Category Archives: College Football HoF

Campbell, Earl ‘The Tyler Rose’


Cards: Score 1991, Proset 1991.
Acquired: TTM 1993, c/o University of Texas
See Also: Campbell, Earl (2) “The Tyler Rose”

I got Earl’s autograph courtesy of the University of Texas, at Austin. I sent a picture I drew of him in all his glory with it, and he autographed these two pictures for me in exchange for the art. The other I won at an end of High School party. I met him at the CGA Youth Golf Tournament earlier in the year. He was a stocky, but huge man. His thighs were literally bigger than my waist, however he drove around in a golf cart for the majority of his time there, limited by the amount of wear he suffered from the sport.

Earl Campbell won the Heisman in 1977 for the University of Texas and was the definition of ‘powerback’. He could literally run over anybody and anything, once even stunning the Longhorn mascot Bevo after a touchdown run. The Houston Oilers, led by Bum Phillips traded to get the #1 pick of the 1978 draft and selected ‘The Tyler Rose’.  They could’ve stopped drafting right there… Campbell would go on to win Rookie of the Year honors and MVP honors, while officially the Luv’ Ya Blu era in Houston had begun. The Oilers became the most difficult opponent for the Pittsburgh Steelers that year, due in major part by the cog that was Earl Campbell. From 1978- 1985 Campbell dominated the rushing charts racking up 5 Pro Bowl selections, 3 All Pro selections, 3 offensive player of the year honors, and NFL MVP in 1979. During his 1980 season Campbell ran for a career high 1934 yards, while over the first 4 years of his career rushed for almost 6500 yards and 55 touchdowns. He punished defenders across the board with his rugged play, but by 1982 it began to take a toll on his body. In 1984 he found himself traded to the New Orleans Saints to play for his old coach and mentor Bum Phillips, where he retired after the 1985 season.

Campbell since football has conquered a variety of issues as he has dealt with back pain and injury from his playing days but he has managed to reforge himself as a successful businessman.  UT utilizes him also as an ambassador and Earl has had success with his own meat and BBQ company.

Games 118   Att  2187   Yds 9407  Avg 4.3   Td 74

Singletary, Mike

Card: Action Packed 1989
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Chicago Bears

An incredible middle linebacker with a nose for the ball, Mike Singletary displayed his abilities early on in high school and later at Baylor recording 30+ tackles in a game on 3 separate occasions. Before he was drafted in the second round of the 1981 draft by the Bears, Singletary set a team record with 662 career tackles, including a mind boggling 232 as a Sophomore at Baylor where he won the Davey O’Brien Award. After being selected, it took him only seven games before he became a near permanent fixture for the Bears over the next 12 years notching 10 straight ProBowl appearances from 1983-1992, Defensive player of the year in 1985 and 1988, and All Pro (first team) from 1983-1989, and 1991.

In 1985 he’d help the defense under Buddy Ryan and Mike Ditka to a victory in Superbowl XX contributing 2 fumble recoveries in the team effort to hold the Patriots to a total of 7 yards rushing.  After retiring in 1992, Singletary bought a car dealership in Montana and slowly worked his way back into the coaching ranks, wrote a book, and coached the San Fransisco 49ers. A hard nosed, ‘no nonsense’ coach, Singletary has been known to do slightly outrageous things to get his players attention and motivate them to win going as far as to moon his players on one occasion.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 and the NFL All 80s team.

I sent off for Mike’s autograph in what was rumored to be his last year. I asked for his autograph on two cards: An Action Packed 1989, and the latter a Pro Set 1991 card for my grandfather who lived in Waco, (where Baylor University was). I got both back in the mail signed and gave the other to my grandfather, who in his haste, pinned the card with a push pin to his cork board. I’d visit him over the next 10 year or so and occasionally see the card on the wall, before my grandfather started suffering from Alzheimers. He put up a good fight even after he was moved to a nursing home but it was hard to deal with him when he had no clue who I was, even when I visited on my birthday. He passed away in 2009. I never saw the card again.

Games  179     Tac  1488     Sac 19     FF 12       Int 7    Yds 44  Avg 6.2   Td 0

Novacek, Jay

Cards: Proset 1989, Proset 1991 Receiving Leader TE.
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1990, 1992.

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