Card: Action Packed 1992
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1994.
Charles Haley is perhaps one of the craziest players I’ve had the pleasure of getting an autograph from and unfortunately this reputation has denied him from entry into the Pro Football HoF.
There’s always that guy you hear ‘stories’ and rumors about- The one who pulls out his manhood and runs down the hall peeing on Carmen Policy’s office wall. The guy who masturbated during team meetings and talked about other player’s wives while he did it. The guy who attacked head coaches (George Seifert) and had a wonderful vocabulary that he loved to share with the media but they couldn’t print it. The guy who was so crazy it was rumored that Ronnie Lott was assigned to keep him in line. A guy who nicknamed himself “The Last Naked Warrior” -but it wasn’t his fantasy football team. The guy who once received bananas in his locker as a joke because of his Neanderthal-like ways. That’s what I heard.
But there’s the guy who you hear the straight up truth about what he left on the field as a player and father. He’s also the guy who suffered from Bi-Polar disorder, was manic, and was only diagnosed with it a few years after football. He’s the only guy who’s won 5 SuperBowl rings (49ers and Cowboys) and is modest enough not to wear one. He’s the guy who’s daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia and decided to retire. He’s the guy who came back for a final season despite injuries ‘for the love of the game’. He’s the guy who racked up 100.5 sacks over his career as a budding situational pass-rusher and then later defensive end. He’s the guy who wrote his wife poetry when they dated at James-Madison. He’s the guy who loved to go on shopping sprees- for his mother. He’s the guy who walks with a slight bend after constant back surgeries and through therapy, self-discovery and medication has come to understand what he’s done. He’s the guy who with a committee that values winning over statistical performance, both which he’s demonstrated- still has not gotten into the NFL HoF.
The latter is Charles Haley today and that’s how I choose to remember him, and despite my penchant for hating on Cowboys- I really liked him.
In 2011, although drafted by the San Fransisco 49ers, Charles was honored by the Dallas Cowboys who selected him to announce their 2nd round pick during the NFL draft, and also with an induction into the Cowboys Ring of Honor along with Larry Allen and Drew Pearson.
G/Gs 169/109 Tac 485 Sac 100.5 Fum 26 Int 2 Yds 9 Avg 4.5 Td 0 Lg 8
Card: Action Packed Rookies 1991
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1996
Near the waning days of my first autograph collecting stint, (which could be directly attributable to a horrid relationship I began in a different story all together for a ‘my diary posting’,) I got wind that Ricky Ervins was signed by the Los Angeles Raiders who needed depth at running back to get through training camp because of injuries to many of their key players in 1996. I’d get him along with a few other players that year, but this would be my final time at Cowboys Training Camp at St. Edwards in Austin. It was a good, long run which yielded a slew of SuperBowl talent and interesting stories, but the Cowboys were leaving Austin and the Oilers had already packed Bud’s moneybags for backroom promises in Tennessee. I’d effectively tune out of the sport after 1997- not even watching it again until 2000.
Ricky Ervins from Pasadena, Ca is considered a USC legend- (holding many records that Reggie Bush would later break) for the squad and is most remembered for his 1990 campaign in which he won the Rose Bowl MVP honors. Despite his credentials, Ricky had to wait until the 3rd round of the 1991 draft to hear his named called- by the Washington Redskins. You see, Ervins is another case of a player before his time. At 5-7 , 200, Ervins was considered undersized for a tailback, but in this day and age Ricky would fit right in with most West Coast offenses and their 3rd down, ‘scatback’ roles. The Redskins immediately put him to work along side Earnest Byner and the electric duo would help the Redskins make other teams respect the run. In his rookie season, Ervins scampered for 680 yards (leading all NFC rookies), a 4.7 per carry average (leading all rookies), a 65 yard long jolt for a touchdown, and win SuperBowl XXVI. (Ricky would be the leading rusher of the game with 72 yards.) He’d rarely see starting time but rather was brought in for a fresh set of legs and a change of pace. Ricky also was a formidable receiver out of the backfield making 32 catches in 1992 and start a career high 10 games en route to 51 more receptions in 1994. He’d be signed by the San Fransisco 49ers in 1995, and inexplicably for no reason, got lost in the backfield shuffle and be out of a job at the end of the season. The Oakland Raiders came calling in 1996, where Ricky flew down to be in camp with the team in Austin for training camp. Unfortunately he wouldn’t make the final roster and retired. Since football, Ricky has opened a successful high school athletic prep academy called Xtreme Xplosion (http://www.xtremexplosion.net/) in Northern Virginia.
G/Gs 76/11 Att 554 Yds 2114 Avg 3.8 TD 8 Lg 65T |
Rec 117 Yds 870 Avg 7.4 Td 2 lg 28
Cards: ProSet WLAF Helmet Card 1991, ProSet 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o work.
Sent: 10/15 Received: 10/26 (11 days)
Corris Ervin would be an outstanding defensive back for the Central Florida Knights- being so good as to be drafted by the Denver Broncos with their 5th round pick in the 1988 draft. Ervin would spend time on the San Fransisco 49ers developmental squad in 1989 and would walk by me a few times in Dallas Cowboys Training camp in 1990. In 1991, the London Monarchs would draft Corris first in the WLAF positional draft for the defensive secondary. He’d form a cornerstone of the Monarchs #1 defense and secondary, helping the team win the World Bowl in 1991. After winning All-World League honors, he’d return to the states after the 1991 season, but in 1995 decided to take another shot- this time with the NFLE playing for the Scottish Claymores. Corris would make another 2 interceptions playing for the team and return back to the United States to play in the CFL for the Baltimore Stallions and in Canada with the Blue Bombers. In 1996 Ervin would go to the Arena Football league playing for both the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators that year. He’d hang onto the roster of the Predators through 1999 where he was then traded to the Florida Bobcats, retiring after the season. Corris would also make an appearance as a defensive back in the movie “The Waterboy”. I started trying to track down players through social network sites and quickly found Corris after I was able to acquire teammate Howard Feggins. He kindly signed 3 cards for me and currently runs his own cabinetry business out of the Orlando area. Below are his statistics from the London Monarchs in 1991.
G/Gs 10/10 Tac 37 Sac 0 Fum n/a Int 2 Yds 13 Avg 6.5 Td 0 lg 13