Card: Topps 1990
Acquired: Houston Oilers Training Camp 1991
Robert Banks from Notre Dame was a free agent pick up by the Oilers in 1989 during the waining end of the Jerry Glanville era. He’d stick there for one season before heading over to Cleveland for the next two seasons, notching four sacks. He’d make an appearance in Tecmo SuperBowl on the Nintendo in 1991. In 1991 he returned to the Oilers via Plan B, where I got his autograph during training camp that year, but he would see the Turk during the final cuts of that preseason. Robert was well conditioned and had a motor that never stopped- which he claimed he learned by reading Jack Tatum’s book “They Call Me Assassin”. Banks was ahead of his time, and was a tweener who could play both defensive end and linebacker. The problem was neither the Browns or Oilers could figure out how best to use his physical set as a situational pass rusher. As of 2004 Banks was functioning as a recruiter for ITT.
G N/44/24 Tac N/a Sac 4.0 Fum 2 Int 0 Yds 0 Avg -.- Td 0
Card: All World 1991
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The CFL
A 2005 Saskatchewan Roughriders Plaza of Honor inductee who played collegiately at Arizona, Jeff Fairholm was the Rookie of the Year in 1988 of the CFL Western Division, recording 45 catches that season. Considered a non-import because he was originally from Canada and played high school there, Fairholm would team up with Ray Elgaard and lead the team to the Grey Cup Championship in 1989 (with another 45 receptions). In 1990 Jeff would electrify the league with a franchise record 107 yard touchdown reception, despite limited play from injury; However, the next three seasons would be a testament to Jeff’s ability as he’d rake in 216 receptions and 28 touchdowns. He’d sign with the Argonauts as a free agent in 1994, but was never able to duplicate the numbers he had in those final 3 seasons for Saskatchewan. Solid slot receiver play from Fairholm helped him play in the league until he won another championship in 1996 with the Toronto Argonauts, where he later coached wide receivers. Since his coaching days Jeff has diversified his interests and also runs an internet corporation in the Montreal area.
G 128 Rec 554 Yds 7465 Avg 13.4 Td 58 Lg 107T
Here’s a beauty of a pass from Kent Austin to Jeff during the 1989 Grey Cup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKn_Zv_NwRY
Cards: Fleer 1990, Score 1990
Acquired: In Person 1990, 1993, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp.
So it all technically began with Ray Horton on that Fleer 1990 card. He was the first autograph I got in Dallas Cowboys training camp way back in 1990. It was happy times back then, and I grabbed every card and my black sharpie before I headed out the door that morning with Josh. We’d ride the bus back and forth from North Austin or have our mothers drop us off for what turned into an all day affair. We quickly established where the best place was to get autographs- (the second fence line as the street narrowed to get onto the field) and would camp the spot to grab signatures. I think on the first day I got 7 autographs on cards and I had a hard time sleeping because I was so excited to go back the next to see who I could get. I never thought that almost 20 years later I’d pick up the hobby again and enjoy it just as much.
Ray Horton was drafted out of Washington, where he played alongside Cowboy Vince Albritton. Horton would be taken in the second round by the Cincinatti Bengals, where he’d play in SuperBowl XXIII for the Bengals, before leaving the team in Plan B for the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. Ray’s rookie season was solid in 1983, with 5 interceptions, 121 yards and a touchdown -which would be his career high. He’d record 13 interceptions with the Bengals and in 1989 would sign with Jimmy Johnson‘s woeful Cowboy team, providing solid depth and a bright spot in the secondary pulling down 6 more interceptions and then retiring after the 1992 season and ten seasons winning SuperBowl XXVII. A nose for the endzone, Horton would have four touchdowns via interceptions and one from a fumble.
Since retiring Horton has moved right into coaching picking up almost right where he left off. He’s made stops with the Lions, Redskins, Bengals, and Steelers where he added two more rings in SuperBowl XL and XLIII. In 2011, he was named the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals.
G/Gs 147/ 99 Tac N/a Sac 3 Fum 5 Int 19 Yds 269 Avg 14.16 Td 4 Lg 65T