Hampton, Rodney

Cards: Score Supplemental 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990, Action Packed 1991, Proset 1990
Acquired: In Person, 6/11/2012 Houston Fan Fest III
Failure: TTM, C/o Home 2010

Now I was absolutely giddy to get Rodney Hampton at Fan Fest.  I had just found a new address for him and was ready to drop $20 to get a few autographs from him TTM, but while I was preparing cards to be sent out in May, I saw an update to Fan Fest that had him included on the guest list and decided to get him in person instead. Again, Hampton marks another member of the Action Packed 1990 Rookies set that I am trying to complete out as thoroughly as possible, but in general he just had some great cards to get autographed from his rookie season, and I beat that dead horse to death going back a second time for 2 more autographs. Talking to him and the Ruben Studdard clone that was sitting next to him, I recalled his rookie season and how I had used him in the stone ages of Fantasy Football to wallop a friend.  Hampton had an incredible preseason game his rookie year and dismantled the Bills, breaking off some monster runs. I picked him up for the regular season contest and he didn’t disappoint rushing for a bit over 100 yards against them. I really enjoyed meeting him, and also had been talking to him through Sotl.com until they changed the format of the site.

Hampton was a member of the much ballyhooed runningback class of 1990. Among the group was Blair Thomas, Emmitt Smith, Darrell Thompson, and Steve Broussard, – all taken in the first round before the Giants selected Rodney with the 24th pick,  who needed a set of fresh legs to spot aging Ottis Anderson.  (There would be over 40 runningbacks taken in the 1990 NFL Draft.)

Rodney followed in the footsteps of guys like Herschel Walker at Georgia, and finished with 2,661 yards over 31 games for the Bulldogs, good enough for 2nd All-Time in the school annuls.  In 1987, he set a Georgia record with a whalloping 7.06 yard per carry average.

Hampton’s rookie season showed flashes of potential as he electrified the crowd taking his first carry of the preseason 89 yards against the Bills for a touchdown. I remember it, and it was one of the most impressionable carries I ever saw. Behind Ottis, Hampton played sparingly in 1990, registering a modest 455 yards rushing, 32 receptions, and playing sparingly on special teams.  After the season the Giants won SuperBowl XXV against the Bills. 1991 started a string of 5 straight 1000+ yard seasons, while the team went through transitions at both quarterback and fullback. In 1992 and 1993, Rodney got his due with Pro Bowl nominations as the team’s workhorse back. A consistent and thorough runner, Rodney played for the Giants through 1997 when injury sidelined him for all of 14 games of the season. With the signing of Gary Brown, Hampton essentially passed the torch to the team’s new runningback star, Tiki Barker. He would be a free agent and both the Cowboys and Cardinals expressed interest in him, but Rodney opted to retire instead.  At the time of his retirement, Hampton was the team’s All-Time leading rusher, but has since been surpassed.

One has to wonder how the record books would be written today if the Cowboys had taken Hampton over Emmitt Smith, as after the smoke cleared, Hampton emerged as the only back to challenge Smith from the 1990 draft pool.  In 8 seasons for the Giants, Rodney rushed for 6,897 yards and 49 scores.

Hampton at this time is heavily involved in after school and summer athletic camps for kids which are run in Houston, Atlanta, and Newark. You can visit Hamp’s Camp Inc at: www.hampscamp.com. He is also partnered with Player Protect- a company that employs police officers as escorts for NFL players. As quite the entrepeneur, Hampton is also an endorser of fitness equipment, charity events, strength and conditioning, and orthopedic surgeons. Rodney also remains an ardent supporter of Big Blue as a Giants Ambassador.

Absolutely love these cards. I am not sure when he started the practice, but for two of these you can see that Hampton, who loved
running through defenders, double cluched the ball.  In a bit under 2000 touches (rushing/receiving) Hampton only fumbled 18 times- a reliable and remarkably low .9 %.  Rodney was a dynamo in Tecmo Super Bowl on the Nintendo. I loved eating up the clock when I played against Josh, and Hampton was a monster for that. In Tecmo Super Bowl MI, Rodney rushed 10 times for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had 2 receptions for 32 yards and a 3rd TD to stomp the hated Cowboys 32-26.


G/Gs 104/85      Rush 1824     Yds 6897      Avg  3.8     Td 49     Lg 63t |
Rec 174      Yds 1309       Avg 7.5    Td 2   lg 62