Tag Archives: proset 1991

Tupa, Tom ‘Two Point Tupa’

pset90_ttupapset91_ttupa
Cards: Proset 1990, Proset 1991, Fleer 1990
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent:  4/7      Received: 4/15    (8 days)

Tom Tupa was selected in the 3rd round of the 1988 draft by the then Phoenix Cardinals out of Ohio State. Unbeknownst to even the Cardinals, the franchise was at the beginning of a long search to find an answer at quarterback to replace long time quarterback Neil Lomax– whose career quickly declined after 1988, due to injury and an arthritic hip. After Lomax’s sudden departure left Phoenix in a lurch in 1989, the Cardinals staffed a platoon at quarterback with Gary Hogeboom, Timm Rosenbach, and Tom sharing the workload. Tom threw for 973 yards and 3 TDs- to 9 interceptions, while suiting up for 14 contests.  He also got to showcase his impressive skills as a punter filling in for injured starter Rich Camarillo in a pinch. After not seeing any playtime in 1990, Tom spent one final season in Phoenix. He’d win 4 games in 11 starts and throw for a career high 2053 yards and 6 TDs.

1991 led to a short stay in Indianapolis for Tom. Afterwards he bolted for Cleveland. He spent the next three seasons with the Browns. It’d be in 1994 that Tom finally made a rare positional move from quarterback to punter. One could also argue at this point, that Tom had become the best emergency quarterback in the NFL. In 1996, Tupa signed with the New England Patriots and punted for them through the 1998 season.

In 1999, Tom had his finest season as a pro playing for the New York Jets. He’d earn Pro Bowl and All Pro Honors after the season punting 81 times for 3659 yards. Tupa played for the Jets through the 2001 season, before playing for the Buccaneers for 2002 and 2003.  His final season came in 2004 with the Redskins – a year in which Tom set career highs for punts (103) and yards (4544), earning him an invitation as a Pro Bowl alternate.

In a small bit of trivia, Tom is known as ‘Two Point Tupa’, for scoring the league’s first 2 point conversion, and repeating it two more times later in the season.

Tom as of 2016 was a coach at a local high school in Ohio. He signed these 3 cards for me in a bit over a week. ProSet had a major soft spot for Tom and I wasn’t really sure why, covering him in their 1990 and 1991 entries. Notably Score and Topps didn’t make early first or second year cards of Tom.  Fleer 1990 was the company’s first foray back into the football card market in many years. The set was novel looking enough, with nice action shots, but the design of the card itself did not age well with the abstract metal football logo, and the random team helmet just sort of haphazardly thrown on there.

G/GS 220/13     ATT 504      COMP 259       YDS  3430       PCT  51.5%
TD 12       INT  25       RAT 60.5
RUSH 53      YDS 187     AVG 3.5     TD 1       LG   17
P  873      YDS  37862      AVG  43.4        LG  73

Kramer, Erik ‘Brass’

Cards: ProSet 1991, GameDay 1993, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 3/20      Received: 4/17     (28 days)
Failure: TTM 2011, C/o Home

I’m not sure where to start with Erik Kramer. I tried him back in 2011- shy a few months before his son tragically died of a drug overdose. Things spiraled out of control so much that Kramer in 2015 attempted to take his own life with a gun. Somehow he managed to survive and over the past two years has been rising from the ashes of his own personal pain.

Kramer went to college at NC State. He was the team’s starting quarterback in 1985 and 1986.  Posting solid numbers as starter, over his time with the Wolfpack, he threw for 4,602 yards, 30 TDs/ 28 INT, on 334 completions and 616 attempts. Kramer also posted an 11-11-1 record as a starter and earned ACC Player of the Year honors as a Senior.  He went undrafted in 1987 and initially signed with the New Orleans Saints, but was subsequently released. Quickly he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as a replacement player during the 1987 strike.

Erik joined the Calgary Stampeders in 1988.  Playing in 5 contests he threw for 5 TDs and 964 yards. The next season he’d blow out his knee and not see a snap under center. Afterwards he was released by the Stampeders. Erik’s story could’ve very easily ended there, but he chose to give it another shot in the NFL, signing with the Detroit Lions after getting spotted during a tryout by offensive coordinator Mouse Davis.  Kramer’s string of bad luck continued, as he suffered a season ending shoulder injury during the 1990 preseason.

The Lions had a classic quarterback rivalry going on between Andre Ware and Rodney Peete going into 1991. Erik Kramer was an afterthought on the squad.  This worked to his advantage as he was a consummate professional in preparation for each and every game. He supplanted Ware and then bode his time until Peete was injured. Kramer picked up and after a rough start or two, he led the Lions on a 6 game winning streak to conclude the season. The Lions made the playoffs, and Erik set team playoff records with 29-of-38 passes for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Lions ambushed the Dallas Cowboys. It’d be the Lions first playoff victory since 1957.

It would be safe to assume that after the season Kramer would’ve been chosen to be the hands down starter for the Lions, right? Well this is the Lions and that didn’t happen. Instead 1992 opened again with another open quarterback competition- this time lasting into the regular season. While it finally took Kramer being named starter and then rallying Detroit to a 3-1 record down the stretch to win the division title, the Lions lost a home wild card game to Brett Favre and the Pack 28-24. Detroit had another bumpy season in 1993 and while Kramer went 3-1 as a starter, the Lions ran out and signed Scott Mitchell, effectively ending their quarterback carousel in 1994.   Erik in the meantime took a flyer with the division rival Chicago Bears.  While his first season there was met with mixed results due to a separated shoulder, there is no question that he had an impact season in 1995 setting personal highs and franchise records going 315 of 522 for 3,838 yards with 29 TDs to only 10 interceptions. Kramer hung around with the Bears another 3 injury plagued seasons before abruptly retiring midway through the 1999 season with the Chargers due to a persistent neck injury.

Kramer was the definition of the ‘walking wounded’ during his playing career in the league. He gave up his body to injury leading Detroit and Chicago back to periods of respectability. Concussions may have also contributed to his severe depression as well.

It is said that the bullet traveled through Erik’s chin, tongue, nose, and out the top of his head. Amazingly, the damage was so clean, and the medical attention paid to him was so quick, he survived.  Much like his playing career- Kramer quickly has moved to rise from controversy and loss, making an impressive recovery- and coming to an understanding that life is worth living for.

Pro Set struck gold in Erik’s initial release in their 91 update set with a nice straight on shot of him. This was Proset at their best: minimal design, dynamic action photography, and an unobtrusive logo. I was a big fan of Action Packed- but their 92 set annoyed me by flipping profile information on the back. The player name type was also just a tad too small. Gameday barely tweaked an overall successful design over the entire lifetime of the brand. I liked this 1993 issue of Kramer in the elements.

G/Gs 83/67        Att 2299      Cpd 1317       Yds  15337       Pct 57.3
TD 92    Int 79      Lg 85t
Rush  153       Yds 217      Avg 1.4      Td 5     lg 31

Allen, Terry

Cards: ProSet 1991 Update, ProSet 1992, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Clemson
Sent: 12/31/15    Received: 4/20/17  (477 days)

Well it sure did take a while for this one to get back around so I was quite surprised to see this one show up in my mailbox at a bit under 500 days. I had sent out for Terry back in 2015, but it was the end of the year, right before Clemson lost the National Championship game. Allen and the rest of the coaches probably had a lot to do, and after winning the National Championship game in 2016, this gem showed up in the mail a few months later.

Terry Allen played his rookie season in 1991 for the Minnesota Vikings at fullback, blocking for Herschel Walker. He had a pretty solid year rushing for 563 yards on 120 carries. Allen took over fulltime runningback duties the following year in 1992 setting the Vikings’ single-season rushing record with 1201 yards. After losing his entire 1993 season to injury, Terry returned to form in 1994 rushing for 1031 yards.

Terry joined the Redskins in 1995, and in 1996 rushed for a career high 347 carries for 1353 yards (Redskins single season record) and a league leading 21 TDs. During that stretch from 1992 to 1996, Terry rushed for nearly 5,000 yards and 52 TDs. (He was also a very sneaky fantasy football pick in the early days of the sport.) Although he’d not see the same success over the remainder of his career, Allen remained a solid and dependable runningback, playing for New England (1999), New Orleans (2000) and Baltimore (2001).

Originally a 9th round pick of the Vikings in 1990, Terry sat out all of the season rehabbing an injured knee.  He finished second at Clemson with 2,778 career rushing yards- including  1,139 yards as a Junior in ’88 earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference Honors.

Terry has some really nice entries here. His rookie card was from the ProSet 1991 Update. It’s a pretty nice shot, but had a heavy amount of artifact in the photo so it wasn’t completely clear. On the other ProSet card, they made an ugly switch midway through the 1992 set, but the ugly design really lent itself to this dynamic photo of Allen’s running style. The vertical gray gradient is not necessary and the stair step action for the Vikings logo makes absolutely no sense. We don’t really need to talk about the ProSet logo.  Action Packed went more for this as well with the vertical gold stripe. It makes sense because of the embossed canvas that the attempt was to make players look as though they were leaping from the card but among Action Packed from when I was collecting the set, it was my least favorite.

G/GS 130/114     RUSH 2152    YDS 8614     AVG 4.0      TD 73     LG 55
REC 204      YDS 1601     AVG 7.8    TD 6      LG 38