All posts by Lee Bolton

Flutie, Doug

Cards: All World CFL 1991, Score 1989
Acquired: TTM C/o CFL

Doug Flutie is a player who has seemed to have an amazing amount of luck and heart follow him to every stop along the way in football. A heartwarming story, Flutie was considered well undersized to be a quarterback in the NFL after a storied career at Boston College where he threw a hail mary against the University of Miami in 1984 and won the Heisman Trophy that year.

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round of the NFL draft, Flutie opted to sign on with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. In 1986 he signed with the Chicago Bears and then was on board with the Patriots, where got the starting duty in 1988. Unable to keep the starting job he was cut in 1990 where he signed with the British Columbia Lions of the CFL in 1990. The wide open fields of the CFL allowed Flutie to flourish and polish his game. Doug was a quarterback who kept teams honest with his feet and was an avid scrambler. Flutie became the ‘Michael Jordan’ of the CFL, setting the record for yards in a season with 6619 yards, touchdowns with 48, and was named the most outstanding player of the CFL a record 6 times.  Doug won the Grey Cup MVP with the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts (twice and back to back). Returning with a vengeance to the NFL in 1998 to the Buffalo Bills, he was named comeback player of the year and took the team to the playoffs and named to the Pro Bowl, but Doug didn’t ever win the respect of management, as he was replaced by de facto starter Rob Johnson, who had returned from a season long injury. The quarterback controversy continued well into 1999, where Doug went 4-1 and Johnson went 4-7. In 2000, Doug was unceremoniously cut by the Bills and signed with the Chargers in 2001, who were reeling from the Ryan Leaf days. He would stay on board to tutor a young Drew Brees when he was drafted in 2002 and played sparingly for the team through 2005. With gas still in the tank, Flutie signed with the New England Patriots in 2005 to back up Tom Brady and retired at the beginning of the 2006 preseason.

Flutie has a variety of age related records to his accomplishment, and was the first player to drop kick an extra point since 1941. Although Doug did not find lasting success in the NFL, he has been enshrined into the CFL HoF, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame. He stays active playing basketball, and sponsors his own brand of breakfast cereal “Flutie Flakes” with the proceeds going to charities dealing in autism. Doug also plays drums for his family’s band, the “Flutie Brothers Band”.  Doug is an excellent commentator and also handled  color commentary for the United Football League games.

Games 136    Att 4854       Comp 2975        Pct 61.3         Yds 41355              Td  270         Int 155    Lg 106t

Russell, Leonard

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1991, Topps Stadium Club 1992.
Acquired: TTM, c/o New England Patriots, 1992, 1993.

The 6’2″, 235 lb bowling ball from Arizona St. was selected in the first round of the 1991 draft by the New England Patriots as they were attempting to rebuild after a dismal 1-15 season.  Russell would reward the team with workman-like efficiency rushing for 935 yards and 4 touchdowns, grabbing offensive rookie of the year honors and helping the team win 6 games that year.  Unfortunately, the Sophomore slump hit Russell in ’92 and he only ran for 390 yards that year, but he recovered nicely in 1993, rushing for a career high 1088 yards. After his rookie contract had expired the Patriots made Leonard an offer but he got into a disagreement with Parcells and the staff about the contract, so the Patriots decided to go in a different direction.

Russell would become a journeyman playing for the Rams, Broncos and Chargers before retiring after the 1996 season. One of Leonard’s goals was to make the playoffs, but ironically every team he played for made the playoffs after he retired.  Russell at the time of this post is the Director of Business Development for Adrenaline Athletic Training Solutions in Riverside, CA.

Games 85      Att 1164    Yds 3973   Avg 3.4  Td 29  Lg 24
Rec 122   Yds 846   Avg  6.9  Td 0  Lg 69

Lott, Ronnie

ronnie lott

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1991
Acquired:  In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1992

Ronnie Lot scared the hell out of me. A large and intimidating force, I guess he’s what we’d almost call, -a method actor for football. Ronnie Lott was an amazing defensive player for the University of Southern California under head coach John Robinson. Drafted in the first round of the 1981 draft by the 49ers, Lott started his career as a cornerback and returned 3 thefts for touchdowns in that season alone. (He would finish #2 to Lawrence Taylor for the RotY honors that year.) His flexibility and speed in the secondary allowed Lott would move to Free Safety in 1985, – a position he’d remain at for the majority of his career. A ferocious hitter, Ronnie had a nose for the ball and went over 100 tackles 3 times in his career. He was equally adept at intercepting the pass. As a rare ‘total package’ he led the league in interceptions twice in his career. With the advent of free agency in 1991 he bolted for the Silver and Black where he played an additional two seasons playing for the Jets and signing with the Chiefs before signing a 1 day contract with the 49ers to retire.

Lott was a 10 time Probowler at the time of his retirement, 8 time first team AP, 4 time Superbowl champion, part of the 80s and 90s NFL teams, and the NFL 75th anniversary team. After retirement he has been involved in NFL telecasting both in the booth and as a commentator and a private equity management. He was inducted into the Pro Football HoF in 2000.

I got Ronnie’s autograph when the Raiders visited the Cowboys training camp in 1992. Josh and me found out where the Raiders hotel was so we went and staked it out. The players once they got off the bus would go and change in their minuscule dressing room that resembled a storage barn and then go inside. It was in transition between the hotel and the dressing room that Josh and I would haul in a virtual smörgåsbord of Raider players and talent. Ronnie came out and walked towards us undeterred. I approached Ronnie and said, “Mr. Lott, can I trouble you for an autograph.”  He responded to me with his trademark furrowed angry brow football growl, “Didn’t I sign one for you already?” In response I stuttered, “N-n-no sir.” He then sort of growled at me and signed the card and kept going. Josh then revealed he had gotten one from him earlier in the week and I had taken the heat for him because apparently we looked alike.

Games 192     Tac  1113       Sac 8.5       FF 17
Int 63        Yds 730        Avg  11.6          Td  5         lg 83t