Category Archives: NFLE

Pruce, David

CARD: Frankfurt Galaxy Team Issue 2003
ACQUIRED: 2022, Private Acquisition

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Big and physical offensive lineman rocked the charts at 6’8, 275.
  • Played college ball for Buffalo from 1996-00.
  • Moved from LG to T in 2000 and was considered the school’s best lineman at the time.
  • Spent 2001 and 2002 in the camp of the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Joined the NFLE in 2003 playing for the Frankfurt Galaxy.
  • Played on both sides of the ball for the Galaxy primarily at OT, but also at DT.
  • Played a final season in the NFLE in 2004.
  • Spent 2004 on the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills, and was in camp with the team the following year.

ACCOLADES:

  • 2004 All-NFLE

Warner, Kurt

Proset 1990 Super Bowl MVP HACK, #34

CARD: Pro Set 1990 Super Bowl Insert HACK
ACQUIRED: 2023, Consignment

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Kurt Warner is the true rags to riches story of football history.
  • Played college ball at tiny University of Northern Iowa.
  • Didn’t see any significant playing time until senior season in ’93, posting for 2,982 yards and 17 TDs.
  • Undrafted in ’94, was a camp arm for the Green Bay Packers.
  • Out of football as a grocery stocker, decided to join the Arena Football League, playing for the Iowa Barnstormers in ’95.
  • After setting numerous records for the Barnstormers, signed with the St. Louis Rams in 1997 and allocated to the Amsterdam Admirals of the NFLE for play in ’98.
  • After leading the NFLE in passing, Warner returned stateside and spent the NFL season riding the bench.
  • It’d be in ’99 that fate happened Kurt’s way.
  • With backup QB Steve Bono departing in free agency and starting QB Trent Green injured, Kurt Warner found himself atop the team depth chart.
  • He’d finish 325 of 499 for 4353 yards and 41 TDs leading the Rams to a Super Bowl win against the Tennesee Titans.
  • In 2000, Warner led the Rams back to the playoffs, but the Greatest Show on Turf lost to the Saints.
  • 2001 saw Warner lead the NFL in multiple passing categories and the Rams to a 14-2 record, but the team lost the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots.
  • Warner went into a slump in 2002, that continued into 2003.
  • In 2004, Kurt was cut by the Rams and then joined the New York Giants.
  • It was a tough year for Warner, as lingering issues and injuries, taking their toll, along with numerous sacks.
  • He then packed his bags to play for the Arizona Cardinals for the 2006 season.
  • By this time fans thought of Warner as being washed up, but he saved the best for last.
  • The age was showing on Warner, and he’d have to constantly look over his shoulder as first round pick Matt Leinart was expected to pick up the reins soon.
  • After a great start, Leinart replaced Warner at QB in week 4 for most of the remainder of the ’06 season.
  • With Leinart the starter, Warner replaced him off the bench in week 4 after an injury ended Matt’s season.
  • Warner threw for a career high 484 yards in a loss to the ‘9ers that year.
  • This culminated in him again winning the starting QB job for the Cardinals in ’08.
  • Kurt would lead the Cardinals to an improbable Super Bowl appearance- their first in the modern Super Bowl era.
  • Finished the season with 4,583 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and completed 67.1% of his passes.
  • Lost Super Bowl XLIII to the Pittsburgh Steelers last minute heroics 27-23.
  • Threw for 377 yards in the loss, and compiled a 112.3 QB rating in the game.
  • In 2009 became the first QB to throw for 14,000+ yards for two separate teams, and the second to throw 100+ TDs for two different teams.
  • Cardinals lost in the divisional round to the New Orleans Saints that year, as Warner sustained an injury.
  • He’d retire after the post season concluded.
  • Kurt has spent a lot of time catching up with his kids since retirement while going into coaching.
  • He’s also been a commentator for Spring Leagues, notably the Arena Football League and the AAF.

ACCOLADES:

  • NFL MVP 1999, 2001
  • Super Bowl XXXIX MVP
  • All-Arena 1996-97
  • Iowa Barnstomers Hall of Fame
  • Iowa Barnstormers #13 retired
  • Bert Bell Award 1999
  • Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • Walter Payton Man of the Year 2008
  • Bart Starr Award 2010

NOTES:

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d secure Kurt Warner at such a friendly price point, but after biting my nails, the consignment came through- and it looks glorious. While Kurt does sign through the mail, he only signs a testament card- which is nice, but leaves collectors in the dust on their own set needs.

I was eager to get him, not only on this beautiful card I created of him, but also because he’s the greatest testament to what Spring Football such as the Arena League and the NFLE can do for a player. In Kurt’s case, he needed to get more experience, confidence, and faith to face what he’d encounter in the NFL. Eventually it ‘all slowed down for him’ and he surpassed all expectations, making 3 Super Bowl appearances.

A devout Christian, some pundits slammed him for thanking Jesus Christ for helping him win his Super Bowl MVP, but myself, personally I found it refreshing that he’d do such a thing. Now it seems commonplace for players to wear their faith on their shoulder after winning a big game.

On occasion when I was attending AAF contests of the Commanders, Kurt gave commentary from a mobile studio on the sidelines very close by. I didn’t have anything then but it was still nice to see him show his skills and support Spring Football as well.

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NFLE
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NFL

Ruzek, Roger

Score 1991, #526

CARDS: Topps 1992, Topps 1991, Topps Stadium Club 1992
ACQUIRED: TTM 2022, C/o Home
SENT: 8/22 RECEIVED: 8/27 (5 days)

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Roger Ruzek played K at tiny Weber State (’79-’82), where he set NCAA Division I-AA records for field goal accuracy (84.2), and school career records in FG (46), FG in a game (4), and consecutive XP (30).
  • Unable to beat out Matt Bahr in Cleveland as an UDFA in 1983, Ruzek joined the New Jersey Generals in 1984.
  • He played 2 seasons for the franchise before the league folded.
  • In ’86 he got a tryout with the Cowboys but didn’t latch onto the team until the following season after a few bumps.
  • Ruzek ended up posting 22 of 25 on FGs, scoring 92 points.
  • Tied NFL record with 4 FG in 1 quarter against the New York Giants that year.
  • Set franchise mark with 5 FGs made against the Rams that year.
  • In ’88 had a contract holdout, but had a rough year- and was eventually cut during the ’89 season in favor of Luis Zendejas.
  • Quickly found a home with the rival Eagles that year, and returned to solid form.
  • The Eagles opted to keep Ruzek and he’d kick with the team through 1993.
  • During the ’93 season, the Eagles signed Matt Bahr after Ruzek strained a hamstring.
  • Ruzek again replaced Bahr, later in that season, and then again was released in ’94 as the Eagles opted to go with Eddie Murray.
  • With a cup of coffee out of the way with the ‘9ers in ’94, Ruzek played Arena ball with the San Jose Sabrecats in 1995.
  • He then hopped over to London to play in his final season for the Monarchs of the World League in 1996- making 8 of 11 FGs.

NOTES:

Back when I was a kid, I played a lot of soccer. When I started watching football I was all about the kicker. I was surprised, the guy who scored the most points, who had the most pressure on them to win games, didn’t get more love. On the Cowboys, (since that’s all we got here,) I really liked Ruzek, and was surprised the team didn’t stick by him longer during his later struggles with the team. He also made an appearance on the original Tecmo Bowl as a member of the Dallas ‘Wings’.

I had no clue that Ruzek had played for the World League. If I had known that I would have written him sooner. It’s just too bad all he had to sign with was a ball point pen. Regardless he was the shortest wait of 2022 coming in at a breakneck 5 days.

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