Cards: ProSet 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991, Ultimate 1992 Promo
Acquired: In Person 1992, San Antonio Riders v Orlando Thunder
Failure: C/o Jacksonville State, April 2010
See also: Kerwin Bell (2)
Kerwin Bell started the first game I watched in WLAF history- a shoot out on NFL network between the San Antonio Riders and the Orlando Thunder. Kerwin Bell would lead the Thunder to victory in that game wearing the helmet camera 35-34 over the Riders that day in 1991.
After an acclaimed career playing for the University of Florida, Bell would be drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 7th round of the 1988 draft, but he’d end up on Atlanta where he’d finish the season behind incumbent quarterback Chris Miller. In 1989 Bell would travel back to Florida where he’d play for the Buccaneers and would be out of football in 1990.
The Orlando Thunder would come calling in 1991 for the WLAF and he’d respond with a solid season throwing for 2214 yards and 17 touchdowns under coach Don Matthews. Wearing the helmet camera on opening night of 1991, he’d lead the Orlando Thunder to an exciting 35-34 victory over the San Antonio Riders, throwing 3 touchdowns to Byron Williams. With 1992 however the NFL allocated players to the WLAF from their player pool of ‘future stars’. With new head coach Galen Hall taking over for Matthews, the team snatched up Dan Marino‘s heir, Scott Mitchell, and Kerwin spent the season strangely on the bench. The team would win World Bowl II, and Bell would see only cleanup time throwing a touchdown in relief. The WLAF would disband after the season and Kerwin would join CFLUSA playing for the Sacramento Gold Miners in 1993 and 1994. He’d hop over to Edmonton in 1995 for a year before being signed by the Indianapolis Colts in 1996. Bell would stay there through the 1997 season where he’d post a perfect quarterback rating completing all 5 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. In 1998 he’d return to the CFL to play for the Argos where with a vengeance he’d throw for almost 5000 yards and almost 70% of his passes and be a CFL East All Star. He’d hop over to Winnipeg in 1999 for a season and a half before returning to Toronto to close out his playing career after 2001.
He’d jump into coaching being offensive coordinator for the Argos for a season and then into the high school ranks for a bit. After a successful stint at that level he’d be hired by Jacksonville University where he’s been since 2007. When I had gone onto the field to get Scott’s autograph, I was able to do virtually the same with Kerwin. I felt that Bell was the face of the WLAF and was annoyed when he was relegated to the bench in 1992. He graciously signed all 3 cards for me, including this Ultimate WLAF card which was a promo only handed out at games. I sent him two cards in April of 2010, (Kerwin’s Wild Card 1992 and his regular Ultimate 1992 card,) but did not heard back from him. After seeing a few successes in 2012, I took another shot at him and had a success in February of 2012. Below are his WLAF statistics and a few videos.
G/Gs 11/10 Att 331 Comp 185 Yds 2276 Pct 55.9% Td 17 Int 14 Rat 77.8
Kerwin at Florida v Auburn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvE5ob0VQ-o
Comical moment involving Kerwin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPYvI4xOOxQ&feature=related
Kerwin discusses wide receivers at Jacksonville University http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTMpaA0i7YI&feature=related