Cards: Panini Contenders 2018, UT Upper Deck 2011 NC Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o North Carolina Sent: 3/23 Received: 4/5 (13 days) See Also: Mack Brown
Well the wheels came off the wagon at UT in 2013. Despite the Longhorns finishing 9-4 and 8-5 respectively in those last two years- everyone involved decided it was time to map the Texas Longhorn program in a new direction. Mack moved into being more like a defacto booster/ promoter for the school, as UT churned through Charlie Strong until they got who they wanted in Tom Herman- a coach off of the Mack Brown coaching tree.
Mack in the meantime worked the college football angle as a commentator for ESPN and in 2018 earned a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame. Feeling the urge to coach again, Mack returned back to North Carolina in 2019- after a near 5 year hiatus from coaching.
I had gotten this National Championship card I think as a pull from the Spoodog UT break way back in 2013-ish. I had always wanted to get it eventually signed. It made sense to send it out when I got the Panini Contenders 2018- A set that ironically came out a few months after one of the message boards I was on got feedback from us and I told them it’d be great to have coach cards again. I digress however… Mack is still one of the better coaches TTM in the business. He signed these cards in about 2 weeks.
Cards: UT UD 2011 Icons, UTD 2011 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home Sent: 9/3 Received: 9/19 (16 days)
Bobby Wuensch played offensive tackle for the blue chip studded Texas Longhorns from 1968 to 1970. He’d earn All-SWC and All-American Honors in 1969 and 1970. With Bobby in the lineup the Longhorns went 30-2-1 over that span, and he’d also be named a Co-Captain of the 1970 National Championship team. A Southwest Conference and Cotton Bowl All-Decade Team member (1970s), Bobby was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the 12th round of the 1971 draft, but did not play in the NFL. He was inducted into the Longhorn Ring of Honor in 1990, and consistently ranks among the Top 50 greatest Longhorns.
Bobby wrote me a nice note with my autograph request and as of 2019 lives in Houston.
Cards: UT Upper Deck 2011, UT Upper Deck 2011 All Time Alumni Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home Sent: 9/17 Received: 9/27 (10 days)
Bret Stafford was a prototypical drop back passer and one of the first modern era quarterbacks to stand tall in the pocket for the University of Texas, from 1984-1987. He set the school record for most passing yards in a season (2223, 1986), and also career passing yards (4731)- both since surpassed.
Frequently engaged in a quarterback competition or sharing a two-headed quarterback rotation with Todd Dodge for the majority of his time at Texas, Stafford’s numbers were largely skewed by his lack of playing time and having a different offensive coordinator every year. He also transitioned through the Fred Akers era into the David McWilliams epoch.
Although largely forgotten in the pantheon of Longhorn greats, Stafford was a winner with the Longhorns posting 19 victories as the starting quarterback including a 32-27 win over Pitt in the final Bluebonnet Bowl in 1987, when he threw for over 360 yards and 3 TDs.
Stafford was probably the first quarterback I watched play for UT. I had a middling interest in the sport at the time, and I remember reading about the highlights of the Bluebonnet Bowl and being very proud of him going out like that in his final game.
I liked both his Upper Deck entries, but I wasn’t really a fan of the sepia toned All-Time Alumni card- considering how much color photography was used by then in sports.
As I have continued to mature in the hobby, I’ve become stale. I take less and less risks when I send out to addresses. I just haven’t been sending out to unproven addresses. Stafford had no successes on any of the autograph boards I frequent, but he had no attempts, little less an address to send of to, so I figured I’d give it a shot. It didn’t take Bret long to respond to me- and I was pretty excited about receiving these two back.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.