Tag Archives: chicago blitz

Polian, Bill

Cards: Topps AAF 2019 Custom, Panini 2016 HOF
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 11/2 Received: 11/12 (10 days)

Bill Polian has a long and storied career as a football executive that spans across 4 leagues: The NFL, CFL, USFL, and the AAF.

After graduating from NYU in 1964, Polian began his careeer as a scout for the Chiefs in 1978. He also spent time with the Blue Bombers and Alouettes in the CFL as well working his way up to Personnel Director. A one year stint in the USFL Chicago Blitz in 1984, led Polian back to the NFL. He’d then begin a long and storied career with the Buffalo Bills later that year as the Pro Personnel Director. He’d help transform the Bills into an NFL powerhouse laying the foundation for the franchise to appear in 3 consecutive Super Bowls. He was released by the team after they lost their 3rd Super Bowl in 92.

A 3 year hiatus saw Polian return to the NFL with a vengeance as GM of the expansion Carolina Panthers. He was able to assemble enough talent that the franchise posted a expansion record 7 wins in 1995, and an even more impressive 12 wins in 1996. After a down year in 97, Bill joined the Indianapolis Colts as General Manager.

His first move was a no brainer: Selecting Peyton Manning with the first overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft. Later he’d hire Tony Dungy to coach the franchise, and the rest is history. After the reorganization of the divisions in 2002, the Colts would dominate the South- winning 7 divisional titles under his watch. Indianapolis appeared in two Superbowls winning XLI. He’d not be retained after the 2011 season.

In the meantime he began to roll in the accolades, being inducted into the Buffalo Wall of Fame in 2012, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015, and the Colts Ring of Honor in 2017.

Bill felt the siren’s lure and resurfaced again in 2018, where he signed up to be Head of Football of the upstart Alliance of American Football, co founding it alongside Charlie Ebersol. The league was able to pull off 8 weeks of football before it collapsed due to financial strain. Bill Polian was greatly disappointed in the failure of the AAF and in chief financial cow Tom Dundon who pulled the plug.

I wrote to Bill after creating a dead on custom of the Topps AAF certified card. Thanks to COVID I had to find a new custom printer. The card quality was outstanding, but I didn’t prep the high gloss card, so the autograph didn’t stick properly to the card. He also signed this Panini HOF card for me as well.

Spencer, Tim

to90 spencerCards: Score 1990, Fleer 1990, Topps 1990
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sent:  9/22  Received: 10/9     (17  days)

Tim Spencer was another one of these unheralded runningbacks from the mid-80s. He had his shining moment as one of the players in the rival United States Football League, then popped up again briefly as a fullback and change of pace back for Marion Butts, Gary Anderson, Lionel James or whomever else was in the lineup.

After finishing second in Ohio State rushing history behind Archie Griffin,  Spencer was drafted by the Chicago Blitz of the USFL where he quietly racked up 300 carries for 1,157 flr90 spenceryards and 6TDs in 1983.  In his second year with the league, he had a career best 17 TDs rushing and 1,212 yards with the Arizona Wranglers. As the league imploded, Spencer continued to run hard, this time for the Memphis Showboats. He’d contribute another 789 yards and 3 TDs.

The Chargers wisely invested an 11th round choice in Spencer in 83. This paid dividends immediately following the disolution of the USFL in 1985.  He’d hop in as a short yardage blocking back rushing for 478 yards and an NFL career high 10 TDs. Tim played for the Chargers through the 1990 season with his best yards from scrimmage season coming in 1989 when he logged 521 yards rushing. At that time Score, Fleer, and Topps all created cards of sco90 spencerTim. Since I did not have his USFL issue- these 3 fit the bill nicely.

Tim has gone into coaching. He joined Ohio State’s staff in 1994 and gained valuable experience on their staff as a runningback coach. He jumped to the NFL level in 2004 with the Bears, holding that position until 2012. He joined the Buccaneers coaching staff in 2014 and remains on their staff as of 2016.

USFL   54       RUSH  725    YDS 3158     AVG  4.4    TD  26  LG  n/a |
REC  72     YDS  1047    AVG  14.5    TD 4       LG n/a

NFL 78/46    RUSH 474    YDS 1792   AVG  3.8    TD 19    LG 24  |
REC   53    YDS  432    AVG 8.2     TD 0    LG 43
KR 6       YDS 97       AVG 16.2       TD 0     LG 21

Gossett, Jeff

Cards: Score 1990, Topps 1991
Acquired: In Person 1990,1991, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

Jeff Gossett led a very long, consistent, and productive NFL career which actually started back in 1980 after he failed to make the roster of the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent. He’d sign with the Chiefs and be their punter from 1981 to 1982, and then become a journeyman playing for the Browns for a season before hopping over to the USFL. Gossett would play for the Chicago Blitz in 1984, and the Portland Breakers in 1985, then back to the Browns later in 1985 to play for the Browns through 1987. He’d punt for the Oilers as well that year and then finally find a permanent home with the Los Angeles Raiders. Jeff would be named to the Pro Bowl (AP as well) in 1991, and play with the Raiders through their transition back to Oakland in 1996 for a total of 140 games with the Silver and Black. A solid punter, Gossett averaged 44.2 yards a punt in 1991, and 43.9 yards in 1994. Only in 2 out of 16 seasons did Jeff average below 40 yards a punt. Well represented in Tecmo Bowl history, he’d make an appearance in both Tecmo SuperBowl and Tecmo SuperBowl Final Edition, and his 982 punts would rank top 20 upon retirement.

G/Gs 212       Punts 982      Yds 40569       Avg 41.3        Lg  65       Blk  4