Alm, Jeff (1968-1993)

Card: ProSet 1990, Score Supplemental 1990
Acquired: In Person 1992, Highland Mall

In 1992 the Oilers were doing a media and fan blitz outside of their normal home territory and were appearing at a local mall sending in coach Jim Eddy, Jeff Alm and Al Smith. It was one of my first memorable face to face interactions with players and Al and Jeff cracked jokes with me while they set up the tables in front of the food court. Al signed my Pro Set 1991 and then jokingly told me I could have probably carried in the table for them. Jeff signed my cards and firmly shook my hand and smiled, thanking me for hanging in there and being a fan and I gave him some encouraging words for the season. We also joked that Jim Eddy (the defensive coordinator) would be upset because I did not have his card. (He didn’t have one.)

Jeff Alm was drafted in the second round of the 1990 draft by the Houston Oilers out of Notre Dame to play defensive tackle. The man mountain checked in at a whopping 6″6′ and 284 .  In 1992 Alm began to have more playing time on the line, playing in 14 games, collecting 35 tackles, 1 sack and 2 forced fumbles. After a prolonged holdout in 1993, Alm signed and played but had sustained a painful hairline fracture in his leg. He was placed on injured reserve and was upset about the lack of playing time. His childhood friend Sean Lynch came to visit him in Houston to cheer him up. He and jeff had a close relationship, like siblings- and loved to compete with each other in interests like car stereos. On December 13th, Jeff and Sean had a night out on the town. On the way home Alm was driving recklessly on the 610 and sideswiped the guardrail. Sean was thrown from the car and killed. When Jeff emerged from the wreckage of the vehicle, he was so overcome that he grabbed a shotgun from the back of his car, and took his own life.  Both were drunk at the time of the accident, and although Alm’s was signifigantly lower, he was on a muscle relaxant that amplified the effects of the alcohol. The Oilers would wear a memorial sticker with his number on it for the remainder of the season. I remember I was working at Best Buy when I heard the news, late in the evening. I was shocked to hear that Jeff had passed on, and it was all over the TVs in the video department. (Alm remains a rarety in the NFL- that is a player who commits suicide while he was still on an active roster.) Since those days, horrible urban legends have emerged about Jeff, but based on the coroner’s report and on the scene services, those claims have no merit and are substantiated as being untrue. Jeff’s only injury was a gunshot wound and neither of them had clothes that were removed. Below are Jeff’s statistics.

G/Gs  44/8     Tac N/a     Sac  2.5     Fum 2      Int  0  Yds  0   Avg -.-  Td 0