Friday, July 22, 2011

What a mail day on my birthday!

Yesterday I went to the mailbox hoping to have at least one return on my birthday and I had five returns plusd the board and card I had gotten from the JR Reid signing on scn. I will talk a little about each one:
Michael Dean Perry-he returned a Browns pocket pro signed. He got overshadowed by his brother but he was an excellent player. I think he was actually a better defensive player than his brother.

Mark Herrmann-an excellent, if not the best, quarterback for the Purdue Boilermakers. I remember hearing about him when I lived in Belleville, Illinois. He was just inducted into the college football HOF this past month. He left Purdue with a lot of records and as college football's all time leader in passing yards. He signed a Purdue pocket pro for me.

Mike Wagner-a big member of the steel curtain defense and member of four Super Bowl champions with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He definitely had a nose for the football during his career. he had interceptions in two of the Super Bowl victories. He signed a yellow Steelers pocket pro. He also answered my character question- he said it is honor.

Steve Atwater-he was one of my favorite Broncos during his career with them. He should have finished his career with them but that is my one issue lol. He was a starter pretty much form day one. He was on the back to back Super Bowl championship teams. He was an excellent all around safety. He signed a Broncos pocket pro and answered my character question-he said integrity.

The final return was from Kurt Kittner. I really loved watching him quarterback the Fighting Illini. He is my favorite Qb for the Illini and the best one during my lifetime to play there. He led the Illini to the Sugar Bowl which was the best bowl game they had been to in almost 20 years and won the Big Ten tiltle for the first time in over a decade. He signed an Illinois pocket pro. He answered my questions: favorite memory- winning the Big Ten championship and beating Ohio State and Michigan on the road; biggest impact on his career-Ron Turner both on and off the field; football regrets-my NFL career. I would do things a lot differently if I had another chance; do you like the new Big 10 conference-yes I like the Illini division-Ohio State (in trouble) Penn State ( down when Paterno is done) and Wisconsin is toughest. He also amswered my character question with a great response: discipline. It is important to have the dsicipline to do what's right at all times, not only when in the classroom. Treat others like you want to be treated and have the discipline to work hard to achieve your goals.

Friday, July 15, 2011

sorry it has been awhile! It is summer LOL

I have been pretty lazy this summer with my blog and I apologize.  I have gotten some returns recently and would like to update you on them. 

The first return that I would like to talk about is Matt Blair.  Mr. Blair was an excellent linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings.  He was a multiple time Pro Bowler and played on two Super Bowl teams.  He was a great player and I am thankful that he was willing to sign my pocket pro.  He answered my questions:
I asked him about playing at the Met: He said it would freeze out the team that came from warm places to play the Vikings; I asked about the Cowboys Hail Mary pass in the playoffs and he said that the play before the receiver caught the ball out of bounds-we win the game and we win 1st Super Bowl; I asked who had the biggest impact on his career and he said it was his big brother who was put in prison-wrong place wrong guys, I wanted to do it right for our family.  I truly appreciated his candor.

I got a pocket pro returned signed by Wally Moon.  I really like Wally Moon.  I came across Wally Moon a year ago when I was talking to my wife's doctor.  (I won't say what kind LOL)  He was truly terrific with my wife and delivered our second baby daughter, Madelyn.  We started talking sports and he told me about growing up watching the Dodgers and loved Wally Moon.  I knew the name but not much background beyond that.  I decided to sent a baseball request to give to our doctor and Mr. Moon was nice enough to sign it.  Our doctor was excited.  I have learned a lot about him over the past year and recently preordered his signed autobiography from his website.  If you are interested I suggested you check it out.  He answered my questions: the toughest pitchers for him were Warren Spahn and Bob Gibson; favorite teammates were Stan Musial and Duke Snider; and he keeps in touch with Sandy (Koufax), Stan (Musial), Wes Parker, and others.

I got Jim Craig on a picture of the Miracle on Ice celebration as well as Mike Ramsey on a picture of the Gold Medal game celebration.  The 1980 USA hockey team is an incredible story that anyone that was around knows about it so I won't go into great detail.  I am hoping to get more signatures on these pictures.  Mr. Craig answered my character question: he said the truth and learning from your mistakes.

I got an Atlanta Falcons pocket pro signed by Al Richardson.  I like Mr. Richardson growing up and he was a good player for the Falcons.  He had 7 interceptions as a rookie  and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.  He was part of the most successful Falcons team up until 1998.  On a side note, I miss those red jerseys and helmets.  Mr. Richardson answered my questions: favorite memory-winning the 1980 Conference championship; favorite defensive scheme-3-4 by Jerry Glanville; most influential person-Joel Williams.  He also answered my character question-persistance.

I am collecting pocket pro helmets signed by the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals World Series championship team.  I was living outside St. Louis in Belleville, Illinois during that year.  I was 10 years old and it was such an awesome time.  Mr. Iorg was a great hitter and one of the best pinch hitters of his time.  He answered my questions: what was it like to win the World Series-never thought it would happen, it was unreal, a dream come true; great jubilation and know anything can happen with focus and commitment; key to success as a pinch hitter-don't take strikes! Hit the first good pitch you see, that is why it is called a pinch hitter; he also answered my character question-total integrity-don't look to others to solve your problems, live correct principles and all else will take care of itself.

I had an awesome return from Wayne Walker.  He was an excellent linebacker for the Detroit Lions but that is not why I wrote to him. Wayne Walker to me was my sportscaster of my youth.  He was the sports director at KPIX in San Francisco which I grew up watching.  He was my ESPN.  I never even knew as a kid that he had been a multiple time Pro Bowler.  He also spent time doing 49ers, Raiders, and A's games.  I will never forget him.  In addition to signing my pocket pro he sent a signed 8x10 in his own separate envelope.  One of the coolest things is that it had a note on it from his wife thanking me for the great letter.  That meant a lot to me.  He answered my character question-be true to yourself because in your heart you always know the difference between right and wrong.

The last return I got was from Reggie Brooks.  I loved watching him play at Notre Dame.  He switched from defensive back to running back.  He had a great senior season.  He rushed for over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns.  He was named All-American and finished fifth in the Heisman voting.  He had an excellent rookie season for the Washington Redskins and rushed for over 1,000 yards.  I really don't understand why he didn't get a better chance in the NFL.  He produced when given the opportunity.  He answered my questions: favorite memory-last drive in the Penn State game; any regrets-he would have been a better stewart financially; will ND return to glory soon-definitely.  He also answered my character question- perserverance.