Tag Archives: baltimore stallions

Watson, Kenneth “Ken”

ult92 watsonCard: Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Miles College
Sent: 7/9     Received: 7/25   (16 days)

Ken went to school collegiality at Livingstone  (now the University of Western Alabama). There he left an indelible mark on the record books for the school, where he held the school record for career punt return yardage with 690. Over his 4 year college career for the Tigers, Watson racked up 15 interceptions, 22 pass breakups, including a career high 49 tackles in his senior year. He was recognized as a 4 time All-Gulf Conference defensive back. The Minnesota Vikings signed him as a free agent in 1989, and then later he joined the British Columbia Lions in 1990. In 1991, the Riders made him their 2nd round pick of the positional draft among defensive backs. That season, he had 20 tackles and 2 picks for 17 yards playing across from Gary Richard, as San Antonio finished at 4-6.

After the season Watson made the jump back to the CFL playing for the Stampeders from 1992-1993, the Baltimore Stallions 1994-1996, the Montreal Alouettes 1996-1997, Toronto in 1999, and finally Edmonton in 2000.  After finishing school, Watson moved into coaching at the college level at Miles College from 2002-2005. He returned to his Alma Mater to coach DBs from 2005-2006. A stint at Minor High School in Birmingham, yielded him another opportunity to return to Miles where as of 2013 he remains the school’s defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for the school.

WLAF      Tac 20  Sac  0   Int 2    Yds  17     Avg 8.5   Td 0

Matthews, Don ‘The Don’ (1939-2017)

psetwlaf91 don matthewsCards: ProSet 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Home
Sent:  8/5  Received: 9/27   (53 days)

The WLAF scored a coup when the Orlando Thunder was able to lure longtime firebrand head coach Don Matthews to the league. It immediately gave the league some credo in its attempts to stave off the future CFL invasion into the USA.

After spending time in the military, Matthews had some stints coaching at the high school and college level before emerging in the CFL in 1977. There he joined the Edmonton Eskimos led by coach Hugh Campbell and quarterback Warren Moon. The team went on to win 5 consecutive Grey Cup Championships before Don was hired to coach the British Columbia Lions. He’d turn the doormat into a Grey Cup contender, marking their first appearance in some 20 odd years. The Don brought the cup home to the Lions in 1985 as he won his first coach of the year honor. His teams always employed a smash mouth defensive style and his players lovedpset91 don matthews to ‘walk the way he walked’. He coached the Lions through 1987, before his stint in the WLAF in 1990.

Don’s 1990 team was uncharacteristic of his CFL entries. The team had a powerful offense led by Kerwin Bell, but their defense was trashed by most teams, leading to a 5-5 record in Matthews’ only season in Orlando. Don returned to the CFL after the season and coached for the Argos, before hopping over to Saskatchewan through 1993. As the CFL invaded the US market Matthews became the head coach of the Baltimore Colts/ Stallions. He’d earn coach of the year honors back to back as the Stallions won the Grey Cup. Don returned to the Toronto Argonauts from 1996-1998, before sweeping back to the Esks from 1999-2000. Again in 1997 this time, The Don earned another coach of the year honor as his team won back to back championships in 96 and 97. He’d be best remembered by many fans for his time in Montreal guiding the Alouettes, – a team that lived and played as hard as Matthews did, to another championship in 2002. After a year off from the sport, Matthews coached one more season in 2008 for Toronto. His 231 wins are only second to Wally Buono in CFL history.

Living in Oregon, Don has handled anxiety most of his coaching career. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2011 as a ‘League Builder’. A special thanks to DemonXXX on the sportscollectors.net message board for helping me find this one.

WLAF    W 5    L 5     T 0    Pct .500
CFL  W 231   L 133  T 1    Pct .633

UPDATE 6/14/17– CFL Hall of Fame coach Don Matthews passed away today at the age of 77, after a 4 year battle with cancer.

Culver, Shannon “Skinny”

 


Autograph Memorabilia
Stampede Inaugural Magazine Austin Wranglers
Acquired: Gift 2004

My cousin got me a game program full of autographs back in 2004, that I found recently when digging through some boxes.

After finishing his 2004 season with the Austin Wranglers, Skinny took a season off. He would play one final season with the Arizona Rattlers in 2005 before retiring.  An offensive specialist Culver is a notable veteran of the XFL playing for the Orlando Rage in 2001 where he recorded 10 receptions for 165 yards and a TD, to go along with 39 punt returns for 250 yards. A two way player for the Anaheim Piranhas in 1997, at both receiver and defensive back, he led the team with 16 touchdowns and 769 yards to go along with 2 picks. In 1994 he was a member of the infamous CFL Baltimore Colts/Stallions club and also saw time on the rosters of the Rampage, Avengers, and Desperados as well.