Category Archives: NFL

Richard, Gary

Cards: Pro Set WLAF 1991.
Acquired: In Person, 1992 Preseason game San Antonio Riders v Ohio Glory

Drafted originally in the 7th round by the Green Bay Packers in 1988, Gary Richard checks in at 5-10 and only 173 pounds. Richard countered his small size with tenacity and great leaping ability. After being cut by the Packers, the Riders drafted him in the second round of the Riders 1991 positional draft, where in his rookie season he had 15 pass breakups, 37 tackles and notched a safety when he blocked a punt against the Skyhawks. In 1992, Richard notched 3 picks, including returning a theft 53 yards to seal the 17-0 victory over the Ohio Glory in the infamous hail storm game in San Marcos, Texas on 4/20/1992.


After I got my Pro Set World League 1991 cards, I caught some Riders in the parking of Bobcat Stadium leaving after the preseason game against the Glory back in 1992 that they won 33-7. (The same parking lot I got Alonzo Highsmith back in 1988).  They all stopped and started clamoring around my cards to see who I had. Gary Richard went nuts when he saw mine and gleefully signed my card. The other defensive backs were disappointed, but eventually they’d all get cards in other sets.

Games 20    Tac N/a       FF  N/a   Int  3    Yards 53     Avg 17.0    Td 1

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

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