Monday, January 13, 2014

A new year, a new player to collect - maybe

1996 Pro Line Autographs
Jeff Lewis (card # 38)

You might ask yourself, "Who?"  Jeff Lewis.

He was a quarterback at my alma mater, Northern Arizona University.  I didn't see him play.  Heck, he was only in grade school when I attended college.

He was a fine student athlete and then went on to the pros, playing a few seasons with the Broncos, behind John Elway, and then a few seasons with the Panthers behind Steve Beuerlein.  He didn't fare well in the pros, completing only 54 passes with no TDs.

He then was an assistant coach at the University of Louisville and then at NAU.

He died in January of 2013, just over a year ago.

As I was doing research to flesh out this blog I came across an article from the Charlotte Observer that discusses the results of his autopsy
Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Jeff Lewis, once thought to be the team’s quarterback of the future, died in January as a result of an accidental drug overdose, according to an autopsy report obtained by the Observer. 
The autopsy found morphine and zolpidem, a sedative and sleep aid more commonly known as Ambien, in Lewis’ blood.
 Medication containers and handwritten documents found in Lewis’ Phoenix home indicated a possible history of prescription medication abuse, including zolpidem and the painkiller hydrocodone, Maricopa County medical examiner Kevin Horn wrote in his report.
This doesn't make me happy.  I've been looking at his cards for the last 12 months and finally found one that was going to do it for me on ebay.  I picked it up.  Delivered for less than $3.  I created a checklist and a plan.  I wasn't going to try to get each of the different cards.  Just a rookie, an auto, a card from his last year in Denver, a card from the first and last years in Carolina.  Five cards.

Tragic ending for a young man.  It makes me sad and I'm now I don't know if I want to collect his cards.

1 comment:

  1. He was a flawed human being, no doubt, but a small collection of him could serve as a reminder of how fragile we are as human beings. At one point he was just a college kid at the same school as you, but 1-2 choices here or there sent him down the wrong path.

    I know it easily could have been me at one point, but luckily I made a different choice as a similar crossroads in my life. It would have been just as easy, if not easier, for me to choose the other path. If I did choose the other path, it wouldn't have made me a bad person though...just a misguided one. I was lucky enough to have someone to guide me in the right direction. Maybe Lewis just didn't have that special someone to put him back on the right path.

    I'm trying to tell you to collect him if you are uncomfortable doing so. It's all up to you. I just wanted to share a potential reason behind such a tragedy.