Tag Archives: score 2010

Polamalu, Troy

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.

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158/14277012.0143239812.4349

Merriman, Shawne ‘Lights Out’

Cards: Score 2009, Score 2010, SP 2011
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Work
Sent: 5/29 Received: 6/29     (31 days)

“Sometimes that flame burns bright. Sometimes it burns so fast and bright it inexplicably burns itself out.”

This makes me think of Shawne Merriman- a dominating force who wrecked havoc around the NFL for a short period of time.  Merriman was a first round selection (#12 overall) by the San Diego Chargers, who had gotten the pick as part of the Eli Manning trade, during the 2005 draft. Shawne was an interesting specimen. He clocked in at 6’4″, 272, with a 4.6 40, and an impressive 40 in vertical jump.  Shawne also had pretty solid stats while playing at Maryland, posting back to back 9 sack seasons, and 140 career tackles. The Chargers were going to use Shawne as a tweener both a linebacker and a defensive end.

Shawne did not get into the starting lineup until almost the mid point of his rookie year- but he made the best of it, blowing by defenders for 10 sacks, 43 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 5 pass deflections. For his efforts, he earned Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors in 2005, and captured his first Pro Bowl Honor. He returned in 2006 on a rampage, racking up 17 sacks, 48 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 8 pass deflections, and an interception. It goes without saying that Shawne was named to the Pro Bowl and earned All-Pro, playing all 3 positions in the Chargers linebacker front.  He did this only in 12 games, and was suspended for 4 contests due to a violation of the NFL’s drug policy. Merriman continued his banner play in 2007, earning a Pro Bowl Honor on the back of 12.5 sacks, a career high 54 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 pass deflections.

It all came apart in 2008. Shawne played the first game of the season on a pair of torn ligaments in his knee, ending his year. He came back for 2009, but nagging injuries kept him down to just 4 sacks and 26 tackles in 14 starts.  Things just kept breaking into 2010, with IR his final destination after 3 games and just 1 start. He’d be released by the Chargers after the season, but not before being named to the Chargers 50th Anniversary Team.

Shawne soon found himself on and off the roster of the Bills. Again persistent injuries played a huge part in the end of his season, and his career in 2013. He’d register 2 sacks, 19 tackles, and 1 pass deflection in 6 starts for the Bills- over two seasons.  He’d retire at the grand ‘old’ age of 28.

Shawne lives in the Los Angeles area. He’s gotten into different types of adrenaline sports- NASCAR, WWE, martial arts, and has made cameos on TV shows. He also has a foundation and a clothing line named after his moniker ‘Lights Out’.

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75/5919645.5811010.0010

McCoy, Colt (3) ‘The Real McCoy’

Cards: Donruss Rookies & Stars 2010 Dressed for Success, Donruss Rookies & Stars 2010 Freshman Orientation, Score 2010, Score 2011, Playoff Contenders 2011*, Panini UT 2016.
Acquired: IP 2/10/18, Texas Meet Eat & Greet Bastrop, Tx
See Also: Colt McCoy, Colt McCoy (2)

About two weeks before the event Colt put up a flyer on his Facebook feed for the Texas Meet Eat & Greet, taking place at Texas Boot Company in Bastrop, Tx. This was literally 15 minutes from me so it made a lot of sense to go to. I arranged for time off from the wife and baby. (It was occurring on the same day we were celebrating our baby’s first birthday, but honestly I had earned the time off after taking care of both of them when they came down with sickness the previous week.) I got there at about 15 minutes late, because the party ran a little long, but that’s okay. I was able to find a spot on the grass and got a place in line inside.

I had a lot of cards I wanted Colt to sign, and as we know, in person events can be pretty dicey with making multiple requests, so instead of being greedy and asking for 10 or 12 autographs, I cherry picked out my favorite 6 and just rolled the dice. Previous experience had led me to believe that Colt wouldn’t have a problem and luckily I was correct. While the line was long, the event was pretty informal once you got to the front. Fans were taking their time talking to the players so I figured I had a good shot. It couldn’t have worked out better.

I opened with talking about Dunkin’ Donuts. I knew he owned a couple of shops. I was just shocked he owned the one right next door to us! I told him that I got donuts there on a pretty regular basis and they did a good job. He just wished that the could raise the sign a bit or get it above the Factory Mattress Warehouse they shared the lot with. It was a good chuckle. I told him that I knew 6 cards was a tall order, but did he mind signing them for me? He pawed through them and said sure. It was then that I almost blew it.

My friend Deadhorse, was a big old fan of McCoy’s. In fact he owned his jersey. When he found out that I was going to the event, he asked me if there was anyway I could get Colt for him. I said sure and I’d give it a shot. When I was talking to Colt I told him that my friend up in Ohio was a really big fan of his, and I wanted to get one for him. Colt looked at me and sarcastically responded, “Man, I don’t have any fans left in Cleveland.” It was actually a good laugh. I steered the conversation quickly, reminding him that, “Dude you beat New England, with the BROWNS. That amounts to something. I thought you got a bad wrap there in Cleveland.” He laughed and said true, and then we talked about the continuing failures of the franchise since then.

Later in the conversation we talked about how I had hoped that when he was a free agent that he signed with the Texans, but I was happy for him nonetheless in Washington.

Colt’s time in Washington has been pretty quiet since Kirk Cousins cemented the starting role at QB for the Redskins. He got in briefly during one game in 2015, going 7 for 11 for 128 yards and a TD, but outside of that he hasn’t seen any playing time whatsoever.

Cousins’ continuing contract debacle though will have a rippling effect through the league however. The Redskins started making moves in the off-season immediately trading for Chiefs QB Alex Smith and then sat on Cousins. Speculation arose as to if the Redskins were going to franchise Cousins an unheard of third time and then trade him away. In the end Washington went ahead and let him walk. Cousins signed with the Vikings, and McCoy continues to back up new incumbent starter Alex Smith.