Tag Archives: gameday 1992

Davis, Wendell (WR)

Cards: ProSet 1990, ProSet 1992, GameDay 1992, Topps Stadium Club 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 3/15     Received: 4/16  (30 days)

Wendell Davis was one of the top receivers in the 1988 NFL Draft. He played 3 years collegiately for LSU, racking up 183 receptions for 2708 yards and 19 touchdowns. His best year came in 1986 when the sure handed receiver caught 80 passes for 1244 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’d be the final pick of Round 1 by the Chicago Bears.

The Bears receiving corps was aging, and the team which was a run first smash mouth franchise, never really put much thought into it. With deep threat man Willie Gault departing for greener pastures with the then Los Angeles Raiders, this selection made total sense by the Bears front office.  Davis was not allowed to claim a starting position right off the bat. He’d have to fight up a roster that included Ron Morris, Dennis Gentry, and Dennis McKinnon, who were not only good receivers, but fine run blockers as well.  He didn’t start a game his rookie year, but Wendell had 15 catches for 220 yards. His numbers slowly increased over the next few seasons partially due in fact to the team’s maturation at quarterback under young Jim Harbaugh. Wendell had his best season in 1991 when he posted 61 receptions for 945 yards and 6 touchdowns. To put these numbers in perspective- Davis’ receiving numbers were the best by a Chicago Bears’ receiver since Dick Gordon in 1970!  While Wendell’s numbers slipped in 1992, all signs still pointed towards a solid 1993 campaign.

It was during a game in 1993 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Davis was going up to make what would be considered an ‘ordinary’ NFL catch, but as he laid back, his feet got caught on the exposed astroturf and he tore both of his patella tendons completely off, causing his kneecaps to go up into his thighs. Davis’ career was over.
Still, if there was a silver lining to what happened, Davis’ injury paved the way for the modernization and safety improvement/ removal of turf all over the league.  In 1995 Davis attempted a comeback with the Indianapolis Colts, but did not appear in any games.

He’s made his way into coaching with the 49ers, and at both the high school and college level since then. Currently he lives in Chicago.

I feel like the Topps Stadium Club, Pro Set 1992, and GameDay cards are all part of the same photographic sequence. It focuses on what Davis did best over his career: Hauling in the long bomb from whatever quarterback was currently under center for the Chicago Bears.  Overall, these are some very nice action shots, with the GameDay again being my favorite. Davis really nailed the autograph on this one however, and of the batch that I have received back in 2018, his certainly matches the excitement of his cards the best.

G/GS  81/54   REC 207    YDS 3000    AVG 14.5   TD 14    LG 75t

Cook, Marv (2)


Cards: Score 1993, GameDay 1992, Action Packed 1991, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: 2012, Akron Acquisition. 2017, TTM C/o Home
Sent: 9/28   Received: 10/07  (9 days)
See Also: Marv Cook

After his NFL career concluded in 1996, Marv has become a well respected coach at the high school level in Iowa City, IA winning numerous state titles. He has some great cards and after getting the Score 1993 in 2012 C/o the Akron Acquisition, I thought I’d go ahead and get a few more since he’s a great signer through the mail.

The Score 1993 card is a really conservative design, anchored well on the left and bottom- but among the pantheon of card designs this was a pretty boring look. A few nitpicks- They typeface used is too narrow making the team and position difficult to read. Maybe it’s just because of the color scheme, but this looks like it belongs on a Domino’s Pizza box.

Marv’s Action Packed entries are typical of this set. Good sports photography supported by the embossed gimmick. The minimal works here, because of the punchy mid-range photography, although in the 1992 entry the nameplate is lost in the photo.  On the 1992 entries it was a nice touch with the red stripe used for AFC teams while the blue stripe used for NFC.

I always had a weak spot for the GameDay cards. GameDay was interesting because it was the only Long Tom set on the market. I loved this set specifically for that look alone which not only separated itself from the competition on the market, but resembled a ticket, standing out from the crowd at an event. This card of Marv, I think the photo was from the game in which he caught a TD in an epic upset over the Houston Oilers at Foxboro Stadium.

 

Smith, Tony (RB)

 Cards: GameDay 1992, Action Packed Rookies 1992, Classic 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 4/10      Received:  4/28  (18 days)

A speedy and dangerous all-purpose man while at Southern Mississippi, Tony Smith got to play alongside the likes of Brett Favre and Michael Jackson on offense. Over his career at the school he set school records, returning 2 kickoffs and 2 punts for touchdowns. In 1991 he ran for over 1,000 yards, (5.1 yards per carry) despite wearing a cast on his hand for half the season. Tony culminated his college career when he was named the Senior Bowl MVP after rushing for 72 yards on 12 carries.

The Falcons were in their 3rd year of the Glanville era. They traded away Brett Favre to the Packers, and cut future CFL career leading rusher Mike Pringle. The Falcons had an age purge at RB and the previous season they had failed to have any runningback reach 500 yards rushing. Steve Broussard and Erric Pegram would be the top backs out in the Red Gun offense. The team felt it still had a lot of needs, so Glanville was pretty unhappy when the team selected Tony Smith with the 1st round pick that they had gotten from the Brett Favre trade. You see Glanville didn’t have power over the draft and really thought the team should select a defensive back. (To put salt in the wound, Dale Carter, Darryl Williams, Ashley Ambrose, Darren Woodson, and Steve Israel all came off the board after this selection and had solid defensive back careers.) Much to Tony’s credit though- he was the highest rated tailback in the draft.

Smith was slow to get into camp- and was considered a holdout. He’d be the last first round pick to sign from the 1992 draft.  He was also the wrong style of back. Glanville liked smashmouth in-your-face backs, but Tony was a studder-step and make them miss back. He got out there his rookie season and started 6 games posting 87 carries for 329 yards and 2 TDs, but oddly enough, he’d never start another game again for the Falcons in the next two seasons.

Fans clamored to see more of Tony, and I am sure Tony was ready to show them what he had, so he put some time in on special teams where he demonstrated his capability as a dangerous return man. He finished 1993 with 38 kick returns for 948 yards and a 97 yard touchdown. Smith also returned punts- putting up a respectable 32 returns for 255 yards and a 51 yard long.  He saw even less activity in 1994- putting up only 408 total yards from scrimmage. Tony just couldn’t get out of Jerry Glanville’s doghouse.

It looked like a new start for Tony in 1995. The Falcons left him exposed in Free Agency and the expansion Carolina Panthers were providing him a new chance. While Tony had an impressive preseason, he suffered a gruesome injury against the Bears breaking both his tibia and fibia bones. He spent the entire ’95 season on IR. After rehabbing and spending a year away from football, Tony attempted a comeback with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL in 1998. He returned to the NFL in 1999 with the Philadelphia Eagles- but tore his hamstring in camp ending his career.

It is a shame that Tony’s career ended the way it did, but at least he is at peace with it. He had some great cards over that short run, with these 3 representing some of my favorites.

G/GS 33/6   RUSH 87      YDS 329        AVG 3.8      TD 2           LG 32
REC 2      YDS  14              AVG 7.0               TD 0          LG 8
KR 61      YDS 1453         AVG 23.8            TD 1          LG 97T
PR 56      YDS 485            AVG 8.7                TD 0         LG 51