Tag Archives: Houston Oilers

Granger, Hoyle

Card: Topps 1970
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 2/4 Received: 2/9 (5 days)

Over his college career Cajun Hoyle Granger ran for 1534 yards and 350 carries (7 TDs) for Mississippi State. He’d be selected by the Houston Oilers in the 5th round of the AFL draft, and the 4th round of the competing NFL draft in 1966. Opting to sign with the Oilers, Hoyle became more or less a fullback for Houston as not only was he a strong North/South runner but also an impressive blocker. After a subpar rookie season, when he rushed for 388 yards on 56 carries, Hoyle burst onto the scene for the first of two consecutive ProBowl appearances in 67 and 68. He’d run for a career high 1,194 yards (6 TDs) in 1967 and 848 yards in 1968 (7 TDs). His 1,494 combined yards in 1967 led the AFL. Although his numbers were in decline after that, Hoyle became the franchise’s all-time leading rusher (since surpassed) during the 1970 season. Afterwards he’d be traded to the New Orleans Saints along with a bevy of players and draft choices. (The Oilers in return received notably WR Ken Burrough whom they had wanted but NO had selected the pick before them.) After just one season in The Big Easy, Hoyle returned to Houston for his final swan song in 1972.

I was not familiar with Hoyle outside of his statistics and the fact he was #3 on the HOUSTON Oilers all-time rushing list, but after reading the book ‘Oiler Blues’ he was one of the more recognizable players from the brief silver Houston Oilers helmet era, and a few photos of him rumbling along really stuck out in my head. I decided to take a shot at him and was pleased to see a response in 5 days flat on his classic Topps 1970 card.

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Bennett, Ben

Card: ProSet 1991 WLAF Insert
Acquired: 2018, EBay
Failure: TTM 2014, C/o Home 

Ben Bennett was a prolific quarterback for the Duke Blue Devils finishing as one of the top passers in NCAA history, throwing for 9614 yards on 820 completions (1375 attempts) and 55 TDs from 1980 to 1983. 

Selected in the 6th round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, but ended up playing in the USFL for the Jacksonville Bulls. Bennett then bounced around camps for the Falcons, Oilers, Cowboys, and Bears, eventually seeing a little action playing for the Bengals in ’87.  He’d join the Arena Football league playing for the Chicago Bruisers in 1988 and 1989, leading the team to the championship in the latter season. After playing for the Dallas Texans in 1990, he was selected by the Sacramento Surge of the WLAF during the first round of the positional draft. 

Ben was expected to be the starter for the Surge, but he’d be supplanted by former KC Chiefs 2nd round pick, Mike Elkins- who took all the snaps after the first game. Bennett returned to the Arena Football League later that year with the Orlando Predators.  Ben at this point became a star for the young league. He’d play for Orlando through 1995, before taking one season pitstops with both the San Jose SabreCats and the Portland Forest Dragons.  Ben is known in Arena lore for the ‘Miracle Minute’ in which he engineered a 16 point comeback in under 1 minute. Ben was inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame in 2000. 

Outside of his impressive Arena Football resume, Ben has been involved as coach for the Milwaukee Mustangs (1998), Greensboro Prowlers (2000), Florida Bobcats (2001), Florida Firecats (2002-2004), Manchester Wolves (2005-2007), Austin Wranglers (2008), Orlando Fantasy LFL (2010), the New Orleans Voodoo (2011), and the Orlando Predators (2012). 

I had previously tried to get Ben way back in 2011, but had no luck. Since then, I’ve seen no successes or addresses for him that I could use, so I went ahead and just picked this autograph up off of EBay after verifying its integrity. 

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Dickey, Lynn

Cards: Topps 1975, Topps 1983,  Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 11/2   Received: 11/14     (12 days)

Lynn Dickey played college ball for his home state Kansas State Wildcats from 1968 to 1970.  In 1969 he posted 2476 yards on 196 of 372 passing, throwing for 14 TDs to 19 interceptions.  Although he had what many consider a down season in 1970, Dickey placed 10th in Heisman voting. He finished his career with the Wildcats going 501 of 994 in passing for 6208 yards, 29 TDs to 64 interceptions.  Dickey was selected in the 3rd round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. 

Under head coach Ed Hughes, the Oilers expected Dickey to compete for the starting QB job against first round pick Dan Pastorini. Over the next 5 injury plagued seasons, Dickey frustratingly started 10 games going 2-7-1 as starter for the moribund Oilers, throwing for 8 TDs to 28 interceptions- during the heyday of the Dead Ball Era.  He’d be traded by Houston to Green Bay in exchange for John Hadl.

Although snakebitten by injuries, Lynn managed to start 101 games over the next 10 seasons for the Packers. His best season came in 1983 when he posted an 8-8 record for Green Bay, and led the NFL with 4458 passing yards and 32 TDs.   He’d also manage to eclipse 3,000 yards passing 2 other times in his career in 1980 (3529 yards) and in 1984 (3195 yards).  Dickey during his underrated career in Green Bay set numerous single game and season passing records (that have been eclipsed by the likes primarily of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers-) earning him a card in the Upper Deck Legends 1997 set and prompting a, “Really?”, From me.

After retiring Lynn has had his number retired by the Wildcats, and is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame. A prolific TTM signer, Lynn autographed these 3 cards for me in no time flat. 

Both the 1983 Topps and the Upper Deck Legends card are epic cards of Dickey in his prime, but the Topps 75 card was sort of a throw in since I love my Houston Oilers. Lynn has a strong autograph that really matches the canvas well.

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