Tag Archives: score 1990

Hoge, Merril

Cards: Score 1989, Score 1990, Action Packed 1991, Fleer 1990
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20   Received: 10/27      (7 days)
Failure: 2011, C/o Home

Merril Hoge. Few players angered me more than Merril Hoge during the Red Gun/ Run ‘N Shoot era of the Houston Oilers. I considered him an ‘arch’ and he loved saying nasty things about the upstart Oilers, who by 1987 had started becoming bullies in the AFC Central under head coach Jerry Glanville. The Steelers had finally gone into a deep depression, and the Oilers were eager to take the stick to their rivals. Nobody expected much of the Steelers in 1989 as they had just come off of a 5-11 record from the previous year. Despite this they rallied down the stretch and put together a 9-7 record. The Oilers had thumped the Steelers twice during the regular season, but they’d be denied in the playoffs losing 26-23, causing Jerry to lose his job. I want to even say that Hoge said something to the media nasty about the Oilers, and it just stuck with me all those years.

I remember opening up my first packs of cards, and in a lot of cases, there was a Merril Hoge card to twist the knife just a little more. Even when I played Tecmo Super Bowl, I was reticent to use Merril because of the fact that he epitomized that Steelers working man mantra and the upset that made me so sore. Then after his playing days concluded, he became a commentator, and the Oilers left Houston even- I still got a furrowed brow when he’d come on ESPN. 


Dependable fullback Merril Hoge played for the Idaho State Bengals (a fact often repeated by national commentators almost every time he touched the ball) from 1983 to 1986. He finished his 4 years there with almost 5500 all-purpose yards, but more importantly the Big Sky Conference despite its trappings, prepared him for the rigors of pro level offenses.

After being selected in the 10th round of the 1987 draft, Merril played 7 seasons for the Steelers at fullback.  A versatile player out of the backfield, Merril was an excellent receiver and blocker who was rarely missed an assignment.  He had a career high 772 yards rushing in 1990, and a career high 487 yards receiving in 1988.

In 1994, Merril signed with the Chicago Bears, but suffered a terrible neck injury ending his career. Merril is also a cancer survivor beating non-hodskin’s lymphoma. 

Merril had a great selection of cards, so it was tough to even settle on just these 4. His Score 1990 is one of my favorite, and was from a rain soaked affair versus the Miami Dolphins that year. (Sammie Smith has a corresponding card from that game, and Mike Mularkey has been immortalized in a sports photo from that game that ProSet did.)  His Action Packed 1991 card does everything right in this one, and the determination on Merril’s face really makes you feel as though you are a part of the action.

G/GSRUSHYDSAVGTDLG
114/8482531393.82141
RECYDSAVGTDLG
25421338.41340

Johnson, Mike (LB)

Cards: Score 1990, Fleer Ultra 1991, Action Packed 1990, ProSet 1990, Score 1991
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20   Received: 11/9     (20 days) 

Despite playing alongside future defensive hall of famer Bruce Smith at Virginia Tech, linebacker Mike Johnson ended up in the upstart USFL playing for the Philadelphia Stars (1984) and the Baltimore Stars (1985). NFL teams took notice, and after finishing a stellar career in the USFL, Mike was selected in the USFL player dispersal draft with the 19th pick. Mike joined a host of other USFL castaways (Mack, Minnefield, and McNeil) on the Browns, helping solidify the nucleus of a powerful playoff opponent. 

Johnson was a rare talent. A versatile, durable inside linebacker, who could cover runningbacks and tight ends in the flat in Cleveland’s defensive alignment. Mike earned two Pro Bowl appearances in 1989 and 1990 both as a middle linebacker. During the 1990 season he’d record a 64 yard interception return against the Chargers (Billy Joe Tolliver).  In 7 of his 10 years in the NFL, Mike recorded over 100 tackles, and 6 of those, he’d manage over 130. Johnson’s best season came in 1993 when he pulled down 181 ball carriers. 

In 1994 Mike was allowed to depart for Detroit where he finished his career in 1995. Rejuvenated, he’d start 32 of 32 games and have 250 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions for 71 yards and a TD.

Mike Johnson is the Browns 1980s TTM version of Ernest Givins! 

-Deadhorse

A sure friend to the TTM community, Mike’s responses are of legend. He takes the time to respond to letters that ask questions, signs everything and includes extras. I only dropped 4 cards in, but he included an extra two for my trouble, giving me an extra signed ProSet 1990 and including the Fleer Ultra 1991 card. 

I was surprised that I couldn’t find Mike’s Pro Bowl 1990 card, but whatever- I was still happy to get this bevvy of cards signed. Both his Score cards and his ProSet base cards are very nice action images. His Fleer Ultra 1991 leaves a lot to be desired. I really hated this set from a design standpoint. It was just lazy, and his silhouette is partially obscured by a Bills player’s butt. Action Packed took what they could get sometimes, even if the action shot was from behind (as is the case with Johnny Holland and Mark Carrier’s (S) cards- respectively). I wasn’t really a fan of it, but since I had gotten this card in every other pack of Action Packed that I first bought for a while there, it made sense to send one up to see if I could get it autographed.  

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N/A5.5N/A22914.51N/A
NFLTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDNFL
144/125122414.5261321716.6264t

Broussard, Steve

Cards: Score Supplemental 1990, Score 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990, SkyBox 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Work
Sent: 10/9/17 Received: 1/17/18 (100 days)
Failure: 2011, C/o Arizona State

Steve Broussard has some great cards. His Skybox is exceptional. The resolution on the shot is so high you can make out the expression on Steve’s face. After nabbing him for my set need in Action Packed Rookies 1990, his two Score entries make the list for me, just barely over his Proset 1990 draft card. I tend to lean more full body shot if I can, especially if it is one where the player is in the open field. Anyway, I am very pleased to get him. I took a shot in the dark at his work address, knowing fully that in the past he has pulled any number of hijinks on autograph requesters, including having his kids sign for him. I did not count on getting these back also based on my previous experience, but after 100 days flat, the enigmatic back kindly signed these 4 cards for me. The autograph is in ball point pen- a disappointment, considering the amazing loops and varying size of his graph.

Steve finished second all-time on the Washington State career rushing charts with 3,054 yards and first in total touchdowns (41). During his Senior year in ’89 he had a career high 41 carries for 205 yards against Oregon. He also displayed his versatility by winning the WAC rushing title in 1989 (1237 yards) and receiving title in 1987 (59 receptions), distinguishing himself as only the second player in Conference history to do so.

He’d be selected in the first round by the Atlanta Falcons in 1990. Steve had a bumpy rookie season as injuries limited his campaign to 13 games. Still the compact halfback showed promise chewing up 454 yards on the ground and making 24 receptions. With a crowded backfield in the Red Gun system, Broussard continued to demonstrate himself as a nice change of pace, 3rd down back throughout his time in Atlanta- however he saw his playing time decrease every year after his rookie campaign.

After the 1993 season, Steve played one year in Cincinnati and recorded a career high 621 yards from scrimmage (403 yards rushing and 218 yards receiving). He then returned to his home state and played for the Seahawks for the remainder of his career in the NFL. With the Seahawks, Steve was used primarily as a kick returner where he demonstrated that burst of speed that made him so dangerous. After the 1998 season, Steve retired.

Steve went into coaching first at the high school level. He then moved on to the college level with stops at Portland State, Washington State, ASU, SMU, ICLA, and Pasadena Community College. In 2017 he returned to Washington and coaches at a local high school in Vancouver.

G/GS 121/21    RUSH  578      YDS 2625       AVG 4.5      TD 19    LG 77T
REC 126       YDS 882       AVG 7.0       TD 3      LG 25
KR  175       YDS 4060     AVG 23.2     TD 1    LG 90T