Tag Archives: ut ud 2011 icons

Charles, Jamaal

Cards: UT Upper Deck 2012, UT Upper Deck 2012 Icons, Panini 2015
Acquired: IP 2018, GiGi’s Cupcakes Soft Grand Opening

Jamaal Charles represents one of the biggest in person coups in a while for me. I had been looking for him for a couple of years- hearing about and missing out on a few events he was at. I guess it all started in 2013, when I did the Spoodog Box Break with Mike-E and Spoodog. Spoo had 2 or 3 certified Jamaal’s and pulled another in the case, but I had no luck whatsoever.

After finding out that GiGi’s Cupcakes had a soft opening the previous day, I decided to go up to see if I could get Brian Orapko and Michael Griffin’s autograph. I knew that Charles had been there the previous day, and I was pretty disappointed to miss out on him, but I packed his cards anyway. When I arrived after driving across town and through an on and off ice storm, I saw this beautiful powder blue Lambo sitting in the parking lot. I walked in and exclaimed, “Who’s sexy car is that outside?”, and Brian responded to me, “Oh that is Jamaal’s. He’s here too.”  The game was finally over. I had found him. After getting Brian and Griff, I went outside, grabbed 3 cards and pushed my luck. Rak was very impressed that I came prepared and Jamaal was kind enough to sign all 3.

Jamaal Charles comes from a very long line of excellent runningbacks out of the University of Texas. A standout in track, Charles joined UT in 2005 winning the National Championship in his Freshman year. He averaged a whopping 7.4 yards per carry on 119 carries and scored 11 TDs. He’d have his best numbers in 2007, rushing for 1,619 yards and 18 touchdowns on 258 carries. After the campaign concluded he declared for the 2008 NFL Draft.  He finished 4th in career total rushing yards (3,328) with UT trailing only Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell, and Cedric Benson.

Surprisingly Jamaal did not get selected until the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL draft. He’d be chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs- a rush heavy team led by Larry Johnson. During his rookie season he saw the field seldomly but made the best of it rushing for 357 yards on 67 carries. Jamaal’s first TD was a 36 yard pass reception from Tyler Thigpen against the Bills in Week 12. In 2009, Jamaal had a breakthrough and became starter for the Chiefs. He’d rush for the first of 5 1,000 yard seasons that he’d post over the next 6 seasons. Jamaal’s biggest attraction as a runningback is his yards per carry. He led the league with a 5.9 yard per carry in 2009, and then in 2010 had a career high 6.4 yards per carry (1467 yards). After an injury plagued 2011, Jamaal returned to form rushing for a career high 1,509 yards, 70 receptions (693 yards), 7 receiving TDs, and a 91 yard scamper in 2012. 2013 saw him rush for a career high 12 TDs and 1,287 yards and likewise in 2014 another 1,033 yards and 9 TDs (206 carries).

Unfortunately both Jamaal’s 2015 and 2016 season were marred by back to back season ending injuries, so the Chiefs decided to let Jamaal test the free agent waters for 2017. It ruffled some feathers when Charles- the career yardage leader for the Chiefs- signed with the division rival Denver Broncos. (I even picked up Jamaal late in one of my fantasy drafts and stashed him on my bench.) During his lone season at Mile High Jamaal hard charged to 296 yards on 69 carries. Unhappy with the runningback situation there, he asked to be released and is currently a free agent.

Young, Vince VY (3)

do09 vyoung AH
utud11 vyouing icCards: UT UD 2011 NCAA, UT UD 2011 Icons, Donruss Threads 2009, TNT College, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2007, Playoff Contenders 2007.
Acquired: IP 10/25/2015, Tiff’s Treats Soft Opening. IP 11/6/2015 MVP Vodka Spec’s Bottle Signing and Tasting, IP 4/30/2016 Tiff’s Treats Soft Opening Cedar Park
See Also: Vince Young, VY (2)

doth08 vyoungVY was in relatively good spirits for the first event- a grand opening for Tiff’s Treats in the east part of town. While the weather had been pretty bad all weekend, the worst of it had passed allowing me to go into town for the event. I thought that by getting there roughly 30 minutes early I’d be good for a few autographs as the rain would keep away some of the fans, but I was completely wrong.

utud11 vyoung ncaaThere  was roughly 200 people
there I’d say for the soft opening of the store so I just got into line and prepared for one autograph. To hedge my bets I traded a card to a kid behind me in exchange for his father getting an autograph on a card for me- so I’d at least walk away with two.  On top of it, only one of the cards I had gotten off of EBay showed up before the event. Nothing really worked out the way I expected for this event, but in the end, it really did.  The rain wasn’t all that bad, and VY was in such good spirits he offered to sign 1,2,5 cards if I wanted to, so I was able to get two, plus the one that I had gotten as insurance through the trade earlier. Initially I didn’t really like the Donruss Threads card I got through EBay, but it grew on me a lot, especially with the football cut in there. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have paid this card any mind.

A few days later- Nathan got
word of  MVP Vodka, who was slowly making the rounds about Texas having bottle signings. This would finally allow me to get the really nice Absolute Memorabilia card signed I picked up through EBay. The signing went well enough. As usual Vince showed up a bit late, but there was almost zero people waiting, despite the radio advertisement. He was nice enough to sign the Absolute card and the Top Notch custom I did of him. I asked him if he’d forgive my awkwardness from the poster debacle at the Sam’s Club event, but he told me that he didn’t remember it. I guess that’s good. Ah well,  I mean at least he signed another piece of my art- no matter how underwhelming the response was.

I had been holding out hope of getting VY again on a few cards in 2016. In fact I had volunteered to pick up a few autographs for
Deadhorse.  It took about 5 months for Young to pop up for another Tiff’s Treats grand opening. As usual Vince was fashionably late to the event.  The problem was it was a group event with Kasey Studdard, Justin Blaylock, and Quan Cosby. Thankfully with a bit of fast thinking, the promoters had fans line up behind VY’s chair so that when he did show up, everybody got a chance to get his autograph, and he was happy to sign multiples.  He had his son there with him, and after he signed each card, his son would inspect them to make sure that they were up to snuff. It was very cute. I told VY about how painful it was to watch him on the Titans, especially when he played the Texans, because he always made us pay.  I was surprised that he responded by telling me that he hated it too.

Vince played it low key for the past few years here in Austin, but in early 2017 made waves as he agreed to a free agent contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL. Saying the desire and want is still there, Young seemed primed to make an unlikely comeback.

 

 

Jones, John (Wesley) ‘Lam’

Cards: University of Texas Upper Deck 2011, University of Texas Upper Deck 2011 ATA, University of Texas 2011 NCAA, University of Texas 2011 Icons
Acquired: IP 1/21/2017, Houston Sports Collectibles Show- Waco, TX

An impressive track man with fleet caliber speed, Johnny ‘Lam’ Jones was a deep bomb threat at the University of Texas from 1976-1979.  Originally a runningback, Lam was switched to receiver in 1977 when coaches were blown away by his speed.  Case in point, Jones was part of a 4×100 relay team for the United States, that won gold in Montreal in 1976.  In 1977 he demonstrated his speed recording 21 catches for 543 yards, a whopping 25.9 yards per grab, and 7 TDs.  He finished his career at UT with 156 carries for 850 yards and 6 TDs, to go along with 85 receptions for 1603 yards and 14 TDs. Jones was also a capable kick returner with 28 kick returns for 589 yards and a TD.

The New York Jets were enamored with Jones’ speed and big play ability, and traded up in the 1980 draft to the #2 overall spot to grab him. It was a stiff price to pay, and while Lam averaged a healthy 16.8 yards per grab over his career, the price tag was too much for NY to bear.  John’s best season came in 1983 when he caught 43 balls for 734 yards and 4 TDs.  His career was defined by trauma, as in 4 consecutive seasons it was ended by some sort of malaise.  He’d be cut in 1986 and retire.

Jones descended into darkness. Drug and alcohol abuse, and bad decisions really impacted his life. It took many years for Lam to climb out.  Lam found focus in his life and dedicated himself to helping others avoid the same problems he encountered through public speaking.

John was really nice to fans at the Collectible Show in Waco. He and I talked at lengths about how Austin and I-35 had changed. While he discussed with me his Myeloma Cancer and the fact that his doctor told him in 2005 he’d be dead in a year in a half- indeed the cancer has returned and he is no longer in remission. He really liked the icons card that I had of his, and I agreed to send him one to keep.

I don’t mind long drives for autographs. In fact this one seemed close enough at a click over 100 miles. The drives are always purifying to me- something that clears my mind, with a reward pegged at the end. This drive was particularly interesting as it took me an alternative route from Bastrop to Temple and through places like Bartlett and Little River. It was a bit off the beaten path, but I felt like my own explorer in a strange land.  I had never been to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame where this signing was at, but it was woefully short on Houston Oilers history, and long enough to display memorabilia from KS Bud Adams.  It’s worth a look see at least once for fans and casuals alike.

G/Gs 61/38     Rec 138    Yds 2322    Avg 16.8     TD  13    LG 55