Cards: Action Packed 1990, Action Packed 1991, GameDay 1992 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home Sent: 1/2/19 Received: 4/9/19 (97 days) See Also: Jim Everett
With a smooth autograph and many cards, I really wanted to come back again and ride the Jim Everett train again TTM. With the Action Packed and the GameDay cards down I liked, it’s still tough sledding the rest of the way if I ever hit him up again in say- 10 more years. I really liked these Action Packed entries. They really showcase the amazing sports photography that was available throughout those years. The lighting is just right to feel that Californian sun in Anaheim stadium. The Gameday is also pretty nice, but I am almost too curious as to what is going through that San Fransisco defender’s mind as Everett launches that pass. Jim has one of the better autographs in the game. Strong, connected, loopy, dynamic- It’s about everything you’d want out of one.
Since the last time I wrote Jim he’s become one of the celebratory NFL figures of the LA Rams old guard (- along with Eric Dickerson) welcoming the team back to the city after its long hiatus in St. Louis. Despite his numerous injuries that he suffered from his playing days- Jim has a certain excitement and vigor to him as he takes in the new landscape of Los Angeles Rams football. He’s done some pregame color analysis for the Rams during the preseason to get his appetite wet as well.
Card: Ultimate World League 1992 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home Sent: 9/6 Received: 10/28 (52 days)
Wayne Dickson played in college for the Oklahoma Sooners from 1986 to 1989. He jumped from linebacker to defensive end in 1988, and then in his Senior year, Wayne was an All Big 8 Honorable mention.
After going unselected in the 1990 NFL draft, Wayne signed with the San Diego Chargers but did not make the squad. He quickly found a home in the CFL with the British Columbia Lions, and then in 1991 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he recorded 2 sacks.
Dickson then be selected by the Orlando Thunder of the WLAF and slotted in at left inside linebacker. He’d lead the team in sacks with 5, and was actually the team leader in tackles- before an injury ended his season. Wayne returned to the Thunder in ’92, and added 2 more sacks to his resume as Orlando played in World Bowl II. Following the reorganization of the World League, Wayne joined the Arena Football League, seeing a stint with the Orlando Predators in 1994. In 1995, Wayne was briefly on the radar of the Dallas Cowboys- attending training camp and honing his skills alongside Charles Haley. He then played one final season in 1996 for the doomed Texas Terror Arena franchise posting a sack, before hanging up his cleats.
I wish they (WLAF/NFL) had given us the 5 year time table that they had originally promised!
– Wayne Dickson
A spirited return from former linebacker and Orlando Thunder player Wayne Dickson, as he wrote me a full page response and thanked me for writing. In it he detailed a small bit of trivia: That his first name was ‘Elvis’. (Little did he know, this was how I found him to begin with!) A great card of Wayne here. I just love how his fingers are wrapped in playing tape.
Mike’s career continued after his release from the Cardinals. In 2018, he signed with the fledgling Alliance of American Football. (I recognized the name immediately when he was assigned to the Arizona Hotshots thanks in part to the league’s territorial allocation.) Later in the year- perhaps out of the fact that some teams were unfairly blessed with an abundance at quarterback, the AAF decided to hold a Pick or Protect draft, to balance out the rosters a bit.
Mike was taken at the top of Round 2 by the San Diego Fleet, where it was planned he’d grow under the tutelage of offensive mastermind Mike Martz, and behind overall #1 pick Josh Johnson. This didn’t happen because almost immediately after the draft, Josh signed with the NFL Washington Redskins. Moving ahead with Berco at starting quarterback allowed the Fleet to plan around him however and prepare him for the rigors of the AAF season.
I didn’t get Mike’s autograph before the first game in league history, even though they were practicing only a few feet from me. I didn’t realize how he’d be a poster boy for the league in the league’s brief highlight film.
“Hey, whatever this league needs to get people excited, if that’s what it takes, then I’ll take the bullet.”
-Mike Bercovici (on ‘the hit’)
The Commanders ended up beating the Fleet on opening night in San Antonio, punctuated by 6 sacks and 2 interceptions. One of those sacks, LB Shaan Washington came across the line and almost decapitated Mike Bercovici from his blindside. The crowd was dead silent fora brief second as we looked around, and then erupted into a gladiator-like rousing applause at the fact that there was no flag. I thought that perhaps he suffered a concussion, but at some point during that game, Berco was sat for Philip Nelson.
Mike regained the starting position a few games later after Nelson went down with an injury. He’d complete 22 or 43 passes (304 yards) with a TD, leading the Fleet to the game winning drive over the Stallions 27-25. In fact he’d throw for 300 yards in the next two games as well, against the Iron (311 yards) and the Hotshots (310 yards).
Despite Mike’s struggles, he was quite lovable as a quarterback. He finished with 5 TDs to 9 picks, on 51% completions with 1,311 yards. His numbers are actually all the more impressive because he only started 4 games. The league folded after Week 8, and Mike decided to hang up his cleats and go into coaching.
He currently works as a graduate assistant at Arizona State.
I really wanted Mike’s autograph on these cards of his, and after a bit of digging, missing on an address, and a little help from Mark’s Signing Bonus, I was able to track him down on these great cards of his. I liked Berco and I had high hopes that he’d make a great ambassador of the league as the AAF moved forward.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.