Category Archives: usfl

Millard, Bryan

Cards: ProSet 1989, Score Supplemental 1989, ProSet 1990, Topps Stadium Club 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Work
Sent: 5/4   Received: 6/4  (30 days)
Failure: TTM 2017, C/o Home

Bryan Millard is regarded as one of the greatest Seahawks linemen ever, but it took him a while to get there, and still to this day he does not receive the respect and accolades he deserves.  He flies under the radar when it comes to great linemen, and even when retrospect sets come out, like the two University of Texas sets from both Upper Deck and Panini, Millard is conspicuously left out.

Bryan played college ball at the University of Texas from 1979-1982. While playing for the Longhorns, Millard honed his skills at both Guard and Tackle- winning All-SWC recognition for the latter in 1982. Surprisingly, he went undrafted in 1983 by the NFL, but the upstart USFL took a flyer on Bryan in the 12th round with the New Jersey Generals. He’d block upfront for the next two seasons for both Herschel Walker and Maurice Carthon helping pave the way for the Generals vaunted rushing attack.

With the league beginning to implode by 1984, Millard headed to the West Coast and joined the Seattle Seahawks, but did not join the starting lineup until midway through the 1985 season. Bryan saw action at both tackle positions before settling on the right guard spot- a position he’d anchor down for roughly the next 6 seasons. Durable, dependable, and strong (a weightlifting advocate who could bench press some 550 pounds), Millard somehow flew underthe radar while opening up holes for Curt Warner and John L Williams. Most notable about Bryan was that despite his size (6’5″, 282), he was nimble enough to trap on the off-side while also being able to take on the larger bull rushers of the era.  He earned one ProBowl nomination in 1988. Thanks in part to injuries, Bryan was forced to retire after the 1991 season.

Bryan lives in the Austin, Texas area. After dabbling in commercial real estate and pharmaceutical sales, he is now a full time real estate broker. I tried sending a few cards out last year, but they were RTS, so I attempted a new address and struck paydirt. Among Bryan’s other hobbies is actually collecting football cards, however I am not sure if he still partakes in the hobby since it has changed so much over the years from the 5 and dime, stick of gum.

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