Tag Archives: post football injuries

Campbell, Earl “Tyler Rose” (3)

mem campbell 2Photo Memorabilia
Acquired: IP 2013, GMC Texas Tour November
See Also: Earl Campbell, Earl Campbell (2) “The Tyler Rose”


Well Earl Campbell puts the saying, “You can’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”, to the test with this autographed photo. While I was happy to once again get Earl on something I would have been a bit happier if it was on a card. I had even ordered a couple thinking I might have a chance at getting him, but when I arrived at the event, the promoters and handlers for the event made it clear he was only going to sign the stock photo memorabilia. Still when Earl was chauffeured up in his signature black GMC with a handicapped placard I couldn’t help but feel slightly sorry for the guy. He’s been through a heckuva lot, and people just keep heaping more on him, in addition to treating him like a demigod. A woman in front of me said he had a responsibility to sign autographs, and basically make people happy because of his celebrityship. I really disagreed and tried to be more diplomatic about it. We are all human after all.

IMAG0531When Earl emerged from the passenger side of the vehicle, I’m sure many fans were surprised to see what condition their hero of lore was in. (It’s hard to live in an information vacuum, but it’s much easier if you are only a casual fan of sports and did not see the 30-30 ESPN presentation on him.)  Earl was clearly using a walker, and had to be helped to the table.  While I had heard differing tales of his stubbornness at events, such as when he only signed “E Campbell” at the Fan Fest in 2012, or how he both refuses to allow for personal photos with him or outside personal items now at non-paid signings, Earl for the most part seemed in good spirits. While I was not going to poke the bear, I noticed that on a few larger families of autograph seekers at the beginning, he simply penned “Earl”.

First his legs. Now his hands. As the line coiled through the queue and out into the street, I realized how thankful and fortunate I should be to even get an autograph. A few people who were there went up and complained to his hapless son about how they had driven from here or there and wanted to get Earl’s autograph on some sort of memorabilia they had packed, but they really had no excuse, especially after receiving a charity autograph from a Texas and NFL great, clearly doing this out of the kindness of his heart and for some pocket change.

Again, the GMC event was very mechanical. When I said to Earl: “Luv’ Ya HOUSTON OILER Blu’ “, he was too busy talking and smiling at his handlers, that were interfering with the whole mystique of the event. I doubt he even heard me.  It was a poignant end to an uneven event.

 

Campbell, Earl “Tyler Rose” (2)

utud11 campbellCard: UT Upper Deck 2011
Acquired: 11/23/2012, Fiterman Autograph Event
See Also: Earl Campbell, Earl Campbell (3)


I could not pass up the Fiterman Autograph Event in 2012, which included Heisman winners Earl Campbell and Billy Cannon and a lot of Oilers I had TTM woes with. The price was expensive, but cheap when prorated out in bulk, averaging out to under 20.00 an autograph. Earl Campbell’s alone typically goes for $100.00 per item, making it all a worthwhile deal.  While there was hiccups in shipping due to overwhelming demand, I did indeed receive all the cards back that I had wanted signed, including this gem. I skipped over Earl at the 610 event back in August, because I anticipated the long lines. He also was signing items shorthanded, with ‘E Campbell’  and no inscriptions. This set off a lot of collectors who screamed murder about the shortened sig. I really didn’t care, but to get this one back with the full signature and his number certainly made my day.

The Tyler Rose was the 43rd winner of the Heisman Trophy, and part of the 1991 NFL HoF class. He’s become a prominent businessman around Austin, slowly building a meat products enterprise under his name. He also has a restaurant in the ABIA airport as well.

Exerpt from Bum Phillips, NFL HoF presentation speech: Thank you. If ya’ll were looking into this sun, you’d know why I’m wearing a hat. I’d like to thank the Hall of Fame for giving me the opportunity to come back up to this part of North Texas. [This isn’t Texas.] Oh, it’s not? There’s a whole lot of people that deserve congratulations — the Hall of Fame, the enshrinees — but I want to send a special congratulations to the people of Canton, Ohio and the state of Ohio for that parade this morning. That was — That was outstanding. That’s the best think I’ve ever seen.

I’ve had some tough jobs in my life, but believe me, this is one of the toughest: Introduce a guy that made almost 10,00 yards, a guy that’s been in every newspaper and on every TV camera for the last 30 days, a guy that’s the best running back that I’ve ever seen in my life — and they tell me to do it in less than four minutes. Some of his runs lasted that long.

Earl and I’ve been — Earl and I’ve been friends a long time. He came down — one thing I appreciate about him is his loyalty — he came down — he’s a great hunter, great outdoorsman, great sportsman — and he wanted to go quail hunting. So, I told him, “Okay, I’ll take you over to Orange and let you go on my grandpa’s place.” We get over there and drive up to the ranch house. There’s a whole bunch of dogs in the yard, and course they knew me and didn’t know Earl. So I said, “You’re gonna have to sit in the car.” So I went inside and talked to my grandpa and he told me where everything was. And I got out and got back. Just as I was getting ready to go out of the house, he said, “Bum,” he said, “would you do me a favor?” I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “On your way in,” he said, “you saw that old white barn down there?” I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “Well, that old gray mule standing out there is 29 years old.” And he said, “I’ve raised that thing since she was a baby.” And he said, “The vet told me to have to put her down, and she’s really in misery and I don’t have the heart to do it. Would you stop by there and put her out of her misery?” I said, “Yes, sir.” So I get back in the car and we go on down the road and Earl said, “What did he say?” I thought well I’ll just kind of mess with him a little bit. I said, oh so and so said we couldn’t hunt. Well, he swelled up. I mean he got mad and we’re going along there. We get about even with that mule. I said, “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do: I’m going to go shoot his mule.”

So I — I stop and I get out and I go over there and of course put the mule out of her misery and come back — no Earl Campbell. About that time I hear “Boom! Boom!” and I look and here come Earl running across the hill — said, “Bum, let’s get out of here; I got his horse and his dog.” And if that ain’t loyalty, I don’t know anything about loyalty.

Campbell, Earl ‘The Tyler Rose’


Cards: Score 1991, Proset 1991.
Acquired: TTM 1993, c/o University of Texas
See Also: Campbell, Earl (2) “The Tyler Rose”


I got Earl’s autograph courtesy of the University of Texas, at Austin. I sent a picture I drew of him in all his glory with it, and he autographed these two pictures for me in exchange for the art. The other I won at an end of High School party. I met him at the CGA Youth Golf Tournament earlier in the year. He was a stocky, but huge man. His thighs were literally bigger than my waist, however he drove around in a golf cart for the majority of his time there, limited by the amount of wear he suffered from the sport.

Earl Campbell won the Heisman in 1977 for the University of Texas and was the definition of ‘powerback’. He could literally run over anybody and anything, once even stunning the Longhorn mascot Bevo after a touchdown run. The Houston Oilers, led by Bum Phillips traded to get the #1 pick of the 1978 draft and selected ‘The Tyler Rose’.  They could’ve stopped drafting right there… Campbell would go on to win Rookie of the Year honors and MVP honors, while officially the Luv’ Ya Blu era in Houston had begun. The Oilers became the most difficult opponent for the Pittsburgh Steelers that year, due in major part by the cog that was Earl Campbell. From 1978- 1985 Campbell dominated the rushing charts racking up 5 Pro Bowl selections, 3 All Pro selections, 3 offensive player of the year honors, and NFL MVP in 1979. During his 1980 season Campbell ran for a career high 1934 yards, while over the first 4 years of his career rushed for almost 6500 yards and 55 touchdowns. He punished defenders across the board with his rugged play, but by 1982 it began to take a toll on his body. In 1984 he found himself traded to the New Orleans Saints to play for his old coach and mentor Bum Phillips, where he retired after the 1985 season.

Campbell since football has conquered a variety of issues as he has dealt with back pain and injury from his playing days but he has managed to reforge himself as a successful businessman.  UT utilizes him also as an ambassador and Earl has had success with his own meat and BBQ company.

Games 118   Att  2187   Yds 9407  Avg 4.3   Td 74