The Beckett Blog


Danny Woodhead’s cardboard drought will end soon — but don’t expect any autographs by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

He’s a small-town guy from Nebraska who went to a small school — Chadron State — where he was the best player in the nation two years in a row as the winner of the Harlon Hill Trophy and destroyed the record books with 7,962 rushing yards and 109 touchdowns, both NCAA records.

He went undrafted in 2008 and toiled on the New York Jets practice squad before getting some playing time last season. He was cut earlier this year after getting attention on HBO’s Hard Knocks and featured treatment from Coach Rex Ryan‘s memorable mouth (“Look at that little *&^%$#$,” said Ryan, watching a preseason touchdown), only to sign on with the New England Patriots where he’s become a cult hero of sorts.

He’s a small-in-stature guy, just 5-foot-7 (though 200 pounds), who could probably blend in well behind the counter at your local fast food joint or working the shelves at Modell’s — after all, he has sold his own football jerseys in relative anonymity despite the fact that he scored six touchdowns this season while playing alongside the likes of Tom Brady and Wes Welker.

And worst of all? He has yet to appear on a single licensed NFL trading card released in pack form. (But that will soon change — keep reading.)

His name? Danny Woodhead.

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Harlon Hill: One of 2010 Limited’s relatively unknown legends by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Collectors who rip into packs of 2010 Limited Football from Panini America beginning next week will find the likes of Ernie Davis, Tom Brady, Tim Tebow and more inside — a full spectrum of stars from the past, present and (likely) future.

Most of the names will ring a bell immediately, though some — like the autographed card of former Chicago Bears star Harlon Hill seen above — might not.

Hill, though, is a relatively familiar name for me — though his NFL career ended in 1962, well before I was born. You see, in Alabama Crimson Tide country there are a lot of names that get bandied about as football legends — more familiar names like Joe Namath, John Hannah, Ozzie Newsome — but Hill was an Alabama native who didn’t play for the Crimson Tide.

And he became a legend, too.

A player like Hill can be a matter of pride for some — like some of my former co-workers — in that football-crazed part of the country.

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