Card: UT Upper Deck 2011 Acquired: 2019, Paid Signing
I had been beating myself up for various reasons about not getting Chykie Brown. He originally appeared at a Texas Longhorns Neighborhood Bowling event way back in 2012 that Rod had invited me to, but I didn’t see him among the participants and only figured out after the fact I had missed out on getting his autograph on this card. As I have closed in on finishing this set off, he’s become quite the white whale for me. His certified card for some reason frequently fetches somewhere in the neighborhood of 100.00 on Ebay. Well out of my tastes and price range. So I stumbled luckily upon a signing and knocked him out for a reasonable 10 bucks and called it a day.
Chykie played for DBU (that’s Texas) from 2007 to 2010. He started 29 games at CB and posted 106 total tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. The defensive minded Baltimore Ravens selected him in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He’d go on to play 6 seasons in the NFL, playing for the Ravens (2011-14), Giants (2014-15), and Bengals (2016). He’d earn a Super Bowl ring in 2012 with the Ravens.
Card: University of Texas Upper Deck 2011 Acquired: EBay, 2020
Tony Degrate was a monster at defensive tackle, for the Texas Longhorns from 1982 to 1984- and is considered one of the finest D-linemen to play at the school. In his 1984 campaign, he amassed a then school defensive lineman record 123 stops and 12 sacks to clench the Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s top lineman. All together, Tony had 47 career tackles for loss and 31 sacks.
The Tampa Bay Bandits made an offer to Degrate, which he turned down, but this ruffled the feathers of the concerned NFL who thought he had all but flown the coop. In the end, Tony was selected in the 5th round of the draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. After spending a season with the team, he saw time in camp with the Packers, and later the Bucs.
Tony’s story is a cautionary one, and I relate to him immensely. Degrate is a great talent who let those little nagging voices in his head get to him, and his confidence just kept slipping, and it affected him physically and mentally. Self doubt and guilt are terrible burdens to bear.
I can understand why he is a difficult autograph to get in any capacity, as he probably feels that he let a lot of people- and himself down. He went back to school and finished his art degree, but at one point I believe that he was a personal trainer in the Austin area.
Degrate’s first card came out in 2011 as part of the Upper Deck Texas set. There are 3 cards in the set of him, and he is very difficult to get an autograph from. He doesn’t sign TTM and when I attended an event at the UT Coop he was scheduled to be at, he cancelled at the last moment. I really liked this card of him leaping up and making a play, and I was more than happy to pick up this card via EBay at a reasonable price.
Card: Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: 2019 Failure: 2019, C/o Home
An intriguing, big bodied wall of a linebacker clocking in at 263, Jeff Luc was a force to be reckoned with in the Atlanta Legends #1 ranked defense in 2019. He recorded 32 tackles (18 assists), 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in 8 contests before the AAF folded.
Jeff went undrafted after playing college at Florida State (2010, 2011) and Cincinnati in (2013, 2014). He really came into his own as a Senior amassing 133 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 4 pass deflections, and 5 forced fumbles.
He’s seen time on off season, preseason rosters, and practice squads of the Miami Dolphins (2015), New Orleans Saints (2015), Bengals (2016), Jets (2017), CFL Stampeders (2017), and CFL Argonauts (2017-2018).
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.