Tag Archives: london monarchs

McNair, Fred ‘Air’

Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Alcorn State
Sent: 12/19       Received: 2/5    (42 days)

Fred McNair finished his career at Alcorn State as the 5th leading passer in NCAA -1A football after completing 119 of 214 passes for 1,898 yards and 14 TDs. After not being drafted in 1990, Fred was signed by the Dallas Cowboys to compete in camp against Babe Laufenberg– where I’m sure Fred passed me walking down autograph alley at St. Edwards in Austin.  After being cut, McNair played for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL where he was a member of the 79th Grey Cup Championship team.

Fred made the move to the WLAF in 1992, signing with the London Monarchs.   Although McNair was incumbent starting QB Stan Gelbaugh‘s backup, Fred did see significant playing time for the Monarchs. He’d throw for 668 yards and 3 TDs during his brief stint in the league. After the season, McNair returned stateside and began a solid career in the Arena leagues playing for the Albany Firebirds (1993-1995), Florida Bobcats (1996-2000), Carolina Cobras (2000-2001), and the Buffalo Destroyers (2002).  He also helped tutor his younger brother Steve for the rigors of the pro level.

Football hasn’t really stopped being a part of Fred McNair’s life. He spent some time at Millsaps University honing his skills as a coach, then jumped in at the OC level working with Mount Olive, (MS) helping the Pirates earn two State titles. After that he was head coach at Collins High School (MS), returning to Alcorn State in 2012 to serve as offensive coordinator.  In 2016 Fred became head coach of his Alma Mater, where he led Alcorn State to a 1st place finish at 5-4.

I had been meaning to get Fred on his Wild Card for some time, but I wasn’t sure if he signed TTM. I finally gave him a shot and was pleasantly surprised to get him in about 40 days.

WLAF
ATT 105   CPD 55   YDS 668   PCT 52.4    TD 3   INT 4   RAT 65.9

ARENA
ATT 2626  CPD 1504   YDS 19352   TD 340  INT 71  RAT 101.6

Kirksey, William


Cards: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent:  2/25      Received:  3/4  (7 days)

William Kirksey played collegiality for Southern Mississippi where he first gained recognition during the 1988 Independence Bowl.  He led the team with 12 total tackles as the Golden Eagles sliced the UTEP Miners 38-18.  The following year he was a team captain of the defense and led them with 146 total tackles.  During that season he set the school single game mark for total tackles (21) and assisted tackles (19) against Louisiana-Lafayette.  At the conclusion of the year Kirksey was named Second Team All-South Independent.

He went unnoticed in the 1990 NFL draft, but was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Vikings, dressing for 9 contests.  Near the end of the year, he was signed to the Falcons practice squad.

William was selected in the 3rd round of the WLAF draft in 1992 by the London Monarchs. Despite the team’s woes in the standings, William had a solid campaign, recording a sack, and returning an interception 27 yards to paydirt. After the season, William signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, but was placed on IR before the season even began. In 1995, he played briefly in the CFLUSA initiative with the Birmingham Barracudas notching 2 tackles.  After playing for the Montreal Alouettes in 1996, William retired from playing and went into coaching.

He’s coached at the High School and JC level for many years, as a defensive coordinator,  positional coach, and recruiting coordinator. I had been looking for Kirksey for sometime and had some near misses. Finally I decided to pay to play with Spokeo, and with the data I had already on his football cards, I was able to track down a working address.

WLAF     TAC N/a       SAC 1.0      FUM 0
INT 1       YDS 24        AVG 24.0     TD 1       LG 24T

NFL   9/0     TAC N/A    SAC 0.0      FUM 0
INT 0            YDS 0          AVG -.-      TD 0         LG -.-

CFL         TAC 2          SAC 0.0       FUM 0
INT  0     YDS 0         AVG -.-         TD 0             LG -.-

Taylor, Lionel

Card: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 6/4/14  Received: 8/13/16  (801 days)

Lionel Taylor had an amazing career that began in 1959 playing for the Chicago Bears.  He didn’t record a reception for the team during his rookie year and opted to join the upstart American Football League during its inaugural season in 1960 for the Denver Broncos. Taylor went on to endear himself as one of the most dominant receivers in the history of the league, leading the AFL in receptions 5 of the next 6 years.  In 1961 he set a modern era record with 100 receptions (which was broken in 1964 by Charlie Hennigan at 101). He played for the Broncos through 1966- joining the Oilers for the 1967 and 1968 seasons.  Lionel retired from the gridiron in 1969.

Taylor established himself quickly as an up and coming assistant coach with the Steelers as a receivers coach in 1970.  He’d remain there through 1976, cultivating a reputation as a Super Bowl winning positional coach.  He joined the Rams from 1977-1979, where he was offensive coordinator in 1980 and 1981.  Lionel then applied his trade at the college level for Oregon State, and then as head coach at Texas Southern through 1988.  Returning to the NFL in 1989, Taylor worked with the Cleveland Browns tight ends and as a pass coordinator.

Taylor joined the World League of American Football in 1995 as offensive coordinator to the London Monarchs. As the league rebranded to the NFLE, he’d take over as head coach of the franchise in 1996 and shepherd the franchise through to become the England Monarchs. It was a tough run for Taylor as head coach at the end, as his team was a vagabond franchise playing all over England looking for a new home. Since there was no established fan base, this gave the Monarchs no home field advantage.  The Monarchs finished with a 3-7 record during their swan song season.

Taylor has fully retired from the sport and lives in New Mexico.  At a clip over 800 days, I had fully given up on getting a response from Lionel, so this one came as quite a surprise to get back. It’s a shame, as with many American Football League players, Lionel has gotten little to no traction in Hall of Fame circles, despite his impressive numbers.

AFL
G/GS 121/NA      REC 567     YDS  7195    AVG 12.7   TD 45    LG  80T

NFLE
W  11     L 17       PCT .393