Tag Archives: jamie sharper

Texans Ambassadors

mem ambassadorsAcquired: IP 9/1/2013,  Houston Texans Kemah Boardwalk Kickoff

Initially I had not intended to attend the Houston Texans 2013 Kickoff at Kemah. A 200+ mile drive to stand in the sweltering heat for a few hours to get the autographs of players to be named was a risk I didn’t really feel like taking, but after being prodded by a fellow collector to go, I barreled right into the event and didn’t look back. I made sure that I had all the cards I could get of the ambassadors, minus the few that didn’t have any.

The wait was abysmal as expected. The most exciting part of it was the middle aged, bleached blond, tacky glittered shoes, big haired woman, her brood, and henpecked husband that decided with an hour to go, that they were justified to skip everybody in line and move to the front. When their initial plan was foiled, she went to the manager in charge and started complaining. After losing the argument, she smugly told her family that they were just going to cut everybody else in line through the exit anyway. The management dispatched 2 15 year old girls to block the exit, but the woman pushed in anyway. As myself and the others in front began to get antsy over the woman and her brood’s behavior, the courtesy patrol showed up and pushed them all out, much to our glee, and the woman’s cursing.


ND Kalu played collegiality for Rice University and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 5th round of the 1997 draft. He also played for the Redskins, before returning to the Eagles, and then finally the Texans retiring after the 2008 season. He finished his career with 157 tackles, 31 sacks, 2 FF, and a pick for 15 yards he returned for a TD. He’s retired to the Houston area and works in sports radio.

JJ Moses is the Texans all-time leading yardage leader in punt returns for the Houston Texans. He played for the team from 2003-2006 and was one of the shortest players in the league’s history. In addition Moses is an NFLE veteran with the Scottish Claymores and is considered one of the league’s warmer rags to riches stories. He has taken to calling me ‘Superfan’ since he remembered me from the 2013 Austin draft party event and my penchant for remembering his specific career details.

Jamie Sharper had an exceptional career for the Baltimore Ravens before joining the Texans via the Veteran Dispersal Draft in 2002. He’d go on to lead the team from RILB for 3 seasons and be the only player not to miss a single start. In 2003 he led the NFL in combined tackles with 301. After the 2004 season, Jamie played a final season with the Seattle Seahawks, making his second Super Bowl appearance. He is one of two players I own a jersey of.


Sharper, Jamie

ud02tex sharperCard: Upper Deck Houston Texans 2002
Acquired: IP 9/1/2013, Houston Texans Kemah Boardwalk Kickoff
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Home
See Also: Texans Ambassadors

After carving a great stint out at UVA and helping the team to an ACC title in 1995, the Baltimore Ravens selected Jamie Sharper with the 34th pick of the 2nd round in the 1997 NFL draft. An unsung, integral part to the Ravens 2000 title run Jamie’s defining moment with the franchise came in Super Bowl XXXV against the Giants (and former Virginia teammate Tiki Barber) when the historic Baltimore defense held New York without an offensive touchdown in the 35-7 rout.

In 2002, the Houston Texans were conducting their expansion draft from a pool of NFL veterans. Facing salary cap issues, the Ravens left Sharper exposed. In the weeks running up to the special draft for my newly adopted team, I had paid special attention to the list and pegged Sharper as the highest rated player available.  The Texans selected him with their 5th pick, and along with fellow teammate Jermaine Lewis, he joined the fledgling franchise.

Sharper fit well in the Texans’ 3-4 base alignment brought in by head coach Dom Capers. Slotted inside at RILB, Jamie was one of the better linebackers in the league, manhandling ball carriers and marauding for the occasional fumble. He’d help anchor the linebacking corps for the Texans for the next 3 seasons. Defensively the Texans were actually pretty good, but because the offense was so bad along the exterior of the line and quarterback David Carr was pressed into immediate duty, the team had few high points after surprising the Dallas Cowboys in their first regular season game 19-10. In 2003, Jamie led the NFL with a whopping 301 combined tackles, but in the meantime though, and after 3 seasons, most of the expansion players’ contracts matured like a ticking time bomb.  The Texans were pressed into immediate Salary Cap action. Purging nearly all the players from the expansion draft, the thought from the team was by going younger and faster at linebacker, they could also go cheaper and still remain competitive. I was blindsided and incensed. Jamie was given the option of seeking a trade, but because of his larger salary cap number, he eventually was cut and signed with the Seattle Seahawks. The Texans in the meantime were not competitive. They finished a dismal 2-14 and owner Bob McNair wisely cleaned house after the 2005 season. It was a blessing in disguise for Jamie.  In his final season in the NFL, he was a member of the Seahawks first Super Bowl appearance, but a knee injury ended his season after 136 straight NFL starts, and unfortunately his career.

sharperI had written Jamie back in 2010, but did not hear back from him. The Texans have an extremely active alumni association of local former players, (much to the organization’s credit,) that reaches out to fans throughout the year. Missing out on a few Academy appearances, since I just couldn’t justify driving 200+ miles for one autograph, I decided to go to the Texans 2013 Kickoff at Kemah- which is a team rally to get fans excited for the upcoming season. Knowing that 3 players were to make an appearance, I packed all my ambassador cards, and lucked out with Jamie. After surviving a blistering 3 hour wait in 100+ degree and 100% humidity, while fighting off a pack of line cutters, I eventually was able to get Jamie on this 2002 expansion franchise card from Upper Deck. He was also very impressed by my Jamie Sharper jersey (yes I am probably the only person who owns one) that I was wearing and offered to sign it, but I told him no, since I like to wear it and probably needed to wash it after waiting so long in the heat. (I think he was a bit disappointed though, so I may retire it with an autograph the next time, if I see him again.) When I asked him which ball carrier he hated or feared the most to tackle, he took a second to respond and told me, “Definitely Barry Sanders.”

G/Gs  136/135    Tac           Sac  25.5       Fum  13        Int   2      Yds  49     Avg    24.5     Td 0    Lg 45