Tag Archives: plan B

Walls, Everson

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1990, Score 1989
Acquired: In Person 6/15/2012, Burnet Feed BBQ Store.

Probably one of the greatest free agent acquisitions in the history of the NFL at cornerback, Everson Walls has held the NFL interception title 3 times over his career, and played for the Cowboys, Giants, and Browns.  He earned All-Pro Honors in 1982, 1983, and 1985, and is tied for the NFL record for most interceptions in cumulative Pro Bowl appearances. After a meritous career with the Cowboys from 1981-1989, Jimmy Johnson left him unprotected in Plan B after the team’s 1-15 disastrous season. He’d sign Plan B with the Giants in 1990- leaving the Cowboys after recording 649 tackles, 44 interceptions, and 3 fumble recoveries.

The Giants moved Walls to Free Safety to replace departed Terry Kinard, and Everson responded by notching 5 more picks en route to the team’s Super Bowl XXV victory.  He’d also register his first pick for a touchdown against division rival Washington that year. Another season with the team and 4 interceptions in 1991, saw him split time in 1992 between the Giants and Browns with 3 picks. He’d retire after 14 seasons with the Browns in 1993.

Despite having so many accolades and being named to the Cowboys 25th Anniversary Team, the NFL 1980s team, Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame, Grambling Hall of Legends, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, and the Tom Landry Award, -the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor and the NFL Hall of Fame elude him to this day. I think it is an absolute crime that Walls is not at least in the Ring of Honor as he was one of the most complete defensive backs during his tenure in Dallas. Some say it was because of the 49ers Dwight Clark made that grab over him in the Championship Game, while others say it is because of his acrimonious hold outs, but I tend to believe that the NFL overlooks the corner position, if you are not as flashy or noisy as people like Deion Sanders.

Walls wrote a book in 2009, (“A Gift for Ron”,) chronicling his life and detailing his decision to donate his kidney to save his best friend and teammate on the Cowboys’, Ron Springs life. To me that’s worth it alone to demonstrate Everson’s humanity and compassion, emphasizing a trait that all members of the Hall of Fame should strive for.  He spends a lot of time on the road donating his time to charity, and works on TV and radio where he is immensely respected for his knowledge and understanding of the sport.

I had just joined the Texas Autograph Club, when I looked at the upcoming events and spotted a post about Everson appearing at a BBQ joint in Burnet, Tx -which is right down the road from me.  I unpacked some cards and grabbed my friend Josh and went to meet him. While the signing fee was stiff, it was totally worth it, as the money was going to help out the Burnet kids football team. Everson told me that first he’d like to be put into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor, and then poked fun at the Giants card in front of the kids who were there that we were helping out.

G/Gs 186/171    Tac N/a     Sac  3     Fum 5        Int  57      Yds   504      Avg  8.8         Td  1     Lg  40

White, Reggie ‘Minister of Defense’ (1961-2004)

Cards: Action Packed 1991, Action Packed 1992.
Acquired: TTM c/o The Green Bay Packers, 1994.

Reggie White is arguably one of the greatest defensive ends, and one of the best players to be imported to the NFL after the failure of the fledgling USFL.

After setting multiple records at Tennessee, White was drafted by the Memphis Showboats of the USFL in 1984. Playing in two seasons for the league he’d rack up almost 25 sacks and 200 tackles, before being signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, who held his draft rights. White grabbed defensive rookie of the year in 1985. As a cornerstone to the Eagles, Reggie sacked quarterbacks a mind-numbing 124 times with the Eagles, averaging more than a sack a game from his left defensive end position. In 1987 alone he’d rack up 21 sacks.  White was nicknamed ‘The Minister of Defense’ by his teammates, because of his ability to disrupt team’s offenses, and the fact that he was an ordained minister since the age of 17.

White was an important high profile name in a landmark lawsuit against the NFL, that would eventually allow for what is now known in the league as free agency. This allowed for a general rise in salaries and also inadvertently contributed to the concept of a salary cap.  In 1993, Reggie would become the first big name to switch teams from the Eagles to the Packers creating an immense amount of buzz. With Reggie also switching to the Pack this also shattered the notion that small market cities would not be able to compete with larger cities for marquee talent. The Packers played in two Super Bowls during his tenure there, and he notched 3 sacks in Super Bowl XXXI which still stands as a record today. Reggie retired briefly in 1998 but came back to play one final season in 2000 for the Carolina Panthers.

White’s career numbers and accolades are astounding: 198 sacks (2nd all time) , 1st team AP 10 times, All Decade Team of the 80’s and 90’s, and the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team.  He’d only have 3 seasons during his 15 year career where he’d have under 10 sacks, and finished with over 1000 tackles. Tragically Reggie White would pass away December 26th, 2004 of a cardiac arrhythmia in his sleep at the age of 43. Posthumously he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2006 and his jersey was retired by the Packers, Eagles, and Volunteers.

It is said that near the end of his life, Reggie strayed away from Christianity and towards more Judaic religious beliefs, but this is not so. White was extremely interested and respectful of religious ideals, and remained a devout Christian, (and an outspoken, controversial one at that) to the day of his passing. He’d also lend a helping hand to many churches during the spate of Southern Black church burnings during the 1990s.

I seem to remember being surprised to get this autograph back from the Packers -and in under a month or two to boot. I like it when players inscribe the cards with a bible verse. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the most religious person, but it tells me a bit about their personality and who they are. Reggie signed his cards with Matt 3:3-16. Now This isn’t 3:3,16. It’s 3:3 through 16. That’s a hefty amount of scripture so I’ll just leave it at 3:3

“For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

Games 232         Tac 1048       Sac  198       FF 33
Int  3     Yds 79       Avg  29.3      Td  0

Montoya, Max

Cards: Proset 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990, Score Supplemental 1990
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1991, 1993, 1994

Max Montoya was drafted in the 7th round by the Cincinnati Bengals out of UCLA in 1979. After claiming the starting job he’d start at right guard for the formidable Bengals offensive line in 152 games over the next 11 seasons and 2 Superbowl appearances. Max would also be named to the ProBowl in 1986, 1988, and 1989 before signing with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1990.

Max’s signing with the Raiders was controversial at the time as GM Mike Brown had stated that Montoya had made a commitment not to look elsewhere. He immediately became the highest paid offensive lineman in the history of the Raider franchise. He went to the ProBowl one more time in 1993 before retiring in 1995. Max’s final statistics include starting 203 games over 16 seasons.
Max was always planning for life after football during his playing days. After briefly coaching football, Montoya became a franchisor of Penn Station East Coast Subs and is involved in real estate. He also owns his own Mexican restaurant in northern Kentucky called Montoya’s.
I got Max’s autograph in 1991, 1993 and 1994 at Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. One of my most comically bad moments in autograph collecting history occurred with Max Montoya. As Max passed down the line in what was commonly known as ‘autograph alley’ I was coaching another kid on how to get autographs. Max gave me his autograph but passed by the other kid who kept holding out his card forthe wrong player  (Dallas wide receiver Alexander Wright). I told the kid, “That’s not Max Montoya,” but Alex heard me, and embarrassingly took offense thinking that I was making a racial comment. Ace Wright obviously didn’t want to sign my card- or Max Montoya’s for that matter either.