Tag Archives: ttm autograph

Cousins, Kirk ‘Captain Kirk’

Cards: Leaf Draft 2014, Sage HIT 2014, Upper Deck Star Rookies 2014
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o The Washington Redskins
Sent:  11/16/15     Received: 6/7/16     (204 Days)

Kirk Cousins gets no respect.  While at Michigan State, Cousins played in 45 games, completing 723 passes for 9131 yards and 66 TDs.  He had solid measurables and the stats to back it up as a solid, traditional dropback passer.

The 2012 Draft is shaping up to be one of the best quarterback crops in recent memory.  Among the 11 quarterbacks selected, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III went off the board 1 and 2 overall respectively.  Next was: Ryan Tannehill at #8, Brandon Weeden at #22, Brock Osweiler at #57, Russell Wilson at #75, Nick Foles at #88,  and Kirk Cousins at #102. All of these players saw significant starting playing time or have been named to the Pro Bowl/ AP at their position.  The problem with Cousins, was, he was selected by… The Washington Redskins- who had already selected Robert Griffin III at #2 overall.  Critics were aghast at why the Redskins selected 2 quarterbacks in the 2014 draft.  It turns out that it was a shrewd move by then coach Mike Shanahan.

Unlike Griffin, Cousins was afforded the luxury of honing his skills while sitting on the bench. Griffin was thrust into the fire immediately. Kirk saw mainly scrub duty in 3 games while starting only one game his rookie year.  He’d finish with a 101.6 QB rating, throwing for 466 yards and 4 TDs.  Because of Griffin’s aggressive style of play, (which consequently got him injured,) Cousins saw more starting duty over the next few seasons.

Cousins eventually eclipsed Griffin as the starting quarterback entering the 2015 season. During a memorable game against the Buccaneers, Cousins led the Redskins to the largest comeback in franchise history. After the team came back from a 24-0 deficit to win 31-30, Cousins was caught on camera screaming, “YOU LIKE THAT!”, multiple times. It became a rallying cry for the franchise as they pulled off a division title with a 9-7 record. His 69.8 completion percentage led the NFL and his 29 passing TDs rank second as a single season franchise mark.

Washington in the meantime opted to kick the can down the road on Cousins, opting neither to trade him or to give him a franchise QB contract.  Kirk responded by upping the ante, throwing for almost 5,000 yards- shattering the single season mark he set for the Redskins in the previous year.  When he led the Redskins a tie against the Bengals, he addressed his general manager by saying, “How do you like me now?” – an apparent dig at the team for their current growing contract brouhaha.  To cap things off after the 2016 season, Kirk was named to his first Pro Bowl.

Although teams have again asked the Redskins what price they’d be willing to part from Cousins with, Washington used the franchise tag on him to keep him with the team for the long term.

As it became apparent that Kirk was the man in Washington, and he was responding at a decent click, I went ahead took a shot out to the ‘Skins in 2015. Knowing that I might have missed the bus on this one, I didn’t hold out much hope, especially after watching a lot of successes come back. It wasn’t until about 6 months later I got a response from Kirk. Checking responses on sportscollectors.net in early 2017, it looks as though I was lucky and got in on the last group to get him, as the requests are piling up. Much like some other pros, Kirk started off as a great signer TTM, but as the requests pile up, it’s no surprise that he’d have a hard time responding now.

Really some great photos here from ‘the big 3’ of college cards. While I liked the photos on both the Upper Deck and the Leaf entries both are plagued by annoying design decisions. The Leaf card is original in its execution, almost audacious in the placement of the Leaf Draft logo in the bottom middle of the frame, but the jaggies on the left and right are distracting from the type. I also am not the biggest fan of the typeface used.  The Upper Deck is as usual, full of a lot of bling. The silver is nice and the typeface is grandiose, but it is just too small. His first name, college, and position just basically disappear off the canvas. The silver is nice, and credit should be given to making the STAR ROOKIES label legible in metallic silver.  I like the design of the Sage the best. It’s clean and simple and communicates the player’s name efficiently without any frills.

Dawson, Len

Card: ProSet 1990 Super Bowl MVP
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Work
Sent: 12/15   Received: 12/31   (16 days)
Failure: 2013, C/o Work

Len Dawson saw a storied NFL career that stretched from the late 50s to the mid 70s.  After putting together a strong career at Perdue, Dawson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with their #1 pick in 1957.  Unable to dislodge Bobby Layne from the starter position, Dawson was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1960 where he also faced an uphill battle for the starting position under center. He’d join the rival American Football League in 1962, where he’d become the unquestioned starter of the Dallas Texans.  Power plugged into the Texans offense,  Dawson immediately turned the franchise into contenders going toe to toe with the Houston Oilers and winning the AFL Championship. Soon thereafter the Texans moved to Kansas City and Len went on to record numerous accolades including league single-game and season records including career touchdowns with 182 for the American Football League.

The AFL had never earned the respect of the NFL brass. They felt that the AFL played an inferior kind of ball- even though Joe Namath led the Jets to victory the previous year in Super Bowl III. While the Chiefs appeared to be snake bitten all season long- with injuries to Len or just plain bad luck, they made the playoffs after not even winning their division. The Chiefs then dethroned the Jets on their home field in the first round, and then beat the Raiders on the road in Oakland – after not even beating them during the regular season. The hard fought victory, didn’t bring the Chiefs any respect. In fact, most media and sports writers had predicted that the Minnesota Vikings were going to roll Kansas City in Super Bowl IV.

Instead, KC which had become used to the underdog role, relished in victory, smothering the Vikings 23-7.  Dawson paced the Chiefs throwing for 142 yards and a TD on 12 of 17 passing, earning himself MVP honors- all while under duress of a gambling probe that was proven unfounded.  Dawson avenged himself for his previous loss to the NFL, when the Chiefs lost to the Packers in Super Bowl I.
Len played an additional 5 more seasons retiring after the 1975 season- after 19 seasons.

Len is incredibly popular in Kansas City Chiefs’ lore. He had his number retired and was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame. Dawson has done color commentary and insider reporting in the NFL for many years. In 1987 Len was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As of 2017, Len is a sports anchor for a Kansas City NBC affiliate.

G/GS 211/159    ATT 3741    COMP  2136   YDS 28711    PCT    57.1
TD 239    INT 183     RAT  82.6
RUSH 294    YDS1293     AVG 4.4    TD 9      LG 43

Goff, Jared

Cards: Leaf Draft 2016, Leaf Draft 2016 All-American, Sage Artistry 2016 (#86/100)
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o The Los Angeles Rams. Box Breaker, 2017
Sent:   5/14     Received:  6/27     (44 days)

As part of their big splash return to Los Angeles, and being on the HBO show Hard Knocks, the Rams traded up for the #1 overall pick to select ‘local’ (as in state) product Jared Goff out of California in 2016. Jared had the most productive career for a QB coming out of Cal since Aaron Rodgers.  He earned All-American honors as a Junior in 2015 throwing for 4714 yards on 341 completions and 43 TDs to only 13 picks. A prototypical pocket passer, Jared finished with 12,195 yards, and 96 TDs with a career passer rating of 144.0.

Head coach Jeff Fisher talked the tough talk during the preseason, emphasizing that the 7-9 and 8-8 records were no longer acceptable for success. He decided to sit Goff behind starter Case Keenum, and after a rough start, the Rams were 3-2 coming out of the gate, but after a crushing defeat to the Bills in October, the bottom basically fell out on the season. The players lost confidence in Fisher and the team unraveled. They’d win one game the rest of the way out. In the midst of the chaos, Goff took over starter duties at quarterback and started the last 7 games of the season.  Jared’s numbers for his rookie season were: 112/205, 1089 yards, 5 TDs to 8 INT.  It really didn’t help that Goff, had a porous offensive line- as Goff took 28 sacks on the chin during that 7 game stretch.  After the Rams loss to the Falcons on December 11th, the Rams relieved Jeff Fisher of his job. After the season, the Rams hired offensive guru Sean McVay to be head coach. It is the hope that under his tutelage and alongside offensive weapons Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin, the Rams can find the fireworks on offense the team is looking for in 2017.

A nice surprise as the #1 overall pick of the 2016 draft signed 2 cards for me in less than two months. Things just seemed to line up perfectly for me on this one as the Rams had just moved from St. Louis back to LA.  I suspected that perhaps the mailboxes in LA would be light, and they’d be eager to answer any fan mail at all that was coming through. Also since Goff was the #1 overall pick, it made sense that I’d strike while the iron was hot. Since that period, Goff has gone almost completely cold, and as of this date he hasn’t signed anything since 2016’s training camp. I got really, really lucky on the Sage Artistry card of him.  I pulled it from a box break in 2017, after previously missing out on sending it to him, and I really like it a lot more than the two Leaf entries I got. Plus I mean look at the autographs from Leaf compared to the Sage Artistry. It’s obvious that the sat down for the Sage ones, as opposed to the Leaf TTM that are rushed.

I feel good about the Rams being back in LA honestly. It’s a shame I don’t live there anymore or I’d attend some games. My admiration of the team goes back to the 80s, during the heyday of Jim Everett and John Robinson. It was a double body blow when the Rams left LA for St. Louis, and then the Oilers followed suit to Tennessee thereafter. I don’t like franchise relocation at all, and one must wonder why the NFL suffers from such an issue when MLB seems completely stable, despite its bevvy of small market franchises.  The Rams coming back to LA completes the circle to me- as hypocritical as that sounds. You have to admire St. Louis for toughing it out for as long as they did with the Rams, but I liken it to a infidelious marriage. St. Louis knew the Rams history and that they longed to be with LA when they got together in the first place. I know this marks the second time that St. Louis has been left at the altar by a football franchise, but to me, the move to St. L smacked of cutting corners to begin with. Regardless I sincerely hope in the future, the NFL in its brain trust will eventually grant an expansion franchise to the city.