Category Archives: NFL

Clark Jr., Bernard ‘Tiger’

Card: Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1991.

Part of Jimmy Johnson‘s first recruiting class at the University of Miami, Bernard Clark was a player who showed up in big games, winning the MVP award of the 1987 Orange Bowl National Championship Game making 14 solo tackles in the game. In another shining moment, Bernard almost singlehandedly end Notre Dame’s 23 game winning streak in the Orange Bowl in 1989, pulling down an interception and making 17 tackles.

He parlayed these big performances into being drafted in the 3rd round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1990, but never started a game. In 1991, he spent 12 games with the Bengals before being cut and playing for the Seahawks for 2 games. He subsequently was picked up by his college coach Jimmy Johnson who was trying to create competition at middle linebacker in 1992 where I’d get his autograph in training camp that year. After he was cut, he would then play for the Orlando Predators of the AFL in 1994 and 1996.

After playing professional football, Bernard then pursued a career in coaching with a variety of stops at the NCAA Division I level before returning to coach in Florida and then Hampton. As of 2010, Bernard continues to climb the college coaching ranks now handling linebackers for the University of Pittsburgh and his college coach Dave Wannstedt. Clark’s nickname is “Tiger” – given to him by his parents when he was a baby because of his loud growling.

Games 24   Tac 0  Sac 0  FF 0   Int 0  Yds 0 Avg 0 Td 0

Duncan, Curtis ‘CD’


Cards: Pacific 1991,Pinnacle 1992,Topps 1992,Topps 1988, Score 1991, Proset 1990
Acquired: In Person, 1991,1993. TTM 2010 c/o home.
Sent: 2/15   Received: 2/26  (11 days)
See Also: Curtis Duncan (2), Curtis Duncan (3)

A 10th round selection out of Northwestern, nobody really gave Curtis a chance to make the Houston Oilers’ roster in 1987 but he ended up contributing for a 7 solid seven seasons. Considered the quietest member of the Run and Shoot wide receivers, Curtis was the ‘hands man’ of the group of Ernest Givins, Haywood Jeffrires, and Drew Hill/ Webster Slaughter. Never actually going over the 1,000 yard plateau, his best season came in 1992 when he had 954 yards on 82 receptions.  He’d play out the 1993 season with the Oilers, and then play through the preseason the next year with the Packers. (Among his more notorious accomplishments is holding the NFL record for receivers of most catches without a touchdown, at 106- probably since broken.) Duncan is now a member of the Houston Texans Ambassador club- (spokesmen for the organization that appear at a variety of local events to increase public interest in the Texans) and also plays golf and writes poetry in his spare time.

When Duncan first started, he was a touchdown threat every time he touched the ball his rookie season. After his rookie season, he settled into his role as the possession receiver. By the end of his career he was more comparable to Kelvin Martin only occasionally running the deep route. CD was also pretty good on Tecmo Super Bowl. The game always had him set up to go deep and you could just bomb to him all day long.

Curtis signed four cards for me in near record time. The inscription from Matt 6:33. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Games 102     Rec 322    Yds 3935    Avg 12.2   Td 20   Lg 72

Smith, Steve “Rhino”

Card: Skybox 1992
Acquired: In Person 1993, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

As a big fan of the sport, I literally carry every card of every player I can find to camp. On occasion I’m asked, “Why do you have that guy’s card?” I was asked that exact question before I got Steve’s autograph back in 1993 at Cowboys training camp. There’s a few reasons why I do that, but the most prevalent is I love the sport, and by getting a player’s autograph I am honoring my memory of the sport with them. In a way players I get the autographs of are my signed draft choices. Some are future prospects, or have a special place already in my mind, or some like Steve Smith, have a purpose or a need to educate us after their playing days are over.

Initially at Penn State, Smith was a runningback but because of his tenacious blocking and depth at the position, he was converted to fullback where he played the remainder of his career in football and was the team captain of their National Champion Team in 1986. (Not expecting to be drafted, Steve was in the shower when the Raiders came a calling in the 3rd round of the 1987 draft with fullbacks being a dime a dozen.) Despite his initial impressions Steve would see a significant role in the offense as not only a blocker but a short yardage back and receiver. He garnered the nickname ‘Rhino’ from his teammates, and scored 3 touchdowns in 1988. In 1989 he’d meet a Raider cheerleader, that Steve would eventually marry. After playing with the Raiders for 7 seasons, Steve signed with the Seattle Seahawks, where he finished his career in 1995.

After football, Steve has been struck with what he hoped initially was Lyme disease (when he started suffering symptoms in 2002,) but over the years has been unfortunately ALS, or Lou Geherig’s Disease.  Steve has fought nobly and courageously with his wife steadfast by his side. (Lou Geherig himself lasted only two years after the initial diagnosis, but Steve has fought it now for over 8 years.) Many of his friends and former teammates have come to his aid such as DJ Dozier, Howie Long and Shane Conlan; However, his monthly bills have been rumored to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,000. Steve now speaks through a state of the art computer that types based on eye movement and is unable to receive food orally or breathe without a ventilator. Players have begun to work together to raise fund for Steve’s assistance. To help please go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcdvq9R3rRk&feature=related

Steve Smith was once quoted as stating that “God has a purpose that has brought me to this point,” and perhaps it is to educate us about the increasing proof that ALS could be linked to concussions, as Steve was a recent focus of an episode of  “Real Sports” on HBO documenting his life and daily struggle.  The NFL recently has taken a much more aggressive approach towards concussions after 14 NFL players were diagnosed with the disease including another NFL fullback Kevin Turner. The league has ‘considered’ financial assistance to those players afflicted with the ALS but has yet to enact it.

Games 128   Att 429     Yds 1627    Avg 3.8     Td 9    Lg  21   |
Rec 131   Yds 1250    Avg 9.5    Td 13    Lg 45