Tag Archives: berlin thunder

Moore, Lance

Card: Score 2009, Score 2011
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  12/4     Received: 12/16   (12 days)

Lance Moore played college ball for the Toledo Rockets. The Rockets have become sort of a mid-school pipeline for really sneaky offensive talent over the years- and Moore was no different.  Posting strong numbers his Junior (103 receptions for 1194 yards and 9 TDs), and Senior years (90 receptions for 1189 yards and 14 TDs), Moore did not get selected in the 2005 NFL Draft.  Who knows why Lance wasn’t selected, but that didn’t stop him from signing with the Cleveland Browns.  After a quick stop there  he’d find himself signed to the Saints practice squad.

In 2006 the Saints elected to send Moore overseas to the NFL developmental league, the NFLE. He’d play for the Berlin Thunder and post a modest 12 receptions for 207 yards, a 68 yard long and 1 TD. He’d return stateside to the Saints and be active for 4 games, catching his first pass, a 10 yard reception from Drew Brees in a week 3 contest against the Carolina Panthers. Soon thereafter, Lance was sent back to the practice squad. 

Moore firmly established himself as a fan favorite and popular locker room presence. A consummate professional, Lance was continually working on perfecting his game. Maybe it helped that he was undrafted, but Lance is every man’s underdog story. 

Things finally stated paying off in 2007. As a situational starter, Lance played in all 16 games (starting 4) and posted 32 receptions for 302 yards and 2 TDs.  He topped those numbers in 2008 with a career high 121 targets that he converted into 79 receptions for 928 yards and 10 TDs.  Later in his career, Lance posted a career high 1041 yards in 2012, but he is perhaps best known for catching a two point conversion from Drew Brees cementing the team’s domination over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.  While experiencing some measure of success over the next few seasons, Lance was released by the Saints in 2014. 

He’d play the next two seasons for the Steelers (2014) and Lions (2015) before finally deciding to hang up the cleats. – He’d sign a  one day contract with the Saints, where Lance was most happy to retire.

Lance signed these two cards for me in a pretty quick snap. In 2018 he was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame alongside runningback Pierre Thomas. A key and unsung cog of the mighty Saints Super Bowl run, Moore posted 346 catches for 4281 yards an 38 TDs over his time with Who Dat Nation. Pretty good for an undrafted free agent.

Really love this Score 2009 edition of Lance. Can’t say more about the design of the card other than Panini had variants of this design across multiple sets. It forms a very nice diamond shape there in the center for the image canvas. It’s very subtle, because the design is masking it with the diagonal streaks across the corner, but regardless it is very strong. Lance’s autograph compliments it very well. Contradict this one with Score’s 2011 entry- a very plain and boring treatment. While it gets the message across of the player, his team, and a strong photo, the canvas design itself is very tired looking. Thankfully Lance’s strong autograph is there to rescue them both. 

NFL  G/GsRECYDSAVGTDLG
129/40389481612.44480T
KRYDSAVGTDLG
1835419.7036
PRYDSAVGTDLG
493887.9072
NFLERECYDSAVGTDLG
1220717.2168

Ragone, Dave

Card: SPX 2003  (0331/1100)
Acquired: 2017, EBay

Dave Ragone was one of the granddaddy’s of Louisville respectability when it comes to quarterbacks. He posted some good numbers there while with the Cardinals as a 3 year starter setting numerous records at the school, finishing 685/1180 for 8564 yards and 74 TDs to just 29 interceptions.  He was picked near the top of round 3 by the Houston Texans in the 2003 NFL draft.

At the time the young Houston Texans franchise were looking to groom a competent, low cost backup to incumbent starter David Carr.  (The sexy thing to do in the league during those days was to groom a 3rd stringer that had potential enough to entice other teams to drop draft picks in order to get after a one game audition.) The pick by the Texans was widely panned.  Dave got to start 2 games his rookie season throwing for 135 yards and an interception.

Ragone went to NFL Europe in the meantime. He’d play for the Berlin Thunder in 2005 and was named the league’s Offensive MVP, as he threw for 1,746 yards and 13 TDs en route to an appearance in World Bowl XII.  Dave returned to the Texans and backed up David Carr for the full 16 game slate, not seeing any action.

In 2006, the Texans team was completely scrapped, front office down. The Texans new head coach Gary Kubiak decided to go in another direction at quarterback and waived Ragone. He’d be claimed by the Bengals and quickly traded to the to the Rams, who cut him during training camp.

Dave has gone into coaching since his playing days ended, first being seen on the pro scene honing his skills as a quarterbacks coach (under his former OC from Houston, Chris Palmer) for the UFL Hartford Colonials, helping to turn Josh McCown into the biggest UFL success story.  He then had stops with the Titans (2011-2013) as both a WR and later as a QB coach, the Redskins (2015) as an offensive quality control coach, and finally with the Bears, who he has been the quarterbacks coach of since 2016.

NFL
G/GS 2/2    ATT 40    COMP 20    YDS 135     PCT 50.0
TD 0     INT 1      RAT 47.4
RUSH  6     YDS  51   AVG 8.5         TD 0              LG 14

NFLE
ATT 251   COMP 158  YDS 1746   PCT 62.9  TD 13   INT 2   RAT 97.5
RUSH 35    YDS 166    AVG 4.7    TD 1   LG 14T

Johnson, Lee

tntafl14 lee johnsonCard: TNT AFL 2014
Acquired: IP 5/17/14, San Antonio Talons vs. New Orleans Voodoo

Coach Johnson is a veteran of many leagues as both a player and a coach. He’s spent time in the NFL, CFL, NFLE, and AFL. Among his highlights, Johnson coached the defensive line of the Berlin Thunder to two consecutive World Bowl Championships in both 2001 and 2002. He then coached the Denver Crush to the Arena Football Championship in 2004. After taking the reins of the Talons, he coached them to a 14-4 record and a division title, in 2012.

After the San Antonio Talons game against the Iowa Barnstormers I gave out my custom cards to many players on the field. It created such a stir that Coach Johnson came over and asked me where his was. After I joked with him a few seconds about sharing the same first name, he quickly extracted a promise from me to make a custom for him as well.

I arrived at the Talons game versus the Voodoo early as usual. After talking to the COO of the Talons and giving him a copy of the set, he went over to Lee to show him what I had done. Coach immediately came over and talked to me with a broad smile, signed the card and thanked me for the extras. He asked me what I wanted for the cards I made and gave to him, but as usual the most important thing for me is the autograph gracing the card for my own collection, and their enduring happiness and willingness to chase their dreams. You know, on that note, I have always subscribed to the ultimate belief that a true gift is one that is not expected, and for purposes of what I had given to each of these players I know it meant a lot to them.