Rookie Cards of Kevin Mawae
Kevin Mawae grew up in a military family and this gave him a firm foundation of discipline and focus. By age 8 he had determined within himself that he wanted to play in the NFL. He thanks Coach Fred Moses, his first football coach as a kid.
Coach Moses taught him how to love the game of football and how to respect the game. He learned how to love the preparation, the plays, and the puzzle. He learned how to put on his uniform and how to lace up his cleats. Keven explains how Coach Moses’ rule was to never come to practice without your cleats on and your attitude right. He learned how to step on the field and be ready to work.
Kevin went on to play for Lousiana State University and had a successful college career. He was the 36th overall pick in the 2nd Round of the 1994 Draft and was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks. In 1998 he signed with the New York Jets where he played eight of his greatest years in the league. Capped off his career doing a four-year stint with the Tennessee Titans and retired after the 2009 season. He is an 8x Pro Bowler and 3x All-Pro.
His Hall of Fame enshrinement speech was full of raw emotions, Mawae reflects on the game of football and comes to the conclusion that football is the greatest game in the world but then goes onto explain why. “There are few environments where a group of people from different upbringings, different backgrounds, races, and religions can come together and put aside every one of those differences for a common goal of putting a team together to win a game. And in that process each of us finds out something of ourselves and finds answers to life’s most difficult questions; Do I have what it takes to be the very best? Can I lose my ego for the good of the team? Can I bounce back after a major defeat? Can I continue on when I feel like shutting down? Can I respect the differences between my teammates and still succeed in a highly competitive environment? Can I work with those I don’t like because it benefits everyone else and not just me? Am I willing to give more of myself so that someone else can be successful?”
These questions that Mawae pondered can benefit us as well, they are universal and can apply to us in our everyday lives too. Mawae portrays the spirit of a Hall of Famer and he made it clear that through it he learned accountability, sacrifice, and selflessness and these are the attributes that sealed his legacy.
TRUE ROOKIE CARDS OF HALL OF FAMER
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1994 Bowman, Card No. 135 shop ebay
Bowman’s baseball marketing scheme claimed they were “The Home of the Rookie Card.” They followed suit with their football product too. This 390 card set has 114 rookie cards. This was quite the checklist for a 1994 football product. The card design mimics the baseball line as well. Giving us full borderless photography with a few gold foil highlights. Card back is somewhat boxy and bright but overall covers the basics. There are no parallels to speak of.
1994 Playoff, Card No. 330 shop ebay
I don’t know about you but I prefer photography that gives us a portrait or a game action photo. Not much for practice uniforms of random poses. Really nice ribbon-shaped emblem with the player name across the bottom is all the card front has to offer. Not much to brag about on the back of card either, pointless photo, no player bio or stats. But nonetheless, it is a bonified true rookie card of an NFL HOFer. No parallels for this set either.
1994 Stadium Club, Card No. 289 shop ebay
This very large 642 card football set was split up into three series. Our featured HOFer lands in series two packs. The borderless photo shows Mawae in a game uniform with a very cool “Draft Pick” foil emblem stamped on the lower right side of the card. I like what they did to the photo on the card back and it gives us the player name, player bio, and commentary. Two parallels for this one First Day Issues were inserted 1:12 packs. The second one was a mail-away parallel issue called, Members Only.
1994 Topps, Card No. 592 shop ebay
Finally, a card that shows Mawae posing for the camera. Although this one is quite comical in my opinion. The swirl affects in the card background, his pose and position make it look like he’s passed gas, the smile on his face almost confirms that assumption. Great looking Draft Pick emblem at the upper left side makes this one a must-have and my favorite of all his rookie cards. The card back is decent and only lacks a photo. “Special Effects” is the only parallel for this one although there not rare due to them being inserted 1:2 packs. The biggest difference for this parallel is silver foil on the card front.
1994 Ultra, Card No. 508 shop ebay
Great action photo of our featured HOFer, only one border sits at bottom of the card in gold foil. The classic Ultra emblem is always a fan favorite. The card back, however, is a disaster. Of course, this is only my opinion so you be the judge. This collage of photos is hard on the eyes. Something I’ve noticed about all of Mawae rookie cards, none of them gives us his LSU statistics. No parallels were inserted into this set.