Card: ProSet World League 1991 Acquired: 2020, EBay Failure: TTM 2010 and 2016, C/o Home
Tracy Simien played during the late Jurassic era of the SWC for the Texas Christian Horned Frogs from 1985-1988. During that period he switched positions 4 times, from center and guard as a freshman, and then as a nose tackle during his sophomore campaign, finally landing at defensive end during his junior season. Over his time at TCU, Tracy compiled 193 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 12 sacks. Reputed to bench at the time over 400 pounds, Tracy slipped through the cracks of the 1989 NFL Draft, but found a home on the developmental roster of the Steelers that season, seeing some action in the divisional playoff game against the Broncos. In 1990 he joined the Chiefs developmental squad- where he was then became one of the first ‘big name’ NFL Enhancement Players to sign with the World League for the 1991 season.
Tracy made quite a splash for the Montreal Machine at linebacker that year. During the league’s debut weekend, he’d wear USA Network’s Helmet Cam making quite a splash during the team’s win over the Birmingham Fire 20-5. His bone crushing hits and plays were amazing to watch, and he finished with 4 tackles and a sack in the exciting contest. After the dust settled from that year, Simien had 33 tackles, 5 sacks, and a fumble recovery- good for first team All-World Honors in 1991.
Simien became one of the league’s early poster children for success, as he parlayed his experience and seasoning into a starting role with the Chiefs in 1991 at LILB. In 1992 he’d lead KC in tackles with 97, and lead the linebacker corps with 3 interceptions at MLB. He’d follow up his solid ’92 campaign with a career high 105 tackles in 1993 back at LILB. Over the next following 3 seasons Tracy finished with over 70 tackles playing again back at MLB. After the 1998 season, he signed with the San Diego Chargers- retiring after the season.
I was frustrated with my lack of success with Tracy so when I saw this reasonably priced autograph on Ebay, that matched previous ones of his, I went ahead and pulled the trigger, confident I had acquired the real deal.
Tracy has dabbled in coaching, imparting his knowledge that he learned in the NFLE with the Cologne Centurions from 2005 and 2007, and the Houston Texans in 2006.
Nick Novak is just one of those kicking mercenaries- and he’s been all over now FIVE different leagues. It started at the University of Maryland in 2001. As a four year starter for the Terps, Novak was 153/159 on extra points, and 80/107 on field goals. He finished overall with 393 total points (5th all-time in college history), and lurked near the top of the college leaderboards for both total points and field goals made in 2002 and 2003.
Going unselected in the 2004 NFL Draft, Nick tried out with both the Bears and Cowboys, before ultimately landing on the Redskins in 2005 as an injury sub for John Hall appearing in 5 games. Nick was then snapped up by the Cardinals- who also had an injured kicker. After failing to unseat incumbent Neil Rackers in camp the following year (2006), Nick found himself in a familiar place again- back with the Redskins as an injury replacement for John Hall. After losing out to Shaun Suisham, Nick was signed by the Bears and allocated to NFL Europe.
Novak had a solid campaign with the Cologne Centurions. He’d finish 25/25 on extra points, and 10/17 on field goals (including a game winner) with a long of 49. Although Nick had a solid preseason with the Bears, he lost out in camp to All Pro kicker Robbie Gould.
After trying out for the Jaguars and Chargers, Nick made the roster of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 but after an inconsistent start to his season, he’d be cut in mid-October. Not one to give up, Nick then joined the Chargers in 2010 but he’d again lose out, this time to incumbent Nate Kaeding.
Nick then took the path less traveled. He joined the upstart United Football League. While playing for the Florida Tuskers, Nick was 24/24 on extra points and 15/18 on field goals (69 points). He’d also hit a league record 54 yard field goal. He’d earn Special Teams Player of the Week Honors twice, and then later be named the UFL Special Teams MVP at the conclusion of the season.
Again after signing with the Jets this time, Nick lost out to Nick Folk. He’d be welcomed back to the Chargers, where he spent the next five seasons. Over those meritorious seasons Nick set field goal percentile records and consecutive field goal records for San Diego and ended up 6th all-time in scoring for the franchise with 503 points.
Nick signed with the Houston Texans in 2015, where he again set franchise records hitting 35/41 field goals in 2016. The Texans in 2017 decided to get younger at the position, and went with Ka’imi Fairbairn.
Novak proved you could indeed return home- well sort of- as he was signed by the nomadic Los Angeles Chargers in 2017 replacing the current kicker Younghoo Koo, but Novak himself was injured just two short months later.
Nick joined his 4th league in 2018, playing for the Birmingham Iron of the AAF. He finished 13/16 on field goals, including a 47 yard long, and earned AAF Special Teams Player of the Week Honors for his Week 1 effort. – The league would be shuddered after the 8th game.
For some reason his certified autograph has hovered pretty solidly at about $10.00 on Ebay. – Most expensive kicker ever! Anyway I got lucky and got a great deal on his certified for not even half that price.
In 2019, Nick’s journey continued as he was drafted by the LA Wildcats of the XFL 2020 initiative. He was 2-5 with a long of 47 yards before he aggravated an injury after 4 games.
Card: TNT AFL 2014, TNT AFL 2014 B, TNT UFL 2011 Memorable Moments, Pro Set WLAF 1991 Final Update Acquired: IP, 5/3/2014 Talons vs. Barnstormers. IP, 7/6/14 Talons vs. Sharks.
Shane Boyd joined the San Antonio Talons a few games into the 2014 season. He fits the mold of the prototypical quarterback that head coach Lee Johnson likes- big and with a cannon for an arm. Shane boasts an impressive resume. Playing for the Cologne Centurions he set the career and single season marks for quarterback rushing yards in the NFLE with 339 in 2006. He put up decent stats initially for the Talons, but got into a quarterback controversy with Matt Bassuener as the season drug on.
Joining the UFL in 2009, Shane was the starting quarterback for the California Redwoods. He scored the first points in the short lived league’s existence. Boyd finished the season with 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions to 814 yards to go along with a 60.5 compleation percentage. He was not retained the next season, as the Redwoods moved to Sacramento, -rebranded themselves the Mountain Lions, and then signed Daunte Culpepper to a contract.
Later, Boyd joined the AFL, in 2012 with the Milwaukee Mustangs, throwing for 557 yards and 6 TDs, and the Tampa Bay Storm in 2013. He’s also spent time on NFL rosters through the years including the: Titans (2005), Steelers (2006), Texans (2007-2008), the Alouettes, and Colts (both 2009). Boyd also was drafted by the Portland Thunder, but later saw action with the Bluegrass Warhorses (of the CIFL) in 2014.
I spotted him out near the edge of the arena after the Barnstormers game and quickly approached him before the throngs arrived. Although Boyd appreciated the card I rendered of him, he lamented the ‘nasty #19’ jersey that I had him in. He asked me for an updated card of him with the correct number on it. Later when I ran into him getting an autograph from Shannon Tevaga, he told me that the #19 card could be a promo or limited edition card. Boyd also had me tell Tevaga about Shane’s Jeopardy question relevance in football history, scoring the first TD in UFL history.
I went ahead and did those extra cards for Shane: a correction card with his 17 uniform on, a UFL memorable moments card, and a Pro Set WLAF hack card. I was finally able to get back around to him after the squad lost to the Jacksonville Sharks where I gave him the extra cards. He loved them, and gleefully signed and incribed them for me.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.