I received two more returns yesterday-both from former Oakland Raiders. I have spent most of my life living about 30 minutes from the Oakland Coliseum so I am a Raiders fan though they are not my number 1 favorite team--that will always be the Cowboys!
The first return was from Dave Browning. He was with the Raiders for 5 years. One of the reasons that I wrote to him was because he was a starter for the Raiders at my first in person NFL game. It was December 9, 1979 against the Browns. I am going to try and get autographs from players from that game. I also wrote to him because he was part of the 1980 Raiders Super Bowl winning team. I still remember watching that game. It was exciting for my local team to be in it and win it. He said a photo of a Raiders helmet for me.
The next return was from Andrew Walter. I wrote to Andrew Walter for a couple of reasons. First, I am a fellow ASU alum. I just missed watching him play at ASU as I graduated right before he got there. I thought he was an excellent quarterback for the Sun Devils. I was excited that he was drafted by the Raiders. I thought it would be a good fit for him but it just didn't work out. He was thrown in during a bad season and didn't play up to his potential. But the Raiders were not very good - they ended up with the number one pick. Instead of giving Mr. Walter another chance, they drafted JaMarcus Russell and we all know how well that turned out. I wish it would have turned out better for him but he seems to be in a good place. He said that he just finished his MBA at ASU and is working in Arizona. His favorite memory was in 2002, the victory at Oregon where they came back from 21 points down to win. His favorite Raiders memory is throwing Randy Moss's 100th TD reception. The person that has helped him the most is Jesus Christ. He signed an ASU Topps Magic card and a Raiders card.
On a side note, a thing that always blows me away is when players will thank me for writing or for the kind things I said. Here I am sending them unsolicitated mail and they are thanking me. One of my favorite things in this hobby is when they answer my questions or write something back. It makes the autograph even a little better. I am always thankful for any response!