Tag Archives: Rhein Fire

Greisen, Chris

tntufl11 greisenCard: TNT UFL 2011
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Work
Sent: 7/18     Received:  8/29   (42 days)

In the short lived history of the UFL, no quarterback was more prolific than the Florida Tusker and Virginia Destroyers quarterback Chris Greisen.

Long before the signal caller played in the UFL, Chris was a 7th round pick out of Northwestern Missouri, of the Arizona Cardinals in 1999. A two time All-American after leading the Bearcats to their first ever National Championship, Greisen held numerous records upon leaving the school.  He played sparingly for the Cards over the first 3 seasons, and was released in 2002, only to latch on to the Redskins roster by the end of the year. Eyeing more experience, Chris joined the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe. He had a pretty solid season playing in Germany, throwing for 10 TDs, and 843 yards in only 131 attempts.

Following his time in the NFLE, Greisen entered the Arena Football League 2 and played for the Green Bay Blizzard. After a successful debut for the team in 2004, Chris was quickly signed by the Dallas Desperados and became the primary backup.  Signing with the Georgia Force in 2007, Chris was finally able to take over the reigns as the starting quarterback.  The Force posted a 14-2 record as Greisen threw a league record 117 TD passes. He’d continue to enjoy success with the AFL until it suspended operations in 2009.

Wanting to continue his career, Chris pursued a shot with the UFL Florida Tuskers in 2009, backing up former NFL pro Brooks Bollinger. With the return of the AFL in early 2010, Chris decided to split his time in both leagues. He signed with the Milwaukee Iron and then went on to throw an AFL record 5,139 yards.  Back to the Tuskers after the season, Chris ended up starting for the team after Bollinger went down due to injuries.  He’d lead the team to the Championship game and throw for 346 yards while rushing for 2 scores in a loss to the Las Vegas Locos.  He signed with the Dallas Cowboys after the UFL season.

With the UFL still clinging to life in 2011 and the Tuskers moving to Virginia, Chris returned to play for the Destroyers under Marty Schottenheimer. He’d complete 21 passes for 174 yards as the Destroyers vanquished their arch rival Las Vegas Locos 17-3 in the Championship Game. Greisen played in the final season of the UFL’s existence in 2012.

Since then he’s opened up a passing academy in Wisconsin, where he trains and counsels future professional quarterback prospects. I had made this great card of him and decided to see if he’d sign it for me and enclosed extras for him to keep. A month or two later I got a response from him thanking me for the cards, and asking for a few more of ‘these awesome cards’.

NFL    0/5        ATT  16       COMP 7       YDS  69         PCT  43.8%
TD 1        INT 0       RAT 77.3
RUSH 1       YDS 1       AVG  1.0     TD 0     LG 1

NFLE       ATT 131        COMP 76        YDS 843         PCT 58.0%
TD 10        INT 5       RAT 86.8
RUSH  24      YDS  171      AVG  1.7      TD  1    LG  9

AFL          ATT 1695        COMP 1185        YDS 15108         PCT 69.9%
TD 324        INT 40       RAT 127.23
RUSH  46     YDS  70     AVG  1.5      TD  16

Croel, Mike

aprks91 croelCards: Pro Set 1992 RotY, Action Packed Rookies 1991, Star Pics 1991
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent: 3/13   Received: 4/21  (39 days)

A short list player that I had wanted for some time, Mike Croel played collegiately at Nebraska. Mike played on some of the most dominating defensive Cornhusker teams during the late 80s and early 90s.

After being gashed on defense in 1990 the Broncos took a very defensive minded approach to their 1991 draft. It was a pretty good draft for Denver. Mike Croel was drafted in the first round with the 4th overall pick. Alongside Croel, Keith Traylor (3rd),  and Kenny Walker (8th) also made the roster.

pset92 croel royDuring the heyday of the trading card market right before things started to implode with the slow death of Pro Set in 1993, you could find trading cards everywhere and everybody was getting in on it. Not only were you able to find the cards in the local convenient stores like 7-11, but you could get them at places like… Michael’s, the Arts and Crafts store. I impulse bought a pack or two of the 1992 Pro Set standing in line there, and got this Mike Croel Defensive Rookie of the Year card in the pack.

He’d play RILB his rookie season. Blitzing from the inside, Mike recorded 10 sacks and 84 tackles in 10 games. This’d be good for 1991 Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors.  In 1992 he’d switch to LOLB, and in 1993 return a Brett Favre interception 22 yards for a TD against Green Bay in the opener. As the Broncos transitioned to a 4-3 Croel, played his final season in 1994 with the franchise at LLB. He joined his former head coach Dan Reeves in New York in 1995, and then made a pit stop with the Ravens in 1996.

stpi91 mcroelReturning in 1998 he played Spring ball with the Rhein Fire of the NFLE, before heading back to the United States to join the Seahawks for that year.

Mike again briefly popped up on the football radar playing for the XFL of the Los Angeles Xtreme in 2001. He was the first trade in the shortlived league- going from Las Vegas to LA for linebacker Joseph Tuipala. Croel retired soon thereafter before playing a down for the league.  Since then he’s dabbled in coaching and is a successful graphic designer in California.

NFL 102/84      Tac 412     Sac 24.0     Fum  6
Int 2       Yds  38      Avg  19.0     Td 1     Lg 22

NFLE     Tac  N/a     Sac  6.0       Fum N/a
Int  0        Yds  0        Avg -.-       Td 0      Lg -.-

Jackson, Fred

doR&S11 fjacksonCard: Donruss Rookies & Stars 2010
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 2/10   Received: 3/13    (30 days)

Fred Jackson’s journey to the NFL is a unique one graduating from tiny private liberal arts college Coe in 2003. During his senior season, he rushed for 1,702 yards and 29 TDs in 2003 for the Kohawks. Undrafted, Jackson had multiple tryouts in the NFL but was considered too small, so he joined the Sioux City Bandits (NIFL 2004, UIF 2005). A juggernaut in the two leagues, he’d be named MVP of the UIF in 2005.

In 2006, Jackson joined the NFLE, rushing for  731 yards and 2 TDs, and catching 27 passes for 317 yards. The Bills decided to take a stab at Fred in 2006, maybe on a whim, because GM Marv Levy was a former Kohawk alum himself. Jackson would make the squad and scored his first TD in 2008. He’d win the starting job from Marshawn Lynch and hasn’t looked back. Jackson had career highs in yards with 1,062 yards rushing and 1,014 yards kick returning, marking the first time in league history a player has ever done that. While he’d narrowly miss the 1,000 yard mark in 2010 and 2011, injuries have frustratingly cut into his playing time. In 2013, Fred finished with 890 yards and 9 TDs, including 105 yards on 18 carries and a TD, in a 19-0 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

I’ve seen a few successes here and there on Fred and so I decided to take a shot. I always love to get responses back from WLAF/NFLE alumni, and the fact that he’s still chasing his dream now makes it all the more sweeter.