Tag Archives: Orlando Thunder

Dickson, Wayne

Card: Ultimate World League 1992
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 9/6 Received: 10/28 (52 days)

Wayne Dickson played in college for the Oklahoma Sooners from 1986 to 1989. He jumped from linebacker to defensive end in 1988, and then in his Senior year, Wayne was an All Big 8 Honorable mention.

After going unselected in the 1990 NFL draft, Wayne signed with the San Diego Chargers but did not make the squad. He quickly found a home in the CFL with the British Columbia Lions, and then in 1991 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he recorded 2 sacks.

Dickson then be selected by the Orlando Thunder of the WLAF and slotted in at left inside linebacker. He’d lead the team in sacks with 5, and was actually the team leader in tackles- before an injury ended his season. Wayne returned to the Thunder in ’92, and added 2 more sacks to his resume as Orlando played in World Bowl II. Following the reorganization of the World League, Wayne joined the Arena Football League, seeing a stint with the Orlando Predators in 1994. In 1995, Wayne was briefly on the radar of the Dallas Cowboys- attending training camp and honing his skills alongside Charles Haley. He then played one final season in 1996 for the doomed Texas Terror Arena franchise posting a sack, before hanging up his cleats.

I wish they (WLAF/NFL) had given us the 5 year time table that they had originally promised!

– Wayne Dickson

A spirited return from former linebacker and Orlando Thunder player Wayne Dickson, as he wrote me a full page response and thanked me for writing. In it he detailed a small bit of trivia: That his first name was ‘Elvis’. (Little did he know, this was how I found him to begin with!) A great card of Wayne here. I just love how his fingers are wrapped in playing tape.

CFLTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDLG
12252000-.-0-.-
WLAFTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDLG
N/A7.0000-.-0-.-
ARENATACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDLG
14192100-.-0-.-

Sterling, Rob

Card: ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 12/7 Received: 12/21 (14 days)

A 5th round pick of the Orlando Thunder during the WLAFs inaugural positional draft in 1991, Rob Sterling played college ball at Maine. After graduating in 1988, he’d be selected by the Eagles, but spent the entire year on IR. Acquired via plan B by the Jets the following season, he didn’t make the squad, but returned to the Eagles where he saw time on the team’s developmental squad.

Still hungry to play football, Rob signed up with the fledgling Arena Football League, and played for both the Albany Firebirds and the Washington Commandos in 1990. In limited action, Rob had 5 receptions for 50 yards and a TD, and 8 total tackles- playing both ways.

A rangy playmaker with good speed, Rob finished 3rd on the Thunder in Tackles with 43 stops and 9 pass deflections- after sitting out the final game with a knee injury. Rob’s biggest highlight came when he took a lateraled interception 33 yards for a TD against the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks. He did not return to the league for the 1992 season.

I collaborate with fellow collector Mark (of Marks Signing Bonus) on a semi-regular basis through Sportscollectors.com. He and I send WLAF addresses back and forth of players we have gotten lucky on and while he claims that I am regularly on point, he comes up with some killer finds- including Rob Sterling. Rob originally hails from Jamaica, has got a pretty common name, and went to Maine (of all places), so I pretty much gave up on this one some time ago after doing a ton of research. Thankfully Mark passed this one along to me and Rob autographed this one in roughly 2 weeks.

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9/10430.0103333.0133T
G- ARENATACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDLG
80.0000-.-0-.-

Painter, Carl


Cards: ProSet WLAF 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991 League Leader
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 11/4     Received: 11/13  (9 days)
Failure: 2011, 2017, C/o Home

The Orlando Thunder had a stacked offense. At runningback they featured a variety of styles of runners including former Detroit Lion track man Carl Painter. Carl earned his keep primarily on kick off return duties, averaging a league leading 24.9 yards on 24 returns. He set a league single game record when he had 6 kickoff returns for 178 yards against the Knights. Carl sprained his shoulder in a week 8 contest against Sacramento, and finished the season with 15 carries for 47 yards to go along with 13 receptions for 157 yards.

Painter played two seasons for the Detroit Lions, after being selected by them during the 6th round of the 1988 draft. Over two seasons, he had 106 yards on 32 carries and 4 catches for 42 yards. He also chipped in 18 kick returns for 361 yards and a 20.1 yard average.

A sensational runningback at Hampton, Carl rushed for 3,223 yards from 1983 to 1987, and led the team in scoring in both 1985 and 1987, netting him all-conference honors with the Pirates. In 2009, he was inducted into Hampton University’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame.

Being that Carl had 2 cards in the vaunted ProSet WLAF 1991 set, I had tried multiple times to get Carl but had lucked out. I have been collaborating with Mark of Mark’s Signing Bonus for some time on tracking down players from the league. Luckily he got a nice hit on Carl, so I sent out to him immediately the next day. Carl wrote me a really nice note, thanking me for remembering him along with the two autographs. As of 2017 he works in management for a city Parks and Recreation department in Virginia.

NFL   27/0         RUSH 32       YDS 106       AVG 3.3        TD 0        LG 13
REC  3                  YDS 42          AVG 10.5         TD 0             LG 27

WLAF   RUSH 15      YDS   47      AVG  3.1           TD 0         LG 18
REC    13                    YDS 157        AVG 12.1          TD 0         LG 26

KR    24       YDS    597          AVG 24.9          TD 0             LG 48