Tag Archives: ttm autograph

Grogan, Steve

Cards: Fleer 1990, Topps 1990, Score 1990
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent:  5/18   Received: 5/31   (13 days)

Let me preface this by saying that Steve Grogan is a New England Patriots and Tecmo Super Bowl legend.  Playing for some good and bad teams over the years, and their lone SuperBowl appearance during the 80s, Steve has seen the highs and lows of the franchise. A superb athlete during college, Grogan would be taken in the 5th round of the 1976 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. In 1976 he earned the respect of the Patriots faithful, by guiding  the team to the playoffs for the first time since before the AFL merger and set an NFL record with 11 rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. The team would continue its revival making the playoffs again in 1978 and setting a league record for combined net rushing yardage for a season with 3,156 yards.  Over the next few years Steve would battle a series of injuries and quarterbacks competition with the early part of his career consisting of Jim Plunkett and then later on with Tony Eason who joined the franchise in 1983.

After the 1982 season (in which the Patriots made the playoffs a 3rd time under Grogan’s leadership), the team drafted strong armed young quarterback Tony Eason in the infamous quarterback loaded 1983 draft. (In this draft such legends as Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, and John Elway were selected in the first round.) Eason would come off the board a pick after Kelly and 12 picks before Marino, and by 1985 Eason was the team’s defacto starter at quarterback. Despite this Grogan soldiered on but would come off the bench for the team that season and rally them into the playoffs. A broken leg would stop Grogan late in the year, but he’d return to play in the team’s SuperBowl appearance versus the Chicago Bears.

Thus the third act of the Steve Grogan began. In 1987, the Patriots were looking to shake things up again at quarterback, so they traded the Chicago Bears for the rights to Boston College, Heisman Trophy Winner Doug Flutie. Once again it appeared that Steve’s time was over in New England, but he continued to come off the bench in relief for whatever quarterback was in front of him, even guiding the team to a 4-2 record in 1987. Unfortunately the team continued to collapse around him to 3-13 by 1989 and in his final season to 1-15 in 1990 where he guided the team to its lone victory of the season. Steve retired after 16 brutal seasons in the NFL where he suffered a malaise of injuries (11 major ones) but always toughed it out.

For his short performance, he was rewarded by the Tecmo gods as one of the worst quarterbacks in Tecmo Super Bowl. Now I say that with a heavy heart as most fans who play the game have a certain affection for old #14 and his perfect lob throw.  Although Grogan’s scrambling ability is not accurately portrayed in his numbers, -even in those 8-bit pixels, you know he was the player who wanted to win a game the most for you.

Since retirement, Steve has been named to the Patriots 35th anniversary team, and their team of the 70’s and 80’s.  Grogan has also been enshrined in the Patriots Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement he was the franchise’s leading passer (since surpassed by Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady). He also holds the mark for the most yards rushing by a Patriots quarterback and most touchdowns by a Patriots quarterback.

G/Gs  149/135    Att  3593     Comp 1879     Yds 26886      Pct 52.3%       Td 182    Int  208   Rat 69.6   Lg 76 |
Rush 445    Yds 2176      Avg  4.9    Td 35    Lg 41


Bono, Steve

Cards: Score 1992, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 6/14     Received: 6/20  (6 days)

Another near record signature from another former 49er, -Steve Bono was a local UCLA graduate that was the 3rd quarterback taken in the 1985 draft. Considered one of the weaker quarterback classes, he’d be one of only 3 quarterbacks taken in 6 rounds. Signed by the Minnesota Vikings, Bono would play behind Tommy Kramer and Wade Wilson. Staying there through 1986, Steve moved to Pittsburgh, backing up Mark Malone and fought it out with Bubby Brister for 2nd string from 87-88. It’d be in 1989 when Steve would return home to California and sign with the 49ers, to back up Joe Montana and Steve Young. With injuries ailing Montana and Young, Steve would step into the starting lineup in 1991 leading San Fransisco to a 5-1 record. This would ignite a brief quarterback controversy between the two signal callers when Montana was traded to Kansas City- but that eventually was squelched by Young’s outstanding play. Bono continued to back up Young through the 1993 season.

In 1994 ironically Bono was traded from the 49ers to the Chiefs- again to back up Joe Montana under head Marty Schottenheimer. After the 1994 season concluded, Montana retired and Bono was given the keys to the franchise. The following two seasons of 1995 and 96, became the most prolific of his Steve’s career. He’d lead the Chiefs to a 13-3 record, throwing for 3121 yards, 21 touchdowns and only 10 picks in 1995, earning a ProBowl nomination at the end of the season.  In 1996, Bono would go 8-5 in a largely down season with 12 touchdowns to 13 picks. After the 1996 season, Bono signed with the Packers backing up Brett Favre for 1997.  He’d then move on to St. Louis in 1998, ending his career after the 1999 season  as Steve Beuerlein‘s back up in Carolina.

Bono was one of the best 3rd string quarterbacks in the league, posting a 28-14 career record over 14 seasons. He also had a 76 yard touchdown run in 1995 which was an NFL record at the time (since eclipsed by Kordell Stewart’s 80 yard gallop). It’s even more amazing because Bono was a career 2.1 yards per carry rusher. Currently Steve is a financial advisor, and is a golf nut. He also volunteers his time with the National Kidney Foundation.

G/Gs  88/42      Att  1701    Comp 934       Yds 10439         Pct   54.9      Td 62      Int 42      Rat   75.3   |
Rush  125   Yds 257     Avg 2.1    Td 7      lg  76t

 

Morgan, Stanley


Cards: ProSet 1989, Score Supplemental 1990
Acquired: TTM, C/o Home 2011
Sent: 10/15       Received: 3/7   (143 days)

The Patriots drafted late in the first round of the 1977 draft, but at #25 they were fortunate enough to get Stanley Morgan out of Tennessee. With good hands and alarming speed for the era (sub 4.3), Morgan holds the all purpose yardage records for the Volunteers with a bit over 4600 yards.

Stanley would average over 20 yards per reception his rookie season. A feat he’d repeat  for the next 5 seasons. In fact he’d average a whopping 24.1 ypc in 1978 on 34 receptions, and in 1981 when he’d have 23.4 ypc. From 1979-1981 Morgan would lead the NFL in yards per reception. He’d earn his first Pro Bowl nod in 1979, followed by nominations again in 1980, 86 and 87.  In 1987 Morgan would have a career high 1491 yards and 84 receptions, logging 9 100 yard games that season. While injuries would begin to pile up on Stanley over the next two seasons,  by the end of his career after 13 seasons with the Patriots in 1989, Morgan would hold the Patriots’ records for receiving yards (10,352), receiving average (19.4), receptions (534), and touchdown receptions (67).

Stanley’s speed was a strength but his greatest asset was his longevity, where he managed to play 14 seasons. Although his final few were on the downward slope, he still managed to contribute even in his final season with the Indianapolis Colts where he played a final season in 1990 quietly logging 23 receptions, 364 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Morgan is another one of these players who was way ahead of his time. Playing primarily in a rush first offense from the 1970s, you have to wonder if Morgan would have received more notice by the NFL HoF for his work, or how he would have fared in one of the pass happy offenses of the 90s. (At the time of his retirement Stanley was ranked 20th all time in receptions.) I think he’s one of these players that was at the upper echelon and quietly racked up great numbers but just played at the wrong time, only appearing once in a Super Bowl (XX)  and will never be noticed by the hall. While appearing in Tecmo Superbowl, Morgan’s abilities and speed would not be represented correctly in the game.

Since retirement Morgan has retired back to Tennessee where he resides in Memphis and participates in charity events helping impoverished African Americans go to college, plays a lot of golf and keeps up with the Patriots. He was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame as the 12th member in 2007, was named to the team’s All-time 1970s and 1980s team, and the Patriots 35th and 50th Anniversary teams.

I sent Morgan 3 cards in the mail back in October and had definitely given up on this one. I think it had just been a while since he checked his PO Box or maybe because it’s close to tax time because I noticed a lot of people around the web receiving autographs back from him about the same time. I was happy to get these back but disappointed he did not sign my Action Packed Rookies from 1990. Regardless you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth and these two action shots of him from the ProSet 1989 and Score Supplemental 1990 set were quite nice.

G/Gs  196/180     Rec  557        Yds   10716       Avg   19.2     Td  72     Lg  76t