Category Archives: WLAF

Phillips, Darrell

Card: ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent: 12/9   Received:  12/29   (20 days)

Darrell Phillips was a stud in the middle of LSU’s defense during his time playing for the Tigers during the mid-late 80s. In his Junior year, he had 100 tackles, 4 sacks, and 5 TFL. A versatile player, he also blocked 3 kicks on special teams and was named the team’s most valuable defensive player. In 1988 he was a First-Team All-SEC selection with 76 tackles and 3 sacks.

He wasn’t drafted but saw time in the camps of both the New Orleans Saints (1989) and British Columbia Lions (1990) before being selected in the first round of the WLAF positional draft by the Birmingham Fire in 1991. Phillips helped pace the stingy Birmingham Fire defense with 38 tackles and 2 sacks, which earned him second team All-World League Honors.  He returned to the team for the 1992 season and again notched another 2 sacks.

Darrell was one of the few members of the Birmingham Fire that escaped me when I was trying to get autographs back in 1992 during that humid night game against the Riders.  After some sleuthing, I was able to track him down on Facebook, where he was displaying his LSU pride.  He kindly responded to my message and agreed to sign this card for a few extras that he could keep.  Phillips has split his time between the US and Canada for the past few years.

WLAF     Tac N/a    Sac 4.0    Fum 0   Int 0   Yds 0   Avg -.-   TD 0   Lg -.-

Taylor, Lionel

Card: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 6/4/14  Received: 8/13/16  (801 days)

Lionel Taylor had an amazing career that began in 1959 playing for the Chicago Bears.  He didn’t record a reception for the team during his rookie year and opted to join the upstart American Football League during its inaugural season in 1960 for the Denver Broncos. Taylor went on to endear himself as one of the most dominant receivers in the history of the league, leading the AFL in receptions 5 of the next 6 years.  In 1961 he set a modern era record with 100 receptions (which was broken in 1964 by Charlie Hennigan at 101). He played for the Broncos through 1966- joining the Oilers for the 1967 and 1968 seasons.  Lionel retired from the gridiron in 1969.

Taylor established himself quickly as an up and coming assistant coach with the Steelers as a receivers coach in 1970.  He’d remain there through 1976, cultivating a reputation as a Super Bowl winning positional coach.  He joined the Rams from 1977-1979, where he was offensive coordinator in 1980 and 1981.  Lionel then applied his trade at the college level for Oregon State, and then as head coach at Texas Southern through 1988.  Returning to the NFL in 1989, Taylor worked with the Cleveland Browns tight ends and as a pass coordinator.

Taylor joined the World League of American Football in 1995 as offensive coordinator to the London Monarchs. As the league rebranded to the NFLE, he’d take over as head coach of the franchise in 1996 and shepherd the franchise through to become the England Monarchs. It was a tough run for Taylor as head coach at the end, as his team was a vagabond franchise playing all over England looking for a new home. Since there was no established fan base, this gave the Monarchs no home field advantage.  The Monarchs finished with a 3-7 record during their swan song season.

Taylor has fully retired from the sport and lives in New Mexico.  At a clip over 800 days, I had fully given up on getting a response from Lionel, so this one came as quite a surprise to get back. It’s a shame, as with many American Football League players, Lionel has gotten little to no traction in Hall of Fame circles, despite his impressive numbers.

AFL
G/GS 121/NA      REC 567     YDS  7195    AVG 12.7   TD 45    LG  80T

NFLE
W  11     L 17       PCT .393

Lossow, Rodney

ultwlaf92 rlossow

Card: Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Work
Sent:  12/28/15     Received: 1/14/16    (17 days)

Originally a  10th round selection of the New England Patriots during the 1988 draft, Rodney Lossow earned All Big 10 Honorable Mention as a Junior while at Wisconsin. He’d bounce around with the Los Angeles Rams and Calgary Stampeders, before being selected with the 4th pick of the 4th round during the WLAF offensive lineman draft. He’d anchor the Orlando Thunder‘s  offensive line at Center through their appearance in World Bowl II in 1992.

Rodney loves teaching and has been a coach at Roosevelt High School in Minnesota for many years. He responded in under a month and included a nice note. Apparently his kids were blown away that he got a TTM request. He also inscribed the card with a bible verse:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.