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Novacek, Jay

Cards: Proset 1989, Proset 1991 Receiving Leader TE.
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1990, 1992.
See Also: Jay Novacek (2)

Jay Novacek was one of Jimmy Johnson‘s first free agent signees of the 1990 season and one of the first autographs I got at Dallas Cowboys training camp at St. Edwards in Austin, Tx. Novacek played in near anonymity for the St. Louis/ Phoenix Cardinals but was left unprotected in free agency. Jay took over the starting tight end position providing an immediate upgrade and held down the starting position for 6 seasons and received 5  Pro Bowl nods from 1991 to 1995. Novacek played in Super Bowl XXX (1996), but never played another down and retired in 1997 due to a lingering back injury.

After football Novacek has dabbled in a variety fields since retirements, investing in a chain of haircut salons (Sportsclips), youth football programs, and is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

G 158         Rec  422        Yds  4630        Avg  11.0        Td  30       Lg  49

Jurasin, Bobby

Cards: All World 1991.
Acquired: TTM 1993, (CFL Blitz) C/o CFL headquarters.


I got a box of All-World CFL cards in 1991 from a local card dealer and decided to send out a bunch of them after the league confirmed it’s North American expansion plans when the WLAF folded in North America. Not finding the team offices, I blitzed the headquarters, who then sent it around to a variety of teams for me and included many of their own. They included many future hall of famers and Doug Flutie.

Bobby Jurasin went undrafted in the 1986 NFL draft after attending Northern Michigan University and joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a free agent that year.  Despite only starting 8 games his rookie year, he was an immediate force on the field for the Roughriders garnering the team’s rookie of the year award nomination at linebacker and defensive end. (He also played spot tight end duty.) Jurasin over the next 12 seasons would wreck havoc on opposing teams, and would be a West All Star in 1989 and 1994, CFL All Star in 1987, 1988, 1992, and 1997, winning a Grey Cup in 1989. He’d play for the Argonauts in 1998, and then the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena league where he retired due to a neck injury. At retirement he was number 3 on the CFL all time list in sacks.

Of note, Jurasin was a trend setter, wearing a rising sun bandana underneath his helmet that fans picked up on and wear to this day. Bobby was inducted into the CFL HoF in 2006 and currently is coaching at the college level.

Games  197       Tac  411        Sac  142         FF   22
Int  2         Yds  38          Avg  19.0         Td  0

Smith, Al

Cards: Proset 1991, Fleer 1995, Score 1991, Score 1992, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: In Person, Highland Mall 1992. Oilers Training Camp 1995. TTM, 2010 C/o home.
Sent:  6/24        Received: 7/10   (16 days)


In 1992 the Oilers were doing a media and fan blitz outside of their normal home territory and were appearing at a local mall sending in coach Jim Eddy, Jeff Alm and Al Smith. It was one of my first memorable face to face interactions with players and Al and Jeff cracked jokes with me while they set up the tables in front of the food court. Al signed my Pro Set 1991 and then jokingly told me I could have probably carried in the table for them. It was a kind and cherished moment at an emotional time of my life. I would later get his autograph at my last time at Houston Oiler training camp in 1995 on the Fleer 95 card. In 2010, when I was tracking down former Oilers I found Al’s address and sent out for his autograph.

Al Smith was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 6th round of the 1986 draft from Utah. Smith would go on to lead the team in tackles his rookie season, as an inside linebacker for the 3-4 defense.  In 1990 he officially became the team’s starting middle linebacker and held down the starting job through 1994, garnering Pro Bowl honors twice and All-Pro once finally retiring in 1997.  Probably the Oiler’s best kept secret, Al Smith came up with big plays for the Oilers, including 2 goal line stops in a row to seal victory against the Jets in the playoffs. Smith after football would serve as a scout for the  Tennessee Titans and currently lives in Franklin, TN.

G  125      Tac  833        Sac  5.5         FF   8
Int  2        Yds 42      Avg 21.0      TD 0