Tag Archives: detroit lions

Sims, Billy ‘Kung Fu’ (2)

to81 sims apCard: Topps 1981
Acquired: 2015, Future Considerations
See Also: Billy Sims

Lance picked up this Billy Sims card for me in exchange for all the autographs I randomly drop him. He also gave me an autographed Sports Illustrated with Keshawn Johnson on it as well. The autograph is actually certified on the back with a hologram- for what it is worth. Not much to say about this card. It’s Topps, so it’s a lazy photo. The design itself is not all that exciting, but I guess it was for that era.

It wasn’t all roses for a while with Billy. He really wanted to make a comeback in 1988, but the Lions only expressed a cursory interest. He’s fought back from the brink of financial disaster, even selling his Heisman. Despite that, Billy’s BBQ branded chain continues to fare well. He has quite a few locations in Oklahoma and opened stops in Michigan as well. In 2007 the University of Oklahoma erected a statue in his name as well, and he remains a celebrated hometown hero of Hooks, Tx where they have named a road after him.

 

Williams, Roy (2) ‘Legend’

sco10 rwilliamsCards: Playoff Contenders Rookie Round-Up 2004, Bowman 2005 Fabric of the Future, Score 2010
Acquired: 2014, MVP Vodka Bottle Signing
See Also: Roy Williams

Well, three is better than none I guess. Roy seemed the least enthusiastic member of the MVP autograph group to sign anything. He wanted to make doubly sure that any fan who got an autograph had purchased a bottle or two first- which is fine and all. I told Roy about how I had missed out on him at the GMC event a few years ago and was really disappointed because I did like 10 test drives just to get the tickets to get all the autographs I needed. It really didn’t sway Williams as he just signed these 3 cards, leaving me awkwardly with another 5 still to be signed at a later date.

bow04 rwilliamsThe Playoff Contenders card is an amazing limited run transparent gimmick card, that absorbed the ink quite well.  Bowman had a habit of trying hard but missing the mark, but this Fabric of the Future card is as close as you can get to being exciting. I was already fond of the Score 2010 design, so that was a no brainer. With luck I should be able to corral Roy at another signing.

poff04 rwilliamsSince retirement Roy has kept himself busy with his business dealings- primarily the MVP Vodka brand that he and fellow Longhorn BJ Johnson have been tirelessly promoting. I’m not too much of a vodka fan, but of the brands that are out there I enjoyed it the most.

LeBeau, Dick

Cards: TNT Signature Select, Topps 1971
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o The Tennessee Titans
Sent: 1/19/17  Received: 1/27/17   (8 days)

To say that Dick LeBeau has a decorated football history would be an understatement. After playing both halfback and defensive back in college, LeBeau was moved to cornerback fulltime when he entered the NFL. Selected by the Cleveland Browns in 1959, LeBeau did not make the squad and was quickly snatched up by the Detroit Lions. The rest is history. The Lions already had an outstanding secondary. LeBeau was icing on the cake. He arguably became one of the best players in Detroit history (at least defensively) recording 62 interceptions for 762 yards and 3 TDs.  He earned 3 ProBowl trips from 1964-1966 and AP in 1964, 1965, and 1970.

Retiring from play after the 72 season, LeBeau immediately jumped into coaching, working as a special teams coach for the Eagles from 1973-1975.  From there he honed his skills as a positional coach with the defensive backs for the Packers (1976-1979) and Bengals (1980-1983). Dick was promoted to defensive coordinator for Cincinnati in 1984- a position he held until 1991.  In 1992 he joined the Steelers as a defensive backs coach, and in 1995 was elevated to defensive coordinator.  LeBeau returned to the Bengals in 1997 and was head coach for the franchise from 2000-2002.  After a brief stay on the Bills in 2003 LeBeau returned to the Steelers as their defensive coordinator from 2004-2014, and then off to the Tennessee Titans as their coordinator where he coaches to this day (2017).  LeBeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Pride of the Lions in 2010.

Dick LeBeau is one of the most reliable high profile TTM signers in the hobby today. I think I had taken it for granted for a long time, but I finally decided to take a shot at him in 2017. Part of the reason for my delay was the lack of decent cards of him. Frankly most of the cards that were on the market were quite bad looking, or were just plain expensive. LeBeau’s turnaround was quite quick signing this old beat up Topps card and my custom in about a week flat.

G/GS  N/a    Tac N/a         Sac N/a          Fum N/a
Int   62       Yds   762          Avg  12.2      TD  3     Lg   70t