Cards: Upper Deck 2006, Score Select 2008, Adrenalyn 2009 Acquired: In Person, 2018 See Also: Cedric Griffin
Wow, so I went out to this unbearably hot event at Del Valley stadium to get Cedric Griffin and Aaron Ross in the middle of July. That’s dedication. Anyway, it was a really good and encouraging camp for the kids. There were some great speeches from the players, and they were more than happy to provide autographs to anyone and everyone.
I patiently waited until the end. A kid kept backing up nervously, so I told him to go ahead and get Cedric’s autograph before me. Cedric and the kid looked at me and laughed. It was his son.
Cedric told me that he loved every moment of the NFL experience and cheerfully penned these 3 cards for me in no time flat.
I previously had gotten Griffin on a card or two a few years ago. I gave away the Adrenalyn card -even though I really liked it, so I had always wanted to get Cedric again on a few more cards including the Upper Deck 2006 rookie debut- which I seem to have carved out a small niche in collecting. I don’t like that particular card. It appears that somebody Photoshopped the background very poorly. The Score Select 2008 is an okay card, but the chrome is a bit garish. Thankfully, Cedric’s bold silver autograph makes up for the design descrepancies on each card.
Card: Playoff Contenders 2007, Score 2008, Panini UT 2015
Acquired: 2016, EBay. IP 2018, GiGi’s Cupcakes Soft Grand Opening
See Also: Michael Griffin
After Michael’s 9th season in the NFL, in which he recorded 101 tackles, an interception, and a sack, he was released in the off season by the Tennessee Titans. With gas still left in the tank, Michael signed with the Minnesota Vikings for 2016. He’d be injured during the preseason and released. Rehabbing from his injury Griffin signed with the Carolina Panthers. He played in 10 games contributing 30 tackles. In 2017, Michael joined Longhorn Legends TJ Ford and Cory Redding in finishing his bachelor’s degree with Griffin’s being in youth and community services.
I’ve always liked the Playoff Contenders series, strictly because it follows a slow evolution rule, much like the Corvette. Every year, small tweaks in the design and look of the card. The 2007 entry was a nice set, but I really disliked the tiny Titans pinstripe type. It says baseball, not football with that typeface. It’s also just dangling out there distracting from the image of the player. It does not pass the thumb test. Basically if you put your thumb to the image over the Titans pinstripe the image looks better without the pinstripe. Still it was a pretty solid card and the certified autograph works well on this canvas.
Fellow Longhorn and Titan alum, Brian Orapko and Griff had been teasing the grand opening of their cupcake restaurant GiGi’s in Bee Cave. After I heard they had a soft opening for their social media fans the previous day, I made the trip from East of Austin all the way to Bee Cave through the freezing rain. It paid off as both Brian and Orapko were there as well as Jamaal Charles (special random guest appearance)! Michael was kind enough to pen the Panini 2015 UT card as well as his Score 2008 card. The cupcakes were also really good too!
Andre Davis was a second round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns that came off the board after the Texans took Jabar Gaffney in 2002. Davis would play for the Browns from 2002-2004. In his rookie season, Davis would serve primarily as a returner, and log 1000+ yards on kick returns, scoring a touchdown ironically against Houston that season. He’d finish with 1500+ yards from scrimmage that season. His sophomore season would be roughly more of the same in 2003, logging roughly 1400 yards. Blessed with lightning fast speed, Davis would notably make a 99 yard touchdown grab against the Bengals in 2004 starting 7 games at wide receiver, but not make any returns. After the season he’d bounce around but end up on New England’s roster in 2005 and Buffalo in 2006. Signed primarily for depth, these two seasons would be a wash and Davis would drift more towards the fringe.
However 2007 would see the return of Davis, as the Houston Texans signed him in the offseason in 2007. With injuries plaguing go to receiver Andre Johnson– Davis would step into the starting line up for the team and perform surprisingly well. He’d log 583 yards receiving for the Texans and 3 touchdowns. He’d also replace troubled and oft injured Robert Mathis at returner. Davis would be incredibly dangerous at kick returner averaging 30.3 yards a return (top 35 all time) on 32 returns. He’d also log 3 touchdowns (a league high) including two against the Jaguars that season but would miss the Pro Bowl roster. 2008 would result in Davis logging another 1200 yards from scrimmage and his always dangerous return skills would help the Texans make good field position throughout the season but injuries would begin to take their wear and tear on the receiver. In 2009 Davis would have another 782 yards from scrimmage for the Texans, but by 2010 he spent the whole season on the shelf due to a hip pointer which could be career ending. Over his career Davis has over 7,000 yards from scrimmage in 9 seasons. In early March 2011, Andre would be released by the Texans and it remains to be seen if he will return to the league.