Card: Sage 2017 Acquired: 2017, Box Breaker. 2019, San Antonio Commanders v San Diego Fleet
A classic road mauler, Damien Mama played guard at USC and clocked in at a whopping 6’3″, 342. A second team PAC 12 selection in 2016, he’d declare early for the 2017 NFL draft, but go unselected. He’d sign as a free agent with the Chiefs and eventually land on their practice squad. Later in 2017, the Giants signed him to their roster- but Damien was released in mid-2018. He’d join the Cowboys in training camp, but again be waived in final cuts.
I found out that Damien was playing in The Alliance of American Football for the San Diego Fleet, so I packed a card of him for the first game of the season. He was practicing with Marc Bercovici before the game and decided to come over and sign some autographs in the visitor’s end zone. A super nice guy, Damien’s sleeve tattoos are even more amazing up close.
Mama was shifted from guard to center for the Fleet for the opening day game against the Commanders. Despite his best efforts the Fleet were overwhelmed by San Antonio and surrendered 6 sacks.
Throughout the season Mama’s play improved and the team finished in 4th place giving up just 19 sacks in 8 games. The Fleet themselves as an offensive unit finished 3rd in the league in total yardage and second in passing yardage.
Currently with the dissolution of the league, Damien is a free agent but could find a home in the XFL 2020.
It took Brad Kaaya only 3 years to become the Miami Hurricanes all-time leading passer with 9,968 yards. After the Hurricanes defeated West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2016, Brad opted to enter the NFL draft instead of staying for his Senior season. He’d be selected in the 6th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by Detroit, but didn’t make the Lions final roster. He was quickly scooped up by the Panthers, but after about a month long stint there, Brad was back on the Lions practice squad. The Colts signed Brad at the end of 2017, but he’d be placed on IR during 2018 before he could take a snap. He’d then take a brief pit stop with the Bengals in early 2019.
Brad is an interesting prospect. I think he’s just gotten lost in the numbers game, and given time to hone his skills perhaps in the XFL (2020), he might see some traction in the NFL down the line.
Mike Fafaul went to UCLA where he played sparingly for the Bruins as a backup (behind Brett Hundley and Josh Rosen) until 2016. Participating in 8 contests, Mike threw for 1602 yards (135 of 259 passes) for 12 TDs and 11 interceptions. He set a school record when he threw 40 completions, 5 TD passes and a bit over 500 yards against Utah. Going unselected in the 2017 NFL Draft, Fafaul went to a few mini camps in the NFL (Ravens, Redskins) and CFL.
Ultimately he’d end up as Tommy Grady’s backup playing for the Albany Empire of the Arena Football League. During his rookie season Mike was 3 of 9 for 18 yards and an interception. In 2019, he was spotted in Austin working with The Spring League. Mike later signed with the Jacksonville Sharks of the National Arena League.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.