All posts by Lee Bolton

Stephens, John (1966-2009)

Cards: Action Packed 1991, SkyBox 1992
Acquired: TTM 1992, Patriots Blitz

John Stephens was a bruising halfback drafted in the first round of the 1988 draft by the New England Patriots. A tough, relatively unknown competitor from a small Louisiana college, John would burst onto the scene and in his rookie season it would culminate with him taking the offensive rookie of the year award home rushing for 1168 yards and a Pro Bowl nod.   A relatively plain halfback with excellent quickness and relentless, churning legs, he would lead the Patriots in rushing the next two seasons, but never eclipse the 1,000 yard mark or return to the ProBowl with injuries beginning to slow him down. With Leonard Russell drafted in 1991, John would be relegated to backup- but refused to give up and moved to fullback where he refined himself as a tough blocker. He’d stay with the team through 1992. In 1993 he’d play in one final season splitting time with the Chiefs, Packers and Falcons before retiring. Since then, John had led a relatively quiet life in the Louisiana area, but tragically was killed in 2009 when his car slammed into a tree and he was thrown from the car. Below are his career statistics:

G/Gs 88/64    Att 945    Yds 3440   Avg 3.6   Td 18   Lg 52  |
Rec 105     Yds 812     Avg 7.7    Td 1    Lg 43

Washington, James “Drive-By”

Card: GameDay 1992
Acquired: In Person 1993, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

James McArthur Washington was originally a 5th round pick of the then Los Angeles Rams in 1988 out of UCLA.  He’d play two seasons for the team as a backup, suiting up in 25 games and making one pick. In 1990 Washington would sign Plan B with the Dallas Cowboys. I’d swear that he was the Dallas Cowboy who first wore the dew rag on the team- frequently sporting a black one across his head that made him look like a ninja samurai headhunting safety. Playing for the Cowboys he would enjoy his greatest success allowed to roam the secondary as a starter at strong safety and occasionally at free safety, pulling in a career high 113 tackles in 1991 and 5 interceptions in 1994. SuperBowl XXVIII (1993) would be his finest hour where he’d make an interception, recover a fumble for a touchdown and make a team high 11 tackles. Even though Washington was considered for the MVP honor, he eventually lost out to Emmitt Smith for the honor. In 1995 he’d sign as a free agent with the rival Redskins, where he’d start 12 games making 2 interceptions before he retired after 7 seasons.

James works for Fox Sports Radio and net, founded and works with Shelter 37, Inc., and was named in 2010 as the Assistant Director of Alumni Giving at UCLA.

G/Gs  114/70    Tac  458    Sac 0    Fum 7    Int   17   Yds   187   Td   0   Lg  38

Johnson, Alondra

Card: Jogo 1992
Acquired: TTM 1992 C/o The CFL

When I sent cards to the CFL as part of a blitz package, the league was kind enough to send me more cards with autographs on them from the Jogo 1992 set. Most NFL fans probably don’t have a clue who Alondra Johnson is but that’s okay because he blazed his own trail North of the Border terrorizing offenses for 16 seasons in the CFL. A 2009 CFL HoF inductee, Johnson (from West Texas A&M) played in 6 Grey Cup Championships winning three (1992,1998, and 2001) with the Stampeders. Originally signed as a free agent by the British Columbia Lions in 1989, Johnson would play for them for three seasons before he signed with Calgary in 1991 playing for head coach Wally Buono. 1998 would be punctuated by Alondra getting the CFL’s most valuable defensive player award and in his career he’d be named a 6 time Western All Star and 3 time CFL All Star. He’d suit up for the Stamps an additional 12 seasons and a final one in 2004 with Saskatchewan. In 2007, Johnson signed a one day contract to retire as a Stampeder. At the time of his retirement, Alondra’s 1095 career tackles ranked second all time in CFL history. In 2005 he was inducted into the West Texas A&M Hall of Champions, and in 2010 he was inducted into the Stampeders Wall of Honor. Johnson once described his playing methodology as, “Speed-times-force-times-mass equals serious punishment.” At last glance Alondra is living in Los Angeles, planning his next move.

G 248       Tac  1095       Sac  45        Fum 16     Int 17      Yds n/a     Avg -.-    Td 1    Lg N/a