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Who He Play For

The Super Bowl commercials came and went, much like that 4th quarter last night for the Bengals. In the middle of the million dollar ads, there was one that stood out, and it wasn’t new (by the way, commercials, already covered by The Encyclopedia, here).

Apparently, American Express will give you a new jersey of the player’s uniform that you have, if he gets traded…My question for Amex, are you sure? Because some guys move around like a Barry Sanders jump cut in the secondary.

Wonder if Kev Murphy had insurance on Semi Ojeleye?

Having a trade resistant jersey for an Odell Beckham Jr. or Von Miller makes sense…but what about the other guys? As you know, The Encyclopedia is all about the other guys, as we’re usually overlooked.

A guy like Travis Outlaw; who’s on the cover photo next to Chuck Barkley, played for four teams in the span of three seasons. Guy’s like Outlaw would surely push the boundaries of this uniform guarantee.

Today we look at four guys who’d definitely have you on the Amex customer service hotline trying to explain how a team can waive a player’s Bird Rights before the trade deadline.

Not only did these for guys swap rosters a few times, but they also did something rare, at least three of the teams they played for, were in the same division.

Chris Hogan is the only guy on our list that completes the quadfecta as he played for all four teams in the AFC East.

Undrafted out of Penn St., Hogan also finds himself on the two-sport athlete list with the likes of Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, and Kyle Farnsworth, as he debuted in the Premier Lacrosse League last year.

During his 11 year career including practice squad teams, Hogan was never traded, only cut, waived, or released. A testament to never giving up, Chris Hogan won 2 Super Bowls with the Pats, and holds the record for most receiving yards in a playoff game by an undrafted player with 180.

The older he got, the more the barrel of the bat menacingly pointed at the opposing pitcher.

Forget Tom Brady and Andrew Whitworth, Julio Franco played 23 seasons in the bigs, and his first came in 82’ with the Phillies. After his rookie year, Franco moved to the American League, and didn’t come back to the NL East until he was 42, with the Braves in 2001.

Often remembered for his unusual batting stance, Franco was a 3-time All Star, 5-time Silver Slugger winner, and won the batting title in 91’.

Before The Greek God of Walks, there was Julio Franco, the ultimate utility player. Coming up as a short stop, Franco played every position on the diamond other than pitcher and catcher. His career batting average is .298, with Youkilis’ sitting at .281, it’s important we don’t neglect the original jack of all trades, that could also hit for power.

You probably thought a hockey player was next, didn’t you? We’re going with a wild card though. Nicolas Anelka played for a lot of teams, in fact he played for twelve teams in seven different countries.

An enigmatic talent, Anelka featured for three of England’s tradition top four teams, the only one missing being Manchester United. He played three years for now Premier League titan, Manchester City, but that’s neither here nor there, as The Encyclopedia doesn’t endorse the world’s worst club.

Anelka’s career was marred by controversy, not just club transfers. He’s been fined, suspended, and even kicked off of France’s 2010 World Cup squad. His longest stint with one team was with Chelsea, where he played over a hundred games, and scored more than 50 goals…a prototypical wide receiver diva, trapped in a soccer player’s body.

The only guy on this list that played for three teams in the same division consecutively, Tom Chambers was a 4-time All Star. Chambers played in the Pacific Division with two of his former three teams no longer being NBA cities, in San Diego and Seattle.

His two lasting moments are his 1987 All-Star Game MVP that he won in front of the Sonic faithful at the Kingdome (bring back the Sonics).

And his preposterous posterization of Mark Jackson, and my lowly New York Knickerbockers in 1989.

Chambers was a really good player. Not quite a Hall of Famer, but not just another guy. If there was a Hall of Very Good, Tom Chambers would be a first ballot inductee.

It’s tough being a guy without a home, being an unrestricted free agent is challenging, trust me, I know. Lots of hours waiting for the phone to ring, in hopes of a Spring Training try-out, or a G-League 10-day contract, just for a chance to prove yourself.

Nobody wants to be levied for cash considerations, compensatory draft picks, or sanctimoniously cut…but there’s two sides to every deal.

For every transaction that saw these four guys’ organizations offload them, there was a franchise on the other side excited to employ their services.

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