Category Archives: WLAF

Landry, Tom (1924-2000)

pset90 landryCard: Pro Set 1990 HOF
Acquired: In Person, San Antonio Riders Game 1992.

Tom Landry was a part owner of the San Antonio Riders back in 1992, and Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos did not have box seats, rather Landry and Larry Benson (the primary owner and brother of Tom Benson, Saints) had seats underneath the top deck in the shade at the back of the bottom row. I snuck in behind them during halftime and Landry had no problem giving me an autograph.  He and I concurred that the team was much better in 1992 and was in store for much better things ‘in the years to come’.

Tom Landry was a Texan through and through, born in Mission,Tx, going to college at Houston and Texas, and then being coach of the Cowboys for 29 years and his stoic presence on the sidelines and signature hat were a hallmark of the team. Landry after fighting in World War II, was drafted by the old New York Yankees of the AAFC in 1949, and then played for the New York Giants from 1950-1955, marking All Pro honors in 1954 as a CB, P/ KR. Amazingly he would also be defensive coordinator of the team in 1954 and 1955 before moving on permanently to coaching thereafter. Landry was considered an amazing innovator, creating both the 4-3 defense and the ‘flex’ alignment and then reintroduced the man in motion and shotgun formations among others. Tom Landry has a particularly large tree of apostles including  Mackovic, Stallings, Ditka, Reeves,and Berry who all spent time learning under his instruction. Landry would guide the Cowboys to 20 winning seasons, 2 SuperBowl victories,  5 NFC Championships and win NFL coach of the year twice. After football Landry enjoyed a private life for the next 11 years before he passed away in 2000 (age 75) after being elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1990.

Seasons 29   Wins 250   Losses 162   Ties 6
G 70    Tac N/a   Sacks N/a   Fum 10  Int  31         Yds  360       TD 3

Riley, Mike

Cards: ProSet 1991 Helmet Card, Proset World League 1991, ProSet 1991.
Acquired: In Person, San Antonio Riders,  San Antonio v. Ohio Glory (preseason)

My father and I started going to WLAF games in the summer of 1992 down in San Marcos, Texas at Bobcat Stadium on the campus of what was SWT at the time. The team had played its games the previous season in San Antonio at the dilapidated Alamo stadium (home of the Gunslingers of the USFL), but in 1992 planned to move into the Alamodome. The Alamodome was running behind schedule and that and a combination of a disagreement on sales of alcohol prompted the team to move to a reasonable distance from Austin. The WLAF had a one game scrimmage/ preseason for each team, and the Riders drew the Ohio Glory who they beat soundly that day.

Coach Riley preferred sound defense and a strong running game. A former Alabama CB and Bear Bryant apostle, Mike Riley and I talked for a few minutes after the game about coaching. He was very nice and stopped to take a photo or two with me. Riley isn’t exactly a journeyman coach, but it’s easy to see him as such since he rarely has spent more than 3 years at any college. Winning two CFL World Cups for the Blue Bombers, Riley made the jump to the WLAF in 1991 where he coached the Riders to a  4-6 record and a 7-3 record in 1992. (The team was denied the playoffs by tiebreakers.) After the team folded he was hired by Larry Benson (owner of the Riders and signer on the helmet card with Riley) to coach the expansion San Antonio Texans of the CFL, but that team did not get off the ground and folded quickly.  Riley then went on to coach at USC under John Robinson as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, before he was hired by the Oregon State Beavers in 1997, whom he laid the foundations of success for. In 1999, though Riley was hired to coach the San Diego Chargers where he had a rocky tenure and was released after two seasons.  Riley proved though you could indeed return ‘home’ as he was rehired by Oregon State in 2003 where he has remained since posting 5 bowl wins and a .576 winning percentage in 9 seasons.

WLAF      Seasons  2      Wins 11      Losses 9      Pct .555

Crossman, Dan

Cards: Wild Card WLAF 1992 #150, Wild Card WLAF World Bowl Champs, Pro Set WLAF 1991 World Bowl Trophy, Proset WLAF 1991 WB Replay.
Acquired: TTM 2010 c/o The Detroit Lions
Sent: 4/27  Received: 5/6 (9 days)

I sent Dan Crossman these four cards, and a photo from a game I attended. Responding to me in 9 days, he thanked me for being a fan and wished me luck in getting all the WLAF autographs I could.  This kindness inspires me.

Dan Crossman played for the London Monarchs in the WLAF and won MVP honors for the first World Bowl in 1991 when the Monarchs beat the Dragons 21-0. Crossman was overshadowed all season by the rest of the members of the defense such as Dedrick Dodge and Corris Ervin, but Crossman made it count picking of Scott Erney 3 times in the game and returning one for a touchdown.

After the game ABC caught up with Crossman who explained how they figured out Erney. Dan explained that Erney would look to TE Demetrius Davis frequently on a crossing pattern when Erney saw outside man coverage, so the Monarch secondary would switch from man to zone and slip a guy underneath.

For receiving the MVP honors, Crossman also was given a bonus check and a brand new car. “Danny” would again return to the Monarchs in 1992 but the team would not fare as well, and the league soon after would be suspended for restructuring. In 1993, Crossman began coaching in the college ranks and has since then risen to the NFL where at the time of this post he is coaching with the Detroit Lions.

Games 20      Tackles   N/a        Sacks 0             Int       3           Yds   116       Lg 87T         TD   1