Tag Archives: WWE

Martin, Harvey “Too Mean” (1950-2001)

Card: ProSet 1990, Topps 1977
Acquired: In Person 1991,1993 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, Autograph Signing

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1973 draft by the Dallas Cowboys Harvey Martin was a powerful member of the famed ‘Doomsday Defense’ and made 8 sacks out of the gate as a rookie that season. Nicknamed ‘Too Mean’ by his teammates to go along with ‘Too Tall’ Jones, Martin had a 20 sack season in 1977, was NFL defensive MVP, and was co-mvp of SuperBowl XII with defensive tackle Randy White. A member of the All 1970s team, Harvey was an embattled individual who dealt with drug, domestic and financial issues throughout and after his career ended in 1983. He also was named to the Pro Bowl and was first or second team AP 4 times over his career. Upon his retirement he held the team record for career sacks with 114.

I’d get his autograph in 1991 packing former players at training camp. He’d curiously sign his card with only his garbled initials. Josh and I looked at each other so disappointedly thinking that Harvey had just ruined this card with his half-assed signature. Later we’d go to an autograph signing where there was Drew, Preston, Harvey and a few other players that were just charging 5 bucks a signature and we would get his full signature this time.  He’d continue to battle his inner demons post retirement, and occasionally do commentary for wrestling circuits such as the WWF and WCC but sadly in 2001, Harvey passed away from Pancreatic Cancer at the age of 51. At this time Martin is the only player who is a Super Bowl MVP who is deceased and is also of a slim minority who have won the award and not been inducted into the NFL HoF.

G/Gs 158/71     Tac N/a     Sac 114    Fum 6   Int 2   Yds 7     Avg 3.5    Td  0

Taylor, Lawrence

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1992, SkyBox 1992
Acquired: TTM 2010, c/o home
Sent: 4/27   Received: 6/1   (34 days)

Lawrence Taylor is without a doubt the greatest football player to come from North Carolina and one of the most dominant linebackers of all time redefining the position during the 1980s and 1990s. He was drafted as the second overall pick of the 1981 draft (after George Rogers was taken by the New Orleans Saints) by the New York Giants after an All American career with the University of North Carolina. He’d would go on to win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors that year en route to his first multi-sack season. Lawrence was a character on and off the field, and this has led to a great deal of controversy with multiple run ins with the law. Regardless, Taylor has left a sizable footprint on the NFL landscape. He was named a 10 time Pro Bowler, and an 8 time all pro notching 7 straight 10+ sack seasons including a high 20.5 in 1986 and in 1991 he crossed the 1000 tackle mark. Taylor has hoisted awards for 1982 Defensive Player of the Year, 1986 NFL MVP and Defensive player of the year award, and multiple yearly awards from 1981-1990. He played for the Giants during their victories in Super Bowl XXI and XXV as part of the “Big Blue Wrecking Crew”. At retirement he was second on the NFL all time sack list and was named to the league’s 75th anniversary team.

Since retirement, Lawrence has continued to struggle with his inner demons, writing two books about his life and drugs, pursued a variety of interests including, acting, commercials for Weight Watchers, and most passionately golf. Nicknamed ‘LT’ he also worked as a commentator on games and also appeared as a wrestler in the WWE.  Despite his hard partying lifestyle Taylor was named to the NFL Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 1999. Recently he appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” and has invested in a variety of different capital ventures.

I met LT in 1993 at the CGA Youth Golf Tournament. He was taking his golf game very seriously, and broodingly instructed myself and the other fans to: “WAIT FOR ME AT THE CLUBHOUSE AND I WILL SIGN ALL YOUR AUTOGRAPHS.” Scared out of my gourd, I complied, but never got it since he was only on hole 3 at the time. It was one of the few autographs I kicked myself for never getting. I sent for his autograph in 2010, ironically the day before his most recent run in with the law, through the NFL HoF. I was surprised that he gave me his autograph in a bit under a month.  Since this post he plead guilty to the charges and has received probation.

Games 184    Sac 142     Tac  n/a     FF 11
Int 9     Yds 134      Td 2

Kulka, Glenn ‘The Kulkster’

Card: All World CFL 1991
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o the CFL

To say the least Glenn Kulka has had a controversial and colorful career. A mouthy player who never had a problem speaking his mind, Kulka was quite an athlete, not only playing gridiron football but also in hockey and professional wrestling. Nicknamed, “the Kulkster”, Kulka has amazing upper body strength and constitution, once bench pressing an amazing 225 pounds a record 53 repetitions. Glenn initially played minor league hockey, and based on his amazing athleticism was signed as an offensive lineman by the Edmonton Eskimos in 1986. Glenn wouldn’t really find his position of calling in football till he signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders who converted him from a linebacker to a  defensive end. In 1991 he was named a CFL All Star.  Unfortunately in 1992 Kulka was busted for cocaine possession but he turned this into a positive by serving as the league’s spokesperson against drug use.

After a meeting with Bret “The Hitman” Hart in 1995, Glenn would decide to pursue a career in pro wrestling and started transitioning out of gridiron football.  He’d continue wrestling working his way up the minors reaching the apex of his career wrestling from the WWE in 1999. He’d go on to wrestle in a variety of leagues after leaving the WWE, and retired briefly from the sport in 2000.  Later Kulka admitted to rampant steroid abuse that he started when he was with the Rough Riders and throughout his career in wrestling.  In retrospect Kulka has felt that he has lived a blessed life.  Glenn since retirement has enjoyed a variety of interests and business pursuits including car dealership and gym ownership, CFL commentary, some more wrestling, and as a theater performer.  As the master sportsman Kulka hasn’t finished his life in sports and has started pursuing a career in MMA. He also speaks out regularly against drug and steroid usage.

This card was part of the blitz of CFL players that I received when I mailed out to the CFL after they announced expansion plans. It is an error card as Glenn’s name reads as ‘Glen’ on the card.