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.
He helped anchor down an impressive defense notching 3 sacks on the season, as the team won World Bowl II.
After the World League collapsed, Bill signed with the Sacramento Goldminers of the CFL that year.
This led him to the Atlanta Falcons during that same year in 1992.
Bill played with the Falcons through 1994.
In a preseason game against the Eagles, Bill tore his abductor muscle from his pelvis.
This caused him incredible pain while he searched for a proper diagnosis.
Ultimately he’d be cut by the Falcons, and then later picked up by the new expansion franchise, the Carolina Panthers.
And… he’d be the first player cut by the Panthers.
In the meantime, during his rehab, he’d met many wrestlers and was eventually convinced to try his hand at the sport.
He quickly ascended the ranks of WCW and made his debut as ‘Goldberg’ in 1997.
Won 173 straight wrestling matches.
When WCW was bought out by the WWE, Goldberg wrestled in Japan for two years before returning stateside to the WWE.
Took a break from wrestling, returning to the sport in 2015 during Legends of Wrestling.
Officially returned to WWE in 2016, retiring from the sport unofficially in 2022.
Rumors continue to swirl about his return to the sport.
Has appeared and been in numerous movies and TV shows.
WWE Hall of Fame
WWE Universal Championship x2
WCW World Heavyweight Champion x2
WCW World Tag Team Champion
WcW United States World Heavyweight Champion x2
Bill is passionate about his charitable causes, notably Purple Heart services for wounded veterans. He also is Jewish- And while he’s extremely respectful of his religious upbringing, it’s something that’s just not talked about a lot.
So a few months ago when the XFL Brahmas opened up shop, some of my friends were invited to a special gathering for the team at the stadium. There they met many of the players and there was a special appearance by Bill Goldberg! (I had not realized he was still so passionate about the sport of Spring Football.)
When this event popped up in Boerne, I got that feeling that, maybe Bill would show up. Y’know a gut feeling. I told my friend who was going with me (Jeff) to not be surprised and to plan as if he might be attending. When we got to this really good taco joint, everything just seemed to line up. Jeff noted the autograph on the wall from Goldberg. Then I texted my friend Brandon, and he said, “Oh yeah, Goldberg will be there.” Just as we were about to step out, the man himself walked in.
Jeff nudged me and we played it cool. When we did speak to Goldberg, I talked to him about the World League and told him about how I probably walked by him at that last game when he was with the Surge, and they beat the Riders in the ‘Do or Die’ game. And while we lost, I left satisfied that next year might be the Riders’ year… <insert audible trail off>
He gave a chuckle and told me that it was a great time. That back then he was pretty close to the stadium since he was living in San Marcos… but that it was from SO LONG AGO. He then took this awesome photo with me.
Later right before he left I approached him one more time and thanked him for his time in the World League. And I’ll say this to any World League player I run into or get the autograph of: It meant so much to me that you guys were chasing your dreams. My father was not the greatest father, but he tried, and the way he got started was by taking me to those World League games. It really helped us bond. And I am forever grateful for every player who played in that league.
He told me that it meant to him more than I’d know- and that honestly meant to me, so, so much.
He went into HS coaching where he built an incredible resume, winning 7 HS State Championships between Northwestern and Miami Central.
In 2022, returned home to the Hurricanes, where he now serves as the school’s Director of High School Relations.
Roland Smith was a name I’d been after for a while, but after he started receiving hate mail, he stopped signing shortly before I sent out to him in 2015. I thought I’d take a shot in the dark to him once he moved to the Hurricanes and it worked out nicely.
This card is confusing, because the image subject feels like its more the Thunder player as opposed to Roland who’s barely on the card. In fact for the longest time I thought that Roland was a member of the Thunder. It also doesn’t help that fellow DB Irvin Smith has an almost identical card photo, same last name, and appears just two cards previously in the set.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.