Tag Archives: topps xfl 2001

Pawlawski, Mike

Cards: Topps XFL 2001, Classic Blister 1992, Gameday 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  3/17     Received:  4/10  (24  days)

Mike Pawlawski has enjoyed nothing but one of the more curious professional football careers. It all started back in 1992 when the highly decorated signal caller from Cal was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 8th round. He spent one year with the team and the next two out of football.

Mike reignited his football career when he joined the Arena Football League. First with the SabreCats, and then later with the Miami Hooters in 1995. (- Yes named after the Hooters restaurant franchise.) He played one season with the team (66/133, 674 yards, and 6 TDs) in primarily relief duty. He also spent time in the CFL with their USA invasion as a member of the Shreveport Pirates. Mike jumped to the Albany Firebirds the following year- and really impressed (22/35, 296 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT) in limited play.  It’d be in 1997 that Pawlawski came into his own as a starter. He’d throw for 4,272 yards and 69 TDs on 509 attempts. For the next 3 seasons he’d be the unquestioned starter of the Firebirds and threw for at least 70 touchdowns in each year.

He heard the siren call of the XFL in 2001 and joined the fledgling league and be the starting quarterback for the San Fransisco Demons. In the lone season for the league Pawlawski finished second to only Tommy Maddox in passing, while leading the team to the Million Dollar Game. With the XFL hemorrhaging money and with bad TV ratings, the league shut down after the lone season.

Mike retired due to injuries and followed his passions for the outdoors, working on the show Gridiron Outdoors. He also does color commentating for Cal games for a variety of networks.

Mike was kind enough to sign these three cards in about a month’s time, however I wish he actually had a sharpie handy as his autograph gets lost on these canvases.

ARENA    ATT 2045   CPD 1351   YDS  16673
TD  303    INT 45   RAT 118.98
R 93    YDS 181    TD 19

XFL   ATT  297    CPD  186   YDS 1659    TD 12   INT  4

Williams, James “J-Roc”

Cards: Fleer 1995, Topps XFL 2001
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 11/11  Received: 12/5  (24 days)

Small bit of trivia here, as James Williams is one of a handful of players (if not the only player) to play for 3 expansion franchises, being the: Jacksonville Jaguars, (the reborn) Cleveland Browns, and the (XFL) San Fransisco Demons.

Drafted back in 1990 by the New Orleans Saints in the 6th round of the draft out of Mississippi State, Williams would be a nice find for the franchise and would spend his first 5 years with NO. He’d come in and sub nicely when one of the Dome Patrol needed a break during their twilight years together even starting 4 games in 1991, recording his first career sack against Chicago, along with 29 tackles and a fumble recovery. In 1993 J-Roc would start 9 games at left inside linebacker for injured Sam Mills and respond with a solid performance (89 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF).  With free agency in full effect by 1994, Williams again started for the Saints but this time at RILB, garnering 54 tackles, 2 picks and his first career touchdown.

Left exposed after the season for the 1995 Panthers/ Jaguars expansion draft, – James was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 49th pick. Williams started 6 games again, recording 2 more interceptions, 2 FF and 47 tackles but injuries cost him half of 1995 and all of 1996. He’d sign with the 49ers and be on the roster of the team through 1998.  He’d close out his NFL career in 1999 with the Browns with 2 FR and 11 tackles.

Williams’ career did not end there. He’d be drafted by the San Fransisco Demons of the XFL in 2001. Making the jump to play for the Demons he’d help the team earn a berth in the XFL’s Million Dollar Game leading the team with 43 tackles and 2 sacks. The XFL though, -a joint venture between the WWE and NBC died on the operating table that season due to bad ratings. Williams would retire after that season.

These were some really nice cards of J-Roc, and despite how people really tore them up the XFL had some really nice underpinnings to its design, hearkening back to classic college cards of the 50s and 60s. Just really inspiring! Sure the barbed wire effect is hilarious and dated even by those years standards, bloating the production value, but I couldn’t help but have a soft spot for them. The Fleer 1995 cards were also really nice, and this served as part of their 1st season of Jacksonville Jaguars cards.  Below are J-Roc’s NFL statistics.

G/Gs   137/26     Tac  254       Sac  3.0       Fum 4        Int  4     Yds  61      Avg       TD  1    lg 33