I try to get Freakwood’s autograph whenever I can. I think he understands how elusive he is in the TTM world, and this allows him to charge a few bucks whenever he does show up. He used to be an immense rarity out there signing but over the past few years has been making his way around to conventions more and more. I still have a few more cards of his I’d love to get signed, and whether or not it’s at the 610 Fan Fest or through a paid signing like the Fiterman event, he’s still an Oiler legend in my book. I even had a jersey of his. I always felt like Jeffires has never gotten his due, from leading the AFC in receptions from 1990 to 1992, to helping the Oilers make the playoffs 7 seasons in a row, I think that people always talked down about the team and players on that offense
because they played in the Run ‘N Shoot. The Oilers after the 1993 season imploded, and while Jeffires somehow made the Probowl that season, his numbers were clearly in the decline. Over the years he had a friendly rivalry with Ernest Givins, and by 1995, only trailed him in receptions on the career list for the Oilers. For the 3rd consecutive season, he was placed on waivers as the team worked to put him under the salary cap, but with new signee Willie Davis receiving a big contract to play with the team- Jeffires decided to entertain suitors. Kansas City, Jacksonville, and New Orleans all made a play for the former Oiler, but in the end he’d finish his career in New Orleans. Jeffires suffered a season ending knee injury that year, and then was placed on waivers by the team. He ended up on the Bears but did not make the roster of the 1996 team. He has fond memories of playing for the Oilers, and doesn’t hold any hard feelings towards the fans, and it’s certainly odd for me when I see cards of Jeffires in a New Orleans outfit. I remember at the time it made me particularly sore, since he was one of my favorite players, so I can certainly relate to those fans who chagrin at Favre in a Jets jersey, Simpson in a 49er uniform, or Namath putting on a Rams helmet.
Jeffires was a late addition to the 2013 Fan Fest- So late that he was not advertised on 610’s website. The people at Clutch City Promotions though were kind enough to fill us in on the Texas Autograph Club boards of his attendance, so I was sure to pull from my collection the remainder of what I had. Fan Fest was low key this year as there was no way they could top the names from last year. This allowed for easy access to many players, and in case of Jeffries, have 4 or 5 micro conversations about football. We talked about a wide range of topics. The first was his wear. At every event he always wears a turtleneck or long sleeve shirt. His handlers laughed for a second as he told me that he thinks it’s just a thing between him and the other members of the Astrodome club because of its porous condition, it was a hard place to play. He loved the Pacific 92 card, since it showcased him in Warren’s biggest game- a 527 yard masterful performance against the Chiefs. Jeffires did not like the departure of the Oilers from Houston. He and many of the veteran members of the HOUSTON Oilers really felt that the league screwed up by letting the team leave Houston. He also felt that the team records should’ve stayed in Houston and cited the example of the Browns. This surprised me as I have always maintained that sentiment. We also discussed Drew Hill in those conversations, and Jeffires told me, “That he lived a great life.” Haywood and I also briefly discussed his impersonator, – something that he was unaware of.
By the end of the day I had acquired 6 more autographs of Jeffires to which I was at a point where I believe that if he ever sees me again at a convention, he may just recognize me. I got every card that I had hoped to get signed, plus nearly every ‘scrub’ card that I had left in reserve. With these autographs, Jeffires moves probably near the top of my list of autographs from a single player in my collection. There are some incredible cards in this group, including the Team MVP card from Upper Deck’s 1992 release. Absolutely beautiful art. As mentioned previously the Pacific 1992 card is a nice one, not only because of its significance but also because of the dynamic pose caught in the shot. The Gameday card was an incredible shot as well, but more so because of its verticle design. Score in its 2012 set did a re-release of some of their 1990 players in that year’s design.
Although Jeffires was on the phone from time to time during the event, he was good to his fans, always stopped what he was doing, and waited until the short conversation was over before signing the card, talking to the fan, flashing a smile or taking a photograph and moving on.