Tag Archives: columbus destroyers

Thomas, Jordan ‘JT’

Card: Topps AAF 2019 Certified
Acquired: 2019, EBay

Jordan Thomas was a highly touted recruit, and signed with Oklahoma in 2014. He was roughly a 4 year starter at the school, posting some eye popping numbers in his Sophomore year, with 46 total tackles, 4 pass deflections, and 5 interceptions for 153 yards and a TD. Jordan struggled to meet those numbers in his final two years at Norman- although he did manage to produce 17 pass breakups in his 2016 campaign.

JT was not selected in the 2018 NFL draft, but did manage to land with the Philadelphia Eagles. After being cut, Jordan signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and then later that year with the San Antonio Commanders of the fledgling AAF. JT made the Commanders, recording 2 tackles and a pass deflection during the preseason, but with a surfeit of talent at the CB position, he rarely saw action. JT saw playing time primarily in two contests, Week 2 against Orlando and Week 6 against Atlanta. He’d record 5 tackles in 8 games for San Antonio.

After the league disbanded, Jordan signed with the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League. He’d put together 17 total tackles and 3 pass breakups in 2019.

Guerra, Fabian

Cards: Topps AAF 2019, Arena Custom
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home
Sent: 4/15 Received: 5/2 (16 days)

Fabian Guerra played at Division II Fairmont University, where he set the standard at wide receiver for many of the school’s career statistical charts. Over his four years from 2013-2016, Fabian posted 233 catches for 2,805 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. He was not selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, so he elected to join the National Arena League’s Carolina Cobras. He’d post 70 catches for 818 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in his rookie year.

In 2018, Fabian joined the Memphis Express of the AAF. He’d make the final roster and start at receiver, but after an overall disastrous opener for the entire offense, he’d be cut. As the Express had offensive issues across the board, he’d be brought back late in the season, but finish with only one catch on the season.

His rights in the meantime had passed to the Arena Football League’s Columbus Destroyers in 2019. Fabian joined the league and earned Rookie of the Year Honors from the AFL, posting 61 receptions for 765 yards and 15 TDs. He also displayed a knack on returns posting 3 TDs on 39 returns (736 yards).

After the Arena Football League ended, Fabian was signed by the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League for the 2020 season, but ultimate due to the Covid pandemic- had his career put on hold as the CFL cancelled the season.

Fabian has a pretty active Twitter account and gave away a couple of his cards to his fans. I missed out on that one but thankfully Mark’s Signing Bonus came through again and helped me out with the address. Guerra signed his AAF card and dropped in his custom for me, and wrote me a nice handwritten note for being a fan.

Spielman, Chris

Card: ProSet 1990
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home*
Sent:  9/2/11  Received: 7/8/12 (309 days)
* signing fee now of 20.00.

Chris Spielman was a fearsome linebacker that played for the Lions, Bills, and Browns during the 80s and 90s.  A tackling machine from Ohio State, he’s really remembered for his time in Detroit where he sucked up the middle of the field as Mike Cofer blanketed quarterbacks at OLB. A second round pick of the Lions during the 1988 draft, he’d be the 6th linebacker taken off the board, after Aundray Bruce went #1 overall.

After a rookie season that included a club rookie record 153 tackles, 7 blocked passes, and a fumble recovery, he’d be named defensive rookie of the year in 1988. Chris followed his 1988 season up with an equally impressive 1989, with another 125 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries, earning him his first starting Pro Bowl nod. Spielman wrangled in his second appearance by leading the Lions in tackles in 1990 (despite spending 4 weeks on injured reserve) with 108 tackles,2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and his first interception. 1991 culminated in an AP nod, as he lodged 126 tackles, a sack and 3 FFs. Despite leading the team in tackles in both 1992 and 1993 with 146 and 148 tackles respectively he didn’t get named back to the Pro Bowl until 1994 (124 tac, 3FF). 1995 saw a shift from left inside linebacker to middle linebacker for Chris, after the Lions converted to a 4-3, but he still managed to tally 90 tackles, 2 FF, 1 sack, and an interception.

Spielman signed with the Bills in 1996 and returned to his native position and true to form with 111 tackles. Injuries claimed half of Chris’ 1997 season and it’d be his last statistically. He’d attempt a comeback with the Browns in 1999 but elected to retire before the beginning of the season to take care of his wife who had been struck by breast cancer.

Of note, Chris is apparently one of the first high school athletes to appear on a Wheaties box, is the Lions’ All-Time leading tackler with 1,020 tackles, and is considered one of draft guru Mel Kiper’s more notorious misses.

Chris has climbed into the broadcasting booth since retirement and also as head coach of the Arena Football Columbus Destroyers in 2005.  Spielman was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009, and has a foundation for Cancer research, that he dedicated to his wife, who passed away of breast cancer in 2009. He also has written a book about his time with her entitled: “That is Why I am Here”. You can visit his website at: http://chrisspielman.com/index.php

I wrote him last year after seeing some very short responses on sportscollectors.net for quite a few cards, so after I didn’t hear back from him after a few weeks I sorta gave up on this one. It was nice to finally get an autograph back from him 311 days later, but it disheartened me to see that he enclosed a pricing list. Apparently Chris has been getting a lot of requests, and can not honor them anymore for free. He has some very stringent rules on the mailings, but guarantees that they will be signed by him. You must also enclose $20.00, but thankfully since I sent mine last year, it didn’t apply to me, and he signed a card for free and returned the rest. Can’t knock a gift horse in the mouth though, and the fact remains that he was a player that I wanted, and happy to add to my Hall of Fame.

G/Gs 148/148    Tac 1181     Sac 10.5     Fum 13       Int 6      Yds 36     Avg 6.0      Td 0     lg 13