Tag Archives: score 1991

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.  

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

Golic, Mike ‘Big Mike’


Cards: Topps 1992, Score 1991, Score Supplemental 1989, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017. C/o ESPN
Sent: 12/16           Received: 1/6       (20 days)

Mike Golic was prized for his size, technique, and flexibility that allowed defensive coordinators to use him at any position along the defensive line.  He also comes from strong bloodlines. His father played in the CFL and his brother Bob played for the Raiders. After a solid college career at Notre Dame, Big Mike was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 10th round of the 1985 draft.  After sitting out his rookie year due to injury, Mike turned on the juice in 1986, starting half the slate of games for the Oilers with 66 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 forced fumbles. Surprisingly Mike found himself on the street in 1987 after 2 games and before the players’ strike. The Eagles wisely scooped him up.

Under Buddy Ryan, Mike was part of a rotation on the line that kept him fresh off the bench. He played the next 5 years with the Eagles. Golic’s best seasons came back to back in 1991 and 1992 when he put together 2 72 tackle seasons. He joined the Dolphins in 1993, but did not find the same success in Miami, as Mike played injured for most of the season on a torn knee ligament.

Infamously, he  learned the hard way about business in the NFL when he was cut on the eve of minicamp in ’94. Mike had off season surgery, and well knowing the team had drafted 2 defensive players to beef up the line, he was out to prove that he could still motor on that healing knee. The conundrum was that in order to get out onto the field, the trainer told Mike he’d have to sign a paper indicating his knee was fine. Eventually Mike relented, and the moment he attempted to leave the trainer’s office, he was confronted by the turk, who told Golic that the GM wanted to see him. You see by signing that piece of paper, he waived his own rights. The team couldn’t cut him due to injury and owe him a salary, but since he was 100%- Mike lost some $650K by his count. Just cut throat.

Well Mike was lucky. He had a fallback. It just so happened that he was quite natural on the microphone- a talent he started honing back in Philly. A long time radio and TV personality, Golic has been a staple on ESPN programming since the turn of the century. It didn’t take much time at all to get Mike’s autograph on these 4 cards which feature a pretty decent selection of photos from his playing days.

G/GS   115/49      TAC     254           SAC 11.5             FUM 3
INT  3      YDS  48         AVG 16.0         TD 0       LG  23

Skansi, Paul


Cards: Score 1991, Action Packed 1990, Topps 1990
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent:  3/20    Received: 3/30   (10 days)

Paul Skansi is an interesting figure in the history of Seahawks football. I always viewed him as an important participant and observer in the growth of the sport that always seemed to fly under the radar. Skansi is a member of Seahawks- or as I knew them- the pink clad Seattle Knights of Tecmo Bowl. He then returned to play in Tecmo Super Bowl as well. In the midst of this, as the great card rush occurred during the late 80s and 90s, Skansi had numerous football cards of him produced. Now as a key role player for the team, it was surprising that Topps, Score, and even Action Packed produced cards of the tenacious receiver- but ProSet (the biggest card set of the market) did not.  I remember him in that first pack of Action Packed I ever opened, because his name is so unique.

Paul, with his impressive hands and fearless and precise route running, was quite the find for the Seahawks. A local product from the University of Washington, he was a Steve Pelluer favorite. He helped the Huskies win an improbable and exciting Apple Cup with his circus TD catch in 1981. He’d conclude his career at the college with 161 receptions – which still ranks 5th all time on the school’s record books.

Originally a 5th round pick of the Steelers in 1983, he found himself on his hometown Seahawks by 1984. There he became a valued and fearless slot man that was counted on for numerous first downs to keep the chains moving. While he was always overshadowed by the likes of Brian Blades and Steve Largent, Skansi worked best in 3rd down situations.  Initially he also saw time on punt return duties as well. He’d play the next 7 seasons in Seattle, and then briefly try his hand in the CFL with the Ottawa Rough Riders  in 1992.  Skansi’s shining moment came in a thrilling matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1990. As Derrick Thomas played havoc with the Seahawks offensive line all day, Seattle’s offense hung around. In the closing moments trailing 16-10, quarterback Dave Kreig threw a bullet over the middle for 25 yards to Paul for the winning TD.

Paul since his playing days has done a lot of coaching and scouting. After coaching his way through the college ranks, Skansi has joined the Chargers where he’s been a scout for the last 17 years.  He lives outside of Seattle, and always loves to talk Huskies football.

He was kind enough to write testaments on all his cards.

Matthew 6:33
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Joshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

He also enclosed a nice note thanking me for writing him.  As always, players like Paul are the ones I love to get the autographs from, as they always add to the memory I already have of them.

G/GS 115/2     REC 166    YDS 1950     AVG 11.7    TD 10     LG  32
PR 96       YDS  863       AVG 9.0    TD  0     LG 57