Tag Archives: score 1990 hot gun

Esiason, Norman “Boomer”

Cards: Score 1990 Hot Gun, Action Packed Rookies 1992.
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o CBS Sports. TTM 2017, C/o The Esiason Foundation*
Sent: 5/23/2011   Received: 8/4/2012 (423 days) STAMPS
Sent: 12/20/2017  Received: 1/8/2018 (18 days)
* Donation included

So here’s an infamous example of an autopen or stamp. A really underwhelming ‘success’ from the Cincinnati Bengals’ greatest quarterback since Ken Anderson, I wrote to Boomer Esiason C/o CBS Sports in 2011. 423 days later I got these two ‘autographs’ back. It was obvious that they were facsimiles. I sat on this post for 6 years or so, annoyed that he stamped my cards and that he made me wait over a year to get them back. To further the insult, many fans were getting these obvious stamps and accepting them as legitimate. Then I started to see a slow trickle in of Boomers and had a good feeling that they were for real. Finally at the end of 2017 I shot these two out with a small donation and waited.  At long last I can remove those black eye stamps from the collection. For points and purposes, I have included the fakes in this post so that they can be identified easily. Note the thin pen and consistent weight. The facsimiles even both match from card to card, down to the dot on the ‘i’. So painful to look at…

I have been really impressed with how far Boomer has come as a broadcaster since retiring, and after the fervor erupted over him as a Monday Night Football commentator, Esiason was ousted and retreated to in studio work and radio where he has really honed his skills.  He technically began his commentating career along with Warren Moon and Dan Marino as color analysts for WLAF games on USA Network back in 1991.

A rarity in NFL drafts, no quarterback came off the board during the first round of the 1984 draft. Boomer Esiason would be the first, with the 38th pick of round 2. A very strong draft, Wilber Marshall, Dean Steinkuhler, Irving Fryar, Keith Millard, Carl Banks, Greg Bell, and Bill Maas, were among the recognizable names taken before Esiason. It is safe to say that just with these players alone, the 1984 draft helped form the backbone in depth and classic names through the early 1990s.  The pretty boy with golden hair, Boomer was a prolific passer for the quarterback manufacturing school, the University of Maryland.  While there he’d set 17 school records, and is considered by many to be the greatest and most recognizable Terrapin of all time. (The Washington Federals of the competing USFL drafted Boomer as well, but could not mount an offer that surpassed the Bengals.) With a mouth that always found the microphone, Boomer quickly established himself as a presence in the locker room as Ken Anderson entered his twilight years with the franchise. He was my arch nemesis in the classic AFC Central, and always put up big numbers and games against the Oilers. Ironically in his rookie season he started his first game against the Oilers, in which he guided Cincinnati to a 13-3 victory over Houston. It was head coach Sam Wyche’s first year, and he and Esiason’s fates would be tied at the hip to each other during their time in Cincinnati. With Wyche, a former quarterback himself and an apostle of the Bill Walsh West Coast System,  Boomer provided the new blood to reinvigorate the sagging Bengals franchise. Esiason became the face of the franchise as the team gave him playmakers in the shape of Anthony Munoz, James Brooks, Tim McGee, Eddie Brown, and Rodney Holman. With a lightning delivery and a devestating understanding of the innovative no-huddle offense (that Buffalo later employed full-time after witnessing the effectiveness of Esiason under center,) the Bengals quickly climbed the ranks of the AFC during the last days of the most brutal division in all of football. In 1986 he guided the Bengals to a 10-6 record throwing for a shade under 4,000 yards, and 24 touchdowns.  1988 saw the final ascension of the Bengals to Super Bowl XXIII, where they lost to the 49ers in the last final minutes of play. It was Boomer’s most prolific season as a pro, with a 97.4 quarterback rating and he was named the NFL MVP.

By 1991 free agency, sacks, and injuries began to catch up to the Bengals. Esiason posted a 3-11 record as a starter and combined with new management, Sam Wyche was fired at the conclusion of the season. New ownership felt new blood was needed and rookie head coach David Shula (son of Dolphins head coach Don Shula) was brought on board to handle the team. Immediately he decided to fix the offense by letting many of the team’s playmakers go, and drafted  David Klingler to be the heir apparent to Boomer. The writing was clearly on the wall for Esiason, and after another mediocre year behind the Bengals patchwork line and bland new offense, he was unceremoniously traded to the New York Jets in 1993 for a third round pick.

As the starting quarterback for the Jets, he was able to give the offense a certain level of credibility over the next 3 tumultuous seasons under 3 different head coaches. Holding firm he posted an 84.5, 77.3, and a 71.3 quarterback rating over those seasons with the team. Despite having more touchdowns to interceptions in each of those seasons, the Jets slumped, and Esiason signed with the Cardinals, playing there one season in 1996.  In a game during that season over the Redskins he’d throw for 522 yards in a game, the third most in NFL history. 1997 proved to be Boomer’s final season, as he indeed proved you can return home, and came back to the Bengals. It was a great ending for him, coming in as a backup to Jeff Blake. After Blake succumbed to injury, and the franchise was sitting at a woeful 3-8, Esiason came in leading the charge, posting a 4-1 record over the next 5 games, and a 106.9 QB rating. He’d retire after the season, and is considered the most prolific left handed quarterback in NFL history.

In addition to his broadcasting and radio duties, Esiason spends much of his time with charity, and the Boomer Esiason Foundation, helping with research into Cystic Fibrosis.  You can visit his website at http://www.boomeresiason.com/index.htm.

G/Gs  187/173   Att 5205   Comp 2969    Yds  37920   Td  247    Int  184    Rat  81.1  |
Rush 447   Yds  1598    Avg  3.6     Td   7    Lg  24

Majkowski, Don “Majik Man”

sc92 majkowskipset89 majkowski










Cards: Pro Set 1989, Pro Set 1990, Score Hot Gun 1990, Action Packed 1990, Fleer 1990, Fleer 1991, Stadium Club 1992
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Home
Sent: 5/29     Received:  6/10  (12 days)
Failure: TTM 2011, C/o Home

Don Majkowski was the offensive signal flare that went up briefly in the night to herald the return of the long dormant Green Bay Packer franchise before its current era of consistent playoff and Superbowl dominance. A long suffering franchise ever since its two Super Bowl victories in the 60s, the Packers had been fighting for respect in the NFC Central against the Bears, Lions, Vikings, and Buccaneers. The Packers only made the playoffs twice from 1968-1992, illustrating how bad things were in Packerland, as they were the laughing stock of the NFC. Majkowski was the bridge from those years of struggle that transformed into years of stability under Favre, and recently into the current era of prominence under Aaron Rodgers.

flr91 majkowskiNot really very many people paid attention by the 10th round of the 1987 draft, when the Virginia Cavaliers all time leading passer, Don Majkowski was selected by the Green Bay Packers. He immediately stepped into the backup job behind Randy Wright, and began to apply pressure to start. During his rookie season he threw for 323 yards in a 34-33 win over the Detroit Lions. Don would be the first Packers’ rookie QB to throw for over 300 yards in a game. He’d finish with 875 yards passing and 5 touchdowns that season. In 1988, Lindy Infante- an offensive mastermind, became head coach of the team. He’d give Majkowski more slack on the reins as the lead in the quarterback derby, and Don began to mature as a starter.

It’d be in 1989 that Majkowski put together an incredible run virtually out of nowhere, leading the NFL in passing yards (4,318) completions (353), and attempts (599). His 27 TD performance that season ranked second, and for his efforts Don was named to the Pro Bowl. He’d finish second to Joe Montana in the MVP balloting that year as well. Majkowski was a feared rusher as well that learnedap90 majkowski how to tear teams apart with his scrambling ability, buying needed time in the pocket for Sterling Sharpe and Perry Kemp to get open, or on the ground stumbling for 358 yards and 5 TDs. The team became known as the ‘Cardiac Pack’. Majkowski set an NFL record with 4 1 point victories, including a controversial one against the Bears. At 10-6 though, the team was left looking in on the playoffs- despite even beating the future NFL Champion 49ers. Still it appeared as though the sky was the limit for the team, and already people were crowning them the new kid on the block.

So 1990 came as a disappointment and shock to the Packer fan base. Disaster struck as Don held out missing the first game. and then later, a shoulder injury that was not diagnosed until later as a torn rotator cuff. This cost him the final 6 games of the season and the team collapsed down the stretch. After a 6-5 start, Green Bay lost their final 5 games to finish 6-10.

Don’s struggles continued in 1991 where he’d be replaced by free agent signee Mike Tomczak in the lineup. He finished with 3 TDs to 8pset90 majkowski picks that year and 1,362 yards. At the end of the season, Infante was fired, and with a new regime in place with GM Ron Wolf, the team started looking at bringing in other options.  New head coach Mike Holmgren gave Don the green light as starter for the 1992 season, but barely 3 games in, Majkowski tore a ligament in his lower leg. His backup, took the field and thus the Brett Favre era began in Green Bay. After the season, Don signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts and began the journeyman phase of his career.

Majik backed up Jeff George in Indianapolis in 1993, and then Jim Harbaugh in 1994. During the 1994 season he’d see his first meaningful playing time as a starter since he left the Packers finishing with a shade above 1000 yards and 6 TDs to 7 interceptions. He’d then depart for the Motor City. In Detroit, the Lions were rebuilding as usual. Majik backed up Scott Mitchell at quarterback for the next two seasons, -even providing some occasional flashes of brilliance, and again sparking controversy at the #1 spot, but in the end of the 1996 season Don retired.

flr90 majkowskiWith his trendy blond mullet and his incredible 1989 season, Majik is well regarded by Packer fans and was inducted into the Packers HoF in 2005, where he still ranks in the top 5 in many passer categories for the storied franchise. While injuries have taken their toll on Don over the years, he still manages to get to a game here and there for the Pack, and enjoys coaching kids football.

I had written Don a year or two ago, but had no luck, so I decided to give him another shot since I had a recent RTS from another player. I enclosed a few extra cards for him to keep, but was surprised to open the return envelope from him and see that he had signed everything and kept only 2 for himself, leaving me with a grand total of 7 signed Don Majkowski cards!

There were some great shots of Majkowski from back in the day. Again Pro Set delivers with their 1989 and 1990 releases while the 92 Stadium Club provides some amazing clarity near the end of Don’s Packer career. The Score Hot Gun set, -while admittedly, a humorous oddity at the time, has become one of my favorite cardsco90 majkowski HG subsets of all time. Some great Photo montage is used with the clouds and player photo to really give an even more exciting shot. Nowadays, people tend to take things like Photoshop for granted, but back then, this was gold.

G/Gs 93/57    Att 1905     Comp 1056     Yds  12700   Td 66
Int 67     Rat  72.9  |
Rush  248    Yds 1114    Avg  3.5    Td 12   Lg 33

Everett, Jim

Cards: ProSet 1990, Score 1990 HG, Pacific 1991
Acquired: TTM c/o Work
Sent: 5/5   Received: 5/18   (13 days)

Unabashedly, I am a huge Jim Everett fan, and in my mind he was one of the most unheralded quarterbacks from the ‘New Bronze Age’ of football. After Bo Jackson and Tony Casillas both came off the board in the 1986 draft, the Oilers under head coach Jerry Glanville decided to take the #1 quarterback Jim Everett with the third overall pick to compete with incumbent Warren Moon who at this stage of his career was still adjusting to the NFL game. Unable to get Jim signed to a contract the Oilers traded Jim away to the Los Angeles Rams, in exchange for defensive end William Fuller, offensive lineman Kent Hill, two #1 picks (1987 and 1988) and a 5th rounder. The picks later became Haywood Jeffires, Sean Jones (via trade), and Spencer Tillman. The trade henceforth became known as “The Jim Everett Trade” -and it was actually a really good deal for both teams in the end, providing a catalyst for both teams to make the playoffs for years to come.

Playing for John Robinson, Everett started 5 games his rookie season and won 3 of those contests throwing for 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. After a somewhat rough sophomore season, adjusting to new offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese’s system, Jim took the NFC West by storm in 1988 throwing for 3964  yards and 31 touchdowns (- to only 18 picks) and posted a 89.2 qb rating. The Rams finished 10-6 under Jim’s leadership and Jim led the NFL in TD throws. In 1989, Everett would again have another banner year, breaking the team record for passing yardage in a season with 4,310 yards and have 29 touchdowns. His quarterback rating of 90.6 in the NFC would be second to only Joe Montana and during this heyday the Rams were the only team in the NFC that could go toe to toe offensively with the 49er juggernaut. Jim’s 1989 campaign also saw him lead the league with 29 touchdown throws.  The Rams entered the playoffs as a wild card at 11-5 and battled their way up to the NFC Championship game against the 49ers. They’d lose 30-3, but the worst part about it was, the 49ers exposed the Rams offensive line scheme and Everett had his cage badly rattled.

Other teams dissected the 49ers defensive plan and the Rams were just not be able to adjust quickly enough. Under ownership with notoriously tight purse strings, the team made very few free agency moves and many recent draft choices had not panned out. The offensive line was aging, starting running back Greg Bell signed Plan B with the Raiders -It was not a good time for the Rams in 1991, as they would slip to a 5-11 record with 4 losses by 4 points or less, including 1 in overtime. Jim still managed to post a 23-17 Td to Int ratio.  After the departure of head coach John Robinson in 1992, offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese and Jim would leave soon after the 1993 season.  Jim finished his career as the Rams #1 consecutive starter at quarterback and 10th all time at 91 games. Ernie went on to transform Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys offense, while Jim would be traded to the New Orleans Saints for a 7th round pick.  Jim left the Rams as the franchise’s all time leading passer in yards and second in touchdown throws. Under charges that they had intentionally been playing ‘bad football’ and holding back merchandise to make it appear that their sales were suffering- the Rams left for St. Louis after the conclusion of the 1994 season.

It would be odd for me to flip on TV during those years and see Jim playing for the Saints, but he wore the colors well and New Orleans had been hungry for a strong armed quarterback since Bobby Herbert had left in 1992. He’d play respectably well for the Saints over the next 3 seasons, before playing one final season as a backup in 1997 for the San Diego Chargers. Jim since retirement has returned to SoCal where he has begun his own asset management business. I had been after Jim’s autograph for sometime and even posted on Fanmail.biz looking for it. I was disappointed when somebody contacted me to try to sell me the autograph. Undeterred I was able to locate his company’s address via the internet and get his autograph on the same day as John Robinson’s in a flat 13 days.

This Score 1990 Hot Gun card subset was one of my favorites to look at with its clean edges and neat looking clouds, it was a Photoshop marvel for its time. Over the past few years, I have really tried to get this subset, along with Score 1990’s “Ground Force” signed as they are some of my favorite superhero inspiring cards. Pro Set of course delivered with solid accuracy and setting the bar for other companies to try to outdo. Pacific on the other hand was late to the game only beginning to publish football cards in 1991. There were some interesting elements of the card set, including white borders and vertical type, but despite these innovations, I perceived their set as an expensive and generic one, -only a step up from Topps which was bringing up the rear on quality. The diagonal highlight on the player name also didn’t help and probably would have been better served without it and the type in black. Immortalized in Tecmo Super Bowl Jim was a dangerous quarterback and on the Super Nintendo version under his guidance of the Saints, he was a great clock manager who always found a way to win. I also have his Starting Lineup figurine somewhere as well.

Jim Everett is also known for his on air assault of radio of TV personality Jim Rome in 1994, stemming from the Rams loss to the 49ers in the championship game from the 1989 season. Rome had been calling Everett “Chris” in reference to female tennis player Chris Everett for years and Jim was tired of hearing it. When Everett arrived at the studio to do what he thought was an upbeat interview about the Saints with Roy Firestone, he was shocked to learn he’d been coyly tabbed to go on screen with Rome. As they came on the air, Everett said sternly not to call him ‘Chris’, but Rome persisted causing Everett to jump out of his chair and throw Rome to the ground. It was so sudden that many people to this day claim that it was perhaps staged, however Everett himself has gone on the record numerous times to validate that he was indeed frustrated with Rome’s antics. Understandably, if you are Jim and people remember you for that, -sure you might be amused, but if you are Jim Rome, you probably don’t want to talk about it ever again.

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

G/Gs  158/153     Att  4923      Comp 2841      Yds   34837
Td  203          Int  175           Rat  78.6