Category Archives: AFL

Williams, Kieron

Card: Topps AAF 2019
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 6/10 Received: 8/20 (71 days)

Kieron Williams played his college ball at Nebraska in 2016 and 2017. He saw action at both corner and safety for the Cornhuskers recording 36 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, and took a lateral off of an interception 44 yards for a TD. He was not selected in the NFL draft and opted to sign with the Alliance of American Football in 2018. He was assigned to the Arizona Hotshots for the 2019 season and saw some action for the team. After notching 2 tackles in the preseason- when this great photo was probably taken- Williams started one game on the season, and finished with 7 total tackles.

It took Kieron a bit to get back to me, but with some persistence over Twitter he kindly responded to my request. A solid autograph, it has a nice amount of loops and dips in it. Kieron was not selected in the XFL 2020 draft, however he has his quickly established his own clothing line called Fake.

Houston, Ken

Cards: Action Packed 1991 Whizzer White Award, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 12//19 Received: 1/3/20 (days)

Ken Houston was one of the greatest NFL defensive backs to play the game. Playing at safety for the Houston Oilers in 1967, Kenny was a blessed athlete and track man with an incredible nose for the ball. He picked off 4 passes his rookie season and scored 2 TDs. (He scored a 3rd TD via blocked field goal that season as well.)

Then from 1968 through 1979, Ken was named to the Pro Bowl, while also garnishing 2 time AP Honors (10 time 2nd team AP Honors). He scored 2 more TDs on interceptions in 1968, then tied the NFL record with 4 (with a 5th via fumble recovery) on 9 interceptions in 1971.

Kenny was traded to the Washington Redskins in 1973. for at the time a blockbuster deal. The Redskins handed over 5 players to land Houston. Ken paid off as over the next 8 seasons recorded 24 more interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries.

Over Kenny’s storried career he scored a TD 4 different ways: Interception, Fumble, Punt, and Blocked Kick. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the 1986 class. He’s also been showered with honors and accolades.

As of 2020, Ken lives in the Houston area and is a member of neither the Redskins or Titans Ambassadors group, but rather the Houston Texans, and makes appearances for the team. He does quite a lot of work for charities, including Houston area hospitals.

I had hoped to get Ken on an Oilers card, but frankly I hated them all, so I went with these Redskins cards. Ah well, these two were by far my favorite, even though they were both post playing career finds. His Action Packed Whizzer White is an exceptional specimen, while is Legends shows him laying the wood out.

I had gotten these cards some time ago and sat on them. I hoped that I’d corner him at a Texans team function but no dice. I actually met his son at a pregame event back in 2015 when the Texans played the Chiefs and he was very nice. It only took me another 4 years or so to finally go ahead and send these out to him with a small signing fee. He turned these around in no time flat, and that in turn triggered a tsunami on different TTM sites for requests from him.

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Granger, Hoyle

Card: Topps 1970
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 2/4 Received: 2/9 (5 days)

Over his college career Cajun Hoyle Granger ran for 1534 yards and 350 carries (7 TDs) for Mississippi State. He’d be selected by the Houston Oilers in the 5th round of the AFL draft, and the 4th round of the competing NFL draft in 1966. Opting to sign with the Oilers, Hoyle became more or less a fullback for Houston as not only was he a strong North/South runner but also an impressive blocker. After a subpar rookie season, when he rushed for 388 yards on 56 carries, Hoyle burst onto the scene for the first of two consecutive ProBowl appearances in 67 and 68. He’d run for a career high 1,194 yards (6 TDs) in 1967 and 848 yards in 1968 (7 TDs). His 1,494 combined yards in 1967 led the AFL. Although his numbers were in decline after that, Hoyle became the franchise’s all-time leading rusher (since surpassed) during the 1970 season. Afterwards he’d be traded to the New Orleans Saints along with a bevy of players and draft choices. (The Oilers in return received notably WR Ken Burrough whom they had wanted but NO had selected the pick before them.) After just one season in The Big Easy, Hoyle returned to Houston for his final swan song in 1972.

I was not familiar with Hoyle outside of his statistics and the fact he was #3 on the HOUSTON Oilers all-time rushing list, but after reading the book ‘Oiler Blues’ he was one of the more recognizable players from the brief silver Houston Oilers helmet era, and a few photos of him rumbling along really stuck out in my head. I decided to take a shot at him and was pleased to see a response in 5 days flat on his classic Topps 1970 card.

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