Tag Archives: Houston Oilers

Barber, Mike

Topps 1981, #99

CARDS: Topps 1981, Topps 1980, Topps 1979
ACQUIRED: TTM 2021, C/o Work*
SENT: 1/11 RECEIVED: 1/29 (18 days)
FAILURE: TTM 2014, C/o Home
* Donation Enclosed

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Converted from QB to TE while playing at Louisiana Tech.
  • In 1975 caught 25 passes for 577 yards and 6 TDs.
  • Second round pick of the Houston Oilers in 1976.
  • Saw first sustained action in 1977 used primarily as a blocking TE in the Oilers run based offense centered primarily around Earl Campbell.
  • Grew into role as receiver in ’78, catching 32 passes for 513 yards and 3 TDs.
  • Although ’79 was a down year, had best year in ’80 setting marks with 59 receptions for 712 yards and 5 TDs- all career highs.
  • After largely injury plagued 1981, joined Los Angeles Rams in 1982.
  • Had another solid year in ’83, posting 55 receptions for 657 yards and 3 TDs.
  • Played with LA through 1985, splitting time with Rams (5 games) and Broncos (10 games), before retiring.
  • Has been involved with coaching and ministry work since retirement.

NOTES:

Second time is a charm, and I was happy to add Mike to my collection of Oilers. Unfortunately I saw on Twitter, that he like many Houston Oilers, has forgotten his HOUSTON Oilers fan roots, and has embraced the Tennessee Titan traitors, appearing in Tennessee for franchise’s ‘homecoming game’.

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McCants, Keith (1968-2021)

Action Packed Rookies 1990, #60

CARD: Action Packed Rookies 1990
ACQUIRED: Ebay, 2022
FAILURE: TTM C/o Home, 2018, 2020

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Alabama’s very own homegrown product played LB two years for the Crimson Tide in 88 and 89.
  • Highly regarded specimen coming out, finished with 156 solo tackles (216 total), 2 interceptions, 6 sacks, and a fumble recovery over college career.
  • Selected #4 overall in the 1990 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Converted to DE in 1991, posting 54 tackles and 5 sacks that year.
  • Almost duplicated those numbers again in ’92, with 58 tackles and 5 sacks.
  • Converted back again to LB in ’93, but was cut and later signed by the Houston Oilers.
  • Used as a hybrid tweener DE/LB by Oilers.
  • After about a season and a half in Houston, signed with the Cardinals as a free agent during the ’94 campaign.
  • Recorded first career TD, intercepting a Steve Walsh (CHI) pass and returning it 46 yards.
  • Played one final season in Arizona, in 95, but not before recovering a fumble for a TD for second career defensive TD.
  • Loved scuba so much, that after playing career ended, broke barriers by becoming the first black marine conservation officer.
  • After that was extremely rough. Battled drug addictions, starting with painkillers in playing days, and advancing to more hard stuff after career had ended when those weren’t available.
  • Battled homelessness, financial destitution and attempted to commit suicide in jail.
  • Still managed to emerge from trauma, and by 2015 had written a book about his playing time and even started working as an afternoon sports radio personality in Tampa.

NOTES:

Perhaps the direst of set needs, when this autograph of his showed up on EBay alongside a host of other Bucs autos from the same vendor, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up.

Over the years, Keith had some amazing cards. He was there for the big boom, and had some great ones from 1989’s Pro Set entry to Game Day 1992.

Of small note, Keith was one of the more recognizable players on the Oilers, who got into the middle of and broke up the fight between Buddy Ryan and Kevin Gilbride.

One that just got away…

I mean, really what can I say about Keith? Don’t do drugs just somehow rings hollow- like both sarcastically and in a sense that it just doesn’t do enough justice to fix the problem…. You know like, “Thoughts and prayers.” -Especially when it comes to things like painkillers and prescription over the counter drugs.

I wrote to Keith and failed in 2018. Afterwards I was told he was on Facebook, so I reached out and started having conversations over the next few months with him supposedly on Facebook. I sent him an updated Facebook header and then he’d send me chain letter links and scriptures, but beyond that we didn’t get anywhere on autographs. Sometimes he’d initiate conversations. I unfortunately wondered even then if it was just a byproduct of a bender or something he was struggling with. Strangely it abruptly stopped right after I announced my father’s passing, however I wonder if that was just coincidental.

I was happy to know later that he was doing better, and had recently, with the help of a good samaritan, gotten his hip successfully replaced.

Unfortunately those demons of drug abuse again came to roost. Maybe he was a functioning addict. Who knows when or where it all started up again or if he was truly clean for the umpteenth time? All of that doesn’t matter.

All those dreams… All those memories…

He died of a drug overdose on September 2nd, 2021. -He was just 53.

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Moon, Warren (3)

Gameday 1992, #27

CARDS: Pro Set 1990 Pro Bowl, Fleer 1990, Action Packed 1991 League Leader, Skybox Impact 1992, Skybox Impact 1992 Major Impact, Action Packed 1990, Gameday 1992
ACQUIRED: TTM 2021, C/o Home
SENT: 1/25/21 RECEIVED: 2/5/21
SENT: 12/21/21 RECEIVED: 1/11/22
* Signing Fee Enclosed

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • See Also:

    Warren Moon
    Warren Moon (2)

    NOTES:

    The last time I got Warren, he quickly stopped signing again before I could clear out a few more of my set needs and cards I liked- and he appears in all the great sets of the era I collected. I definitely decided to double dipped on this one.

    I was pretty disappointed recently to hear that Warren decided to change his tune and is now fully selling the HOUSTON Oilers as part of the Tennessee Titans history. This coincided with the franchise’s late attempt to fully integrate Oilers history into Tennessee, as Houston fans were clamoring again about bringing the derrick and history home. Then the Tacks decided to have a homecoming game where they flew out all the players to Tennessee. Pretty good PR move on their part.

    He used to be one of my favorite players, but I saw this as an absolute betrayal. It was odd because he was even quoted as saying that he never played for this fan base or in Tennessee but here he was being inducted into their Ring of Honor.

    Oh well, thanks for the memories.