Monday 23 April 2018

Blog Bat Around - Autograph team

I've decided to try and contribute to Zippy Zappy's Blog Bat Around but with one major difference.

My favorite team is a football team, and my main collection is of the Cleveland Browns. I don't think that I could put together an autographed baseball line-up, can I put together a full team of the Browns?

To save me pulling cards out of my collection, I will borrow the images of cards that I own from the Trading Card Database. I don't feel bad about doing so, since a lot of the images of these cards were probably submitted by me in the first place.


1992 Pro Line Portraits - Autograph

I've got autographs of a lot of Browns quarterbacks, but really this came down to a choice between Otto Graham, and Bernie Kosar. Although I grew up watching Kosar play, and he's one of my favorite players, I have to go with the Hall of Famer here.

Running Backs:
1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

1991 Pro Line Portraits - Autographs

What can I say? I'm going with an all-Leroy backfield.

I wish I had a Jim Brown autograph. If I did, of course he would have been included.

I was tempted to include a Tommy Vardell autograph, as I was so thrilled when I got it, but Hoard makes for a better player on the team.

Wide Receivers:
1991 Pro Line Portraits - Autographs

1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

I had a lot to choose from in wide receivers, but can't resist having two Hall of Famers here. The receiver spot will also have some reinforcements on special teams if needed.

Tight End:
1997 Upper Deck Legends - Autographs #AL-154

We're off to see the Wizard!

Offensive Line:
2007 SP Authentic - Gold #276 (#/25)

I don't think that there was any question at Left Tackle.

1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

Or any question at Right Tackle.

2010 SA*GE HIT - Autographs Silver #A36

I don't have many options for the O-Line, but Lauvao made 44 starts at Right Guard in four seasons with the Browns before moving on to the Redskins, where he has started for the last four years when he hasn't been injured. I think that makes him a very serviceable member of the offensive line.

2015 Panini Contenders #173

Left Guard is my stretch. Cameron Erving was drafted as insurance at Center, and as a possible replacement for Alex Mack if he were to leave (which he did), and also at Tackle, which he also played at Florida State. Erving really didn't work out at those positions, but in his time with the Browns he did start four games at Guard in 2015, two at Left Guard, and two at Right.

1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

An honorable mention at Center goes to Alex Mack, but his autograph is on a dual autographed card shared with a Bengal, so even if Frank Gatski wasn't a Hall of Famer, I may have had trouble including Mack's card anyways.


Because it fits my collection better, and because historically I believe that the Browns have played it more years than they haven't, I'm going to go with a 4-3 defense.

Defensive Line:
1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

Bill Willis didn't play in a 4-3. He played in the middle of what gets listed as 5 defensive linemen and 2 linebackers. I think he'll be fine in the middle of the 4-3.

1992 Pro Line Profiles - Autographs #327

I wanted to go with Bob Golic as my second interior defense lineman, but I just couldn't ignore Michael Dean Perry. Here's a link to the Golic card if you want to see it.

2016 Panini Absolute - Rookie Ink Silver #18 (#/399)

I like Emmanuel Ogbah coming from one end, and would love to pair him with Myles Garrett but I don't have an autographed Garrett card yet. I have an autographed football, but not a card.

1992 Pro Line Portraits - Autographs

During the last four years the Browns played in Cleveland before the move to Baltimore, Burnett had 35.5 sacks. He made the Pro Bowl in 1994.

1994 Pro Line Live - Autographs (#/2000)

As I've mentioned on this blog many times, Clay Matthews is one of my favorite players. I think some of my friends were sick of me showing this card to them when I first got it. He's a linebacker that can rush the passer, or drop back into coverage.

2009 Philadelphia - Signatures #PS-DQ

A tackling machine in the middle of the field with D'Qwell Jackson.

2006 SP Authentic #185 (#/1175)

I thought about putting Barkevious Mingo in the second outside linebacker spot just to include his name, but I think that Kamerion Wimbley helps make it a better autograph team, especially if he duplicates the 11 sacks from his rookie year.


I don't own any autographs of Hanford Dixon or Frank Minnifield, who started the Dawg Pound and the barking, but I would definitely have to consider this next player even if I did have autographs of both of them. 

2010 Panini Rookies & Stars #280 (#/299)

Even though I'm not a huge fan of manufactured relics, I like this card. It just looks nice with the helmet.

1995 Pro Line - Autographs (#/1200)

Other choices here included Eric Wright and Buster Skrine. I'll go with this former first round pick instead.

1994 Pro Line Live - Autographs (#/1030)

Eric Turner had a great 1994 season, leading the league with nine interceptions, and being named a First-Team All-Pro.

2013 Panini National Treasures #291 (#/99)

After a few years as a backup safety, and getting a few starts after injuries to the starters, Jordan Poyer won a starting job with the Browns in 2016. During the sixth game of the year, his season ended on a punt after he was hit by an illegal blindside block and had to be rushed to the hospital with a lacerated kidney and possible concussion. After the season, as a free-agent, he was signed to a four-year contract by the Bills, and had a good season with them. He was the best option that I had as a second safety.

Special Teams:

Punt Returner:
1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

I had to find a way to get another Hall of Famer's autograph into this lineup. He can fill in at running back and wide receiver. He had three punt return touchdowns, along with three kickoff return touchdowns, in his four seasons with the Browns. Mitchell is tied for second as the all-time team leader in both return categories.

Honorable mentions to Eric Metcalf and his five punt return touchdowns, but I don't have one of his autographs, and to Travis Benjamin and his three punt return touchdowns.

Kickoff Returner:
2012 Panini Totally Certified - Blue Signatures #9 (#/25)

I don't think that I could leave Josh Cribbs off the team with his eight kickoff return touchdowns. He's also tied for second in punt return touchdowns with three.

2011 Panini Prime Signatures - Autographs Printing Plates Cyan #69 (#/1)

Wait a second? Gary Collins looks like a receiver! Yes, he is, with stats similar to Hall of Famer Lynn Swann. For his first six years in the league, he also did double duty as the team's punter. During his career, he punted 336 times for a 41.0 yard average.


Hmmmm, well, here is a problem. I don't have an autographed kicker's card. I really should rectify that by getting a Lou Groza autograph. They're out there, just for more than I've wanted to spend at any given time.

If you can't have a kicker, then maybe you should have a Coach that is secure enough to keep going for it on fourth down.

1991 Pro Line Portraits - Autographs

I traded to get my autographed Bill Belichick card in the early 1990s, and it was the first Browns autograph in my collection.

There we go, a little different than the autographed baseball lineups in the Blog Bat-around, but what can I say? I'm a football guy!

Thanks to Zippy Zappy for getting things going, and thanks to all of you for reading!

Sunday 22 April 2018

A1 Oddballs to make you hungry

In 1994, an oddball football card set was released that I knew nothing about. A few years ago I found the Tommy Vardell card from this set in a lot that I bought, and after seeing the checklist I knew I wanted to collect the whole set.

Although I would prefer to see more Browns in any set, this set is 28 cards, consisting of one player from each team. Part of the fun of sets like that is seeing who they pick from each team. This one doesn't have all the same familiar faces. You're going to see a lot of the big guys from the teams. The position breakdown in this set is eleven defensive lineman, ten offensive lineman, four linebackers, two running backs (probably more accurately classified as fullbacks), and one tight end.

The size of the players is fitting. We're talking food here! This A.1. Masters of the Grill set shows each player posing with A.1. sauce on the front, and has a recipe on the back. I wonder if the players had a choice in the recipes they are paired with.

I'll be honest. I'm lazy. Although some of the recipes interest me, I still haven't taken the time to actually make any of them. Maybe someday.

I am not a seafood person, so this recipe doesn't tempt me, and I have no interest in ever trying to make it.

This looks very tasty, but a lot more work than I like doing when cooking for just myself.

I won't keep repeating my laziness, but this one might have a chance of being made someday. It sounds good.

I've never made a stir fry before. This doesn't sound too hard to make.

I miss Jamie Dukes as a Draft analyst. I was always impressed by his preparation and liked getting his observations.

This recipe sounds tasty but horrible as it might be, I don't know if I could stand the time needed to sauté everything, or at least in the stages that the recipe wants me to. I guess I should add impatience to laziness.

Okay, this is something that I should have no problem doing if I want to. It would just be a matter of making sure to buy the ingredients and a spice grinder. Could be an interesting difference from the standard Montreal Steak Spice that I often use.

Mmmm, I do enjoy Philly cheese steak sandwiches. However, I've never made one. I guess if I ever decide to, I've got a recipe for it.

This one sounds easy enough even though I don't really tend to make appetizers before my meals. I'm sure I could make some rice and make a meal of it.

I'm not an asparagus person, and don't really feel the need to make a salad where I have to thinly slice my steak for it. I think I'll pass on this one.

Sounds interesting, and appeals to the meat and potato man in me.

Again, I don't feel the need to make my steak into a salad. I don't like olives so if I ever made this, I would be leaving them out.

Seafood - I'll pass.

Sounds tasty. It would interest me but again, I'm unlikely to put in the work for it.

I'm sure the marinade would be nice but seafood. Pass.

Sounds good, and burgers are a summer staple.

As interesting as it sounds, I think I'll just stick with regular pizza when I want one.

I'm not likely to just make a sauce like this but it sounds tasty.

Sounds tasty. It could be a possibility someday.

I've got some friends that might like doing this, but I think I like meals a little simpler.

Will anyone be surprised that I'll pass on another salad? I actually do eat a lot of grilled chicken salads, but I keep them simpler than this. They are more just to watch my diet a bit, not to impress.

Sounds good, but sounds like a lot of work. I wouldn't mind if someone else made these as appetizers for me.

Once again, something that sounds like it would be good to eat, but I don't think that I would want to take the time to make it.

Quite a few of my friends really enjoy cooking, and the preparations to make their meals. I'm happy they enjoy it, and I'm sure they would look at these recipes and say there is nothing to them, but I'm just not into all of that.

I've made my own pizzas, and have used barbeque sauce instead of tomato sauce, but I have my own ingredients that I like on them. Olives are not one of those ingredients.

Okay, I know these recipes are for us to make, but I'm now thinking that I might ask my roommate if he wants to go out for fajitas for dinner tonight. It has been a while since I have had them.

These sound interesting, but also seem to be more work than I know that I'll put into my meal.

Touchdown Tommy, I know you're a Brown giving me a recipe, but I'm just not a huge fan of the idea of making either turkey burgers, or stuffed burgers, let alone both. I'm sure they are tasty and that I would really enjoy them if someone else made them, but I know I won't do so.

I don't see anything wrong with this recipe except for the fact that I don't take the time to ever make kabobs.

These sound good, and frankly, I'm glad that this is the end of the post because I'm hungry.

(Side note, my roommate already has dinner plans tonight but said he would be interested in going out for fajitas tomorrow.)