Cards: Topps XFL 2001, Classic Blister 1992, Gameday 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 3/17 Received: 4/10 (24 days)
Mike Pawlawski has enjoyed nothing but one of the more curious professional football careers. It all started back in 1992 when the highly decorated signal caller from Cal was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 8th round. He spent one year with the team and the next two out of football.
Mike reignited his football career when he joined the Arena Football League. First with the SabreCats, and then later with the Miami Hooters in 1995. (- Yes named after the Hooters restaurant franchise.) He played one season with the team (66/133, 674 yards, and 6 TDs) in primarily relief duty. He also spent time in the CFL with their USA invasion as a member of the Shreveport Pirates. Mike jumped to the Albany Firebirds the following year- and really impressed (22/35, 296 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT) in limited play. It’d be in 1997 that Pawlawski came into his own as a starter. He’d throw for 4,272 yards and 69 TDs on 509 attempts. For the next 3 seasons he’d be the unquestioned starter of the Firebirds and threw for at least 70 touchdowns in each year.
He heard the siren call of the XFL in 2001 and joined the fledgling league and be the starting quarterback for the San Fransisco Demons. In the lone season for the league Pawlawski finished second to only Tommy Maddox in passing, while leading the team to the Million Dollar Game. With the XFL hemorrhaging money and with bad TV ratings, the league shut down after the lone season.
Mike retired due to injuries and followed his passions for the outdoors, working on the show Gridiron Outdoors. He also does color commentating for Cal games for a variety of networks.
Mike was kind enough to sign these three cards in about a month’s time, however I wish he actually had a sharpie handy as his autograph gets lost on these canvases.
ARENA ATT 2045 CPD 1351 YDS 16673
TD 303 INT 45 RAT 118.98
R 93 YDS 181 TD 19
XFL ATT 297 CPD 186 YDS 1659 TD 12 INT 4
Card: Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 7/20/11 Received: 12/10/15 (1604 days)
Bruce LaSane hauled in 46 receptions for 731 yards and 6 touchdowns in 3 years for the Seminoles. After graduating from Florida State, the fleet footed LaSane signed with his homestate Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent in 1990.
The Orlando Thunder of the WLAF selected LaSane with the 3rd pick of the 7th round during the wide receiver pool of the league draft in 1991. He fit in well with the Thunder’s Run ‘N Shoot offense, pulling in 23 receptions for 333 yards and 3 TDs in 1991. In one of the more amazing plays in league history Lasane caught a Statue of Liberty touchdown pass from Eric Mitchel -after the runningback had fumbled the ball.
Bruce joined the Arena Football League in 1992. He played for the Cincinnati Rockers posting 38 receptions for 369 yards and 3 TDs over two seasons. As players went both ways back then in Arena ball, LaSane was slotted in at linebacker and posted 23 tackles. In 1994 he moved on to the Miami Hooters, where he’d post a career high with 58 receptions for 653 yards and 10 TDs to go along with 33 tackles and an interception. -This would earn him All Arena Honors. After the 1995 season, LaSane played for the Minnesota Fighting Pike and Milwaukee Mustangs before landing on the Orlando Predators in 1997. He’d help the team win Arena Bowl XIX alongside fellow WLAF veterans Corris Ervin and Pat O’Hara. In 2000, LaSane signed with the New Jersey Red Dogs, but was traded to the Los Angeles Avengers finally retiring after the season.
I never thought I’d get this one back. A Spokeo find, I sent to Bruce way, way back in 2011, but the current resident of my old address found me and forwarded this one my way.
ARENA REC 190 YDS 2014 AVG 10.6 TD 33
TAC 125 SAC 1.0 FUM 6 INT 1 YDS 6 AVG 6.0 TD 0
Card: Pro Set 1990
Acquired: Canton Acquisition 2012
Jim Jensen is an amazing football story. Picked in the 11th round of the NFL draft in 1981 by the Dolphins, nobody really gave the 6’4″, 215 quarterback from Boston University of the Yankee Conference a chance to make the squad. Jensen squeezed onto the roster as the team’s 3rd string quarterback, but saw little or no playing time. A few years passed, and with Miami snagging Dan Marino with their 1st round pick of the 1983 draft, Jensen knew he needed to do something, anything, to make the squad. There in Jim “Crash” Jensen was born. Jim was such a smart, well conditioned, and strong athlete, that he began to line up at any position on offense that they’d take him. Showing the heart to do what it took impressed Don Shula and his staff, his bread and butter soon became being a special teams maven. (It has been said his nickname was given to him by none other than Howard Cosell after watching the out of place QB burn down the field and make a face first tackle.) The team began to use him as an ace, lining him at WR, TE, RB, and even FB to try to expose mismatches in the opposing defenses. His role over the next few years at quarterback became only that in the role of an emergency one, but that was perfectly fine since he had found his knack doing basically everything else. On rare occasions the team did let him throw the ball and test defenses such as in trick plays, but his statistics were completely misleading since he only started 10 games over his career, if you considered his all-purpose role in the Dolphins offensive system. Statistically his 1988 and 1989 seasons were his best. Jim racked up 652 yards on 58 catches and 5 TDs in 1988, and followed that up with 61 for 557 and 6 TDs in 1989. His role slowly began to diminish from there until the end of his career with the Dolphins in 1992. Jim decided he wasn’t finished yet with football, and jumped to the fledgling Arena Football league to play for the Miami Hooters in 1993. He’d play two seasons for the team as their #1 quarterback before retiring after the 1994 season.
I suspect that the person that I got these cards from got a good portion of autographs from the Sotl.com site. While at the time School of the Legends was a great resource for fans to get in touch with players, talk to them, and well- hit them up for autographs, – I don’t think that was the original intent of the site. (Sure, I also used the site to find players that I had been looking for, but some people just flat out abused it for autographs and didn’t really see the purpose in connecting with the players or utilizing the services that were offered.) Jensen along with many others were active members of the site who talked to fans and kept things moving, but in the end Sotl.com went through a facelift, did away with fan and player profiles, and now there isn’t really a way to find players and talk to them anymore.
NFL G/Gs 164/10 Att 7 Comp 4 Yds 102 Pct 57.1 Td 2 Int 0 Rat 141.4
Rush 26 Yds 142 Avg 5.5 Td 0 Lg 23
Rec 229 Yds 2171 Avg 9.5 Td 19 Lg 31
AFL Seasons 2 Att 539 Comp 290 Yds 3256 Pct 53.8 Td 51 Int 18 Rat 81.8