Top 12 All Time Redskins: Chris Cooley

Captain Chaos, Chris Cooley is next up on my all time favorite Redskins list, coming in at number 9.

10 LC Chris Cooley  Shirt off my Back 37:50

Cooley was drafted in 2004 and part of Joe Gibbs first draft class since returning to coach the Redskins.  The unheralded TE from Utah State ended up being selected in the 3rd round (81st overall) and was the 6th TE picked behind guys with marginal NFL success such as…Kellen Winslow, Benjamin Watson, Ben Troupe, Kris Wilson and Ben Hartsock.  Not sure why he was able to slip this deep in to the draft?  The only thing i could suspect was his performance at a small school in Utah (football small…)… it could also have been that he played in the Sun Belt conference.  Not exactly the SEC when it comes to talent pools.  This kind of oversight always happens to the small school kids.  You see guys that go to the tradition football powerhouses and get pushed to the top of the draft or taken higher than they should be and fail to meet the high NFL expectations.  I always love it when the small school guys succeed, kind of the all american redemption story.

10 PP Chris Cooley Jersey 94:150

Cooley became one of the leagues premier Tight Ends in 9 short seasons, and putting up solid numbers with a franchise that was nothing short of chaotic.  New coaches, coordinators and QB’s seemed to come through each year, but he always managed to put up solid numbers.

09 TC Chris Cooley Blue Refractor

One of my favorite stories was when the Redskins were looking at drafting him, Joe Gibbs fell in love with the guy and thought he was a Mormon, being from Utah and all, you know?  That’s where they keep the Mormons and all of the fine folks of Utah are indeed Mormon!  Joe Gibbs couldn’t have been more wrong.  Captain Chaos was a beer drinking, prank calling wild child that let everything hang out…literally…or figuratively…whatever.


One of my favorite Cooley moments was his second season with the Redskins, 2005, agains the Dallas Cowboys.  The Redskins were in the midst of turning around the season and making a late season push, needing to win out to even have hope of making the playoffs.  That game was a huge breakout moment for Cooley as he put up 3 of the Redskins 4 first half TD’s, with the last being a beautiful 30 yard run down the sidelines.  I remember shouting COOOOOOOOLEY as loud as i could at my tv, just in case anyone could hear me.  Such an exciting game and fantastic season.  It’s moments like these that make you love your sports team…and make everything seem so much enjoyable.

11 TT Chris Cooley Auto Jersey 11:25

The Redskins ended up winning the game 35-7 and making the playoffs.  They beat the Buccaneers in Tampa and traveled to Seattle where my wife and I attended our first Redskins game together.  Although the good guys lost, it was great to see my favorite team in a playoff game…how many kids get to do that!

11 LL Chris Cooley Auto 13:25

Cooley is also a bit of a renaissance man.  An artist, a painter and a potter.  He has had multiple gallery exhibits in DC and involved in the art community as well.  But instead of showing his art, i’m choosing to show his crusty heavy metaled out practice shorts…cause that’s just more fun!


He also married a Redskins cheerleader, which is pretty cool…kind of high school-ish, but cool no less…

Cooley wife

…and eventually ended up wearing this at his wedding…what a guy!


Last season was more than likely his last.  Cooley was cut just before the start of the season as the development of Fred Davis and transition of Niles Paul to TE made his role less critical.  It became pretty obvious that his tenure was coming to an end.  Cooley ended up coming back for 8 games last year but only caught one pass.  At this point, i’m hoping he hangs it up and does the traditional signing of a one day contract as a Redskin.


All Cooley fans remember the great stories about him…his oddball personality and all around fun lovin attitude from a one of a kind character.  He reminded me a lot of John Riggins with some of the things he did on and off the field and will alway be one of my favorite Redskins.

Chris Cooley

#9 – Chris Cooley

#10 – Gary Clark

#11 – Brian Orakpo

#12 – The Hogs

The Mettle of Cano’s Mettle

I really like this card.

I wasn’t sure what the term mettle meant, so i looked it up…’A person’s ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.’  I would say that describes Robbie pretty well.  He’s having to deal with the HGH allegations as well as being the team leader every day on the field without Jeter, Teixeira, Granderson and A-Rod.  I would say that’s definitely courage and fortitude at it’s finest.

13 T Robinson Cano Wrought Iron 25:50

Cool pose and a nice chunk of mettle, and you can see the mettle in his eyes and confident smile.  It’s all coming full circle now kids.  A full 360 degrees.  Robbie Cano donchaknow

Alf or Fro-Mo?

Alfred Morris.

I really haven’t written much about the guy, which is just not right.  The kid had a phenomenal rookie campaign in the backfield with RG3.  He was an unheralded rookie from Florida Atlantic and i was certain he wouldn’t make the team.  Luckily for me the Shanahans and the Redskins scouting department know much more about football than i do.  Morris was a complete rock for the run offense last year and played well beyond his years racking up over 1600 yards for the season and only turning the ball over 3 times.  Pretty impressive for a Rookie.  Not to mention he seems like a genuinely good person…extremely modest and humble.  I don’t see stardom ever going to his head, he just doesn’t seem to have it in him to play the ‘do you know who i am’ persona…plus, I can’t imagine RG3 would allow that to happen.

The cards below were picked up at the last card show in Cedar Hills.  The two serial numbered cards were from the same table and i managed to get a nice deal for the two.  Both are nice cards to add to my Morris collection that i am tentatively starting…you never know how long a running back is going to last, so i’m always hesitant to buy in on their cards.  Either way, if i collect his cards or not, they will be a part of my Redskins collection.  The third card was basically a freebee from a very friendly dealer at the show.  Thank you!

12 CR Alfred Morris die cut 137:149

Take a look-see and hope you enjoy them!

12 PG Alfred Morris 29:10012 PG Alfred Morris

Silk, Mettle and Zumthor

It’s Friday night and i’ve been tracking the NFL draft the past couple of hours and days to see whom the Redskins would pick up.  I don’t follow a lot of college football, so most of these guys are complete strangers to me.  When it’s all wrapped up and the draft is complete, i plan on doing a quick post of the guys that were selected for the Burgundy and Gold. – HTTR!

I couldn’t really think of a good post, so i am going to dig in the crates a bit and post some cards i purchased a month or so ago.  They are of my childhood idol Rickey Henderson and they are all pretty cool.

The first one is the Copper (looking) Proven Mettle card numbered 58/99.  The card shows a very young looking Rickey in some classic A’s garb with his patented inquisitive stare/squint.  These cards are pretty cool and seem to be very popular on the ebay.  Not sure how much value they would hold if the apocalypse hit and coins or metal were the only currency accepted.  I’m not worried about that though, but we do have an emergency kit along with some water in the basement…and extra cat litter to make the mother in law happy.

13 T Rickey Henderson Copper 58:99

The next card is the wrought iron version serial numbered 16/50.  This coin is a little better looking than the copper looking one, but has a little ding on Rickey’s nose…not cool, but that happens i guess.  The profiles of these coins sticks out from the plane of the card, so i guess these things happen.  Still a nice piece to add to my Rickey Henderson PC.

13 T Rickey Henderson Wrought Iron 16:50

The last Rickey Henderson card is the silk manufactured version of his 1980 Topps Rookie Card.  The card is pretty cool and i like the casing around it, frames the card nicely, plus it’s pretty thick.  Also like the fact that they don’t have a plastic cover over the card so you can feel the material.  Nice.  I know Fuji is putting this set together, hope to see it soon…that could be a pretty cool set.

13 T Rickey Henderson Silk Rookie Patch

I’m going to go off on a non sports card or sports card note here, so please feel free to move along if you like.

One last item since i’m talking all time favorites.  Today is the birthday of my all time favorite Architect, Peter Zumthor.  He turned 70 today.  My wife and I were lucky enough to venture to one of his few built projects in Vals, Switzerland…the Therme Vals.  As an architect, we tend to plan vacations around what buildings we can visit and my wife is a willing participant most of the time…but she was super excited for this trip as it was one of the most heralded thermal baths in Europe and nestled in a tiny Swiss Alps village.  Needless to say we had a fantastic time visiting the various rooms and the views were some of the most amazing sights i had ever experience…truly humbling.  Zumthor is a bit of an enigma in the Architecture world.  He hasn’t built very many projects, around 20 i believe, but he has become world renown due to his dedication to his projects and the sites they inhabit.  Zumthor was a Pritzker Prize winner in 2009, which i guess would be the sports equivalent of the Hall of Fame.  He is a true craftsmen and his buildings are works of art.  If you are interested, here are a few links to some of his projects as well as his wiki page.

Peter Zumthor Wikipedia Page

Peter Zumthor Interview

Therme Vals

Kunsthaus Bregenz

Saint Benedict Chapel




I’ve been running low on card money of late, so i’ve been dime box digging.  This can be fun and frightening as well.  You find things you blocked out due to bad memories or traumatic events that should never be brought up again.  Now, I present the 1994 Playoff Redskins cards.  The scans are crappy and i apologize for that, but so were the Redskins in 1993.  I like to think that i am a die hard fan and can name players from different generations and teams…but i have absolutely no freakin idea who Rick Hamilton is.  Kind of looks like a special teams guy?  Don’t know and don’t care.  I do remember that the ’93 team was terrible and amassed a total of 4 wins and finished 5th.  Yes, 5th.  That means that the Arizona Phoenix Cardinals finished with a better record.  Remember when the Phoenix Cardinals were in the NFC East?  Geography is a bitch!  But so are owners that move franchises to other cities.

Ernest Byner was pretty tough year and ‘…hung in there.  He had 23 carries for 105 yard and 1TD.’  That’s what the back of his card says.  My man Ricky Sanders worked through a tough 638 yards.  Nearly every one of these cards say something about a tough year, yet they are in a set called Playoff.  Such a misnomer.

94 PL Ernest Byner Ricky Sanders

Here’s that Hamilton guys card.  He’s wearing LaVar Arrington’s number and running with splayed thumbs.  Better watch out, those things will get broken on you.  Frank Wycheck was a decent Tight End that had his better years with the Oilers and Titans.  Wikipedia says he tested positive for steroids…remember all the fuss about the steroid era in football?  Me neither.

94 PL Frank Wychek Rick Hamilton

Jeezy Creezy this guy.  I dropped so much money on this kids card.  At this point, i’m hoping his political career leads him to a Presidential election or possibly VP so i can sell his stuff on ebay and get my lost dollars back.  Actually, I don’t really think that.  If he politics like he played football, this country will be set back to the Bush era overnight.  Shuler had so much hope and yielded next to nothing.  I realize that being a professional athlete is a very special thing and few men and women get to be in that position…a position i’ve never even come close to touching, being a sports fan is such a soul crushing activity though and we have to put the blame on our sad demeanor at work on Mondays.

94 PL Heath Shuler

Overpay, Underpay or just walk away?

I’ve never been a big fan of the Beckett price guides and think the ‘pricing’ guys have a little part in the destroying of my childhood hobby, but that’s just my opinion…and i have been called an asshole many times over.  With both being the case, i never really have an idea how much a card costs or what it’s market value is.  I tend to just look at the card and decide if it’s a $5 card or $20 card to me.  I believe that the value of a card varies per person and so i don’t put too much weight in the value of cards, but rather what value it has TO ME.  Right now, anything with RG3 has a ton of value for these eyes of mine (I’ve used value way too many times in this paragraph)…The last Cedar Hills show i went to, i purchased two RG3 cards from two different tables.  Overpaid for one and underpaid for the other.  Both guys asked me what i would pay for the card and here is how is went down.

The First Table: I was searching through a box of unorganized football cards from this past season and noticed a Prizm RG3 with a different photo than i had seen before.  I put it aside and pulled a few other cards out including Alfred Morris serial number, Kirk Cousins chrome and a bunch of other Redskins you may not care about.  I got about 15 cards and laid them out in front of the guy and reviewed them…he took a look at them.  As we were reviewing the cards, I had a number in my head.  $50.  The number in his head was a much better deal for me.  $20.  I was a little confused and stared at him for way too long for two guys to be staring at each other over football cards.  After we both realized how awkward this moment had become, I agreed to pay his price with little to no resistance.  As i walked away from his table i felt a little guilt, but rationalized that it was his price and not mine and that i simply got a good deal.  I agreed to pay what he was requesting.  As I left his table, I did a quick Ebay search and was told by my iphone that this card alone is being sold for $10 to $20, so i felt pretty good about my purchase.  Big smiles for me.

12 PP Robert Griffin III SP

The Next table:  This guy has been at the past couple of shows and has a bunch of cards laid out on his table in penny sleeves and top loaders as you do when you sale cards.  No prices though.  This kind of annoys me, because as i have mentioned, i have no idea how much something should cost and i am a sucker for the Burgundy and Gold on cardboard, especially when it’s got Bobby Three Sticks on it.  The guy has this Leaf Metal Universe card in a screw down  case, he must have felt it screw-worthy…which in turn I thought, i just may need to own this card.  Now, I don’t know if it was the all white jersey, or the shiny metallic card or the screw down case that made me think this card was something i had to have or if it is just my addiction to the Redskins.  The guy asks me what i think he should sale the card for.  Numbers run through my mind like John Nash…60, 20, 50, 35, 40…it took about 5 minutes for me to come up with those 5 numbers until i blurted out TWENTY!  The guy smiled and says…’Damn man, you must have been reading my mind!  That’s the exact same number i was thinking!’  How convenient, eh?  It’s like asking a painter for a quote on your house and you tell him, ‘I think we may have Lead paint’ and sure enough the bid comes back with an estimate for Lead paint without the guy even testing…(that’s a whole ‘mother blog).  Back to my point…this was the last card of the show for me as it was my last $20.  I leave the mall and get to the car to look up the prices on ebay and they were maxing out at $10 with most of them going for $5.  CRAP!  I got hustled!.  Getting hustled made me a little upset though…completely unfair as I just got a bargain and now i overpaid.  Karma works quick in my world.

12 MU Robert Griffin III

The lesson here kids is that beckett can only be loved by those that care about the cost or perceived worth of things…just kidding, that’s not the lesson.  Just a cheap, unwarranted shot by me.  The real point is that you should always do a little research before you purchase anything to find out how much it should cost YOU.

One thing I’ve learned about collecting cards is that this hobby can rob you blind.  It’s so easy to see these pieces of cardboard as an investment.  But at the end of the day, most of them are simply little pieces of joy that have varying value to each of us.  I am a collector, not an investor.  I collect because i enjoy the pursuit of the cards, not how much money i can make when i flip the cards for more money…that said, don’t forget to check out my ebay store.

good night to you and yours.


It seems that Robbie Cano has gotten mixed up in a little guilt by association that ESPN’s Outside the Lines has been tracking.  Sure hope Robbie isn’t guilty on this one…that would surely be a heartbreaker for me.  I love watching the guy play.  Guess we will have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks.

Look at that face…That’s the face of an innocent man!

12 NT Robinson Cano Jersey

A Hog Auto, B-Mitch and Lachey!

I don’t typically buy non certified autos since you can never really verify them…plus they tend to be sloppy and not something i’ve been excited about in the past.  One table at the Mall 205 show last weekend has a few Redskin autos that I turned down last month, but couldn’t resist this time around.  The dealer, Greg, had about 20 of these cards and was more than happy to sell all of them to me.  I resisted and purchased the three i liked the most.

Jim Lachey wasn’t really part of the Hogs glory days, but could have easily been a part of their dominance.  He would have fit in nicely with Jacoby, Butz, May, Bostic and Starke and may have won another Super Bowl or two.  Jim was a part of the Super Bowl XXVI winning team.

89 PS Jim Lachey Auto

Russ Grimm took WAAAY TOO LONG to get in to the Hall of Fame.  Offensive Linemen really haven’t gotten the respect they deserve historically.  A lot of the reason for this is due to the anonymity with which they play and they don’t have ‘stats’.  They do all of the grunt work and protecting the QB and RB, but the guys behind them get all the glory.  It’s not fair, but neither is life.

90 PS Russ Grimm Auto

Brian Mitchell is a guy that should be in the Hall of Fame.  Only one other player in the history of the NFL has more all purpose yards than him, Jerry Rice.  Yet, he is nowhere close to getting in.  Not sure why his value to the NFL, Redskins and his return dominance is overlooked by so many.  I guess Special Teams is also overlooked.  Devin Hester and Josh Cribbs are doing everything they can to change that.

90 SB Brian Mitchell Auto

These are the first autos for me from these players and i’m pretty happy with the purchase.  All three set me back $10, so i can’t really complain…PLUS, they are all on card autos and not the dreaded stickers.  Pieces like these are nice to add to my Redskin collection and are just cool little pieces of history for me.

Rickey and Donny Baseball

The only real reason i became a Yankee fan was because my favorite player, Rickey Henderson was traded in the winter to the Bronx Bombers.  I was a 9 year old kid that was easily led astray and more than willing to change my allegiance as i saw fit.  At the time, the Yankees were ok.  They did have the history which I was really not that aware of at the time but something i was more than willing to embrace.  Gehrig, Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle…endless names of a great sports franchise.

13 GQ Rickey Henderson SS

Through the years, my friends have given me a hard time about being a Yankee fan and question why i’m not an Astros or Rangers fan.  My response is always the same…Really?  Astros or Rangers?  I couldn’t get down with those rainbow sherbet jerseys that Mike Scott and Nolan Ryan rocked in the 80’s.  As for the Rangers, they played in the Dallas area and I associated that with the Dallas Cowboys…and there was no way i was signing up for that team, ever.  So, I stuck with the Yankees and embraced the team.  Granted, i have always had a little piece of my heart set aside for the Oakland Athletics since they were the first team i followed and the one that Rickey is most associated with.

13 CO 13 GQ Rickey Henderson

At our Portland show this past Saturday, i wanted to get some new Henderson cards…and do a little digging through the nickel and dollar boxes.  As you all know, there is a certain time and physical commitment involved in searching through these boxes, but it’s always worth it.  The thing i love the most about doing the digging is finding cards that i have never seen and were issued at a time when i wasn’t collecting.

03 PP Rickey Henderson

It also reminds me of the endless amounts of teams Rickey played for…I honestly forgot he played for San Diego.

94 FU 01 FF Rickey HendersonI do remember those fun Met years.  This is actually a pretty cool card to.  The technology and card design in the late 90’s and early 2000’s was special wasn’t it?

99 PI Rickey HendersonThe last Rickey card may or may not already be a part of my collection, but it only set me back one nickel…so i couldn’t pass it up.

84 OPC Rickey Henderson

Here are a couple Donny Baseball cards i was able to find.  I LOVED the Stadium Club cards, but was never able to get a Mattingly card.  It’s been a long time coming Mr. Mattingly.

05 DZ 91 SC Don MattinglyAs a side note, this is my 42nd post.  My wife and I got a little date day Saturday afternoon and went to see the new Jackie Robinson movie, 42.  Although there were a few parts that were campy and overly sappy for my liking (it is a family movie after all), I felt the movie was very well done and gave a great description of his role with integrating baseball.  It was a 2 hour movie, so there is only so much you can comment on and everything cannot be addressed, but I would highly recommend it if you have time.  Jackie Robinson Day is tomorrow, so get your 42’s out!


My GQ Post

Each year when Gypsy Queen comes out, I get a little excited about the cards…but it’s always tempered.  I think the cards look great and the photography is really nice, but i don’t love them.  Don’t hate them either.  Kind of indifferent I guess.  My annual buy in is maybe a few hobby and retail packs, possibly a blaster or two from target, but that’s about it.  I think my aversion to the cards is the lack of statistical information on the back…or it could be the overly ornate border?  As an architect, i’ve been trained to have a dislike for ornament and decoration so i guess that has carried in to my hobbies as well.  The celtic-like border is nice, just not my cup of tea.

13 GQ Yasmani Grandal AJ Ellis

One thing that i really do like about GQ is the inclusion of age old veterans in the base set.  Topps does a nice job with these and making them blend in nicely with the other modern players.  Rarely do the players appear dated and they are never irrelevant to current collectors.  PLUS, i always think it’s great to include HOF’ers and past great players so the young kids can learn a little history about the game and have a card from someone their parents or grandparents enjoyed watching play.

13 GQ Dwight Gooden Tony Gwynn

I also do enjoy the inserts that GQ comes up with.  The two cards below are  a great example of this.  It’s nice to have the a highlight reel play represented on a card.  We all remember the Trout catch last season as it was shown incessantly on the MLB network as well as the mothership.

13 GQ Mike Trout Jayson Werth Glove Stories

Mini’s.  Can’t go wrong with minis and you can’t go wrong with these two guys.  One thing i enjoy about the mini cards is that i can put them at my desk at the office for a little while to enjoy the new pieces of cardboard.  How great was Eddie Mathews?  When people talk about the all time greats, i feel like he is always forgotten.  Imagine if he played in New York how much more popular he would be?  And just look at Lou Brock…chillin…total GQ pose…the other one.

13 GQ Eddie Matthews Lou Brock Minis

Not overly excited about these inserts, but both pitchers are/were pretty great and the photos capture their intensity well.

13 GQ Nolan Ryan NH Felix Hernandez DA

Here is a ‘hit’ from the rack pack i bought.  It’s Jacoby Ellsbury.  He’s pretty big here in Portland since he played at Oregon State and from Madras…but he’s a Red Sock, so i’m not too excited about him…he is pretty great though.  Love that they mention how great a player he is when he’s healthy.

13 GQ Jacoby Ellsbury Blue Border 45:499

And the best has been saved for the very last.  Mr. Cano donchaknow.  Pretty cool to get the base and a retail white border card in the same rack pack of a player you collect.  Wonder why Topps removed teh vertical portion of the elegant border on the left and right sides as well as the name panel on the bottom?

13 GQ Robinson Cano Base and White Border