Card: Sage 2017
Acquired: 2018, Box Breaker
Malik Hooker came on strong and fast during his 2016 campaign playing for Ohio State. He tallied 74 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, and 7 interceptions for 181 yards, and count ’em 3… that’s 3 TDs. A Consensus All-American that year, he declared for the 2017 NFL Draft.
The 2017 Draft was an interesting one, as it was laden was defensive talent, especially in the secondary. Still Malik’s raw talent, range, and instincts carried him high into the first round, where he was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 15th overall pick. Despite fighting nagging injuries early in the year, Malik managed to record an interception in 3 straight contests, and tallied 22 total tackles, in 6 games before blowing out both his ACL and MCL. Rehabilitation went well for Hooker and he finished ahead of schedule for 2018.
Malik ended up starting 14 contests for the Colts in 18. He’d add another 44 tackles, 4 pass deflections, and 2 interceptions.
Card: Donruss Rookies & Stars 2013
Acquired: In Person 2018, AAF San Antonio Commanders Season Ticket Holders Party
I really had to scramble to find a Daryl Richardson card before I left for the season ticket holders party. Worried that the cards I ordered wouldn’t arrive in time, I went and dug through my card boxes twice before I left. I thought that I had at least one card of Daryl somewhere that had possibly been given to me by Spoodog. The night before I left I came across Daryl’s Rookies & Stars entry from 2013. It was a gem to start with.
Overall it was a good event. Players were easy to talk to- almost shy being approached, but Daryl handled the spotlight magnificently with his trademark dreads and wife and kid in tow. When I showed him this card he got really animated, and we talked about being new fathers for a bit. He then welcomed me to follow him on Twitter, where I quickly found out that another fellow collector was a big fan.
His Rookies & Stars entry is really nice. This set is a good departure from the terrible look of the 2012 set. If I had been a collector back then or this set was cheap enough, I’d probably try to plunk down enough change to pick it up. The foreground image of Richardson is strong. He looks heroic bursting from the canvas in front of the design. The background is smartly blurred, and although Daryl’s feet look cut off because they do not continue below the logos, it could still be considered a design decision.
My silver sharpie dried out and the backup I had with me also dried up. Final lessons learned on sharpies: Stick to blue if you have to use a basic sharpie. Silver, black and just about any other color react badly to humidity and after a while will dry out… And- always pack a second sharpie in case the first one is dead. I tested the sharpies before I went inside the covered stadium, but I guess the humidity sapped them up immediately. I ran off to the entry table where the girls running the event let me borrow the- brown one. It worked in a cinch, but I couldn’t get them to let me use blue or black.
Daryl was the second to last pick of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Abilene Christian. He’d beat out Isiah Pead in camp to become Steven Jackson‘s primary backup. A low to the ground, compact, elusive runner, Daryl ran for 475 yards his rookie year. He also displayed soft hands out of the backfield, catching 24 passes. Injuries slowed him his final two seasons in St Louis.
He’d be released in 2014 and sign with the Jets where he was on and off the practice squad of the franchise through 2015. The Texans signed Daryl next, and then later in 2015 the Browns signed and waived him as well. The next year he spent nearly the entire year with the Steelers on their practice squad. Claimed off of waivers by the Jaguars in 2016, Daryl was released by both the Jags and Colts in 2017.
With the advent of Spring football nearly upon the masses again in not only the XFL but the AAF, I decided to throw my hat in the ring with the San Antonio team when it was announced with the AAF. Richardson was one of my ‘big heart’ selections by the Commanders. He’s a ‘do it all’ kinda guy who fits what the team needs, especially in a 3rd down back. Unfortunately facing unusually stiff competition from Aaron Green, Trey Williams, Kenneth Farrow II, and David Cobb- left my fan favorite on the way out. Daryl was cut but hopefully his football dreams will continue with another shot elsewhere.
Card: Action Packed 1990
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 12/12/16 Received: 1/3/17 (22 days)
See Also: Mark Rypien
The first success I got in calendar 2017, Mark Rypien was kind enough to sign 1 of 3 cards I sent him. He inscribed the one card with Super Bowl XXVI MVP, which I thought was still cool. Rypien’s family drips with athleticism. His daughter has carried on in his footsteps and is a quarterback in the Lingerie Football League, while his Nephew, Brett is a starting quarterback for Boise St.
In 2014 the Washington Redskins inducted Mark into their Ring of Fame. Rypien spent eight seasons with the Redskins. From 1986 to 1993 he started 72 games for the Redskins, completing 1,244 passes for 15,928 yards and 101 touchdowns. Modestly, Rypien dedicated his enshrinement to his teammates and the 55,000 or so fans that showed up every week to cheer on the team during his magical 1991 Super Bowl and MVP run.