Card: StarPics 1991
Acquired: In Person 1995, Houston Oilers Training Camp
Speedy track and field athlete Derek Russell was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1991 draft out of the University of Arkansas. His rookie season would be respectable enough as he’d pull in 21 catches for a whopping 15.7 yard average. He’d make his first touchdown grab in week 3 against the Chiefs, helping the Broncos win 19-16. In 1992, Derek would be less of a factor making only 12 receptions and suiting up for 11 games. He’d rebound in 1993 to lock in a career highs with 44 catches, 719 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Although 1994 would still have him grab 25 catches, Russell be made a free agent at the end of the season. Derek would sign with the Oilers in 1995, where I’d get his autograph at training camp that year. He’d play with the Oilers through 1997 making 70 catches for 883 yards and 3 touchdowns.
G/Gs 88/48 Rec 172 Yds 2401 Avg 14.1 Td 8 Lg 57
Card: ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 1992, Patriots Blitz
Syracuse Orangeman coaching legend Dick MacPherson was hired to fix the woeful Patriots. (Somebody had to do it.) He’d field a surprisingly competitive team in 1991 but the team would regress in 1992 and he’d be fired at season’s end after an 8-24 record. Fear not though, this is when Patriots’ lore gets good as the next coach hired was Bill Parcells.
Coach MacPherson though should be remembered though, rightfully so, for his work at the college level, which started way back in 1958 with the University of Illinois. He’d make stops at the University of Massachusetts, Cincinnati, and Maryland before going to the pros as an assistant with the Denver Broncos of the AFL from 1967-1970. He’d return to coach at Massachusetts from 1971-1977, then off to the Browns for the next 3 seasons to coach linebackers.
In 1980 Dickey Mac would make his mark taking over for the Orangemen at Syracuse turning the college sports program around. He’d coach there for the next 10 years before 2 final years with the Patriots, and retire. His cumulative college record was 111-73-5. MacPherson was inducted into the CFHoF in 2009 and he provides commentary on the Syracuse Orangemen radio network.
8/8/2017- Dick MacPherson passed away at the age of 86, surrounded by friends and family in Syracuse, NY.
Card: Topps 1970
Acquired: In Person 1993, CGA Youth Golf Tournament
I met John Brodie on the course early in the day on the golf tournament circuit with Steve Spurrier and Dick Anderson. He loved the drawing I did of him and he laughed because I didn’t have one of the old ball coach. Off hand I have 5 or 6 cards autographed out of this beautiful and classy set, perfect for autographing.
John Brodie was the strong armed quarterback who was the heir apparent to Y.A. Tittle in San Fransisco. One of the many overlooked legendary quarterbacks who came through the 49er organization before Montana and Young, Brodie was a passing machine throughout the 1960s and was the NFL MVP in 1970. A two time AP in 1965 and 1970, he’d retire in 1973 ranked 3rd all time in passing yardage. Brodie was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and his number retired by the 49ers, but at this time has not been enshrined into the NFL HoF. An avid golfer, he frequently is in the running on the Champions Tour.
G/Gs 259/201 Att 4491 Comp 2469 Yds 31548 Pct 55% Td 214 Int 224 Rat 72.3