Tag Archives: New England Patriots

Dryer, Fred ‘Hunter’


Cards: Topps 1971, Topps 1976
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Work

I think the first time I saw Fred Dryer was during the mid-80s. It was premiere week and NBC was eager to find a competing product to Magnum PI. They cast Fred Dryer as the lead in the TV show Hunter and the rest was history.  As a kid I never really knew about Fred nor was I observant enough to know that he was a former football player, but when I became aware of football and the LA Rams were fast becoming my favorite NFC team, I knew eventually I wanted to get Fred’s autograph.

A first round pick of the New York Giants in 1969 Fred wrecked opposing offensive lines from the start of his career recording 8.5 sacks in his first year from his defensive end position.  Considered a wild man by teammates, Fred lived out of a van and grew out his hair and beard. He even offered to set his hair on fire whenever he scored another TD later in his career.  In 1970, he had 12 sacks and 69 tackles earning his first Pro Bowl honors. After recording 8.5 sacks in 1971, Fred was traded to the New England Patriots for a bevvy of picks. Refusing to report, the Patriots were left with no choice but to deal Fred to the Los Angeles Rams.

During his 1972 season, the Rams used Fred as one of the first situational pass rushers. He’d put up 4.5 sacks. LA started him full time at defensive end the following year and he made history sacking Green Bay quarterback Scott Hunter twice in a game for a safety.  Fred finished with 10 sacks in 1973.  His best season as a pro came in 1975 when he earned another Pro Bowl honor, with 61 tackles, 12 sacks and a 20 yard interception for a TD against the Eagles.

Fred helped the Rams make Super Bowl XIV in 1979. During the season he had a 5 sack game against his former team the Giants, en route to a 10 sack season.  He retired after the 1981 season.  A well decorated member of the NFL, it’s disappointing that Fred has not received a call to the HoF, however during the period he played, sacks and tackles were not an official statistic.

Fred has been a pretty busy TV and film actor since retirement. Before the TV show Hunter made him a star, he was also considered for the TV show Cheers to play the main role of Sam Malone.  In the past few years he’s seen a renaissance of sorts cast in a variety of diverse roles, including a brief appearance on Agents of Shield as Octavian Bloom- a HYDRA leader.

G/GS 176/165     TAC  N/A      SAC  104.0    FUM 20
INT  1     YDS 20      AVG 20.0    TD 1     LG 20T

Smith, Rod (DB) (2)


Cards: Classic 1992, Action Packed Rookies 1992, ProSet 1992
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 4/7       Received:  5/26   (49 days)
See Also: Rod Smith

I reached into the open mailbox right before the 2016 Memorial Weekend Flood III, and found a soaked self addressed stamped envelope.  I had to medically remove the three cards that had
slid slightly out of plastic sleeve, from the envelope.  Some moisture was on the cards, but after dabbing them off, they were in surprisingly good condition, and the autographs were not harmed.

pset92 rsmithThe 1992 Action Packed Rookies & Stars was among my favorites during that early heyday of collecting. I had already gotten Rod Smith in a Patriots blitz I did in 1992 before the set came out. (Back then you could send a stack of cards to a bad NFL team and they’d typically respond by signing most of your stuff.) A great action shot here, I had been wanting to come back and get this one for a while. The ProSet and Classic cards were gravy on top. ProSet still had some nice action photos, sans the bad design and company logo.

 

Allen, Terry

Cards: ProSet 1991 Update, ProSet 1992, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Clemson
Sent: 12/31/15    Received: 4/20/17  (477 days)

Well it sure did take a while for this one to get back around so I was quite surprised to see this one show up in my mailbox at a bit under 500 days. I had sent out for Terry back in 2015, but it was the end of the year, right before Clemson lost the National Championship game. Allen and the rest of the coaches probably had a lot to do, and after winning the National Championship game in 2016, this gem showed up in the mail a few months later.

Terry Allen played his rookie season in 1991 for the Minnesota Vikings at fullback, blocking for Herschel Walker. He had a pretty solid year rushing for 563 yards on 120 carries. Allen took over fulltime runningback duties the following year in 1992 setting the Vikings’ single-season rushing record with 1201 yards. After losing his entire 1993 season to injury, Terry returned to form in 1994 rushing for 1031 yards.

Terry joined the Redskins in 1995, and in 1996 rushed for a career high 347 carries for 1353 yards (Redskins single season record) and a league leading 21 TDs. During that stretch from 1992 to 1996, Terry rushed for nearly 5,000 yards and 52 TDs. (He was also a very sneaky fantasy football pick in the early days of the sport.) Although he’d not see the same success over the remainder of his career, Allen remained a solid and dependable runningback, playing for New England (1999), New Orleans (2000) and Baltimore (2001).

Originally a 9th round pick of the Vikings in 1990, Terry sat out all of the season rehabbing an injured knee.  He finished second at Clemson with 2,778 career rushing yards- including  1,139 yards as a Junior in ’88 earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference Honors.

Terry has some really nice entries here. His rookie card was from the ProSet 1991 Update. It’s a pretty nice shot, but had a heavy amount of artifact in the photo so it wasn’t completely clear. On the other ProSet card, they made an ugly switch midway through the 1992 set, but the ugly design really lent itself to this dynamic photo of Allen’s running style. The vertical gray gradient is not necessary and the stair step action for the Vikings logo makes absolutely no sense. We don’t really need to talk about the ProSet logo.  Action Packed went more for this as well with the vertical gold stripe. It makes sense because of the embossed canvas that the attempt was to make players look as though they were leaping from the card but among Action Packed from when I was collecting the set, it was my least favorite.

G/GS 130/114     RUSH 2152    YDS 8614     AVG 4.0      TD 73     LG 55
REC 204      YDS 1601     AVG 7.8    TD 6      LG 38