McDowell, Leonard “Bubba”

Cards: ProSet 1990, ProSet 1991, Score 1990, Score 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Prairie View A&M
Sent:  9/2  Received: 9/15
Previous Failure: C/o The Houston Cougars 2010
See Also: Bubba McDowell (2)

Bubba McDowell is one of the few Oilers that I never had any luck with at training camp, but I always saw that others had. As one of my favorite players, he was a fearsome hitter that also had the occasional knack for finding the end zone with his ball hawking skills.

As a member of Jimmy Johnson‘s Miami Hurricanes, McDowell played strong safety for their 1987 National Championship team. The team was loaded with talent on both sides of the ball that included: Michael Irvin, Wesely Carroll, Randall Hill, Steve Walsh, Jimmie Jones, Cortez Kennedy, Danny Stubbs, Cleveland Gary, Brian Blades and Bennie Blades. Even their punter, Jeff Feagles was able to make it into the pros.  During the monstrous 1989 draft, McDowell would be taken in the 3rd round by the Houston Oilers.

Bubba would lay down the law immediately, replacing long time veteran Keith Bostic at safety. He’d start all 16 games and have a great rookie season recording 97 tackles, a sack, 4 picks, 4 forced fumbles, and a safety. Right before half time in a 1992 Monday Night game against the Chicago Bears at the Astrodome, Bubba picked off Peter Tom Willis and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.  He also notched the last score for the Oilers in their notorious meltdown against the Bills in the playoffs later that season. As Houston slumped in 1994, McDowell would be injured and only start 3 contests.

The Oilers would leave Bubba exposed to free agency and the expansion Panthers snatched him up in late April 1995. He’d finish out his career there with one final pick, but not before being immortalized in both the Nintendo Tecmo Super Bowl and the Super Nintendo Super Tecmo Bowl. After retiring he’d begin coaching and also participated in the Minority Fellowship Program. He remains an active speaker and gives time to charity where he lives outside of Houston, Texas with his wife and family. He is also a member of the Houston Texans Ambassador Club, and was a second team AP in 1991.

So Bubba is another failure turned success for me as last year I wrote him courtesy of the Houston Cougars, but he had already left the organization by then. Doing a bit more research I saw that he had resurfaced at Prairie View A&M as their secondary coach. He would sign all 4 of the cards plus an extra, even though I offered it to him. He also told me that I could keep in touch with him and other players through (School of the Legends). Bubba had some great cards, but both ProSet and Score bought the exact same photo in 1990. I lost a good deal of the other cards I wanted signed, including an Action Packed, GameDay, and his rookie Score 1989 Supplemental cards, but I was happy to get him on these other ones including this spectacular ProSet 1991, and this great looking (but loathesomely designed) Score 1992.

G/Gs 102/83   Tac 470    Sac 5.0     Fum  6      Int  17    Yds 223    Avg 13.1     Td 1    Lg 33