Tag Archives: san antonio texans

Buddenberg, John

Cards: Ultimate World League 1992, Jogo 1994, Jogo 1995
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 8/29 Received: 10/8 (40 days)

A three year starter at the University of Akron at tackle, John Buddenberg clocked in at 6’5″, 279. He’d be selected in the 10th round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and then later spent time on the rosters of the Minnesota Vikings (1989) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1990). During his time in the NFL, Buddenberg was shifted inside to play guard.

In 1991 John was selected by the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football. A stalwart member of the Surge’s offensive line front, he played in all 20 regular season games for the franchise over the lifetime of the World League (1991-1992), earning first-team All-World League in ’92. For both years he’d return to the NFL and was on the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons.

After the World League reorganized following the 1992 season- the Sacramento Surge jumped to the CFL and became the Goldminers. John joined the franchise and played both guard and tackle for Sacramento in 1994, and (for the franchise when it moved to San Antonio and became) the Texans in 1995.

John currently lives in Ohio. He responded with a nice note and two extra autographed cards (the Jogo ones) thanking me for being a fan of the World League.

Archer, David (2)

ultwlaf92 surgeCards: Ultimate WLAF 1992, Ultimate WLAF 1992 team card
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 5/23    Received: 8/8  (78 days)
See also: David Archer

I was kicking myself after getting David Archer’s autograph on some cards a few years ago. I realized that I didn’t get his Ultimate WLAF Sacramento Surge card signed. My general rule of thumb is to wait a few years before and if I contact a player again. I just feel like it is appropriate not to spam players with requests, so I put myself in my self-imposed penalty box and waited on this one. I sweated it out for a while but after a 3+ month wait he signed these two cards for me.

ultwlaf92 archerUltimate and ProSet went head to head during year two of the WLAF, with Wild Card showing up near the end. None of them found traction in the market, and today they are easily found in the secondary market. While ProSet focused on year one players, Ultimate was peppered with rookies and new names giving a nice blend to go along with ProSet. Wild Card showed up at the tail end of the 1992 season or had a weaker distribution network, so for autograph purposes it was completely out of the mix.

Archer was the quintessential journeyman quarterback, or one of the greatest third string QBs you’d ever seen. He played for no less than 7 teams during a 14 season football career spanning the NFL, WLAF, and CFL. He won World Bowl II with the Sacramento Surge in 1992, and later lost in the playoffs to the Jeff Garcia led Calgary Stampeders in his final game with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1998.

He still does radio today for the ACC in Atlanta and hosts an afternoon radio show.

Fears, Willie

jo93 fearsCards: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Jogo 1995
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 1/7       Received: 1/16    (9 days)

Willie Fears took a strange,winding, inspiring route, to his dreams of being a professional football player and coach. Undrafted out of Northwestern Louisiana St in 1985, Willie played 5 games for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the CFL.  Invited to the Miami Dolphins minicamp, he showed up admittedly out of shape and had to put his career on hold.  He became a corrections officer at the Arkansas State Maximum Security Prison, but along came the NFL Players Strike in 1987. At 6’4″, 280, Fears had the frame to still play, and probably had the greatest vacation time ever from work, spending 3 weeks as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Afterwards he went back to the CFL, playing for both Ottawa and Toronto in 1988 and 1989, before returning again to the NFL in 1990 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Willie was then drafted by the WLAF San Antonio Riders in 1992. Willie’s technical precision, skillset, and size, allowed the team to shift him into any of the 3 places on the line, which was invaluable to the Riders 3-4 alignment. An experienced force on the line, he proved difficult for offensive linemen to handle, and helped the Riders be one of the staunchest defenses in the league.  After the league went on hiatus, Willie begun a career playing in the Arena Football League. He’d sign with the Cleveland Thunderbolts and played for them through the 1993 season, before hopping back into the CFL with the Sacramento Gold Miners. In 1994 the Gold Miners moved to San Antonio and became the Texans. He’d join them there back in his old stomping grounds. Afterwards, Fears joined the AFL again, playing in 1996 for the Tampa Bay Storm, and then in 1997 for the Nashville Katz.

wcwlaf92 fearsHe then continued his dream by becoming a football coach.  In the ArenaFootball2 league, he’d coach with the Arkansas Twisters for 3 seasons, before joining Jay Gruden on the Predators to coach the linemen. Ironically, later Pat O’Hara, joined the staff replacing Gruden as head coach. Pat was a member of the Ohio Glory and probably felt Willie breathing down his neck more than once during the Riders 17-0 stomping of the Glory back in 1992. Fears remained with the Predators through 2011. Currently he lives in Arkansas. My first success from the Meiselman 2014 list, I had been looking for Willie for quite sometime, and had been unable to locate him since his stint ended with the Predators. He was kind enough to not only sign the Wild Card WLAF 1992 card I enclosed, but like Billy Hess also enclosed one of his own from the Jogo 1995 set. Unfortunately both of the autographs were smudged as he signed with an overhead Vis-A-Vis instead of a Sharpie. The Riders card was smudged beyond recognition, so I resent it back out with a team photo of him and the other linemen for Willie to keep. He sent it back in about 2 weeks signed with the marker I gave him.

AFL    Tac  46     Sac 9    FF 2    Int  0   Yds   0   Avg  -.-   Td 0   Lg -.-
WLAF  Tac   N/a    Sac   2   FF  0    Int 0   Yds 0   Avg -.-   Td 0  Lg -.-
NFL  2     Tac  N/a    Sac 0   FF 0   Int  0  Yds 0   Avg -.-   Td 0  Lg -.-
CFL  N/a