Tag Archives: playoff contenders 2007

Zabransky, Jared

Card: Playoff Contenders 2007
Acquired: 2016, EBay

Jared Zabransky was a dual threat quarterback for Boise State, and helped bring the program national respect with their thrilling victory over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.  Over 4 years, Zabransky was 610/980 for 8256 yards, 58 TDs to 37 interceptions. He also contributed 863 yards and 31 TDs on the ground.

Scouts didn’t really think that Zabransky was going to fit in the NFL as a quarterback. In fact his situation graded out similar to Eric Crouch. Sure he was a talented athlete, but Jared’s arm strength and passing mechanics concerned teams. Certainly however Zabransky made up for it in intangibles: Leadership and always finding a way to win. He went unselected in the 2007 NFL draft.  Afterwards he signed with the Houston Texans, briefly appearing on their practice squad. He’d join the Steelers in 2008 but be cut before the regular season.

Jared wanted to keep playing QB so he went to the CFL, signing with the Edmonton Eskimos, seeing primarily backup and mopup duty over his career from 2009-2011. His best game came perhaps in 2010 for the Esks when Jared passed for 188 yards on 16 of 23 and 2 touchdowns.

As of 2016 he resides in The Woodlands, Texas, and is the director of sales of oil and gas for an OEM of oil drilling equipment.

I remember when the Texans signed Jared. The team had just jettisoned David Carr and handed the keys over to Matt Schaub. Sage Rosenfels had the inside track for second string QB, while Zabransky looked to nab the Practice Squad QB or the 3rd string spot. The Texans in the end elected not to carry 3 QBs however, and Zabransky was disappointingly cut.

Griffin, Michael (2)


Card: Playoff Contenders 2007, Score 2008, Panini UT 2015
Acquired: 2016, EBay.  IP 2018, GiGi’s Cupcakes Soft Grand Opening
See Also: Michael Griffin

After Michael’s 9th season in the NFL, in which he recorded 101 tackles, an interception, and a sack, he was released in the off season by the Tennessee Titans.  With gas still left in the tank, Michael signed with the Minnesota Vikings for 2016. He’d be injured during the preseason and released. Rehabbing from his injury Griffin signed with the Carolina Panthers. He played in 10 games contributing 30 tackles.  In 2017, Michael joined Longhorn Legends TJ Ford and Cory Redding in finishing his bachelor’s degree with Griffin’s being in youth and community services.

I’ve always liked the Playoff Contenders series, strictly because it follows a slow evolution rule, much like the Corvette. Every year, small tweaks in the design and look of the card. The 2007 entry was a nice set, but I really disliked the tiny Titans pinstripe type. It says baseball, not football with that typeface. It’s also just dangling out there distracting from the image of the player. It does not pass the thumb test. Basically if you put your thumb to the image over the Titans pinstripe the image looks better without the pinstripe. Still it was a pretty solid card and the certified autograph works well on this canvas.

Fellow Longhorn and Titan alum, Brian Orapko and Griff had been teasing the grand opening of their cupcake restaurant GiGi’s in Bee Cave.  After I heard they had a soft opening for their social media fans the previous day, I made the trip from East of Austin all the way to Bee Cave through the freezing rain. It paid off as both Brian and Orapko were there as well as Jamaal Charles (special random guest appearance)! Michael was kind enough to pen the Panini 2015 UT card as well as his Score 2008 card. The cupcakes were also really good too!

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.