Tag Archives: topps 1977

Pearson, Drew (2)

to77 pearsonudldg97 pearson

Cards: Topps 1977, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: In Person 5/19, 610 Houston Fan Fest 2013
See Also: Drew Pearson

Got Drew Pearson at the Houston Fan Fest this year, adding two addtional cards to my collection. It was nice that I was able to track down this Upper Deck Legends card of him. Surprisingly he generated quite a line at the event, but I’d also partially attribute it to how personable and friendly he was being to each and every fan. He was also more than happy to take photos with fans, and fist bumps to everybody. It was obvious that he was enjoying himself immensely, and I wish all players would embrace his exuberance for the fans of the sport. After I got my Legends card signed, I brought up my fiancee that I called, “Baby,” and he heard that and then made a joking pass at her telling her that “Baby is a great name!”, which got a great laugh out of her. I chose this 1977 Topps because- yes -of the afro. Drew said it had been a long time since he had that much hair and rubbed his nearly bald scalp. I had a few more cards of Drew, but with other pressing names at the event, I had to keep moving from line to line. Still, I’ll be sure to hit him up next time he is at this sort of thing.

It’s nice to know that Drew finally made it into the Cowboys Ring of Honor. Among the many teams that have Rings and Walls, the Cowboys is admittedly one of the more prestigious. He’s done some color commentary for the AFL and also enjoys spending his time hosting the “Drew Pearson Show” on Fox Sports Southwest.

Nobis, Tommy “Mr. Falcon” (1943-2017)

udlgd97 nobis to78 nobis

Cards: Topps 1971, Topps 1977, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: 2013, C/o Home
Sent: 1/2    Received : 3/6 (58 days)

Tommy Nobis is considered one of the greatest linebackers in the University of Texas’ history winning the Outland and Maxwell trophies in 1965 as the best all around linebacker in the country. (What was even more amazing was that Nobis also was the offense’s starting guard as well.) A proven star against big name talent, Nobis helped the Longhorns win the 1963 Cotton Bowl for the college’s first College Football National Championship against Roger Staubach and Navy. Nobis later helped the Longhorns defeat famed quarterback Joe Namath and Alabama in 1965 in the Orange Bowl.

Tommy was wooed by both the NFL and the AFL after the 1965 season. In one of his more grander schemes during the AFL’s renegade days, Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams courted Nobis on board an airplane flight over Texas. Nobis was the #1 overall pick of the NFL Atlanta Falcons, and the #5 pick overall of the AFL Houston Oilers. Tommy opted to sign with the Falcons, becoming their first ever draft choice and earning his nickname, “Mr. Falcon”.

to71 nobisNobis immediately made an impact for the team, recording an unofficial and unprecedented, 294 tackles his rookie season, and earning NEA NFL Rookie of the Year honors.  A lone bright spot on a very lousy team, Tommy had a motor that just wouldn’t quit, and he anchored the Falcons defense down almost single-handedly in those early years. He actually understood and could call defensive formations, covered the run or pass with ease, and hit like a Mack truck. Tommy finished his NFL career with 5 Pro Bowl nominations and one AP nod. He retired after the 1977 season. Tommy’s numbers are all the more impressive considering that he had 2 seasons fairly marred by knee injuries.  Very few football fans talk about Nobis on the measure of the other greats of the late 60s, but during that time, he was considered one of the best in the business. What guys like Butkus had over Nobis was big market exposure, and despite Mr. Falcon’s efforts, he has never gotten into the NFL Hall of Fame. In fact Butkus and Nobis had very similar numbers, and played for astonishingly equal bad teams. Punishing runningback Larry Czonka once even stated, “I’d rather play against Dick Butkus, than Tommy Nobis.”

Nobis’ number 60 is officially retired at the University of Texas alongside Earl Campbell‘s number 20. It comes out of retirement semi-periodically when the team has had an outstanding talent at the position that they wish to honor, such as Britt Hager during the late 80s and Derrick Johnson more recently during the early 2000’s. A member of the NFL All-1960s team, Tommy has also been honored by the Atlanta Falcons as well, and worked in their front office for many years.

Tac  1183      Sac N/a     Fum 13       Int 12     Yds 182   Avg     Td 2    Lg  41

UPDATE 12/13/17- Tommy Nobis passed away today at the age of 74. No immediate cause of death was provided.

Burrough, Ken “Kenny” (1948-2022)

Card: Topps 1977
Acquired: 11/23/2012, Fiterman Autograph Event

So give the New Orleans Saints credit for nabbing a small Texas product in the form of Kenny Burrough (6’4″, 210) from Texas Southern in the first round of the 1970 draft. He played for New Orleans for one season before the Oilers got the itch to trade for him. (Coach J.D. Roberts suspected that Ken was ‘goldbricking’  the Saints by making up a turf toe injury.)  Burrough was traded along with DT Dave Rowe to the Oilers, while the Saints received RB Hoyle Granger, a second round draft choice and two linemen. Former Saints coach Tom Fears said the team would, “Rue the day that they traded Burrough,” and he was right.

Burrough almost immediately filled a void at WR providing a deep threat for rookie quarterback Dan Pastorini, in the continued ‘Dead Ball Era’. Burrough was allowed to keep his signature ‘double zero’ jersey, and provided the team some excitement as they continued to plow through some truly bad growing pains, before the Bum Philips and Luv Ya Blu’ years of the Houston franchise. 

In 1975, Ken led the NFL in receiving yards with 1063 yards and 8 touchdowns. His deep threat skills were nearly unparalleled at the time, and in that season he averaged 20.1 yards per reception on a career high 53 receptions.  After losing the majority of the 1980 season to a knee injury, Ken came back for one final season for the Oilers in 1981 and then retired.  At the time of his retirement, Ken was the Oilers’ franchise all time leader in most receiving categories (since surpassed by Drew Hill and Ernest Givins), breaking many records held by Oilers’ great Charlie Hennigan.

G 156    Rec 421      Yds 7102     Avg 16.9      Td 49     Lg 85

UPDATE 2/24/22- Kenny Burrough passed away at his home in Jacksonville peacefully. He was 73 years old.