Category Archives: NFL

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

Joyner, Seth

Card: Action Packed 1992
Acquired: In Person, Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp 1993, West Chester, PA.

I got Seth’s autograph on my trip to Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp back in 1993 at West Chester, PA.

A dominant linebacker who could enforce the run as well as play the pass, Seth Joyner was drafted in the 8th round of the 1986 draft and played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos over a 13 year career.  A three time Pro Bowl selection (1991,93, and 94) he was also runner up for the AP NFL defensive player of the year in 1991, and the SI NFL player of the year that same year. After winning Superbowl XXXIII with the Denver Broncos he retired as a member of 20/20 club. A rare breed of linebacker that has at least 20 picks and 20 sacks in their career. (Rickey Jackson, a member of this club was just inducted into the HoF in 2010.) Since retiring to Arizona Seth has become an avid golfer and does NFL analysis work for a variety of networks on the radio and on TV and continues to be beloved by the Eagles’ faithful.