Tag Archives: los angeles rams

Savage, Ray

Card: Pro Set 1991
Acquired: In Person 1992, San Antonio Riders v. Montreal Machine

A hard fought game that included a punt return for a touchdown at Bobcat Stadium still resulted in victory for the San Antonio Riders, a staunch defensive WLAF team with a scrappy offense. The Machine were a fairly solid average team their first year, but slid in 1992 losing a few games by only a handful of points.

Ray Savage was originally an 8th round draft choice of the then Los Angeles Rams in 1990 after playing some standout ball for the University of Virginia, where he’d be beloved by fans and coaches alike for his tenacious play and – well- barking. He liked to bark like a dog before snaps. Ray after college would find himself on the short end of the stick after training camp with the Rams, but would quickly be drafted the next year by the Montreal Machine in the WLAF inaugural positional draft.  Savage would go on to put up good numbers in the Machine’s 3-4 front, scoring 6.5 sacks in 1991, and finishing as the team’s career leader with 11. After the folding of the WLAF Ray was picked up by the Eagles, before he caught on with the Shreveport Pirates of the CFL, and then returned to the NFL to be on the Colts where he retired. When he returned to the NFL Savage actually negotiated his own contract with the team and liked it so much he began to handle the job for other players as well. He retired at the age of 26. Savage found his calling in contract negotiations for football players and has pretty much been doing it ever since. Ray also has got a small mortgage business as well that are both run from Newport News, Va. In his spare time he also dabbles in coaching and has 2 great kids.

I tried on no less than 2 occasions to track down Ray with addresses I had obtained through internet sleuthing, but both came back RTS and have effectively given up at this point of obtaining his signature on his Wild Card WLAF 1992.

Below are his WLAF statistics:

Games N/a     Tac   N/a   Sac  11.0    Fum  N/a   Int  0   Yds 0   Avg -.- Td 0

Chandler, Chris

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1990, Score 1989
Acquired: In Person, CGA Youth Golf Tournament 1993, Houston Oilers Training Camp 1995

To label Chris Chandler a jouneyman quarterback would be both an accurate assessment but bring the wrong connotation about a player who enjoyed a renassaince over  his career once he had shrugged off the entrapments of cellar dweller football. Probably the greatest problem Chandler experienced over his career was a severe issue with durability and up and down play. Despite these issues, Chris was able to hang around for 17 seasons and posted a 67-85 record as a starter.

Originally the quarterback of the future for the Colts when they drafted him in the 3rd round of the 1988 draft, Chris was buried under the depth chart and by 1990 (with the arrival of Jeff George) sent packing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who were looking for a new direction after the Vinny Testaverde experiment ended. The Bucs would get taken by the Colts for a 1st round choice for him and name Chris starter immediately- but his tenure in Tampa was largely forgettable, lasting 1 and 1/2 seasons before he was cut. Chandler would then bounce around the league as a backup, for both the Cardinals and the then Los Angeles Rams.

In 1995 Chris would get the starting nod with the vagabond Houston Oilers under Jeff Fisher. He was brought in as insurance by the team and to tutor the young quarterback of the future Steve McNair. Chandler played well enough to keep the starting job that year under wraps, (even posting a perfect passing rating in one game against the Bengals,) but by 1996 surrendered the job to 1st round draft choice Steve McNair. It was the right move by the team, and ended up being the right move for Chandler- who would be traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a reasonable 4th round pick.

Chris’ rebirth would continue with the Atlanta Falcons in the most improbable way under head coach Dan Reeves. Amazingly in 1997 and the following year Chandler would post his best seasons, go to the Pro Bowl and lead the Atlanta Falcons to their only Super Bowl appearance in 1998, but after failing to reach the big dance- again frustration mounted, and the Falcons drafted Michael Vick. Chandler would again find himself in the same situation he was with on the Oilers- as a lame duck. This would essentially end Chris’ time with the Falcons by 2002 and he would be left exposed for the Houston Texans Expansion draft however not be selected. He’d sign with the Bears that season and be back up for 2 more years, before playing briefly for the St. Louis Rams and then retire in 2004.

An avid golfer I got Chris’ autograph at the CGA Youth Golf Tournament back in 1993, and then again at training camp when he played for the Oilers in 1995.  Another one of these football players- turned golfers Chandler is apparently quite good on the links. He has also recently taken up coaching as well to pass the time. Among Chandler’s NFL legacies is the only player to throw for a perfect passer rating in a game and a 0 in another, started for a record 8 NFL teams and threw a touchdown for a record 7 NFL franchises. Certainly Chris defined and deserves the NFL journeyman label- but with it he gave a level of respect and dignity to it.

G/Gs  180/152   Att 4005   Comp 2328    Yds 28484    Pct 58.1     Td 170   Int 146    Rat 79.1

Namath, Joe “Broadway Joe”

Card: ProSet 1990 SB
Acquired: In Person 1993, CGA Youth Golf Tournament

Okay, the CGA Youth Golf Tournament had the hugest names- and there were few bigger than Joe Namath there, well unless you include Maury Povich who people were mistaking him for. Joe was a really cool guy, but reminded me of my grandpa. He got off the golf cart and the only thing I could look at were his knees. It was obvious that the frequent surgeries had taken their toll on him, especially when he was going uphill. He told us he was unable to sign any Upper Deck cards, since he had a contract with those, and any others he could only sign if they were personalized and would only sign one per person- but he’d sign one for everybody. I was ecstatic with that deal. He signed mine “Lee, Good meeting ya’, Joe Namath”. I laughed because he ran out of room on the card and used an insert carat to write “ya'”. The ProSet 1990 SuperBowl card was a perfect card though, and the illustration was well worth the man who made the greatest guarantee in sports history.

One of the biggest names of the upstart AFL against the NFL, Joe Namath was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round of the AFL’s 1965 draft out of Alabama. (Bear Bryant would state later that signing Namath at Alabama would be one of the best decisions he ever made.) While the St. Louis Cardinals would also draft Namath, but with a huge salary at the time on the line, would elect to go to the Jets and at season’s end would be named rookie of the year. Namath over the next few seasons would transform the struggling Jets team into a contender, culminating in SuperBowl III where he brashly proclaimed before the game to reporters that the Jets would win over the heavily favored NFL Baltimore Colts. He’d come through on that bet, and the team would help usher the AFL into the NFL merger on a high note and a fair amount of respect and garner MVP honors for the game. Joe would earn the nickname “Broadway Joe” for his engaging personality, great smile and the media circus that would inevitably follow. He would have a few notable run ins with the commissioner as well, but by 1970 Namath’s knee injuries had caught up to him. His next few seasons would be injury plagued, and in 1975 he was waived. Joe Namath would finish his career playing his final season with the Los Angeles Rams. Namath has a lasting legacy in the annuls of NFL history, as the first 4,000 yard passer and the winner of the first overtime game in NFL history. On a side note he also played in the first Monday Night Football game. Joe Namath after retirement went right into acting, where he’s had a steady stream of guest appearances in TV, film and ironically- Broadway. He has also spent a great deal of time handling color commentary, finished college and is a speaker for the March of Dimes. Namath also remains an active non-official spokesperson for the New York Jets and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

G/Gs 140/130     Att 3762   Comp 1886   Yds 27663  Pct 50.1%    Td 173   Int 220   Rat 65.5    Lg 91