Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1992, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 7/2 Received: 7/19 (17 days)
After redshirting in 87 and then playing defensive line the following year, John Fina found a home at offensive tackle in 1989 at Arizona. By the time he graduated, Fina was a top rated and accoladed prospect for the 1992 draft. He’d be selected near the bottom of round 1 by the Buffalo Bills.
Fina didn’t start any games his rookie year for the Bills, but got his brief moment in the sun catching a tackle eligible TD pass during a Saturday Night game against the Colts. With the departure of Will Wolford, John became a fixture at left tackle for the Bills starting 131 games (2 Super Bowls) over the next 9 seasons from 1993 to 2001. He played one final season in Arizona in 2002 and then retired. John is notable for being a good tactician, who was quick on his feet, and was lethal in run blocking.
A native to the Arizona area, I talked to John about my travels through Tuscon, and stopping at the Motel 6 conveniently located near the junction of I-10 and the route to Tombstone. I also briefly mentioned the bizarre velociraptor statue standing outside the McDonalds in the area as well.
John has a well practiced autograph on these two cards. The loop in the F and the A in his name almost connect. I hadn’t gotten around to John yet because his Action Packed Rookies card looks so pedestrian… I think this is because his hands do not play a prominent role in the photo and he’s pass blocking, so there’s almost a pensiveness to the composition. I also feel like the size and the location of his autograph on this card match the temperament. Quite the opposite with the GameDay entry. You can really feel the drive block occurring off the canvas and the autograph itself scales in size and angles with the figure.
John is a decent signer TTM and is very good to fans in general. Since retirement he’s done some TV work, most notably appearing on a TV food show as a judge.