Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kansas City Chiefs

I'm a week late, but...
Here are the ten 1971 cards for the Chiefs. This includes FIVE all-star cards. (Surprisingly, Len Dawson is not one of them!) With all those all-stars, how did the team do?

In 1970 (the first year after the AFL was absorbed) the Chiefs finished 7-5-2, 2nd in the AFC West behind Oakland (who were 8-4-2). In 1971, the Chiefs finished 10-3-1, 1st in the division, but lost to Miami in the playoffs.

#180 Len Dawson - This is the 10th of Dawson's 14 seasons with the team. He was a 7-time Pro Bowler, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

#254 Robert Holmes - Holmes was the Chiefs' 14th-round pick in 1968. He was their starting fullback in his first 2 seasons. In 1970 he was primarily a kick returner (with Wendell Hayes playing fullback). In 1971 he played 6 games with the Chiefs, then spent the rest of the season (and 1972) with the Oilers. He later played for the Chargers.

#139 Otis Taylor - Taylor was the Chiefs' 4th-round pick in 1965, and played his entire 11-year career with the Chiefs. In 1967, his 11 TDs were tops in the AFL. In 1971 he led the NFL with 1110 receiving yards. He also played in 3 Pro Bowls.

#206 Jim Tyrer - A 3rd round pick for the Chiefs (Dallas Texans) in 1961, Tyrer was a fixture at left tackle from 1961 to 1973, before finishing his career with the Redskins in 1974. He was an AFL All-Star from 1962 to 1969, a 9-time Pro Bowler, and played in Super Bowls I and IV.

#61 Jan Stenerud - Jan joined the Chiefs in 1967 (the year after the Chiefs' Super Bowl I appearance) and kicked for them through 1979. He then played 4 seasons with the Packers and 2 with the Vikings. Stenerud was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

#13 Buck Buchanan - Buck was the Chiefs' #1 pick in 1963. He played defensive tackle for the Chiefs for his entire career (1963-75), and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.

#114 Willie Lanier - One of two 2nd-round picks for the Chiefs in 1967, Lanier moved to middle linebacker in his sophomore season, and held that spot until his retirement after the 1977 season. He and Dick Butkus were known as the 2 toughest SOBs MLBs of their era. He was an 8-time Pro Bowler, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

#35 Bobby Bell - Bell is the 2nd All-Star Chiefs linebacker to be featured in this card set. Bell played his entire career (1963-74) with the Chiefs. His first 2 seasons were at left defensive end, before moving to left linebacker. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

#232 Jim Lynch - Like Willie Lanier, Lynch was a Chiefs' 2nd-round pick in 1967. Also like Lanier, Jim played his entire career (1967-77) with the Chiefs. He took over as the starting right linebacker in 1968 (from Lanier), and stayed there until the end of his career.

#88 Johnny Robinson - Robinson was the Detroit Lions' 1st-round pick (#3 overall) in 1960, but signed with the new Dallas Texans AFL franchise (which became the Chiefs in 1963). He was a flanker in his first 2 seasons, then became the starting free safety from 1962 until his retirement after the 1971 season. He was a 7-time Pro Bowler.

Also check out the 1968 Chiefs.

Coming Feb 27th: Atlanta Falcons

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Los Angeles Rams

Here are the 1971 Los Angeles Rams. Most teams have 10 cards, but there are only nine here. I think the Billy Truax card was planned to be a Rams card, but he was traded to the Cowboys before the 1971 season. (There are 11 Cowboys cards.) The Rams seem to have more than their fair share of All-Star cards (and offensive linemen cards). Four of these eight players are in the Hall of Fame.

#230 Roman Gabriel - Roman was the Rams' #1 draft pick in 1962. After sharing the QB job for 4 seasons (first with Zeke Bratkowski, then with Bill Munson) Gabriel took over as the fulltime starter in 1966. From 1966 to 1972, he started all but one game for the Rams. He played for the Eagles from 1973 to 1977, and was the starting QB for the first 3 years there. Imagine the excitement for Eagles fans in 1973: "We're finally getting a legitimate QB, after many years of Norm Snead followed by 2 seasons of pretenders (Pete Liske, John Reaves)!"

#181 Les Josephson - Les played his entire career (1964-67, 69-74) with the Rams. His best seasons were '67 and '70.

#44 Jack Snow - Jack was the Vikings' #1 pick in 1965, but never played for them. His entire career (1965-75) was with the Rams. He even found time to appear on TV in an episode of "Bewitched" (which can be found on YouTube). His son J.T. Snow played major league baseball.

#68 Ken Iman - Iman spent 4 seasons as a backup with the Packers before starting every game for the Rams from 1965 through 1974.

#94 Tom Mack - Tom played his entire career (1966-78) with the Rams, and was the starting left guard for every season. He's an 11-time Pro Bowler, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

#16 Bob Brown - Brown was one of the top offensive tackles of his era. He was the Eagles #1 pick (2nd overall) in the 1964 draft, and played 5 seasons as their starting right tackle. In 1969, former teammate Pete Retzlaff was hired as the Eagles' GM. Brown refused to play for a team run by Retzlaff, and demanded a trade. He spent 2 seasons with the Rams, and his final 3 seasons with the Raiders, all as the starting right tackle. A 6-time Pro Bowler, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

#209 Deacon Jones - Jones was the ringleader of the Rams' "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line of the late 1960s/early 1970s. He was drafted by the Rams in 1961 (14th round!) and was a fixture at left defensive end through the 1971 season. After 2 more seasons as the Chargers' starting left defensive end, he wrapped up his career with the Redskins in 1974. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

#125 Merlin Olsen - Playing next to Deacon Jones all those years was Merlin Olsen. He was the Rams' #1 draft pick (3rd overall) in 1962, and was the Rams' starting left defensive tackle every year until he retired after the 1976 season. A FOURTEEN-time Pro Bowler in his 15 seasons, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

#243 Kermit Alexander - Alexander was the 49ers' #1 pick in the 1963 draft. From 1963 to 1969, he was a starting defensive back (usually right cornerback) for the 49ers. For most of those seasons, he also returned kicks and punts. After 2 seasons (1970-71) as a starting DB for the Rams, he played his final 2 seasons with the Eagles. Alexander may be most remembered for his hit on Gale Sayers that blew out Sayers' knee.

Also check out the 1967 and 1968 Rams.