Looks like Steven was getting a bit tired of signing cards at this point. The autograph looks a bit shortened- but I’ll take it!
Steven Johnson is a great football story- as he’s managed to succeed against all odds. He didn’t receive any college opportunities out of high school, and after playing both ways at Wyoming Seminary, he suffered a devastating knee injury that tore it essentially from the socket. After rehabbing, he walked-on at Kansas and fought his way up the depth chart. By his Junior year he was an entrenched starter at linebacker. He finished his college career with 225 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 pass deflections and an interception in 35 games.
Undrafted, Steven signed with the Denver Broncos in 2012 and managed to make the 52 man roster playing primarily on special teams. He started 7 games in 2014 at middle linebacker, posting 39 total tackles, .5 sacks, and a fumble recovery. He’d then embark on a series on stops with the Titans (2015), Steelers (2016), Steelers and Ravens (2017).
He’d join the Alliance of American Football for the 2019 season and be assigned to the Arizona Hotshots. Steven had a banner season for the Hotshots. He’d lead the team in interceptions with 3, and finish 3rd on the team in combined tackles with 48.
After the AAF folded suddenly, Johnson was selected by the Seattle Dragons of the XFL 2020. Over the course of the 5 game season, Steven posted 48 tackles to lead all players in the league. Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus outbreak- the XFL cancelled the remainder of the season
Cards: Ultimate World League 1992, Jogo 1994, Jogo 1995 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home Sent: 8/29 Received: 10/8 (40 days)
A three year starter at the University of Akron at tackle, John Buddenberg clocked in at 6’5″, 279. He’d be selected in the 10th round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and then later spent time on the rosters of the Minnesota Vikings (1989) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1990). During his time in the NFL, Buddenberg was shifted inside to play guard.
In 1991 John was selected by the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football. A stalwart member of the Surge’s offensive line front, he played in all 20 regular season games for the franchise over the lifetime of the World League (1991-1992), earning first-team All-World League in ’92. For both years he’d return to the NFL and was on the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons.
After the World League reorganized following the 1992 season- the Sacramento Surge jumped to the CFL and became the Goldminers. John joined the franchise and played both guard and tackle for Sacramento in 1994, and (for the franchise when it moved to San Antonio and became) the Texans in 1995.
John currently lives in Ohio. He responded with a nice note and two extra autographed cards (the Jogo ones) thanking me for being a fan of the World League.
Tom Newberry was a 2nd round pick out of little known Wisconsin-La Crosse by the LA Rams in 1986. He developed so quickly in camp that the Rams felt comfortable moving long time offensive lineman Kent Hill to the Oilers as part of the Jim Everett trade. After settling in Tom earned AP honors in both 1988 and 1989. Versatile, durable, and aggressive, Tom was a fixture on the offensive line for the Rams throughout most of his career in LA starting 120 games at guard and 8 at center over 9 seasons. In 1995 Tom signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he played a final season for the team, and appeared in Super Bowl XXX.
Tom lives in Montana and is a big LOS ANGELES Rams fan. His autograph is pretty… pedestrian. I mean, Tom don’t get me wrong if you read this. I appreciate the subtle loop at the top of the T but everything else seems to fall into place with scribble for the last name. I think it says more about Tom’s workmanlike ethic that allowed him to stand out over his more prideful competitors over his well regarded career. I like the ProSet, Score, and GameDay cards a lot. They all show Tom pulling or blocking in every shot. His Fleer leaves much to be imagined, but it is still a well designed canvas.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.