Category Archives: WLAF

Moore, Shawn (2)

Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Upper Deck 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Work
Sent:  8/28     Received: 9/12    (16 days)
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Virginia
See Also: Shawn Moore

Shawn Moore eluded me a few years ago and it was really a pants down situation. I mean, I sent him a nice group of cards but never heard back. Luckily, I always have made it a habit to reload on WLAF cards I only had singles on; However, I didn’t have an extra copy of Shawn’s Star Pics 1991 that I really wanted to get signed so I ended up sending this terrible Upper Deck 1992 card of his with it. Still I should be happy to finally knock of this retry reply from my list. 

My friend Deadhorse got a trial subscription to Star Tiger, which is a competitor to sportscollectors. He loaned me the login since I was curious so that I could take a look. I found the hierarchy to be terrible, and most of the sports addresses were consistent with what I had already found, but I did find Shawn’s most recent address on there and decided to give it a shot. A few weeks later, a water soaked return envelope arrived at the house with Shawn’s autographs inside. (Thankfully the cards were not damaged.)

Shawn moved on from coaching at his alma mater after 2012. He’s had a few football related positions since then including working as the Director of Community Relations for the College Football Playoff system. Currently he works in administration system of a private school in Virginia.

Trainor, Kendall John

Card: Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  6/11     Received: 8/21          (71 days)

Kendall Trainor was a well-practiced kicker for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1985-1988. During that period he set a few school records and tied a few others- going 5 of 5 twice (A&M and TCU) and 4 of 4 (HOU) in 1988 in field goals made. He holds the school record for most field goals made in a season at 24 (27 attempts) and his career mark of .889 stands as a school record as well. Named an All-American in 1988, Trainor was part of the legendary 1989 NFL Draft- selected in the 9th round by the Phoenix Cardinals. 

Kendall was selected as the first overall kicker in the WLAF Player Draft in 1991 by the Sacramento Surge. He’d go 4/6 on PATs and 8/13 on field goals while pulling double duty with 29 punts for 946 yards and a 56 yard long.
  
Later he’d sign with the New York- New Jersey Knights going 8 of 8 on extra points and 1 of 3 on field goals and finish with 39 total points ranking 5th in the league amongst kickers.

In 1992, Kendall won the kicking job outright in NY-NJ and finished 22 of 25 on extra points and 6 of 11 on field goals. He’d hit 4 of 7 from 40-49 yards including a career long 48 yarder. Kendall had a terrible game against the Ohio Glory missing 2 extra points and 2 field goals. He’d be cut the next day ending his NFL career.

These WLAF guys are getting harder and harder to track down over the years, but when you receive thank-you letters like I did from Kendall it makes it all worth it. Kendall returned home to Arkansas and worked for the Walmart Corporate offices for many years. He currently runs his own business specializing in information technology.

WLAFPATFGPCTLGPTS
34/3915/27.5554879

Esiason, Norman “Boomer”


Cards: Score 1990 Hot Gun, Action Packed Rookies 1992.
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o CBS Sports. TTM 2017, C/o The Esiason Foundation*
Sent: 5/23/2011   Received: 8/4/2012 (423 days) STAMPS
Sent: 12/20/2017  Received: 1/8/2018 (18 days)
* Donation included

So here’s an infamous example of an autopen or stamp. A really underwhelming ‘success’ from the Cincinnati Bengals’ greatest quarterback since Ken Anderson, I wrote to Boomer Esiason C/o CBS Sports in 2011. 423 days later I got these two ‘autographs’ back. It was obvious that they were facsimiles. I sat on this post for 6 years or so, annoyed that he stamped my cards and that he made me wait over a year to get them back. To further the insult, many fans were getting these obvious stamps and accepting them as legitimate. Then I started to see a slow trickle in of Boomers and had a good feeling that they were for real. Finally at the end of 2017 I shot these two out with a small donation and waited.  At long last I can remove those black eye stamps from the collection. For points and purposes, I have included the fakes in this post so that they can be identified easily. Note the thin pen and consistent weight. The facsimiles even both match from card to card, down to the dot on the ‘i’. So painful to look at…

I have been really impressed with how far Boomer has come as a broadcaster since retiring, and after the fervor erupted over him as a Monday Night Football commentator, Esiason was ousted and retreated to in studio work and radio where he has really honed his skills.  He technically began his commentating career along with Warren Moon and Dan Marino as color analysts for WLAF games on USA Network back in 1991.

A rarity in NFL drafts, no quarterback came off the board during the first round of the 1984 draft. Boomer Esiason would be the first, with the 38th pick of round 2. A very strong draft, Wilber Marshall, Dean Steinkuhler, Irving Fryar, Keith Millard, Carl Banks, Greg Bell, and Bill Maas, were among the recognizable names taken before Esiason. It is safe to say that just with these players alone, the 1984 draft helped form the backbone in depth and classic names through the early 1990s.  The pretty boy with golden hair, Boomer was a prolific passer for the quarterback manufacturing school, the University of Maryland.  While there he’d set 17 school records, and is considered by many to be the greatest and most recognizable Terrapin of all time. (The Washington Federals of the competing USFL drafted Boomer as well, but could not mount an offer that surpassed the Bengals.) With a mouth that always found the microphone, Boomer quickly established himself as a presence in the locker room as Ken Anderson entered his twilight years with the franchise. He was my arch nemesis in the classic AFC Central, and always put up big numbers and games against the Oilers. Ironically in his rookie season he started his first game against the Oilers, in which he guided Cincinnati to a 13-3 victory over Houston. It was head coach Sam Wyche’s first year, and he and Esiason’s fates would be tied at the hip to each other during their time in Cincinnati. With Wyche, a former quarterback himself and an apostle of the Bill Walsh West Coast System,  Boomer provided the new blood to reinvigorate the sagging Bengals franchise. Esiason became the face of the franchise as the team gave him playmakers in the shape of Anthony Munoz, James Brooks, Tim McGee, Eddie Brown, and Rodney Holman. With a lightning delivery and a devestating understanding of the innovative no-huddle offense (that Buffalo later employed full-time after witnessing the effectiveness of Esiason under center,) the Bengals quickly climbed the ranks of the AFC during the last days of the most brutal division in all of football. In 1986 he guided the Bengals to a 10-6 record throwing for a shade under 4,000 yards, and 24 touchdowns.  1988 saw the final ascension of the Bengals to Super Bowl XXIII, where they lost to the 49ers in the last final minutes of play. It was Boomer’s most prolific season as a pro, with a 97.4 quarterback rating and he was named the NFL MVP.

By 1991 free agency, sacks, and injuries began to catch up to the Bengals. Esiason posted a 3-11 record as a starter and combined with new management, Sam Wyche was fired at the conclusion of the season. New ownership felt new blood was needed and rookie head coach David Shula (son of Dolphins head coach Don Shula) was brought on board to handle the team. Immediately he decided to fix the offense by letting many of the team’s playmakers go, and drafted  David Klingler to be the heir apparent to Boomer. The writing was clearly on the wall for Esiason, and after another mediocre year behind the Bengals patchwork line and bland new offense, he was unceremoniously traded to the New York Jets in 1993 for a third round pick.

As the starting quarterback for the Jets, he was able to give the offense a certain level of credibility over the next 3 tumultuous seasons under 3 different head coaches. Holding firm he posted an 84.5, 77.3, and a 71.3 quarterback rating over those seasons with the team. Despite having more touchdowns to interceptions in each of those seasons, the Jets slumped, and Esiason signed with the Cardinals, playing there one season in 1996.  In a game during that season over the Redskins he’d throw for 522 yards in a game, the third most in NFL history. 1997 proved to be Boomer’s final season, as he indeed proved you can return home, and came back to the Bengals. It was a great ending for him, coming in as a backup to Jeff Blake. After Blake succumbed to injury, and the franchise was sitting at a woeful 3-8, Esiason came in leading the charge, posting a 4-1 record over the next 5 games, and a 106.9 QB rating. He’d retire after the season, and is considered the most prolific left handed quarterback in NFL history.

In addition to his broadcasting and radio duties, Esiason spends much of his time with charity, and the Boomer Esiason Foundation, helping with research into Cystic Fibrosis.  You can visit his website at http://www.boomeresiason.com/index.htm.

G/Gs  187/173   Att 5205   Comp 2969    Yds  37920   Td  247    Int  184    Rat  81.1  |
Rush 447   Yds  1598    Avg  3.6     Td   7    Lg  24