Tag Archives: topps 1983

Jones, Ed ‘Too Tall’ (2)

udldg97 ejonesCards: ProSet 1989, Upper Deck Legends 1997, Score 1989, Topps 1984
Acquired: 2012, Akron Acquisition. 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 8/5      Received:  8/12   (7 days)
Failure: 2014, C/o Home
See Also: Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones

pset89 ejonesEd Too Tall Jones was my favorite Cowboy player on defense as a kid, so after getting him all those years ago in person, I thought that I might nab him on these other cards I had. I got the Topps 84 through a friend who was liquidating his collection in 2012. Then later in 2014,  I had intended to attend an event with him at it in Dallas, but two days before leaving I got very sick, so I had to call it off.  Right afterwards I sent off for him TTM, but it must have been a sacrifice to the mail gods, as the highly reliable Jones did not respond.  I gave him sco89 ejonesanother shot in 2016 and I was pretty happy with the response, with him signing the ProSet, Score, and Upper Deck entries.

Ed has gotten around over the past few years. The surprisingly durable Jones has made appearances in a few movies- most recently The Wedding Ringer wearing his iconic #72.

He also was elected to the Black College Football Hall of Fame in to84 ed jones2015 after leaving Tennessee State second on the school’s all time list with 106 sacks. He was also recognized as the player of honor at the 17th Annual John Merritt Classic game against Alabama State that year as well. He is an avid golfer and makes appearances at many celebrity tournaments outside the Dallas area.

Despite Jones’ strong pro football resume, he played during an era when sacks and tackles were not tracked/ did not count, and with the backlog of defensive players AND over abundance of Cowboys nominated every year, he has not been enshrined in the HoF. Recently a fan petition through change.org did receive some traction attempting to get him inducted at least into the Cowboys Ring of Honor- something that seems long overdue for the iconic Too Tall Jones at least not be in.

 

Bingham, Gregg ‘Devil’

to83 gbinghamto79 gbingham
Cards:  Topps 1983, Topps, 1978, Topps 1979
Acquired: 2016, C/o Home
Failure: TTM 2012, C/o Home

Little known fact about Gregg Bingham is that he is the Houston Oilers career leading tackler with nearly 2,000 tackles. Surrounded by talent like Elvin Bethea, Robert Brazile and Curley Culp, during the Luv Ya’ Blue era of the 70s- it was easy for Bingham to be overlooked in the star studded defensive lineup, even if he led the league 11 straight seasons. Also tackles were an unofficial statistic for the league until the late 80s/ early 90s.

After toiling away his rookie season in a 4-3 at MLB in 1973, and earning all-rookie honors, Gregg slid over to LILB, as the Oilers converted to a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Bum Phillips. Bingham had earned the nickname ‘Devil’ for his strong motor and style of play, and he punished ball carriers on every tackle.  Bum Phillips was once quoted as saying that, “You’d have to cut off his head and hide it, in order to keep Bingham off the field.” He’d start the next 5 seasons for the team, recording 10 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries, returning one 34 yards for a TD.  Gregg was also counted on by the team for special teams as well.  The following season he switched to RILB, playing the position for the majority of the rest of his career. Considerably durable, Bingham would have challenged Bethea’s consecutive games started record if not for a hip injury suffered in 1982 at 135. He topped the 200 tackle mark 4 times and led the league in tackles consistently over his career.

to78 gbinghamAn interesting character, Gregg made every penny count, investing into a series of coin operated car washes and oil changes around the Houston area. He even had the business foresight to have an assistant sort the change that came out of the machines for valuable coins.

Years later in 2008, Bingham’s heir at linebacker, John Grimsely committed suicide. It was later linked to CTE- caused by concussions. Gregg became a concussion flashpoint himself in 2009 when he was working in one of his car washes, and blacked out. When he next woke up, Bingham was in the hospital and learned he had been in a coma for the past 3 weeks, due to a swollen brain. It took him well over a year to rehab, but Gregg connected the dots to his time in the NFL and concussions, -something that at the time was to be ‘shaken off’.  He later rejected an NFL concussion settlement, because it would have not covered his expenses.

He continues to live in the Houston area, and after failing on a request back in… 2012- he kindly signed two cards for me and tossed in a third.

G/Gs   173/173       TAC   1,985         SAC    n/a        FUM   14
INT  21     YDS   279     AVG 13.3       TD   0         LG  54

Brazile, Robert “Dr. Doom” (2)

to81 brazilleto76 brazille

Cards: Topps 1976, Topps 1981
Acquired: In Person 5/19,  Houston 610 Fan Fest 2013
See Also: Robert Brazile “Dr Doom”

Robert Brazile is another guy who was clearly ahead of his time and warrants merit into the Hall of Fame. Brazile was the forerunner to such guys that terrorized the scene of the 80’s, like Andre Tippett. He embodied everything that a 3-4 linebacker could do, playing the pass, run, and rushing the quarterback with frightening efficiency. He’d set the NFL on fire his rookie season, earning Defensive RotY honors in 1975. A cornerstone of the Oilers defensive front, Brazile was relied heavily upon by the team to put pressure up front during the Luv Ya Blu’ heyday of the franchise. He played 10 seasons for the team, contemplating retirement, but ultimately decided to do so after the sudden passing of his wife in 1984.

Brazile had probably the longest of all the lines at Fan Fest in 2013. I am sure that surprised him that so many people remembered him, and I’m sure he enjoyed that immensely. He loved it when I called him Dr. Doom, but he also told me that he hasn’t played tennis in a few years when I asked him about it. A bit disappointing, but I could find no card of Robert with him in an action pose. Every Topps card printed during this period was either a profile shot, him standing on the sidelines or sitting on the bench.