Category Archives: NFL

Byner, Earnest

Cards: Action Packed 1991, Action Packed 1992, Pro Set 1990.
Acquired: In Person 1993, CGA Youth Golf  Tournament

Earnest Byner is best known for being the scapegoat from the 1987 Denver/ Cleveland playoff game entitled ‘the fumble’ when Byner played for the Browns.  It is a shame because he actually was a very good player outside of this incident.

Byner was stolen in the 10th round of the 1984 draft  by the Cleveland Browns after graduating from East Carolina. A well rounded player he could play fullback or halfback, because he was a great blocker, receiver, and tenacious runner. He worked his way into the lineup and by 1985 had a breakthrough season with over 1,000 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving.

After a subpar 1988, Byner was traded for Mike Oliphant to the Washington Redskins, where the second phase of his career would begin. This would also turn into one of the most lopsided trades (Herschel Walker trade aside)  in the history of the league as Byner would lead the Redskins to the Superbowl in 1992. After his playing days with the Redskins were over, Byner returned to the Browns (1994-1995), before the franchise up and left for Baltimore where he finished his playing career in 1997.

After retiring Byner comfortably moved right into the coaching ranks and has seen stints with the Ravens, Redskins, Titans, and as of 2010 is with the Jaguars. He was also named as one of the 70 Greatest Redskins and was the first player inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor in 2001. Earnest showed up at the CGA Youth Golf Tournament and made us chase his golf cart. He signed on the move surprisingly well and was paired up with Steve McMichael during the tourney.

Games 211/132   Att  2095         Yds  8261          Avg  3.9              Td  56           lg 54
Rec 512   Yds  4605   Avg 9.0   Td   15     lg 40

Zgonina, Jeff

Cards: Fleer Premium 2002
Acquired: TTM, Texans Blitz 2009, C/o Houston Texans

/Scone- ina/ is roughly how you pronounce Jeff’s last name. An ironman journeyman Jeff Zgonina played in the NFL from 1993 to 2009, -or roughly 17 seasons for 7 teams. At 6-2, 285 he played on the interior line as both a NT and a change of pace DT.  Zgonina would play on the St. Louis Rams’ Super Bowl teams, after bouncing around, but would find his final home with the Houston Texans where he finished out his career after a short stint in Miami. (Zgonina was a fringe player who found himself frequently on the cusp of the final cut, or called back a week later when more room was made and despite his age, didn’t have as much wear on his tires as people thought.)  Zgonina will be best remembered by Houston Texans’ fans for when he recovered a Kerry Collins freak fumble against the Titans in 2009  for a victory. An outspoken member in the locker room, players could expect to hear the straight up truth from Jeff, and he provided guidance for the younger members of the defensive line.

G 219     Tac 308        Sac 26            Fum 13
Int  1               Yds  0       Avg 0.0        Td  0

Bell, Jim

Card: Proset WLAF 1991
Acquired: In Person, 1992 San Antonio Riders v Birmingham Fire

Jim Bell was originally drafted in the 11th round by the San Fransisco 49ers in 1989 where he was placed on the team’s practice squad. In 1991 the Barcelona Dragons drafted Jim in the 2nd round of the WLAF’s positional draft reuniting him with his former college coach from Boston College, Jack Bicknell. Bell led the Dragons in rushing in 1991, rushing for 367 yards but only on a measly 2.7 average. In 1992 Bell was traded to the Birmingham Fire who were looking for looking for a change of pace in their backfield. Jim averaged 4.2 yards a carry that season. When the league decided to reorganize after the 1992 season Jim hung up his cleats and retired.

Since football Jim has become the creator and co founder of the company Foamheads, which markets a variety of sports fan foam head wear and collectibles.

Games 10   Att  230  Yds  748  Avg 3.3  Lg 22  Td  6
Rec 16  Yds  116    Avg 7.5   Lg 21  Td 1