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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.


Proctor, Michael “Field General”

Cards: ProSet WLAF 1991, Ultimate WLAF 1992, WildCard WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 7/19    Received: 12/3  (137 days)

Michael Proctor would set 10 Ohio Valley conference records for the Murray State Racers during his collegiate career, including total passing yards (8,210 yards), pass completions (578), and attempts (1148).  He’d be the first player in school history to net more than 1500 yards of total offense in 4 consecutive seasons. After completing college, Michael would sign with the New England Patriots in 1990, but not make the squad.

Taken in the 4th round of the WLAF draft by the Montreal Machine, he’d compete against Kevin Sweeney and Mike Johnson initially for the job. Beating out Johnson for the backup job to Sweeney, Proctor would be forced into the starting lineup after Kevin’s season would be ended prematurely due to ineffectiveness and injury.  Stepping into the lineup for the Machine, Proctor did more damage on the ground than he did in the air rushing for 247  yards on 41 carries (6.0 average) and 2 touchdowns. In the air, Michael completed 107 of his 224 attempts and net 1222 yards, to go along with 3 td passes as the team won 4 games that season.  It was enough to garner him an audition with the Cleveland Browns, but yet again Proctor would fail to make the squad.

In 1992 the WLAF, injected ‘future star prospects and rookies’ from the NFL into the league to try and increase the league viewership, level of play, and incentivize the NFL by scouts being able to get a glimpse of those players’ progress. Much to the Field General’s chagrin, the Machine went out and drafted Anthony Dilweg at quarterback to play for them. Dilweg would win out in camp and start for Montreal, but he’d get crushed on a blitz in the season opening game against the Riders in 1992. Once again, Proctor would ride in to the rescue. Proctor, with a season under his belt in Jacques Dussault‘s system actually had matured. While the team would lose against the Riders, and in fact, post a woeful 2-8 record- Proctor turned the corner and threw 8 tds to only 5 picks. He’d also finish with 113 completions and 1478 yards. On the ground the Field General was even more destructive, carving up teams for 207 yards (a 5.4 yard average) and 4 touchdowns rushing (which led the team).  Even though Dilweg, and even Craig Cupp would threaten him from time to time for the starting position, Michael maintained his hold over the QB spot.

After the failure of the WLAF, Michael would find a home briefly playing quarterback in the CFL for the Edmonton Eskimos in 1993. He’d move on from there to play for the Charlotte Rage of the AFL for 3 more seasons throwing 17 touchdowns to 3 picks in 1994 and rushing for 7 touchdowns on 25 attempts in 1995. His AFL totals were 486 attempts, 279 completions, 3492 yards, 51 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 95.81 qb rating.

A Special shout out to Shadow from the Fanmail.biz message board who helped me track down this elusive member of the WLAF. As far as anybody there on that site that I absolutely have mad respect for in their ability to track down addresses and help out a fellow collector in need- he certainly is the guy to go to.  I had been searching for Proctor for some time and had heard that he was honored at Murray State recently as their Parade Marshall.  I had pretty much given up on this one since it was a Spokeo find, but after a bit over 4 months, the Field General rolled into my command, and wrote a small note, “Take care and be blessed! Jesus is real!!!”, Along with the cards.  Really pleased with this one.  Below are Michael’s WLAF statistics:

Att  417     Comp 220    Yds 2700     Pct 52.8     Td 11     Int 15    Rat  66.8
Rush 79    Yds 454     Avg 5.7     Td 6     Lg 31

Bowick, Tony

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.

Originally a 12th round selection of the Atlanta Falcons in 1989, Tony Bowick’s 13th and final season was with the Austin Wranglers in a career that spanned 3 professional leagues (WLAF, NFL, and AFL) playing for the Birmingham Fire, Charlotte Rage, Albany Firebirds, Grand Rapids Rampage, and Chicago Rush.