Category Archives: NFL

Riley, Mike (2)

CARD: Topps AAF 2019 Certified
ACQUIRED: Private Acquisition, 2022
FAILURE: TTM C/o Home 2019, 2020

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

NOTES:

Picking up where we left off, Mike ended up back at Oregon State, where he became the school’s most winning coach. In 2014, he’d be pried off the Beavers by Nebraska. After a difficult tenure at Nebraska, Mike was welcomed back to Corvallis with open arms as an assistant coach.

When the Alliance of American Football was announced, I knew he’d be at the top of their list. I was excited to see Mike return to SA (from his days with the Riders of the WLAF) to coach the team. He was excited to take a walk down memory lane with me when I showed up with my Riders hat on at the Commanders unveiling. The team very much resembled the Riders, and finished 5-3 during the AAF’s season.

I had narrowly missed getting Mike’s autograph on his Topps AAF card during pregame warmups against the Salt Lake City Stallions. I had sideline passes and thought that he’d be a shoe-in to get later TTM. Oddly though, he’s dodged my TTM requests since then.

After the AAF folded, much to everyone’s dismay, Mike was hired on to be the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Dragons of the XFL in 2020- just because it wasn’t more local to Texas.

Recently it was brought to my attention that Mike and head coach Jim Zorn had a disagreement about who should be starting quarterback. The row was so bad between the two that Mike left the team for the first 3 games of the season.

He joined the new USFL as head coach of the New Jersey Generals, and led the team to a 9-1 record in 2022. The team zoomed out to a 2-1 record in 2023, before dropping their next 5, en route to a 3-7 record.

When the XFL and the USFL combined to form the new UFL, the Generals were not retained for 2024.

Davidson, Ben (1940-2012) ‘The Mad Stork’

CARD: Upper Deck Legends 1997
ACQUIRED: Ebay, 2023

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Ben Davidson stood out from the crowd (6’8″, 270) and was scouted in JC to come play football at Washington in 1959.
  • Amazingly, Ben didn’t really display an appetite before then for the sport, mainly enjoying basketball and track.
  • He played DT and TE for the Huskies in 59 and 60.
  • Was a 4th round pick of the New York Giants in 61, but was traded to the Packers before the season began.
  • In 1962, Davidson was traded again- this time to the Washington Redskins for a 5th rounder.
  • After a two year stint there, he’d be cut and joined the Oakland Raiders.
  • The rest would become history as Davidson etched himself in the annuls of NFL history as one of the league’s most feared and dominant defensive players at right defensive end.
  • 1970 was arguably his best year, when he posted 11.5 sacks.
  • After the 1972 season, Ben briefly retired and began to dabble in acting.
  • Returned to football in 1974 for a final season with the Portland Storm of the WFL.

ACCOLADES:

  • Pro Bowl 1966-’68
  • All-Pro 1967

NOTES:

You…

– Ben Davidson (as Rexar)
Conan the Barbarian

Ben Davidson didn’t have very many impactful or quotable lines in movies, but this by far, was one of the best of the entire film, Conan the Barbarian. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the titular Conan- a barbarian bent on learning the Riddle of Steel, while consumed by lifelong revenge for the murder of his people.

During this scene Conan wrecks havoc on an orgy of evil people and just as he reaches the top of the amphitheater and begins his assault Rexar, played by Ben comes in and sees Conan. Instead of screaming, “YOU!”, He softly states…, “You..” Which just had so much impact when combined with Arnold’s powerful flex with the sword right afterwards. It’s an extremely effective scene.

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* Note that all stats were not tracked by the NFL during Hendrick’s playing era.

EPITAPH: Ben passed away of prostate cancer in 2012 at the age of 72.

Spann, Gregory

CARD: Frankfurt Galaxy 2000 Team Issue
ACQUIRED: 2021, Private Acquisition

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Gregory Spann played WR for Jackson State from 1991-95.
  • Was a 7th round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1996.
  • Signed by the Minnesota Vikings and allocated to NFL Europe.
  • Joined the NFLE in 2000 catching 3 passes for 36 yards with the Galaxy.
  • After playing for the Orlando Rage of the XFL that next season, he’d quickly join the Arena Football League.
  • Played in 2001 and ’02 with the Tampa Bay Storm.
  • Back then players went both ways in Arena football, and Spann saw time playing DB as well seeing action in 8 contests.
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