Tag Archives: pacific 2009

Orapko, Brian (2)

Cards: Panini UT 2015 Patch, Pacific 2009. Score 2009, Upper Deck 2009, Press Pass 2009, Topps 2012, Score 2015*, Panini UT 2015, Donruss 2015, Panini Threads 2011.
Acquired: IP 2018, GiGi’s Cupcakes Soft Grand Opening.
IP 2018, T-Mobile Player Event, IP 2018, Back to Camp GiGi’s event
* Future considerations Lance
See Also: Brian Orapko

Brian Orapko and Michael Griffin had been hitting the social media circuit for a bit talking up their new joint venture- GiGi’s Cupcakes. Apparently when they both played for the Titans in Nashville they got hooked on the confectionary treat and decided that they wanted to be franchisees. Brian and Michael had posted some great photos of them cutting their teeth and learning the ropes behind the construction of their store in Bee Cave. Both of the alluded to a grand opening ‘in a few weeks’, so I kept my eyes peeled for any updates along the way. I just so happened to check their feed after I got back from the Bastrop Boot Event, and found out that Griff and Rak had done a soft opening that very same day. I was a bit miffed. The next morning I called them up, and was told that they were open today and come on down.

I battled my way about 30 miles through the sometimes frozen rain to get there, but once I arrived I was greeted by a beaming Orapko and Griffin. (I was really shocked as the last time I saw Rak, he was a bit disgruntled, and begrudgingly gave me his autograph.) I decided to get a 4-pack (only reserving the Red Velvet for myself) and asking him to choose the remainder for me. He filled out the box nicely over small talk and rang me out. (Admittedly, it was a weird experience to have an NFL player working a register for me.)  We even got in a good laugh over their instagram, as I wholly expected somebody to be tossing dough in the back like they were making a pizza. Brian had no problem signing these 2 cards for me. Heck, I probably could’ve gotten him to sign a few more- he was in such a good mood.

Talking about going from worst to first. It was a great experience meeting him again. I even told him how I was hurt he signed with the Titans and not the Texans, and we had a good laugh at my expense over it. – And the best part: THE CUPCAKES WERE AMAZING.

Later in the year I caught up with Spoodog and his wife. I hadn’t seen them in quite sometime- either a Priest Holmes signing or a Cedric Griffin signing well over a year ago. A lot had changed for me with a baby taking need over anything else and his job just sort of precluded everything else. It was great catching up with them. In fact a whole host of people showed up I hadn’t seen in a while. This made the wait for Orakpo even easier. It wasn’t much of a line at the T-Mobile location, but it was frustrating because we were told the wrong location and shuttled back and forth until we got to the right place.

Rak was uneven at this event for me. I tried joking with him, and I let him know that I enjoyed the cupcakes, and heck that they may have been the first sugar my baby ever tasted, but I must have rubbed him the wrong way either through my joking manner or the fact that I asked him to sign 6 cards. I did give him a hard time about the Titans new uniforms. They look exactly like the CFL Toronto Argonauts. I took to calling them the Tennessee Argonauts. The pen also was giving up or he was signing lighter with each card. By the time he got to the Topps at the end, it was barely taking. He also was signing and just sort of tossing the cards at me. I felt pretty badly. Oh well… A few friends of mine asked for future considerations to get Orakpo.  Essentially what it means is that I’ll get the autograph free of charge, and they will look out for anybody me. I’m not picky as long as it is not in my collection already. (Lance and I have done these exchanges with regularity.) I went ahead and gave up the Score 2015- which I think looks terrible, and the Upper Deck 2009 Draft Edition, which I sorta wanted to keep- but this is how it goes. I hope these cards new homes appreciate them as much as I do.

Later I went to the Back to Camp event that Brian was holding at GiGi’s before he headed off to Tennessee for the year. Many Longhorns were invited, but since I got there early, and had little time I only managed to get Brian and Michael Huff. I felt badly about how I had treated Brian at the T-Mobile event. He either took it in good stride or had already forgotten about me ribbing him about the Texans. He signed 3 cards for me. Well really 2. He re-inked the Topps 2014 that came out really badly, looked over the Panini Triple Threads card, and then tossed in his Donruss 2015 Sample card. He was really informative about the process of the league. New coaches get a little bit more time and Coach Vrabel wanted them in Tennessee to get ready for the season as soon as possible. Brian and I also talked about the sample card. Apparently many companies offer the cards to the players when they come out. The Donruss card in particular was stamped/ imprinted on the back with the word ‘sample’ on it. Brian said that when he found out he had his first card, he was super excited because it was like a coming of age.

Brian signed with the Titans in 2015. By October of that season, he was already established as a team captain. He finished his first campaign in Nashville with 7 sacks, 38 tackles (13 ast), 5 passes defended, and a forced fumble.  2016, saw Rak establish near career highs with 10.5 sacks, 38 tackles (8 ast), 4 passes defended, and a forced fumble. While his numbers were slightly down in 2017, Brian finished with 30 tackles (10 ast), 7 sacks, 2 passes defended, and 3 forced fumbles. With new coach and former LB Mike Vrabel in town, it should be interesting to see how Brian’s numbers stack up in 2018.

Young, Vince VY (3)

do09 vyoung AH
utud11 vyouing icCards: UT UD 2011 NCAA, UT UD 2011 Icons, Donruss Threads 2009, TNT College, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2007, Playoff Contenders 2007.
Acquired: IP 10/25/2015, Tiff’s Treats Soft Opening. IP 11/6/2015 MVP Vodka Spec’s Bottle Signing and Tasting, IP 4/30/2016 Tiff’s Treats Soft Opening Cedar Park
See Also: Vince Young, VY (2)

doth08 vyoungVY was in relatively good spirits for the first event- a grand opening for Tiff’s Treats in the east part of town. While the weather had been pretty bad all weekend, the worst of it had passed allowing me to go into town for the event. I thought that by getting there roughly 30 minutes early I’d be good for a few autographs as the rain would keep away some of the fans, but I was completely wrong.

utud11 vyoung ncaaThere  was roughly 200 people
there I’d say for the soft opening of the store so I just got into line and prepared for one autograph. To hedge my bets I traded a card to a kid behind me in exchange for his father getting an autograph on a card for me- so I’d at least walk away with two.  On top of it, only one of the cards I had gotten off of EBay showed up before the event. Nothing really worked out the way I expected for this event, but in the end, it really did.  The rain wasn’t all that bad, and VY was in such good spirits he offered to sign 1,2,5 cards if I wanted to, so I was able to get two, plus the one that I had gotten as insurance through the trade earlier. Initially I didn’t really like the Donruss Threads card I got through EBay, but it grew on me a lot, especially with the football cut in there. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have paid this card any mind.

A few days later- Nathan got
word of  MVP Vodka, who was slowly making the rounds about Texas having bottle signings. This would finally allow me to get the really nice Absolute Memorabilia card signed I picked up through EBay. The signing went well enough. As usual Vince showed up a bit late, but there was almost zero people waiting, despite the radio advertisement. He was nice enough to sign the Absolute card and the Top Notch custom I did of him. I asked him if he’d forgive my awkwardness from the poster debacle at the Sam’s Club event, but he told me that he didn’t remember it. I guess that’s good. Ah well,  I mean at least he signed another piece of my art- no matter how underwhelming the response was.

I had been holding out hope of getting VY again on a few cards in 2016. In fact I had volunteered to pick up a few autographs for
Deadhorse.  It took about 5 months for Young to pop up for another Tiff’s Treats grand opening. As usual Vince was fashionably late to the event.  The problem was it was a group event with Kasey Studdard, Justin Blaylock, and Quan Cosby. Thankfully with a bit of fast thinking, the promoters had fans line up behind VY’s chair so that when he did show up, everybody got a chance to get his autograph, and he was happy to sign multiples.  He had his son there with him, and after he signed each card, his son would inspect them to make sure that they were up to snuff. It was very cute. I told VY about how painful it was to watch him on the Titans, especially when he played the Texans, because he always made us pay.  I was surprised that he responded by telling me that he hated it too.

Vince played it low key for the past few years here in Austin, but in early 2017 made waves as he agreed to a free agent contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL. Saying the desire and want is still there, Young seemed primed to make an unlikely comeback.

 

 

Walter, Kevin (2)

sco10 kwalter ud09 kwalter pac09 kwalter dor&s10 kwalter long

Cards: Score 2010, Upper Deck 2009, Pacific 2009, Donruss Rookies & Stars 2009
Acquired:  TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent:     Received:
Failure:  2012, C/o The Houston Texans
See Also: Kevin Walter

The previous one I had signed before, bubbled because of the finish on the card.  After my initial luck back in 2009/2010, I tried to go back to the well again to get Walter on some more cards. He’d be cut after the 2012 season, thus ending any chance on getting his autograph on anything else.

He posted two respectable seasons in 2011 (39 receptions for 474 yards and 3 TDs) and 2012 (41 receptions for 518 yards and 2 TDs) for the Texans.  The receiver needy Tennessee Titans signed Kevin that following season, but he didn’t take a snap due to injury. Kevin would retire after the 2013 season.  He was later named to the Houston Texans’ 10th Anniversary team.

I contacted Kevin at his home address in Texas where he signed these cards for me with his amazing signature. (The postmark on the return was from New York.) He also responded by wishing me and my family well, as well.

G/GS  152/93     REC 356     YDS 4379    AVG 12.3     TD 25   LG 61T