Tag Archives: london monarchs

Ruzek, Roger

Score 1991, #526

CARDS: Topps 1992, Topps 1991, Topps Stadium Club 1992
ACQUIRED: TTM 2022, C/o Home
SENT: 8/22 RECEIVED: 8/27 (5 days)


  • Roger Ruzek played K at tiny Weber State (’79-’82), where he set NCAA Division I-AA records for field goal accuracy (84.2), and school career records in FG (46), FG in a game (4), and consecutive XP (30).
  • Unable to beat out Matt Bahr in Cleveland as an UDFA in 1983, Ruzek joined the New Jersey Generals in 1984.
  • He played 2 seasons for the franchise before the league folded.
  • In ’86 he got a tryout with the Cowboys but didn’t latch onto the team until the following season after a few bumps.
  • Ruzek ended up posting 22 of 25 on FGs, scoring 92 points.
  • Tied NFL record with 4 FG in 1 quarter against the New York Giants that year.
  • Set franchise mark with 5 FGs made against the Rams that year.
  • In ’88 had a contract holdout, but had a rough year- and was eventually cut during the ’89 season in favor of Luis Zendejas.
  • Quickly found a home with the rival Eagles that year, and returned to solid form.
  • The Eagles opted to keep Ruzek and he’d kick with the team through 1993.
  • During the ’93 season, the Eagles signed Matt Bahr after Ruzek strained a hamstring.
  • Ruzek again replaced Bahr, later in that season, and then again was released in ’94 as the Eagles opted to go with Eddie Murray.
  • With a cup of coffee out of the way with the ‘9ers in ’94, Ruzek played Arena ball with the San Jose Sabrecats in 1995.
  • He then hopped over to London to play in his final season for the Monarchs of the World League in 1996- making 8 of 11 FGs.


Back when I was a kid, I played a lot of soccer. When I started watching football I was all about the kicker. I was surprised, the guy who scored the most points, who had the most pressure on them to win games, didn’t get more love. On the Cowboys, (since that’s all we got here,) I really liked Ruzek, and was surprised the team didn’t stick by him longer during his later struggles with the team. He also made an appearance on the original Tecmo Bowl as a member of the Dallas ‘Wings’.

I had no clue that Ruzek had played for the World League. If I had known that I would have written him sooner. It’s just too bad all he had to sign with was a ball point pen. Regardless he was the shortest wait of 2022 coming in at a breakneck 5 days.


Smith, Roland ‘Paddy’

Ultimate World League 1992, #71

CARD: Ultimate World League 1992
ACQUIRED: TTM 2023, C/o Work
SENT: 1/17 RECEIVED: 2/6 (20 days)
FAILURE: TTM 2015, C/o Work


  • Roland Smith played DB for the Miami Hurricanes during their heyday as a National power (1987-90)- winning two championships.
  • During his senior campaign in Miami, he had 52 total tackles, 2 picks and 2 forced fumbles.
  • He was selected in the 8th round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.
  • In 1992, he’d be a first round choice of the London Monarchs of the World League.
  • He went into HS coaching where he built an incredible resume, winning 7 HS State Championships between Northwestern and Miami Central.
  • In 2022, returned home to the Hurricanes, where he now serves as the school’s Director of High School Relations.


Roland Smith was a name I’d been after for a while, but after he started receiving hate mail, he stopped signing shortly before I sent out to him in 2015. I thought I’d take a shot in the dark to him once he moved to the Hurricanes and it worked out nicely.

This card is confusing, because the image subject feels like its more the Thunder player as opposed to Roland who’s barely on the card. In fact for the longest time I thought that Roland was a member of the Thunder. It also doesn’t help that fellow DB Irvin Smith has an almost identical card photo, same last name, and appears just two cards previously in the set.



X, Victor

Pro Set WLAF 1991, #76 A

CARD: Pro Set World League 1991
ACQUIRED: TTM 2022, C/o Work
SENT: 2/14 RECEIVED: 3/22 (24 days)


  • Victor was a rare player, who originally played American Football for English clubs, that was able to successfully make the transition to the World League.
  • His career started with the London Ravens, whom he played for from 1983-86.
  • Victor ran gangbusters over the league with 3770 yards, 66 touchdowns, with an average of 8.9 yards per carry.
  • After a brief foray to the states in ’86, Victor returned to England to play for the Manchester Spartans.
  • Ebubedike first grabbed the attention of the NFL in 1990, as the New York Jets expressed interest in trying him out.
  • Later on he’d be selected by the World League of American Football by the London Monarchs as part of the league’s ‘Operation Discovery’ program for play in 1991.
  • He’d score the first TD in Wembley Stadium by an English- American footballer against Orlando.
  • A fearsome hitter, Ebubedike also was a special teams gunner, logging 16 tackles that year.
  • Returned to the Monarchs for the ’92 campaign.
  • In 1995, he changed his last name to ‘X’, through his studies with the Nation of Islam.
  • At that time the World League was firing back up again, and Victor returned to the Monarchs that year.
  • He played the next 3 seasons with the team, finishing with 116 carries, 416 yards and 4 touchdowns.
  • After the London/ England Monarchs disbanded after 1998, Victor still wanted to play.
  • He’d return to playing football around Europe and then later England, playing his last game in 2013- at the grand old age of 47.
  • Considered a Black Pioneer of the sport, and an Ambassador of American Football in England.


  • Operation Discovery 1991, ’92


Pro Set 1991, #76 B

Wow! First try and a success! I got extremely lucky to get Victor. Apparently one of his friends from Houston was visiting London, so he just handed the return envelope to him and he popped it into the mail when he returned to the US, avoiding any need to figure out Royal Mail return rates or send outs. The mail gods were truly on my side for this one! I was ecstatic to get this one back, and he slides into the top 5- mileage-wise, just a few miles behind fellow Monarch Philip Alexander.

I had been trying to find Victor X, aka Victor Muhammad, aka Victor Ebubedike since I started this project. I was aware that he was back in the mother-country, but wasn’t really sure where, since they don’t allow webcrawlers to aggressively aggregate information on people in Europe. Well I started digging and eventually was able to turn up from an article that he went through a few last name changes. From there I found another article indicated he was a fireman. -And from there… I found an article that he and his coworkers were hailed as heroes for saving some people from a fire. That article gave a station number, and from there I found the address and took a wild shot.