Tag Archives: los angeles rams

Camarillo, Rich

Card: ProSet 1990 LL
Acquired: In Person, Houston Oilers Training Camp 1994

Rich Camarillo is a great example of the lack of respect for the special teams, notably punters and kickers. One of the most decorated punters of my golden age of football, Rich’s history started like any other typical special teamer- as a free agent. Camarillo was originally picked up by the New England Patriots in 1981 where he’d play for the next seven seasons and in Super Bowl XX. In Super Bowl XX he’d set then Super Bowl records for net yardage and longest punt, but the Patriots would be clobbered by the Chicago Bears 46-10.  In 1988, Rich played one anonymous season for the Rams and then hopped over to the Cardinal organization for the next 5 seasons, where he’d really make his mark.

With free agency in full swing, in 1994 Camarillo would join the Oilers (replacing Greg Montgomery,)  playing for them through 1995, and then one final season for the Oakland Raiders in 1997. Over Rich’s career he’d be named to the Probowl 5 times in 1983, 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1993. In 1992, he’d gain All Pro honors and lead the NFL in 1989 in punting with a 43.4 yard average. Camarillo over his 16 year career would played more than 200 games, and garnered over 40,000 punting yards.  His 39.6 net yard average in a season still stands as record and his 44.5 yards per punt remains the highest playoff average in history.

Although Camarillo had a fine career, there’s probably little chance that he gets into the Hall of Fame, with Ray Guy (who is considered to be an exemplary example of amazing punters) not enshrined after almost 30 years. Rich for his part has remained busy since retirement coaching in the Little League World Series recently embracing his life as a full-time father, golfer, and NFL Alumni. Camarillo is also a member of the NFL All 90s team, the New England Patriots 50th Anniversary team, and still holds many of the team’s records as well.

Games 205   Punts  1027     Yds  43895    Avg 42.7      Lg  76   Blk 6

Hill, Drew (1956-2011)

Cards: Topps 1982, Fleer 1990, Proset 1990, Proset 1991.
Acquired: In Person, Houston Oilers Training Camp 1990, TTM, C/o Home 2010
Sent: 3/26    Received 4/6  (11 days)

Drew Hill is a receiver who has gotten no respect. Barely a blip went by when in the 12th round the speedster out of Georgia Tech was selected by the Rams in the 1979 draft. In the beginning of his career the LA Rams used Hill primarily as a kick returner. By his final season with LA in 1984 Drew would finally be getting some credit as a receiver pulling down a monstrous 27.9 yards per catch on 14 receptions. Hill was traded to the very bad Houston Oilers squad in 1985 and immediately started paying dividends as Warren Moon‘s primary receiver. Over the course of the next 7 years Hill grabbed 634 receptions and 7477 yards and stretched defensive secondaries to their limit, averaging an electrifying 15.5 yards per catch, including a 20.2 yard average on 49 receptions in 1987.  He went to the ProBowl in 1988 and 1990 and tied Haywood Jeffires for the AFC lead in receptions with 72 catches. In 1992 the Oilers let Drew go via free agency. The knock on him was that he was too old at 36. He signed with his homestate Falcons, being reunited with former Oiler coach Jerry Glanville and put over 1000 yards into his Falcon career, retiring after the 1993 season as an Atlanta Falcon. Hill at the time of his departure from the Oilers was the all time leader in catches and yards, and second in touchdowns. He averaged an amazing 70.5 yards per game with the Oilers. (Since then his records were broken by Haywood Jeffires and Ernest Givins.)  Among Drew Hill’s lesser known accomplishments is that he is the first person to score a touchdown in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s beating HoF member James Lofton by a game and ironically (to Bud Adams chagrin,) he was the first player to notch four 1,000 yard seasons after the age of 30.

Drew since retirement has returned to his Georgia roots where he lives in relative anonymity. I sent for his autograph TTM after locating his address on another site. I did a bit of research on him and was dismayed that somebody with the same name had been posing as him claiming to be a fine artist. When Drew wrote back, he informed me that the artist “wasn’t me.” Although slightly embarrassing to me, I hope it called attention to him that there was somebody out there usurping his good name.

I got Drew’s autograph after training camp in 1990 one day where he was thoroughly exhausted. He was a really nice guy, but of few words. His autograph felt like his personality (understated) and I really wanted to get it again when I decided to mail out to some of my favorite Oilers earlier this year.  I was really angry when the team let him go via free agency and felt when they did it exposed a chink in the team’s armor.

Games  147      Rec 634         Yds 9831           Avg 15.5          TD 60         LG  81t

FOLLOWUP:

11/25/2010

Less than two weeks after I wrote this, I was contacted by Jerry Crowe of the LA Times for an interview about ‘the real Drew Hill’. Apparently Mr. Crowe had been visiting the Men’s Central Jail poking around about ‘the artist’ Drew Hill being in jail, not knowing his fake identity. When he asked them about Mr. Hill, the corrections officers revealed to Jerry that ‘the artist’ was not the real Drew Hill, referring to my website as supplemental proof.  (Thanks corrections office! You know who you are.)

Amused, Jerry tracked me down, and contacted me for an interview since I was living locally in the area so that he could have ‘more ammo’ for his talk with the artist inmate. We discussed my brief involvement in the situation, how I had been in touch with the ‘real’ Drew Hill via the mail, and that Jerry had indeed spoken to and interviewed ‘the real’ Drew Hill in Georgia. He said that he may use my information in a further interview with the inmate and was amazed by what a small world this was with the coincidental timing of the situation, my post and the fact I lived in the greater LA area, but none of this unfortunately ever made the article and thusly I get no props for my super ‘sleuthiness’. You can read the article in its entirety here. A second article is a follow-up from the Santa Monica Daily Press, where the original call for help was issued for the impostor.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/26/sports/la-sp-crowe-20100927
http://www.smdp.com/pdf/100110.pdf

3/19/2011

On Thursday March 17th, 2011, Drew was golfing and fell ill. Although he was transported to the hospital shortly thereafter, Hill suffered two strokes and passed away on March 18th, 2011.  He was 54. It should be noted that the Associated Press even got some of his information wrong, stating not only the wrong date on his All Pro seasons, but also that he was an artist, – a claim that he disputed when I sent him mail last year.

Flutie, Doug

Cards: All World CFL 1991, Score 1989
Acquired: TTM C/o CFL

Doug Flutie is a player who has seemed to have an amazing amount of luck and heart follow him to every stop along the way in football. A heartwarming story, Flutie was considered well undersized to be a quarterback in the NFL after a storied career at Boston College where he threw a hail mary against the University of Miami in 1984 and won the Heisman Trophy that year.

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round of the NFL draft, Flutie opted to sign on with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. In 1986 he signed with the Chicago Bears and then was on board with the Patriots, where got the starting duty in 1988. Unable to keep the starting job he was cut in 1990 where he signed with the British Columbia Lions of the CFL in 1990. The wide open fields of the CFL allowed Flutie to flourish and polish his game. Doug was a quarterback who kept teams honest with his feet and was an avid scrambler. Flutie became the ‘Michael Jordan’ of the CFL, setting the record for yards in a season with 6619 yards, touchdowns with 48, and was named the most outstanding player of the CFL a record 6 times.  Doug won the Grey Cup MVP with the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts (twice and back to back). Returning with a vengeance to the NFL in 1998 to the Buffalo Bills, he was named comeback player of the year and took the team to the playoffs and named to the Pro Bowl, but Doug didn’t ever win the respect of management, as he was replaced by de facto starter Rob Johnson, who had returned from a season long injury. The quarterback controversy continued well into 1999, where Doug went 4-1 and Johnson went 4-7. In 2000, Doug was unceremoniously cut by the Bills and signed with the Chargers in 2001, who were reeling from the Ryan Leaf days. He would stay on board to tutor a young Drew Brees when he was drafted in 2002 and played sparingly for the team through 2005. With gas still in the tank, Flutie signed with the New England Patriots in 2005 to back up Tom Brady and retired at the beginning of the 2006 preseason.

Flutie has a variety of age related records to his accomplishment, and was the first player to drop kick an extra point since 1941. Although Doug did not find lasting success in the NFL, he has been enshrined into the CFL HoF, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame. He stays active playing basketball, and sponsors his own brand of breakfast cereal “Flutie Flakes” with the proceeds going to charities dealing in autism. Doug also plays drums for his family’s band, the “Flutie Brothers Band”.  Doug is an excellent commentator and also handled  color commentary for the United Football League games.

Games 136    Att 4854       Comp 2975        Pct 61.3         Yds 41355              Td  270         Int 155    Lg 106t