Tag Archives: 1983 USFL championship

Hebert, Bobby (2) ‘Cajun Cannon’

Cards: Topps 1990, Action Packed 1990, Score 1989, Topps 1989
Acquired: TTM 2021, C/o Home
Sent: 5/7 Received: 5/24 (17 days)

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

See Also Bobby Hebert

Carter, Anthony “AC”


Cards: Proset 1989, Proset 1990, Pinnacle 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home.
Sent: 1/13    Received: 3/12  (42 days)

An elite, hard- working speedster allowed to wear the hallowed #1 jersey while in college at Michigan, Anthony Carter is the Wolverines all-time receptions leader and was nicknamed “AC” and “the Darter”.
The Michigan Panthers of the USFL drafted Carter where he elected to play over the NFL counterpart Dolphins. With quarterback (and Autograph HoF member) Bobby Herbert at the helm, Carter had a nice rookie season with 60 receptions for 1081 yards in 1983. AC would be named to the All-USFL team as a punt returner after the season.  An injury would sideline Carter in 1984 after only 6 games, but he’d rebound in 1985 with the Oakland Invaders with 70 receptions for 1323 yards and 14 touchdowns, which would earn him All USFL team honors.

As a member of a USFL team, Carter’s rights were locked in by the Dolphins who drafted him back in 1983 (so he was not subject to the USFL CFL talent dispersal draft that the NFL later held). He would be traded away to the Minnesota Vikings who were still looking for a solid receiving force to replace Ahmad Rashad.  AC would fit right in with the Vikings, plus it kept him close to Michigan where he went to college and played the majority of his time in the USFL. He would be a great asset to the Vikings and would demoralize opposing defensive backs with his speed averaging 19.1 yards a reception his rookie season on 43 receptions. In 1987 he earned his first Pro Bowl honor with a jaw dropping 24.3 yards per catch on 38 receptions. He’d hit paydirt 7 times that season including a career long 73 yard bomb for a touchdown.  1988 would see career highs again in receptions (72) and yards (1225) for the USFL speedster. Carter would follow this up again in 1989 and 1990 going over 1000 yards both seasons. He’d also have an incredible playoff game where he burned the San Fransisco defense for 10 receptions and 227 yards.  As the 1991 season approached, Cris Carter arrived in Minnesota effectively halving AC’s production, but Anthony would continue playing for the Vikings over the next 3 seasons providing the team solid veteran leadership. Anthony would be left exposed during the free agent purge of 1993 by the Vikings and signed with the Lions, however injuries and time had caught up with the former Wolverine and he’d play only 4 games with the Lions and retire in 1995.

A college football hall of fame inductee, Carter has amassed a fair amount of accolades since retirement. Like many former USFL greats, one has to wonder how Carter’s legacy would figure into the football landscape if he had declared for the NFL draft or been paired up with Dan Marino in Miami.  He is considered one of the 50 greatest Minnesota Vikings players of all time and was named the the USFL All Time team as first team wide receiver and second team punt returner. In 2011 he was also named the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

After the stranglehold by Topps was loosened on the football card industry by Score and ProSet, the market was flooded with companies trying to cash in on the frenzy.  Carter’s Topps cards really never did him justice, but Pro Set never failed to hit its mark. Since the implosion of the former card giant, I have gained a new found respect for how it revolutionized the industry and the 89 and 90 cards of Carter are excellent examples of this. Pinnacle was late to the party, and by that point I was sporadically collecting. They were revolutionary cards with a nice design at the time with a profile and action shot on the front.

With an average team on offense, AC was about ALL the Vikin– I mean ‘Monsters’ had in the original Tecmo Bowl.  I also had Carter’s Starting Lineup action figure, which was a very plain action pose that Kenner used in that mold at the time.

USFL: Rec    160     Yds  3042     Avg 19.0     TD  28   |   PR   45     Yds   408    Avg  9.0    Td  1
NFL:   G/Gs  140/126    Rec: 486    Yds  7733    Avg  15.9     Td  55  Lg  73

Anthony Carter Biography Video from the Minnesota Vikings:

http://www.vikings.com/media-vault/videos/Anthony-Carter-Bio-Video/c08b2fbf-8930-4055-9296-4d1e4db97a30

 

 

Hébert, Bobby “The Cajun Cannon”

Cards: Fleer 1990, ProSet 1989, Stadium Club 1992, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o Home
Sent: 10/15   Received: 11/1  (17 days)

I don’t know what it is about small town Louisiana, but it seems to be the cornucopia of NFL quarterback talent and Bobby Hébert (pronounced A-bear,) is another great example of that- born in Cut Off, LA. Nicknamed the “Cajun Cannon”, he’d be recruited to go to Northwestern State- Louisiana in Natchitoches and would be taken in the 3rd round (34th pick) of the upstart USFL’s initial draft in 1983 by the Michigan Panthers. Things were be rough there as Bobby would initially compete with 13 quarterbacks during that initial training camp.  Once things settled down however, Hébert established himself as one of the elite players of the young league throwing to future Minnesota Viking Anthony Carter. That year Bobby won the USFL Championship and he would take home the MVP honors beating the Philadelphia Stars. Along with those honors Hébert won player of the year honors and was voted the most outstanding quarterback of the league (3568 yards  and 27 touchdowns). The team again made the playoffs in 1984 but with injuries plaguing the defensive line, they’d be knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. In 1985, with the league experiencing financial issues, the Panthers found themselves merged with the Oakland Invaders, however they returned to the championship game losing in the end to the Philadelphia Stars. Bobby finished as the league’s career leading passer with over 10,000 yards.

After the USFL folded, Bobby was a man without a team- but he wouldn’t have to look long as former Stars coach Jim Mora who was stockpiling former USFL players and brought him into camp with the Saints. Hébert and Mora went head to head over the next animated 7 seasons for the team, as Bobby was always struggling to garner the respect he deserved with Dave Wilson, John Fourcade, or Steve Walsh (after an acrimonious holdout in 1990,) always looking over Bobby’s shoulder during his tenure there with the Saints. Bobby in fact would guide the Saints to their first playoff appearance and their first divisional title under his clock management sporting a 49-26 career record as starting quarterback of the Saints. After a great 1992 season, free agency dawned and Hébert signed with the rival Atlanta Falcons in 1993, where he’d see his lone ProBowl appearance. He’d play there for the next 4 seasons, with 1994 and 1995 being primarily mopup duty. In 1996 he replaced Jeff George and started the majority of the season under coach June Jones, retiring after the season ended.

Bobby since then has done a lot of sports radio commentary, conducting fireworks shows, and was the Grand Marshall for the Mardi Gras parade in 2007- apparently being quite the man of the party. Bobby played for the rival Saints when I was a big fan of the Rams in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I always respected him and felt that Jim Mora restricted Bobby because of Mora’s offensive philosophy. He didn’t force the ball or make many turnovers and was a great clock manager. I even had his Starting Lineup figure. Strangely, the pronunciation of Bobby’s last name would even be a topic of conversation on an episode of Seinfeld.

Hébert for some reason in many of his photos is always pitching the ball out or rolling back from center on his cards. While they were dynamic looking poses, I had to struggle to locate a good selection of different looks. I like to ask questions of many of the players that I try to get autographs from, and I was really excited to get a response from Bobby. He wrote that his greatest memory was “Definitely winning the USFL championship and the MVP honors!” He gleefully signed all 4 of my cards and both sides of my Action Packed 1992 card in 17 days. Below are Bobby’s NFL statistics.

G/Gs 122/100       Att 3121      Comp 1839     Yds  21683     Pct 58.9    Td 135     Int 124     Rat 78.0