Cards: Topps 1985, Topps 1987, Pro Set WLAF 1991 Update
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 5/31 Received: 6/14 (15 days)
See Also: Bobby Humphery
Bobby Humphery was an enforcer for the San Antonio Riders during their 1992 season. Selected in the 11th round of the WLAF draft, he really provided veteran leadership to the young defensive backs. The Riders pass defense was ranked first in the league that year, and they were one of the few teams that could go toe to toe with the eventual World League Champion Sacramento Surge and a key reason for that was Bobby.
It was a shame that Pro Set pulled the plug on their WLAF set for the 1992 season. While Ultimate and Wild Card filled the vacancy as best as they could peppering their sets with veterans and rookies, for some reason they both omitted the highly decorated Humphery. I had to look hard to find any photography of Hump from his days in the WLAF.
Apparently he noticed that too, so when Bobby received the custom card I created he wrote me an extremely nice thank-you note.
Thank you Lee, for the Rider cards. I always wanted these cards but I could never find them. I will honor these.” – Bobby Humphery
The custom WLAF 1991 entry that I made of him was based off of a Gameday Magazine I had from that 1992 that was sold during the season finale. In the team notes, frequently they’d have a photo or small blurb about a player who has really made a difference on the team. The last one had this grainy black and white shot of Bobby. Although I have found other images on the web, I have not been able to find a suitable enough image, so I decided to go ahead and work with this image in Photoshop. It came out decently enough for a colorized and fuzz adjusted image. While I wasn’t entirely happy with my printer, it was satisfactory enough that I thought Bobby would appreciate it. He also included a signed copy of his Topps 1985 rookie card as well as thanks for the additional copies of the Riders cards I gave him.
Among Bobby’s greatest NFL accomplishments is that he led the NFL in 1984 with 22 kick returns for 675 yards and a 97 yard touchdown. He also had 8 kick returns for 234 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals during the season finale in 1986.
Card: Topps 1987
Acquired: In Person 2013, 12/28 Cowboys Rally Day
Always underrated, it seemed fitting that Cowboys safety Michael Downs followed up HoF defensive back Mel Renfro at the Rally Day. Many of the fans there in line didn’t know who he was or when he played for the Cowboys. I had remembered him from the early days when I watched the Landry Cowboys, and this card, that Josh dropped on the floor, that fell beneath the metal shelves I owned. As the boxes moved around my room, this card kept popping up, so I took it as a sign, and integrated it into the general collection. It has seen a lot of abuse over the years, bent edges and all, so it’s fitting that I’d remember it enough to get it signed when I had the chance.
Michael Downs wasn’t drafted out of Rice in 1981, so he signed with his hometown Cowboys anyway. He’d make the squad and start the first game as an injury substitution at free safety. Tested early and often, Downs quickly established himself as a feared enforcer with a nose for the ball. He made 7 picks his rookie season, but was snubbed for the Pro Bowl, finishing second on the team to fellow rookie free agent Everson Walls. Still he captured All-Rookie honors from the league, and consistently led the defensive secondary in tackles. Again in ’84 Downs had a fine season with 3.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, and 2 FF, but did not earn Pro Bowl honors. He’d be passed up again in 1986 after a 6 pick season. As the Cowboys slumped and Landry was removed after the 1988 season, Jimmy Johnson cut Downs almost outright from the team. Michael signed with the Cardinals where he finished out his career after the season. No hard feelings in the long run I’d guess, as Downs lives in the Dallas area, attended the demolishing of Cowboys Stadium, where he talked about his fond memories of his time with the ‘Boys, and makes appearances at Rally Days. In media, he also made an appearance in the original Tecmo Bowl.
G/Gs 121/116 Tac N/a Sac 8.0 Fum 14
Int 35 Yds 470 Avg 13.4 Td 1 Lg 37
Card: Topps 1988
Acquired: Canton Acquisition 2012
Dennis Gibson is best remembered by Charger fans as being the savior of the team in the 1994 AFC Championship Game, when he blocked a TD pass from Steelers’ QB Neil O’Donnell in the endzone to win the game. The play propelled the Cinderella Chargers of 1994 into the SuperBowl- their only SuperBowl appearance to date.
A home grown Iowa product who went to school at none other than Iowa, Gibson went to the bright lights of the city of cars and industry, as Detroit took him in the 8th round of the 1987 draft. Considered a budget find, Gibson stepped right in and contributed almost immediately, and later went on to play beside both Michael Cofer and Chris Spielman at right inside linebacker for the Lions 3-4 alignment. Gibson also appears alongside his teammates in the classic football game Tecmo Super Bowl. He saw some of the better glory days of the reborn Lions under Wayne Fontes and started 7 seasons for the Lions defense. In 1988 Gibson had a career high 116 tackles, and in an injury shortened 6 games in 1989 he recovered 3 fumbles. He’d sign with the Chargers in 1994 and play there through the 1995 season before retiring. At last glance in 2013, Gibson runs Encore Pizza in near obscurity outside of Des Moines, Iowa.
G/Gs 121/120 Tac 582 Sac 2.5 Fum 6 Int 3 Yds 15 Avg 5.0 Td 0 Lg 10