Tag Archives: Montreal Machine

Savage, Ray (2)

Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 7/29 Received: 8/20 (22 days)
Failure: 2010, 2011 C/o Work
See Also: Ray Savage

The photo of this card of Ray was taken during the San Antonio Riders victory over the Machine in the opening game of the 1992 season. As such- these cards were not in production until near the end or after the season concluded- when there was still a belief that there’d be a season 3 in 1993. I had struggled over the years to get Ray’s autograph on his remaining cards, so I just decided to put it on the back burner for many years.

As I have begun to really go after the AAF, it renewed my appetite for the WLAF set, so I decided to check out some dead ends again, with the help of new technology. A few weeks after I sent this out I was genuinely surprised to get this autograph back from Ray with a sticky note attached to it.

He thanked me for truly putting a smile on his face that week, as he has fond memories of the WLAF and thinks about that time and those games often.

Ray loves coaching and was the head coach at Menchville High School, where he had a rich history of discovering and developing college football talent. He stepped down recently in 2018.

Matusz, Roman ‘Tooz’

Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Work
Sent: 4/11  Received: 4/21   (10 days)

Selected in the 11th round of the 1990 NFL draft, man mountain offensive tackle Roman Matusz went collegiality to Pitt.  At 6’4″, 285,  Roman was Team Captain of the Panther offensive line that ranked 13th nationally in total rushing yards. Roman was selected by the Montreal Machine in the 1992 WLAF Player Draft.  He’d start at tackle for the franchise that’d average 104 yards rushing a game, but on the flipside allow 4.4 sacks a game. After the season, the Machine like all WLAF franchises was reorganized.

Roman retired from football and transitioned into the financial industry. Currently he lives in Pittsburgh where he is a Co-General Agent at Mass Mutual.

Harris, Elroy

ultwlaf92 eharrisCards: ProSet WLAF 1991, Ultimate WLAF 1992, Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 2/15    Received:  3/5    (18 days)

At the time of his departure from EKU (Eastern Kentucky University) fireplug Elroy Harris was the All-time leading rusher in school history with 4,555 yards in 3 years, a whopping 5.9 yards per carry, and scored an Ohio Valley Conference Record 58 career total touchdowns. Among Elroy’s accolades was being named the Conference player of the year in 1988 after accumulating 1,543 yards, which led all Division I-AA schools.

Elroy was a 3rd round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the jam packed 1989 NFL super draft.  Looking for a change of pace in the backfield the Seahawks were stuffed with talent at RB with guys like Curt Warner, John L. Williams, James Jones, Derrick Fenner, and Kevin Harmon. Thankfully Chuck Knox and his infamous ‘Ground Chuck’ offense required so many backs to share the load. Elroy did what it took to make the roster and was utilized primarily on special teams. As a returnman he made appearances in 14 games for Seattle, returning 18 kicks for 334 yards.

wcwlaf92 eharrisElroy was not retained for the 1990 season, but with the WLAF on the horizon, he made an excellent candidate for the league. Originally a draft pick of the Montreal Machine, Harris had a speedy debut against the Birmingham Fire.  Elroy managed to squeeze out 250 yards and 2 TDs, but found himself cut after Week 4. It’s always been a mystery to me as to why it happened, but regardless, the Machine were content with Ricky Johnson taking the lionshare of the workload to go along with Broderick Sargent.

Elroy did not go unemployed for long. He quickly was picked up by a familiar foe- the Birmingham Fire, whose coach, Chan Gailey is a mastermind (even today) of squeezing the most out of players that he can in his offensive systems. Harris stepped into the lineup and contributed another 290 yards and a TD, finishing 4th in the league in rushing, and helping the Fire make the playoffs.

Elroy returned to the Birmingham Fire for the 1992 season, and put up a respectable 470 yards on the ground and 5 TDs, sharing the backfield with Jim Bell as the Fire returned to the playoffs.

psetwlaf91 eharrisWhy looking for Elroy Harris for 7 years sticks out in my mind is because he has a card in each set that’s very nice looking.  I thought that finding him was going to be much easier than this, but who would’ve thought there were hundreds of Elroy Harris’s across the United States? It took a bit of extra effort cross referencing cards and public data to finally track down the elusive Fire runningback. While I just threw a prayer to the wind, I had a gnawing feeling that this address was the one. I was just surprised to get a response so quickly, and a nice note to boot. Elroy is currently a head mechanic and a coach at his local high school. Apparently he gets little fanmail, as he was really happy to receive this treat letter from me and wished my father and me all the best.

NFL  14/0     RUSH 8   YDS 23   AVG 2.9    TD 0   LG 8
REC 3   YDS 26    AVG 8.7   TD 0   LG 11
KR  18    YDS 334     AVG 18.6     TD 0   LG 25

WLAF   RUSH 271    YDS 1010   AVG 3.7    TD 8  LG 41
REC  17     YDS 83     AVG 4.9      TD 1     LG 16