Tag Archives: ttm football autograph

Delhomme, Jake

dor&s09 delhommesco09 delhommesp09 delhommeud09 delhomme

Cards: SP 2009, Upper Deck 2009, Score 2009, Donruss Rookies & Stars 2009
Acquired: TTM 2013, c/o Home
Sent: 4/2   Received: 4/20   (18 days)
Failure: C/o Home 2011, 2012

Jake Delhomme is another storied member of the WLAF/NFLE to make it good, again further proving to me that the league was succeeding in its mandate to create better talent for the NFL.  Names such as: Kurt Warner, Jon Kitna, Quinn Gray, and Kelly Holcomb joined Delhomme in the ‘developmental league’ to further their talents in the sport and then return stateside to take the league by storm.

Jake played for the University of Louisiana – Lafayette, from 1993 to 1996. There he’d etch his name into virtually all of the school’s passing record books finishing as the Ragin’ Cajuns all time leading passer in touchdowns and yards.  Delhomme did not get drafted, however the New Orleans Saints offered him a free agent contract and he joined their developmental squad in 1997.

Jake was assigned to the Amsterdam Admirals of the NFLE that next season where he was able to polish his skills a bit more. In his first season under center for the Admirals, Jake backed up future MVP Kurt Warner. His debut was unspectacular to say the least as Delhomme posted a 15.1 QB rating that season. Returning to the league for 1999, Delhomme put it all together in a solid effort. This time Jake was assigned to the Frankfurt Galaxy. He, alongside Pat Barnes provided a 2- headed monster quarterback option that the rest of the league couldn’t handle. Jake in fact finished second in the league with a 96.8 QB rating, throwing only 5 picks to 12 TDs. The Galaxy went on to win World Bowl VII 38-24. In the game, Jake finished 9 of 14 for 126 yards and a touchdown to Mario Bailey. Delhomme has always maintained that it was a team effort that resulted in the Galaxy’s World Bowl win. The bottom line is the stats didn’t lie, and both he and Pat Barnes’ numbers on the season were almost identical.

New Orleans liked him enough that year to bring him back again in 1999. The team was suffering badly with injuries to the quarterback position and a revolving door at the position appeared with Billy Joe Hobert, Billy Joe Tolliver, Danny Weurffel, and Jake sharing time at quarterback during the tumultuous season. With only Ricky Williams on offense, the team struggled mightily, but Jake got his first start against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16. He didn’t disappoint as he led the team to only its 3rd win of the season 31-24. I remember the game vividly, as I had watched football only casually in those ‘dead years’ after the Oilers left Houston, and secretly rooted for the Saints since I hated the Cowboys with such vitriol. While Jake did not see significant playing time over the next few seasons, buried on the depth chart behind Aaron Brooks and Jeff Blake, he did manage to hang on through an offensive overhaul and a new coach. Finally in 2003 Jake finally got the break he was looking for.

Delhomme signed with the hapless Panthers, a team with a new coach going in a new direction after a 1-15 season. Feeling that he was the right quarterback, at the right price, since there would be no rookies available for the Panthers that they’d like, Coach John Fox took a shot at Jake to compete against aging Rodney Peete. Fox wouldn’t be disappointed, and by the end of the first game of the 2003 season, the Panthers would have their anointed starter at quarterback. Jake turned a new chapter in his NFL career and blossomed into a bona fide starter at the position stringing together an impressive resume of games and statistics, helping the Panthers out of the doldrums of the NFC South. Without question, he was the free agent signee of the year, leading the improbable Panthers all the way to the SuperBowl, putting together one of the best big game performances in history, only to fall short of the Patriots by a field goal. 2004 proved to be career highs for Jake in most passer categories, but the team stunk, -stung by the injury bug. This season was notable, as I was in the fantasy football playoffs, but all my starters were not playing, so I cut and benched them all, and signed Jake as my starting quarterback and rode my way to an improbable league championship under his wing. The Panthers again returned to playoff form in 2005, as Jake continued to rewrite the franchise’s record books. Injuries to his thumb kept him out of 3 games that season, and in 2006 an elbow injury basically wiped his season out. In 2008 Delhomme returned to form with a vengeance, guiding the Panthers to their best record in franchise history, but his interception numbers began creeping up on him, and after a disastrous playoff performance in which he threw 4 picks, fans were clamoring at the gates for the end of his tenure. The same story repeated itself for Jake in 2009, as he threw 18 interceptions to only 8 touchdowns. The writing was on the wall after the season, and the Panthers’ career leading passer was unceremoniously cut.

In the journeyman phase of Delhomme’s career he went to Cleveland in 2010, and tried to help restart the fortunes of the beleaguered franchise, but again, injuries beset Delhomme. This time he suffered a nagging high ankle sprain which plagued him all season. After his one season for the Browns, Jake was cut again.  It wasn’t until late in 2011 that Jake was signed, appearing on the radar of the Houston Texans. With injuries hitting the Texans at quarterback, 3rd stringer TJ Yates needed competent and experienced teachers and quarterbacks behind him. In came Jake Delhomme and Jeff Garcia. It’d be for the Texans, after Yates suffered a bruised shoulder in the season finale, that Jake got his final playing time, leading a heroic comeback for the Houston Texans against their arch rival Tennessee Titans. While the Titans ended up winning the game, the Texans made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, nonetheless. After the season and the Texans first playoff victory and loss, Jake has retired back to Louisiana.

I tried on multiple occasions to get Jake’s autograph and completely failed. The first time was an RTS from North Carolina, that led me to Ohio from a tip I was given. It never panned out, but after seeing that he had returned to his roots in Louisiana, I thought this was my best shot. Luckily I finally landed Jake on the third try on these 4 great cards. All of them showcase great design and an excellent action shot of him and oddly just happen to be all 2009 releases.

NFL G/Gs 103/96   Att 2932   Comp 1741   Yds 20975   Pct 59.4  Td 126   Int 101  Rat 81.3  |
Rush 175    Yds 328   Avg 1.9   Td 7   Lg 27

NFLE     Att 249      Comp 151     Yds 1657    Pct 60.1%     Td   12      Int  9     Rat  81.4  |
Rush 23     Yds 146     Avg 6.3     Td 0    Lg 20

Green, Ahman

poff01 greenTNTUFL11 Green

Cards: Playoff Contenders 2001, Top Notch UFL 2011
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o The Green Bay Packers
Sent: 5/3  Received: 8/29  (118 days)

Among the pantheon of runningbacks that the Green Bay Packers have had in their storied history with guys like Paul Hornug and Jim Taylor, Ahman Green sits atop the top spot for the franchise with a surprising 8,322 career rushing yards. A prolific runner for the franchise at the stroke of the millennium, Green’s career began playing ball for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in college ranks. A local kid, Ahman chose Nebraska over such suitors as Notre Dame in 1995 and immediately ran for a freshman record 1,086 yards en route to a National Championship. In his final crowning moment at the school, he led Nebraska to another championship as he tallied an Orange Bowl record 209 yards on the ground. He declared for the NFL draft soon thereafter, but not before etching 3,880 career rushing yards into the annuls of Cornhusker fame.

At 6’0″, 215, Ahman only managed somehow a 3rd round mark by the Seattle Seahawks. Who knows why he was taken so low? Plenty of guys came off the board before him including Curtis Enis and John Avery. Still Green was seldom relied on by the Seahawks early on who were still basking in the glow of the 3rd rebirth of Ricky Watters.  He’d bide his time with his elite speed returning kicks, until head coach Mike Holmgren drafted Shaun Alexander. With Alexander and Watters in camp, the Seahawks elected to trade Ahman to the Holmgren’s former team- the Green Bay Packers.

It’d be in Green Bay, in an offense led by Brett Favre and with incumbent Dorsey Levens ailing, Ahman got his chance to really be a shining member of a great supporting cast. He’d record his first of 5 consecutive 1,000+ yard rushing seasons on the frozen tundra of Lambeau. From 2001-2004 Green earned Pro Bowl honors, and in ’03 and ’04, had the NFLs longest carry of the season from 98 and 90 yards.  With injuries limiting his production in 2005 to only 5 games, Ahman recovered nicely for 2006 to run for 1059 yards in 14 games. He’d be left unprotected heading into 2007, and sign with the Houston Texans.

The signing was considered either the biggest risk or the biggest coup of free agency and the Texans rolled out the red carpet money to get Ahman.  Despite visiting with Denver, Ahman felt most comfortable moving to Houston and being reunited with his former head coach in GB, Mike Sherman, who was offensive coordinator. The Texans desperately got a home run hitter at runningback, as injuries had ended Dominack Davis’ promising career. Things never quite seemed to take off for Ahman in Houston. (Green kept a professional lid on it, but behind the scenes he had a bad relationship with GM Rick Smith who accused Ahman of goldbricking.) It didn’t help either that injury also limited him to a combined 6 games in his 2 year stint there.  He’d be cut after the 2008 season. Ahman still had the desire to play, returning to the Packers for one final hurrah in 2009.

In 2010 the UFL was injecting new talent into the league to fill seats. The Omaha Nighthawks were the newest team on the block and with Ahman being a hometown kid, he was really a slam dunk to help fill the stands alongside Jeff Garcia while he mentored Maurice Clarett. Ahman would run for 253 yards that season. While really never officially retiring, he hasn’t played a down since, last surfacing briefly with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. He has from time to time indicated that his fire still burns for the sport and still wants to play. Green used to suffer from hyperhidrosis- or overactive sweat glands. His propensity to over sweat was blamed on more than one occasion for his fumbling issues, to which he wore black elbow guards during his time in Green Bay to keep the sweat from getting the ball too wet. Ahman finished his career with 37 fumbles in 2506 combined touches (1/67).

As of 2013 Ahman Green is a part owner of the indoor football Green Bay Blizzard. He also has dabbled in broadcasting and appears regularly at Green Bay alumni events. Green is also an unabashed Batman fan and has been seen at a few comic conventions dressed up as the Dark Knight.

NFL   G/Gs  148/97     Rush  2056    Yds 9205     Avg 4.5    Td  60   Lg 98t   |
Rec 378  Yds 2883    Avg 7.6    Td 14   Lg 53  |
Kr  72    Yds 1634    Avg 22.7    Td 0    Lg 57

UFL  Rush 68    Yds 253   Avg 3.7   Td 0    Lg 27
Rec 8     Yds 50      Avg 6.3    Td 0   Lg  13

Gray, Keith

tnt11-grayCard: TNT UFL 2011
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Home
Sent: 6/22    Received: 6/27   (5 days)

A physical offensive lineman who played collegiality at Connecticut from 2005-2008, Keith Gray was a free agent signee of the Carolina Panthers in 2009, and on the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts in 2010. He joined the Florida Tuskers of the UFL in 2010, and was then traded to the Hartford Colonials (formerly the New York Sentinels) in exchange for defensive tackle Bryan Save in the league’s first ever trade that year.  With the flexibility to play both guard and center, Gray was a valued contributor to the Colonials offense helping pave the way for the offense led by quarterback Josh McNown, and bruising runningbacks Lorenzo Booker and Andre Dixon. All in all Hartford rolled up 2593 yards in 2010, with 903 of it coming on the ground and an additional 1690 through the air, and a lot of credit up front with their prolific offense should go to the guys in the trenches, like Keith. Things were definitely moving in a positive direction for the team, but the organization as a whole- that being the UFL- was not. Bills had not been paid, and the rent was sky high at the Colonials facility. Head coach Chris Palmer, broke ranks with the league as soon as he could and landed a job back in the NFL as the offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. In the meantime, Jerry Glanville was brought in to replace Palmer under much fanfare, but the Colonials, -under the most financial duress, -folded, and Keith was a free agent.

Keith moved to Texas and focused on family life. In the meantime I had tracked him down through Facebook and offered him a card, but I honestly had a lot of things that went off the rails for me personally, along with a player who had agreed to respond to me after I sent him my customs, that never did.  It made me really gun shy about the project. A few weeks ago though I finally buckled down and got back to the UFL and AFL cards that I had done, and with a few extra dollars in my pocket, went ahead and printed a few for my portfolio. I also remembered Keith and my promise and sent him some to keep. In a short 5 days he responded, writing me a touching note discussing about how he was a trading card collector as a kid, thanking me for the cards, how they are a great keepsake, and how they’ve sparked a fire in him to keep going.

For all the Peyton Manning’s and Brett Favre’s I get TTM, it’s these types of responses in the end, that mean more than anything I could ever wish for.