Tag Archives: San Diego Chargers

Riley, Mike

Cards: ProSet 1991 Helmet Card, Proset World League 1991, ProSet 1991.
Acquired: In Person, San Antonio Riders,  San Antonio v. Ohio Glory (preseason)

My father and I started going to WLAF games in the summer of 1992 down in San Marcos, Texas at Bobcat Stadium on the campus of what was SWT at the time. The team had played its games the previous season in San Antonio at the dilapidated Alamo stadium (home of the Gunslingers of the USFL), but in 1992 planned to move into the Alamodome. The Alamodome was running behind schedule and that and a combination of a disagreement on sales of alcohol prompted the team to move to a reasonable distance from Austin. The WLAF had a one game scrimmage/ preseason for each team, and the Riders drew the Ohio Glory who they beat soundly that day.

Coach Riley preferred sound defense and a strong running game. A former Alabama CB and Bear Bryant apostle, Mike Riley and I talked for a few minutes after the game about coaching. He was very nice and stopped to take a photo or two with me. Riley isn’t exactly a journeyman coach, but it’s easy to see him as such since he rarely has spent more than 3 years at any college. Winning two CFL World Cups for the Blue Bombers, Riley made the jump to the WLAF in 1991 where he coached the Riders to a  4-6 record and a 7-3 record in 1992. (The team was denied the playoffs by tiebreakers.) After the team folded he was hired by Larry Benson (owner of the Riders and signer on the helmet card with Riley) to coach the expansion San Antonio Texans of the CFL, but that team did not get off the ground and folded quickly.  Riley then went on to coach at USC under John Robinson as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, before he was hired by the Oregon State Beavers in 1997, whom he laid the foundations of success for. In 1999, though Riley was hired to coach the San Diego Chargers where he had a rocky tenure and was released after two seasons.  Riley proved though you could indeed return ‘home’ as he was rehired by Oregon State in 2003 where he has remained since posting 5 bowl wins and a .576 winning percentage in 9 seasons.

WLAF      Seasons  2      Wins 11      Losses 9      Pct .555

Lewis, Darryll

Cards: Pro Set 1991, Action Packed Rookies 1991, Star Pics 1991.
Acquired: TTM 1993, In Person, Houston Oilers training camp 1994.
See Also: Lewis, Darryll (2)

On my birthday in 1993 I received Darryll’s autograph in the mail. It was a really nice treat.  The next year at Oiler training camp in San Antonio he gave me his autograph on a card. I’d swear he was as tall as me.

The 1990 Jim Thorpe Award winner did not go until the second round as the defensive back class was considered weak that year and Lewis was also thought to be undersized. The Oilers, who had long been burned the previous 2 seasons on defense drafted Lewis, Michael Dumas, and Steve Jackson in the 1991 draft. In the end this draft provided a bevvy of defensive backfield ballhawk talent, including Eric Turner, Aeneas Williams, Todd Scott,  Henry Jones, along with Darryll. It was Lewis who would form with holdover Cris Dishman and become a devastating duo at cornerback. Lewis made up for his height disadvantage with pure speed and his leaping skill. By 1994, he also became known for soft hands and a nose for the ball at the critical moment, notching  at least 4 picks in 6 straight seasons.

Lewis would play for the Oilers, Chargers, and Broncos briefly over a 10 year career making the Pro Bowl in 1996. Unfortunately Lewis’ post NFL life has been marred by personal problems. After resigning from Oregon State as a DB assistant coach, he has  had run ins with the law including a tragic car chase caught on tape in 2005, where meth was found in his vehicle. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2006 and was sentenced to 32 months in prison. He currently he lives in the San Diego area.

Games 142   Tac 404  Sac 5  FF 0   Int 32  Yds 555 Lg 98T  TD 5

Lofton, James


Cards: Pinnacle 1992, SkyBox 1992.
Acquired: In person, Dallas Cowboys training camp  1994.
See Also: James Lofton (2)

In one of my more infamous moments of autograph collecting, James Lofton had signed as an interim coach with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1994 and was in Austin to scrimmage the Cowboys. Knowing that I would probably only get one shot at the wide receiver I got the prime spot in the autograph alleyway that players had to walk up to get to the field, and then waited. When the players arrived, I unfolded the cardboard sign I had with me that stated,”WILL WORK FOR JAMES LOFTON’S AUTOGRAPH”.  Every player who got off the bus chuckled at me and then when James got off, (while he was being ribbed by his teammates,) walked over, smiled and gave me his autograph on the two cards here.

A player whose career literally spanned three decades of football (70’s, 80’s & 90’s) and one of only a few players to score a TD in each era, Lofton was a 8 time Pro Bowler, and a 4 time All Pro for the Packers and Bills. (Drew Hill scored in each era one game sooner for the honor of doing it first.)  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, Lofton played Packers, Raiders, Bills, Rams and Eagles, during his career retiring at the age of 38. Lofton has coached in the NFL with both the Chargers and Raiders, and as of this time serves on Westwood One Radio’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts.

G 233      Rec 764    Yards 14004      Avg 18.3       Lg 80        TD 75