Card: Sage 2017 Acquired: 2017, Box Breaker. 2019, San Antonio Commanders v San Diego Fleet
A classic road mauler, Damien Mama played guard at USC and clocked in at a whopping 6’3″, 342. A second team PAC 12 selection in 2016, he’d declare early for the 2017 NFL draft, but go unselected. He’d sign as a free agent with the Chiefs and eventually land on their practice squad. Later in 2017, the Giants signed him to their roster- but Damien was released in mid-2018. He’d join the Cowboys in training camp, but again be waived in final cuts.
I found out that Damien was playing in The Alliance of American Football for the San Diego Fleet, so I packed a card of him for the first game of the season. He was practicing with Marc Bercovici before the game and decided to come over and sign some autographs in the visitor’s end zone. A super nice guy, Damien’s sleeve tattoos are even more amazing up close.
Mama was shifted from guard to center for the Fleet for the opening day game against the Commanders. Despite his best efforts the Fleet were overwhelmed by San Antonio and surrendered 6 sacks.
Throughout the season Mama’s play improved and the team finished in 4th place giving up just 19 sacks in 8 games. The Fleet themselves as an offensive unit finished 3rd in the league in total yardage and second in passing yardage.
Currently with the dissolution of the league, Damien is a free agent but could find a home in the XFL 2020.
A Seahawks Legend who just doesn’t get respect outside of the Pacific Northwest, Dave Krieg played at tiny Milton College and by the time he finished playing for the Wildcats he basically owned their record books. Coming from such a tiny school Dave didn’t get drafted, so he signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks in 1980.
Krieg worked his way up to 3rd on the team depth chart behind Jim Zorn and Sam Adkins. It wasn’t until ’81 that Krieg got some regular season reps, taking over for Zorn and from there a quarterback controversy emerged. About mid-way through the 1983 season Dave established himself as the favored starter with some truly memorable games, and earned his first Pro Bowl appearance in 1984 as he passed for 32 TD passes and 3,671 yards. He’d later break the team record with his 108th career TD pass in 1987. Still it seemed that Dave got no respect- as critics pointed to his up and down QB rating and injury history, but it seemed with the competition, Krieg thrived, and in 1988, Krieg again saw a Pro Bowl appearance, despite having the first of many ‘QBs of the future’ in Kelly Stouffer looking over his shoulder- a feat he’d engineer again in 1989. Dave held on through 1991- even with a new ‘QB of the future’ Dan McGwire also breathing down his neck.
Dave unceremoniously was allowed to become a free agent after the 1991 season, beginning a long and legendary journeyman phase to his career. To the chagrin of many Seahawks fans, he’d join one of Seattle’s division rivals- the Kansas City Chiefs. Although he’d engineer another playoff berth for the Chiefs, the franchise opted to sign Joe Montana to lead the squad in ’92. Dave would be a key backup playing with them through the 1993 campaign. Krieg played one memorable season in Detroit, backing up incumbent Scott Mitchell, posting a career high 101.7 QB rating. He’d then have less than stellar moments with the Cardinals (1995), Bears (1996), and the Tennessee Oilers (1997-1998) before retiring.
In a nod to Krieg’s stoic presence in the pocket with a porous offensive line, or his lack of awareness and small hands, Dave held the NFL career record for fumbles by a quarterback at the time of his retirement (153- since surpassed). He joined the Seahawks Ring of Honor in 2004, and briefly owned an AF2 owner of the Green Bay Blizzard. Currently he’s a motivational speaker, loves golfing and attends Seahawks events at least once a year in the Seattle area.
And with Dave Krieg- My revenge is finally complete.
To understand what I just said, you have to realize that a little over a two to three years ago, a passive aggressive collector decided to not help me- from what I understand, over the fact that I asked him what it’d cost or what he wanted in order to help me.
JustGreg initiated contact initially with me through SCN and asked me if I needed any Seahawks. I told him that I’d love to get Dave Krieg or Curt Warner on a few items, and to let me know what I needed to do make this happen. He told me he’d get back to me.
2 years later he hit me up a second time. I had forgotten about his offer. He offered it to me again to which I asked him if there was a cost associated with it, to let me know. JustGreg apparently took offense to me saying this. He then refused to help and accused me of calling him greedy. I tried to reason with him, but he became more and more obstinate, as it became painstakingly obvious he was trying to lord something over me or hold me to some collecting ethos that I clearly didn’t understand.
Greg then word vomited on me his dislike for many of the other collectors on the site. -It was very discouraging, and I considered ramping down my collecting. A few other collectors on SCN discussed the situation with me, and told me to keep my chin up.
I didn’t understand what his deal was. Did he read something on my site? Did I make a comment on something of his? Was he having a bad day? Why did he need to lord over me? Anyway. Who knows what his vendetta was.
Thanks to one of my collecting buddies, I was able to secure the address and get a success out of Curt Warner, but Dave was a different manner. He was not answering fan mail even if you found him. He was just signing in person at events- so I concocted a plan to get it done right under JustGreg’s nose.
JustGreg’s words, “Good luck with your collection,” Just kept rattling around in my head.
Another collector anonymously approached me for a need he had. I have had a lot of great luck with players from the University of Texas, and after posting a success- I struck up a conversation with him and agreed to help him get Ricky Williams, if he acted as a go between for me to get Dave Krieg through JustGreg. I’d send him the card with a return envelope, and he’d contact Greg and send the card to him. Greg would get the autograph and send back to him, and then my broker would send the autographed card back to me. The plan worked flawlessly, and I received back my card via Greg despite his best efforts to frustrate me. I also made a new friend to boot which was a bonus.
I did think that Greg and I have a lot in common as far as collectors go, and I am sure I could’ve helped him as well, but it is what it is. It is a shame really because in a way I now treat him the same way he treated me. Maybe he’ll read this post and gain some perspective and reach out- but I seriously doubt it. He’s set in his ways and I could only be so magnanimous.
Larry Johnson was a star runningback for the Penn State Nittany Lions in 2002. He was a virtuoso out of the backfield, both catching and running for the team and truly was a man among the boys. He’d carry the ball 271 times for 2087 yards and 20 TDs- for a hefty 7.7 yards per carry clip. He’d also catch 41 passes for 349 yards and 3 more scores. He’d finish 3rd in Heisman voting that year behind Iowa QB Brad Banks and USC QB Carson Palmer.
In what was considered to be a weak runningback crop, Larry was selected 27th overall during the 2002 NFL Draft, and was the second RB off the board- after Willis McGahee.
The Chiefs have been going through a renaissance of sorts at runningback over the last 20 years or so. It pretty much started when Priest Holmes jumped into the lead role in Kansas City in 2001. After 3-4 years of solid production with a few games here and there, it was time for Larry to go from being the most solid injury insurance handcuff, to the lead back in KC.
Larry began to assert himself as the lead back in 2005. He’d earn his first of 2 Pro Bowl berths, with 336 carries for 1750 yards, and 20 TDs. Johnson also had 33 receptions for 343 yards and a TD. In 2006, Larry actually topped those numbers, leading the NFL in touches (457) and carries (416- an NFL record), run for 1789 yards and 17 TDs while catching 41 passes for 410 yards and 2 TDs. While Larry did not see the same heavy workload the rest of his career, he’d rush for 559 yards in an injury plagued campaign in 2007, and 874 yards in 2008.
After an acrimonious 2009, Larry was cut midway through the season and finished the year on the roster of the Cincinnati Bengals with 581 yards on 178 carries. During the journeyman phase of his career, Larry spent time on the rosters of the Redskins (2010) and the Miami Dolphins (2011), before finally deciding to retire.
After Curt Warner’s run for glory in Seattle, Penn State had a really bad run of backs come out in the first round who just didn’t make the cut. DJ Dozier, Blair Thomas, Ki-Jana Carter, and Curtis Enis come straight to mind. It wasn’t until 2005, when LJ had his first impact season, that the ‘Penn St Curse’ of runningbacks to come out of college to the pros was lifted.
Johnson has had multiple brushes with the law, possibly due to CTE, as he fits all the hallmarks for the disease. Larry’s done some articles and been interviewed about it- and I feel absolutely terrible for him. I wrote him back in 2014, but did not get a response. This time around he signed these cards pretty promptly.
These are some great cards of Larry that I really liked. The Pacific, while very plain looking is classy and elegant. Upper Deck assumed stewardship of the brand in its final days and really sent them out on a nice, high note. The Upper Deck 2009 has clear and strong photography. The framing and color feels like it was inspired by the Upper Deck Legends 1997 set. – And of course, I can never get enough of the Score 2009 set. It just could’ve used a little sports photo blur on the background, as the expression of that guy with the Patriots sweater on is a bit distracting.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.