Category Archives: usfl

Anderson, Gary (RB)

Cards: Skybox 1992, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 8/29   Received: 9/14  (16  days)
Failure: 2014, C/o Home

Arkansas runningback Gary Anderson has had quite a long career in many leagues. He played from 1979 to 1982 for the Razorbacks, compiling 1,999 yards rushing on 392 carries, scoring 10 TDs, and displaying soft hands catching 94 passes for 1,075 yards and 8 TDs. Selected in 1983 by the San Diego Chargers- Gary opted to play for the upstart USFL instead.

After the New Jersey Generals traded Anderson’s rights to the Tampa Bay Bandits, he became the go to back in Steve Spurrier’s Banditball offense. He’d finish 4th in the league with 2,731 yards and 39 touchdowns during his time in the league before it folded up shop.

By the time Anderson got around to the Chargers, San Diego wasn’t really sure what to do with him, when they had a West Coast attack powered by future HoF QB Dan Fouts. Gary in the meantime handled kick return duties and posted sub-400 yard rushing seasons. Gary also caught a lot of passes, earning his only Pro Bowl berth in 1986 as a jack of all trades when he had 80 catches for 871 yards and 8 TDs along with 442 yards rushing, 482 yards kick returning, and 227 yards punt returning. He later posted a career high 1,119 yards on 225 carries in 1988. After an acrimonious holdout that wiped out his 1989 season, Gary was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He had a pretty decent 1990 season in which he posted 1110 total yards from scrimmage, and although the rest of his career in the NFL was largely injury riddled, Gary was enshrined into Tecmo Super Bowl lore- as an extremely underrated back. He’d split time with the Bucs and Lions in his final year in the NFL (1993).

After a year off Gary returned to football to play for the CFL USA initiative and the Memphis MadDogs in 1995. He’d be released in camp the following year by the Roughriders.

In 2006, Gary was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Of note, if you calculate all of Gary’s time between the three leagues, he has over 14,500 yards from scrimmage.

I had tried to get his autograph a few years ago. He checked many of the odd boxes that I liked: 80s runningback, Action Packed Rookies card, and a player on Tecmo Super Bowl. I missed out on him because in his hometown there is a Court and a Cove that have the same street name but are in totally different places. Thankfully after a second attempt I was able to knock the former elusive back out.  This Action Packed card, like many in the set, was quite common, but it is a good action shot and the emboss shows up well on it. The SkyBox 1992 was another one of my favorite sets of that era. With the large name at the top and crystal clear photography, it really set itself apart from the competition.

USFL  54      RUSH 641    YDS 2731    AVG 4.3     TD 39     LG N/A
REC 167    YDS  1707    AVG 10.2    TD  6

NFL   111/61      RUSH 869      YDS 3409       AVG 3.9     TD 16    LG 64T
REC 302    YDS 2999     AVG 9.9     TD 15    LG 74T
KR  143      YDS 2779    AVG 19.4   TD 1       LG 98T
PR  48         YDS  385      AVG 8.0          TD 0      LG 30

CFL 14        RUSH 66     YDS  250     AVG 3.8     TD 3
REC  28      YDS 273      AVG 9.8        TD 0

Spencer, Tim

to90 spencerCards: Score 1990, Fleer 1990, Topps 1990
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sent:  9/22  Received: 10/9     (17  days)

Tim Spencer was another one of these unheralded runningbacks from the mid-80s. He had his shining moment as one of the players in the rival United States Football League, then popped up again briefly as a fullback and change of pace back for Marion Butts, Gary Anderson, Lionel James or whomever else was in the lineup.

After finishing second in Ohio State rushing history behind Archie Griffin,  Spencer was drafted by the Chicago Blitz of the USFL where he quietly racked up 300 carries for 1,157 flr90 spenceryards and 6TDs in 1983.  In his second year with the league, he had a career best 17 TDs rushing and 1,212 yards with the Arizona Wranglers. As the league imploded, Spencer continued to run hard, this time for the Memphis Showboats. He’d contribute another 789 yards and 3 TDs.

The Chargers wisely invested an 11th round choice in Spencer in 83. This paid dividends immediately following the disolution of the USFL in 1985.  He’d hop in as a short yardage blocking back rushing for 478 yards and an NFL career high 10 TDs. Tim played for the Chargers through the 1990 season with his best yards from scrimmage season coming in 1989 when he logged 521 yards rushing. At that time Score, Fleer, and Topps all created cards of sco90 spencerTim. Since I did not have his USFL issue- these 3 fit the bill nicely.

Tim has gone into coaching. He joined Ohio State’s staff in 1994 and gained valuable experience on their staff as a runningback coach. He jumped to the NFL level in 2004 with the Bears, holding that position until 2012. He joined the Buccaneers coaching staff in 2014 and remains on their staff as of 2016.

USFL   54       RUSH  725    YDS 3158     AVG  4.4    TD  26  LG  n/a |
REC  72     YDS  1047    AVG  14.5    TD 4       LG n/a

NFL 78/46    RUSH 474    YDS 1792   AVG  3.8    TD 19    LG 24  |
REC   53    YDS  432    AVG 8.2     TD 0    LG 43
KR 6       YDS 97       AVG 16.2       TD 0     LG 21

Millard, Keith

sco89 millardCards: ProSet 1990, ProSet 1990 Defensive Player of the Year, Score 1989.
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent: 7/7   Received: 7/18   (11 days)
Failure: TTM 2011, C/o The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Considered one of the top defensive talents from the Pac-10 when he arrived on the pro scene in 1984 from Washington State, Keith Millard was drafted by the Vikings in the first round, but opted to sign with the USFL Jacksonville Bulls instead for the 1985 season. There in his only season he recorded 12 sacks to lead the team and its improved defense.  Later that year, Keith joined the Vikings.

pset90 millard dpotyHe was listed as a nose tackle, but kicked out to defensive tackle frequently, starting 5 games, and nabbing 11 sacks alongside equally formidable defensive end Chris Doleman. In 1986, he recorded his first interception, and again hit double digits with 10.5 sacks. After the strike shortened 1987 season, Keith returned to form for Minnesota with his first All-Pro season in 1988. 1989 was a year for the ages, as he recorded a record 18 sacks from the defensive tackle position. In addition, he had a 48 yard interception, and a fumble recovery that he rumbled, bumbled, and stumbled 31 yards with for a TD. The gargantuan year netted him NFL Defensive Player of the Year Honors for 1989. During the 4th game of the year in 1990, Keith jumped over a cut block, but tore his ACL- ending his season. The injury wore on Millard. He would not return to the field until 1992 for the Packers and Seahawks. After a brief rennaissance in 1993, playing for the Eagles, Keith decided to hang up his cleats for good.

Keith is quite the accomplished veteran positional coach.  He got his start with the Los Angeles Dragons of the shortlived SFL, then joined the San Fransisco Demons of the XFL in 2001. This was followed by  three year stints on the Denver Broncos (2001-2004) and  Oakland Raiders (2005-2008).  After a brief return to the college level, Millard coached with Tampa Bay in 2011 and Tennessee in 2012.

pset90 millardWell decorated, Millard is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame,  the NFL All-1980s team, a member of the All-Time USFL Second Team, and in 2010 was named one of the Top 50 Minnesota Vikings of all time.

I had been after Keith Millard for quite sometime, and it finally paid off. Millard is a solid signer actually. I just didn’t have the right luck with him. I though that I had already failed with him on two previous occasions but the records only showed one. He was kind enough to write me back on Titans stationery, thanking me for the letter, apologizing for the previous trip-ups, and enclosing an additional card. I really appreciate players who take TTM very seriously, and those who take it seriously enough that they need to ensure that their reputation remains solid with their fans. Class act!

USFL   Tac N/a   Sac 12.0   Fum N/a
Int N/a   Yds N/a    Avg   N/a    Td N/a   Lg -.-

NFL  93/69    Tac  N/a     Sac 58       Fum  10
Int 2     Yds 65     Avg 32.5      Td  0      Lg 48