Tag Archives: ttm football autograph

Polian, Bill

Cards: Topps AAF 2019 Custom, Panini 2016 HOF
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 11/2 Received: 11/12 (10 days)

Bill Polian has a long and storied career as a football executive that spans across 4 leagues: The NFL, CFL, USFL, and the AAF.

After graduating from NYU in 1964, Polian began his careeer as a scout for the Chiefs in 1978. He also spent time with the Blue Bombers and Alouettes in the CFL as well working his way up to Personnel Director. A one year stint in the USFL Chicago Blitz in 1984, led Polian back to the NFL. He’d then begin a long and storied career with the Buffalo Bills later that year as the Pro Personnel Director. He’d help transform the Bills into an NFL powerhouse laying the foundation for the franchise to appear in 3 consecutive Super Bowls. He was released by the team after they lost their 3rd Super Bowl in 92.

A 3 year hiatus saw Polian return to the NFL with a vengeance as GM of the expansion Carolina Panthers. He was able to assemble enough talent that the franchise posted a expansion record 7 wins in 1995, and an even more impressive 12 wins in 1996. After a down year in 97, Bill joined the Indianapolis Colts as General Manager.

His first move was a no brainer: Selecting Peyton Manning with the first overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft. Later he’d hire Tony Dungy to coach the franchise, and the rest is history. After the reorganization of the divisions in 2002, the Colts would dominate the South- winning 7 divisional titles under his watch. Indianapolis appeared in two Superbowls winning XLI. He’d not be retained after the 2011 season.

In the meantime he began to roll in the accolades, being inducted into the Buffalo Wall of Fame in 2012, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015, and the Colts Ring of Honor in 2017.

Bill felt the siren’s lure and resurfaced again in 2018, where he signed up to be Head of Football of the upstart Alliance of American Football, co founding it alongside Charlie Ebersol. The league was able to pull off 8 weeks of football before it collapsed due to financial strain. Bill Polian was greatly disappointed in the failure of the AAF and in chief financial cow Tom Dundon who pulled the plug.

I wrote to Bill after creating a dead on custom of the Topps AAF certified card. Thanks to COVID I had to find a new custom printer. The card quality was outstanding, but I didn’t prep the high gloss card, so the autograph didn’t stick properly to the card. He also signed this Panini HOF card for me as well.

Sherman, Richard

Cards: Panini Prestige 2015, Score 2017 Gold
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o The San Fransisco 49ers
Sent: 9/3 Received: 10/30 (57 days)

Richard Sherman when he arrived at Stanford was actually a WR. He in fact caught 81 passes for 1340 yards and 7 TDs over his Freshman and Sophomore campaigns in 2006 and 2007. He’d switch to CB during 2009 and start climbing the depth chart. Sherman posted 113 total tackles and 6 interceptions for 82 yards and a TD. Richard was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Richard again climbed the depth chart and started 10 games his rookie year. He was named to multiple rookie teams at the end of the season. Quickly establishing himself as one of the premier defensive backs in the league, he posted 8 interceptions and 24 pass deflections (league leader) in 2012- earning his first of three consecutive All-Pro Nominations, as a member of the Seahawks secondary, the feared ‘Legion of Boom’. 2013 saw him leading the NFL in interceptions with 8, as 2014 saw him earn his final nod as teams threw away from him with regularity and respect. Richard continued to see Pro Bowl nominations through the 2016 season.

As the Legion began breaking up, Richard saw free agency in 2018. It would come as a stunner to Seahawks fans as he joined the division rival San Fransisco 49ers. He returned to Pro Bowl form in 2019 as Sherman pulled down 3 interceptions for 65 yards and a TD, along with 31 pass deflections.

I wrote Richard sort of on a whim. I had this really nice Panini Contenders card, and I stumbled over the Score card as I was thinking about it. I took it as a sign and went for it, mailing to the 49ers facility. I was very lucky to see a response in a bit under 60 days.

Clark, Bruce

Cards: Topps 1985, ProSet World League 1991, Wild Card WL 1992
Acquired: TTM 2020, 2021 C/o Home
Sent: 9/9 Received: 9/25 (16 days)
Failure: TTM 2012, C/o Home

Bruce Clark was a consensus All-American defensive end for the Penn State Nittany Lions posting 19 sacks over his college career, winning the first Lombardi Award as a Junior in 1978. Originally a linebacker who converted to defensive tackle, Bruce was not only still extremely quick after packing on the extra bulk, he was incredibly strong.

He was selected in the first round (4th overall) of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, but opted in a shocker to play in Canada instead with the Toronto Argonauts. You see, Bruce was fine playing DT or DE, but with the Packers switching to a 3-4 alignment, they had this idea that at 6’2″, 260, Clark was going to play nose. He didn’t want that, and he didn’t like how the Pack was being run from an organizational standpoint.

After two stellar seasons in the CFL, Bruce decided to play in the NFL. Reiterating his desire to play somewhere else than the ‘Siberia’ of the NFL or nose tackle, the Packers traded Bruce to the Saints for their #1 pick in the 1983 draft.


Much maligned for his surgically repaired knee coming out of Penn State, Bruce started 88 consecutive games for the Saints and was an anchor for the Saints defense at left defensive end. His best season came in 1984 when he earned his only pro bowl appearance, racking up 10.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and his only career interception. He’d join the Chiefs in 1989 for his final season, dressing for 11 contests.

Bruce opted to play in the World League of American Football in 1991 and declared for the league’s supplemental pool of eligible players and was selected in the first round by the Barcelona Dragons. As one of the oldest players in the WLAF, Bruce’s leadership and experience was appreciated by the Dragons’ defense, as he paced their solid team with 7 sacks. He opted to retire after the 1991 season.

Bruce has been on my long short list for a while, and his name popped up recently, so I was ecstatic to shoot something out to him. He signed these two cards quickly, but I had to try him again, since the sharpie quality is poor, his autograph look like it smudged slightly, and he switched out my Wild Card WL 92 for a Topps 85. Early in 2021, I decided to try again, and he graciously signed the Wild Card WL I still needed for the set.

CFL G/GsTACSACFUM
N/aN/a5
INTYDSAVGTDLG
100.000
NFL G/GsTACSACFUM
113/88N/a39.59
INTYDSAVGTDLG
199.009
WLAF G/GsTACSACFUM
10/10347.01