Stan Gelbaugh is one of a long line of noted quarterbacks that came out of the University of Maryland. A sidearm quarterback drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 6th round of the 1986 draft, Gelbaugh ended up punting for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL that season. Later he signed with the Buffalo Bills where he was backup for 4 seasons. Finally after a short off season with the Bengals in 1990, he found himself out of football and giving up the sport for good. The ‘gods of football’ had different plans for Stan Gelbaugh though when former teammate Jim Haslett convinced Stan to take another shot when the WLAF opened its doors for business.
Drafted by the London Monarchs in their supplemental draft in 1990, Stan would get his second chance. Mentored by coach Larry Kennan, Stan started the season as the backup quarterback, but by the end of the first game he laid his claim to the starting job. He never relinquished it, grabbing MVP honors from the league and leading the Monarchs to an 11-1 record and the first World Bowl championship.
After a rough political offseason between the WLAF and the NFL, Gelbaugh found himself on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, then quickly back in the NFL on the Phoenix Cardinals. Before the end of that 1991 season, he’d then be signed to the Seattle Seahawks, where former coach Larry Kennan was now offensive coordinator. As his roundabout tour continued, Gelbaugh exasperatedly returned to the Monarchs for the 1992 WLAF season, where the team collapsed under a new coach and a 2-7-1 record. (Gelbaugh still turned in almost 2000 yards passing and 11 touchdown passes.) After the 1992 WLAF season, Gelbaugh returned to the Seahawks, where in one MNF contest, he ignited the Seahawks to an improbable comeback victory over their rival Denver Broncos. Stan retired after the 1996 season.
Gelbaugh since retirement has been involved in coaching and now works full time for a construction company in Washington DC and loves golfing. He finished his London career as the team’s leading quarterback in almost every category. Gelbaugh also finished as the WLAF’s career leader for attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns. He’d also be the only quarterback in the league to throw for two 90 yard plus touchdown strikes.
I took a stab in the dark at Stan Gelbaugh, utilizing the power of the internet (Google) to find his address. His name isn’t the most common in the universe, and after about 20 minutes I was able to track him down. I broke a major rule when I mailed Stan: I sent more than 4 cards. In fact I sent seven, (every WLAF card he ever had). I told him he could sign what he wanted and return it and that would be fine. He kindly signed every one for me. Included below are his WLAF career statistics.
Games 20 Att 582 Comp 336 Avg 57.7 Yds 4622 Td 28 Int 24 Lg 98T Rat 82.1
In 1991, Dedrick Dodge was drafted in the 4th round of the positional draft by the London Monarchs. (He was one of the true gems of the WLAF, being that he was not drafted in the NFL before being found by the WLAF.) Dodge would go on in 1991 to grab 2nd Team All World honors, and led the Monarchs with 6 picks that season en route to the league and the Monarch’s first championship. Dodge had speed and a nose for the ball and would return 2 of those interceptions for touchdowns. He was picked up by the Seahawks that same year where he played in 1991 and 1992 primarily as a reserve special teams player. Dedrick would also play for the Monarchs in 1992, posting a respectable 3 interceptions in a down year for the former WLAF champions. While the league reorganized after the 1992 season, Dedrick signed with the 49ers in 1994, where he played through 1996 snaring 4 interceptions and playing on special teams. (He won the Superbowl in 1995.) In 1997, Dodge would find himself on the Broncos where he won Superbowl XXXII, and finally in 1998 played one season with the San Diego Chargers before retiring. Since his playing days Dedrick has turned to coaching football and quickly climbed out of the prep school ranks and into college where he coached at ASU as the defensive backs coach in 2009. He is also an avid golfer.
Games 20 Tac N/a Int 9 Yds 237 Avg 26.3 lg 62 Td 2
Chester Pitts was a 2nd round choice of the Houston Texans inaugural draft in 2002. He was one of 2 remaining ‘original’ Texans (Kris Brown being the other) remaining on the team roster as of 2009 and started 114 games in a row for the franchise first as a left tackle and then settling in at left guard. On a horrendous offensive line, Pitts provided key stability, consistency, and flexibility, in a variety of offensive systems playing for the Texans. Unfortunately in 2009 Pitts was playing in the final year of his contract. In the third game of the season he suffered a catastrophic knee injury and was unable to return to the lineup for the remainder of the season. The Texans took a wait and see approach to Pitts rehabilitation, but despite his efforts at rehabilitation, elected not to resign him where as he hit the free agent market and signed with the Seahawks before training camp in 2010. Pitts was the focus of a Superbowl XLII commercial relating to how his career began which starred him and Ephraim Salaam, (who takes credit for ‘discovering’ Pitts bagging groceries at a local Ralph’s supermarket). Pitts is incredibly strong, and is a world class shotputter holding still many records at his alma matter San Diego State. He is also an accomplished oboest.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.