keep the starting job he was cut in 1990 where he signed with the British Columbia Lions of the CFL in 1990. The wide open fields of the CFL allowed Flutie to flourish and polish his game. Doug was a quarterback who kept teams honest with his feet and was an avid scrambler. Flutie became the ‘Michael Jordan’ of the CFL, setting the record for yards in a season with 6619 yards, touchdowns with 48, and was named the most outstanding player of the CFL a record 6 times.  Doug won the Grey Cup MVP with the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts (twice and back to back). Returning with a vengeance to the NFL in 1998 to the Buffalo Bills, he was named comeback player of the year and took the team to the playoffs and named to the Pro Bowl, but Doug didn’t ever win the respect of management, as he was replaced by de facto starter Rob Johnson, who had returned from a season long injury. The quarterback controversy continued well into 1999, where Doug went 4-1 and Johnson went 4-7. In 2000, Doug was unceremoniously cut by the Bills and signed with the Chargers in 2001, who were reeling from the Ryan Leaf days. He would stay on board to tutor a young Drew Brees when he was drafted in 2002 and played sparingly for the team through 2005. With gas still in the tank, Flutie signed with the New England Patriots in 2005 to back up Tom Brady and retired at the beginning of the 2006 preseason.

Flutie has a variety of age related records to his accomplishment, and was the first player to drop kick an extra point since 1941. Although Doug did not find lasting success in the NFL, he has been enshrined into the CFL HoF, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame. He stays active playing basketball, and sponsors his own brand of breakfast cereal “Flutie Flakes” with the proceeds going to charities dealing in autism. Doug also plays drums for his family’s band, the “Flutie Brothers Band”.  Doug is an excellent commentator and also handled  color commentary for the United Football League games.

Games 136    Att 4854       Comp 2975        Pct 61.3         Yds 41355              Td  270         Int 155    Lg 106t