Cards: Topps XFL 2001, Score 2010 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o The Chicago Bears Sent: 2/4/19 Received: 4/2/19 (59 days)
Mike Furrey has made a very interesting professional football journey. After not being drafted out of Northern Iowa in 2000, he’d sign with the Colts but not make the squad.
Undeterred, he’d join the renegade XFL in 2001, where he’d play wide receiver for the Las Vegas Outlaws. He’d snag 18 catches for 242 yards and a 41 yard TD. As the team’s primary punt returner Mike also returned 11 punts for 94 yards.
After the XFL folded, he’d play for the New York Dragons of the Arena football league, spending two years with them in 2002 and 2003. During both seasons he posted 1000+ yard seasons and display a knack for playing defensive back, intercepting 6 passes. He’d also play for the St. Louis Rams in both of those years as well and oddly enough play both wide receiver and defensive back for the team, posting 21 receptions for 197 yards, and then intercept 4 passes for 143 yards, deflect 8 passes, and return one 67 yards for a TD from free safety.
Obviously Mike’s curious stat lines drew him attention in the open market as he signed with the Detrot Lions in 2006. He’d have his finest season as a WR, with 98 receptions for 1086 yards and 6 TDs in 14 starts, and follow that up in 2007 with 61 receptions for 664 yards and a TD. After a subpar 2008, Mike made a stop with the Cleveland Browns in 2009- where he saw significant time again starting 4 games at WR while moonlighting at safety as well. After the season concluded he joined the Washington Redskins but did not make the squad.
Very soon thereafter, Mike went into college coaching and as of this post in 2019, is the wide receivers coach for the Chicago Bears.
Some very interesting design between these two cards. I love the Score 2010, almost as much as Score 2009. It’s got great color, and the slightly off white helps the image stand off the canvas just a little more. I especially like the use of the designs in the top corners of the card to give it that painted effect. This set felt like a direct heir to the 2009 set that I adore.
The Topps XFL card represented everything gaudy about the Attitude Era that bled from WWE into the XFL. It’s an underused design to have both the player’s face and an action image on the front of the card, but this one pulls it off- albeit just a bit over designed.
Cards: TNT UT, Score 2010, Topps Chrome 2010 Acquired: In Person 2018, MNF w/ the Horn
Sergio Kindle played collegially at the University of Texas from 2006-2010. A punishing, rangy player with a great motor who could line up at both defensive end and outside linebacker, Kindle really started taking off in 2008, posting 53 tackles, 10 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 2 fumble recoveries. Kindle moved primarily to defensive end for 2009, (replacing Brian Orapko in the lineup). Sergio had 47 tackles, 3 sacks, and 17 tackles for loss in his Senior campaign. He had solid combine numbers, and was the highest rated outside linebacker (3-4 defenses), but thanks to some questionable decisions during his time at UT, his draft stock slid.
The Ravens swooped in during the second round of the 2010 draft and selected Sergio. Unfortunately a series of tragic incidents befell Kindle before he hit the field for Baltimore. He’d lose his entire rookie season to a serious head injury- after falling down 2 flights of stairs and cracking his skull. He’d then be later arrested for DUI, and then run into some financial issues. Still Sergio managed to see action in 2011, and then in 2012 spent some of the season on the Ravens’ practice squad. He’d be waived in 2013, ending his playing career.
Sergio was very nice at the Monday Night Football event hosted by The Horn. I had been dying to go to an event all year and this one lined up perfectly. He signed all three cards, and I gave him a stack of the TNT UT card that I made for him to keep- which he really appreciated. Sergio explained to me that the Ravens card photos were taken very early in camp and that he switched from 49 to 94 later once he settled in. Serge stayed for the event and teamed up for an interview show with Rod Babers. I won a $25.00 gift certificate to the place where the event was taking place.
Sergio is planning to move back to the Dallas area where he hopes to go into coaching. He was intrigued when I mentioned the XFL and the AAF as a possible training ground for him to get his feet wet coaching.
Sergio Kindle has been floating around Austin since he retired from the league abruptly. I knew he worked at a car dealership for a while there, and thought about hitting him up that way, but this event just came along nicely and fit into my schedule. Kindle was a great linebacker for UT so I went ahead and made him a card since he was in none of the legends sets. (I’ve pretty much retired the look from that set, but I have thought about making more Longhorn Legends cards recently.) I really like his Score 2010 card. It frames up pretty nicely on him and I knew it’d look good autographed. Sergio apologized for accidentally putting his college number on the card. I didn’t see anything wrong with it- but it was classy of him to care enough to let me know. His chrome issue actually looks better than the Score card autographed. The blue picks up really nicely on the canvas.
There are a few more cards of his I wouldn’t mind getting signed, and I’ll probably go ahead and pick those up so I am stocked for the next time I catch him around town.
Cards: Upper Deck 2009, Score 2010 Acquired: In Person 2018, AAF San Antonio Commanders Season Ticket Holders Party
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to even come close to picking up one of the greatest modern day NFL safeties and Pittsburgh Steeler legends Troy Polamalu- but here we are. I mean again, like in the past, one of the greatest pieces of advice that I can give a fellow collector, is: When you go to in person events, plan ahead by bringing cards of who you know will be there- and who you think might be there.
The second piece of advice I can give you is do your research and participate in the discourse of knowledge about the subject you are interested in. In this case, I participated heavily on the AAF boards and was made aware of the fact that a bold tapestry of many former players line the league’s offices with experience and knowledge. I thought maybe, just maybe since this was a big event, that the league would send down one of the player personnel to the celebration. I packed a box of cards for the players, and the executives and made my way to the event.
When the event began, Troy was seated on stage with the players and executives. I immediately recognized him based on his flowing mane. – Sure who wouldn’t right? I slipped out some cards and calmly bode my time. After the event concluded I waited in the picture line and kindly asked him for an autograph or two. I think Troy was both surprised and impressed that somebody had some cards of him at the event. His eyes lit up briefly and he smiled as he signed. I exchanged pleasantries with him about the new league and how excited I was, and then wished him luck. I’m not much for photos or selfies. The autograph was enough for me to regale in memory about.
Over a 12 year career, Troy Polamalu established himself as one of the greatest strong safeties to ever play the game. Drafted in the first round of 2003 by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of USC, Troy was a headhunter in the secondary, who had a nose for the ball with 46 career takeaways (32 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles), and 770 combined tackles. Polamalu was named to the Pro Bowl 8 times, All-Pro in 4 seasons, NFL Defensive Player of the year (2010), and won two Super Bowl Championships. He’d also earn honors as a member of the Steelers All-Time Team, and the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
Troy retired after the 2014 season and decided to focus on his family. In 2018, he was named the head of player relations for the fledgling Alliance of American Football, however that folded during 2019.
Late in the AAF season, the league brought out Topps cards of Troy, but with these two signed, I’m happy to close the books right where they are without the executive card signed.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.