Cards: Upper Deck 1991, Score Supplemental 1991, GameDay 1992, ProSet 1991, ProSet 1991 #1 Pick, ProSet 1992
Acquired: In Person 2020, Dallas Renegades v The Houston Roughnecks
See Also: Russell Maryland
So Russell was this Cowboy that I just got once or twice at Cowboys training camp as a kid and then that was it. The other players probably told him not to shell out too many autographs because we were there all the time (and they probably suspected us of selling them). Over the years I piled up some great cards of Russell. From his college ProSet card to his Gameday card, I had heard from time to time he did sign through a project that he was doing in Florida called Reading for Dragons or something like that, but didn’t want to take the chance of that being a bad lead, so I just held on to these cards. I never thought in my wildest imagination that 30 ish years later I’d get him at a Spring Football game in Dallas, but here we are!
The Cowboys pretty much jumped at the opportunity to embrace the XFL Renegades, loaning greats Everson Walls and Russell Maryland for the Renegades game against the Houston Roughnecks. As a Roughneck fan I was given a chance to attend the road game for free- so I seized upon the chance and drove to Dallas with these cards in tow. The Dallas front office put together a really nice pregame show. The Cowboys players did an interview and then afterwards signed autographs.
Russell was a really nice guy. He didn’t have any qualms with signing so many cards now. We chatted for a few minutes about those hot summers in Austin at training camp and how much fun he had. He was surprised that I knew about Reading for Dragons and told me that he only briefly did that and that the program was long gone. After signing Russell, with a wide and broad smile, pretty much surprisingly blended in with the crowd, so much so he got pulled aside when he entered the arena, to be wanded by arena staff.