Tag Archives: pittsburgh steelers

Horton, Ray

Cards: Fleer 1990, Score 1990
Acquired: In Person 1990, 1993, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp.

So it all technically began with Ray Horton on that Fleer 1990 card. He was the first autograph I got in Dallas Cowboys training camp way back in 1990.  It was happy times back then, and I grabbed every card and my black sharpie before I headed out the door that morning with Josh. We’d ride the bus back and forth from North Austin or have our mothers drop us off for what turned into an all day affair. We quickly established where the best place was to get autographs- (the second fence line as the street narrowed to get onto the field) and would camp the spot to grab signatures. I think on the first day I got 7 autographs on cards and I had a hard time sleeping because I was so excited to go back the next to see who I could get. I never thought that almost 20 years later I’d pick up the hobby again and enjoy it just as much.

Ray Horton was drafted out of Washington, where he played alongside Cowboy Vince Albritton. Horton would be taken in the second round by the Cincinatti Bengals, where he’d play in SuperBowl XXIII for the Bengals, before leaving the team in Plan B for the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. Ray’s rookie season was solid in 1983, with 5 interceptions, 121 yards and a touchdown -which would be his career high. He’d record 13 interceptions with the Bengals and in 1989 would sign with Jimmy Johnson‘s woeful Cowboy team, providing solid depth and a bright spot in the secondary pulling down 6 more interceptions and then retiring after the 1992 season and ten seasons winning SuperBowl XXVII.  A nose for the endzone, Horton would have four touchdowns via interceptions and one from a fumble.

Since retiring Horton has moved right into coaching picking up almost right where he left off. He’s made stops with the Lions, Redskins, Bengals, and Steelers where he added two more rings in SuperBowl XL and XLIII. In 2011, he was named the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals.

G/Gs 147/ 99      Tac N/a      Sac 3      Fum  5     Int  19     Yds 269     Avg 14.16     Td 4      Lg  65T

 

Gailey, Chan

Cards: ProSet 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o The Buffalo Bills
Sent: 3/12    Received: 3/19  (7 days)

Georgia born Chan Gailey, has been coaching at the college or pro level now for roughly 35 years, working at a variety of levels before being hired to coach with the Denver Broncos in 1985 and is considered a member of the Dan Reeves coaching tree. He’d spend the next 6 seasons there culminating in the offensive coordinator job, before he became the head coach of the Birmingham Fire in 1991. Making his mark with the team in nearby Alabama, Gailey’s team would make the playoffs both years of the WLAF’s existence. The teams’ were surprisingly known not for their offense, but rather a staunch defense that kept the team in most games. After the 1992 season and the WLAF folded, Chan briefly returned to the NCAA football level, but in 1994 he’d be hired by the Steelers where he’d stay through 1997. He’d serve as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1998 and 1999, but could never shake the image as Jerry Jones’ puppet and that his teams were not tough enough. Even though his teams would make the playoffs both season and lose after the first round, (and Troy Aikman felt that Gailey was a prehistoric dinosaur) Chan would not be detained as the Cowboys head coach. He’d be hired almost immediately to be offensive coordinator of the Dolphins in 2000 staying there through 2001, before returning home to Georgia Tech in 2002. His name got consideration for the head coaching jobs in both Pittsburgh and Miami.  Gailey would coach Tech through 2007 and then be hired by the Chiefs in 2008 as offensive coordinator, but was demoted and not retained by the team. In a surprising move by the Buffalo Bills, in 2010 the team announced Chan Gailey as the team’s 15th head coach partially on a recommendation by former head coach Bill Cowher of the Steelers.

Gailey’s offensive philosophy is one that adapts itself to the players available on the team and along his stops, outside of his current one here in Buffalo, have been good at maximizing very average talent while more importantly hiding those players inefficiencies.  The charge against him in response to this is that his teams’ offenses have been charged with being too conservative.  I jump at the chance to get WLAF autographs and I got his autograph in a quick 7 days from the Bills office. I wish him all the luck but I honestly sent off so quickly for him because I haven’t given him much of a chance up there. The Bills have become a graveyard for good coaches. Below are his WLAF statistics.

W 12      L  7       T  1        Pct .600

Foster, Barry

Card: Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Pittsburgh Steelers

Barry Foster. Quite an interesting player and career, but first a segway. I started playing fantasy football way back in 1990, so when my friends ‘discovered it’ in 1992, they casually omitted me from the league draft for some reason. The commissioner allowed me to join the league after their draft and I quickly assembled a competent group of free agents and players that included Barry Foster and Gary Clark into a team called the ‘Pennsylvania Pinto Beans’. I would dominate the first two weeks of the league until complaints from other owners arose, and the commissioner unceremoniously disbanded my team, stating that my team was ‘stacked unfairly’- even though my team was built from street free agents and no draft choices. Whatever.

I sent off for Barry during that season, partially because of my fantasy football success, and also because I am enamored with the Action Packed series of football cards. The embossed figures and gold lines really felt- well manly, and were just exemplary cards to get autographed.  I thought that Barry’s autograph was a fake- because it is so ‘pedestrian looking’ but after researching his signature it does appear to be this simple. Barry Foster was a fullback from Arkansas drafted by the Steelers in the fifth round of the 1990 draft.  After a rough start in a game I saw on TV where he was assigned to the kickoff team in his rookie season and let a live football bounce past him on a kickoff, Foster slowly improved and eventually find himself inserted into the starting lineup.

By 1991, Foster had become a bruising powerback and after an injury plagued year, really turned on the jets in 1992 with 390 carries, breaking Franco Harris’ team rushing record. Barry was voted to the Pro Bowl after the season and was the AFC offensive player of the year.  Unfortunately injuries limited his effectiveness the rest of his career. Barry would start off strong each season, but his body frame couldn’t sustain the 16 game schedule. In 1995 he was signed by the Carolina Panthers, but failed the physical- to which he was quickly signed by the Bengals and retired. (He appears I believe on Tecmo Super Bowl Final Edition as a member of the Panthers, even though he never played a down for them.)

Barry had always been looking ahead, and loved coaching. He had been budgeting his money for retirement. At one point I had heard a rumor that he was a cop, but this turned out to be untrue. Foster would become a part of the NFL’s minority coaching fellowship and by 2003 was coaching in the NFLE for the Rhien Fire. He also participates in junior sports and football camps for kids.

G/Gs   62/44   Att 915   Yds  3943  Avg 4.3  Td 26   Lg 69 |
Rec 93   Yds 804   Avg 8.6  Td 2   Lg 42