Tag Archives: toronto argonauts

Smith, Brett

Card: Sage 2014 (#178/250)
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker

Okay, let’s forget about the shirt that Brett is wearing. It’s a one of a kind on a card though as I’ve never seen a curse word sneak through. Sage’s entry is not a pretty one here, but rarely are their photos ever exciting. It’s a pretty basic entry and not very risky. Kudos though for showcasing what matters: the certified autograph.  I didn’t really like the cards out of this set, but for what it matters, you can still find hobby boxes of this set at an extremely reasonable price (2017), fattening up your collection by 7-10 autographs in each box.

Brett Smith played for Wyoming from 2010-2013. Despite setting numerous records for the Cowboys including career offensive yards (10,390), passing TDs (76), career TDs (97), and most total yards passing in a game (640), he was not selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’d sign as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Bucs and later join the CFL as a member of the Toronto Argonauts, and then the Arena Football League with the San Jose SabreCats.

In 2015 Brett rejoined the CFL, signing with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He’d win the 3rd string job, but end up starting a fair amount of the season, after injuries hit the quarterback position. Smith finished with a respectable 15 TDs to 9 interceptions on the season. After the season he spent time on the rosters of the Redblacks (2016) and Eskimos (2017).  Currently he is a free agent.

Ismail, Raghib ‘Rocket’ (2)

Cards: Fleer 1996, All World Promo 1991, Classic 1991, Atomic 2001
Acquired: TTM, 2018
Sent: 1/2       Received: 1/8   (6 days)
See Also: Rocket Ismail

Shortly after attending one of the Dallas Cowboys Rally Days where I met Rocket and got his autograph on a handful of cards, he started signing TTM again. I thought initially, “Oh well,” but knew I needed to double back to him to get a few more cards signed. So rolling over to 2018, what better way to kick it off by getting Rocket again as my first autograph of the year?

These cards really offer a cross section of his career starting at Notre Dame on this Classic 1991 promo card. Hand it to Classic trying to be edgy out of the gate, but the name line feels right aligned because the weight is tied to WR. I also wasn’t too big a fan of the brushed granite look, but it beats the cheetah pattern they later used. Overall, it’s a great photo of Rocket and there were quite a few of them to choose from.

From there we move on to the terrible All World CFL series, which tries to emulate the ProSet 1989 design by just angling the lines. There’s also the terrible color choices as the red and blue just feel like they clash a bit too much. It does not help that the Argonaut helmet just sort of -sits there arbitrarily on the canvas. As a promo however it sells what it is: The first set to have Ismail in his professional debut threads.

After his time in the CFL, Rocket jumped back to the NFL courtesy of the Los Angeles Raiders. It seemed to make sense. I mean the only other place with as bright stars and marketing would be Dallas, right? I liked this card. Fleer 1995 was all.. over.. the.. place.. design wise from team to team. It embodied everything I liked and hated in the 1990s sets as the companies started really embracing Photoshop. This one for example has a very unnecessary grain. I like the fearlessness of the design on the front, but it is a bit too much.

After his time with the Raiders, a stop in Dallas was next. It took me a while to come around to the sets of the early 2000s as I didn’t collect any while I was on my football hiatus. Among them I liked the die cut Atomic. I have a soft spot for gimmicky cards, and these certainly look better once you see one.

Mathis, Jerome

Card: Playoff Contenders 2005
Acquired: 2017, C/o EBay

Jerome Mathis was a phenomenal track man while he was at Hampton.  He took it to the gridiron too, setting the NCAA record with a gaudy 26.6 career kick return average and 6 TDs. During the combine, Mathis created quite a buzz posting the second best 40 time in history at 4.26. Still he waited to hear his named called until the 4th round of the 2005 draft, because he was considered just a return man from a small school.

The Texans are a very patient team and felt they could wait for Mathis to mature as a receiver. His speed was proven and he could be used on kick and punt returns at least. Mathis took the league by storm his rookie year. He posted 54 kick returns for 1542 yards (28.6 yard average) and 2 touchdowns, including a 99 yarder.  His strong rookie campaign earned him Pro Bowl and special teams player of the year honors. During the Pro Bowl he fractured his foot, but it went undetected, forcing him to miss nearly the entire next season on IR.  He came back to the squad for 2007 but after 3 games lost his entire year to injured reserve. He still managed to post 11 returns for 320 yards and a 84 yard TD.

Mathis was in a contract year with the Texans in 2007, and as a restricted free agent in 2008 the Texans had first right of refusal or tender.  Late in 2007 he had a run in with the law- but whether or not that had anything to do with it, Houston cut him outright 9 days after being charged with a misdemeanor.  He signed with the Redskins but was cut a few months later.

In 2009 he joined the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and was on and off their roster for the season.  He spent 2010 briefly with the UFL Hartford Colonials, before playing one final glorious year in the Arena Football League for the Pittsburgh Power. There he set a variety of Power records, retiring after the 2011 season.

NFL  17    Rec 6     Yds 80    Avg 13.3   Td 1  Lg 34t
KR   72    Yds 2154   Avg  28.5    Td 3    Lg 99t
PR  12    Yds 68    Avg 5.7   Td 0   Lg 19

Arena   Rec  30    Yds  418    Avg    Td 7   Lg 46t
Ret  31   Yds 688    Avg    Td 1   Lg 49t