Tag Archives: georgia force

Brown, James

utud11 brownCard: Upper Deck University of Texas 2011
Acquired: Spoodog Box Break, 2015
Failure: TTM 2011, C/o Home

James Brown is one of my favorite quarterbacks from my time growing up watching UT football.  I remember when one of the local news channels showed a high school highlight reel of Brown running down the sideline in Beaumont.  I knew he was the real deal. When he joined the Longhorns I remember sitting in my High School cafeteria telling my friends that James Brown was going to be the next big thing. It didn’t exactly start that way for James.

After redshirting in 1993, he battled encumbent quarterback Shea Morenz for the majority of 1994.  He’d solidify his starting role under head coach John Mackovic, with a comeback Sun Bowl win over North Carolina- ironically over future Texas head coach Mack Brown.  With the impending death of the SWC, Brown led the Longhorns to the final conference title and a 10-2 record in 1995.  As Texas joined the new and flashy Big 12 for 1996, they stumbled out of the gate early, but recovered in time to face defending National Champion Nebraska for the league championship. There would be his signature moment, in a stunning upset over Nebraska 30-27, with the infamous Roll Left play on 4th down, deep in their own territory.  Although Brown did not see the same success in an injury plagued Senior season, it did culminate with him being named MVP of the Blue Gray Senior Bowl.  James Brown paved the way for future black quarterbacks (Vince Young) to start at Texas, and at the time of his departure from the school held numerous passing records.

terminatorsBack then in 1997 there wasn’t really the farm system in place at Texas to get every prospect to the NFL level. It also didn’t help Brown that a tsunami of bad karma hit James in his final year at UT, along with the fact he was considered undersized to play the position (6’0″).

Keeping his football dreams alive,  James played a preseason in the CFL with the British Columbia Lions in 1998.  He’d then become the marquee player of the IPFL, playing for the Texas Terminators based in Austin during 1999.  The Terminators played at the Livestock and Rodeo arena at the edge of town, a non-air conditioned arena sarcastically known as ‘The Barn’.

james brownDuring the Terminators slaughter of the Colorado Crush that season, I caught one of the footballs as it bounced out of bounds. Afterwards I bought a James Brown jersey, that I still have along with the football till this day.  Brown earned Offensive Player of the Year Honors, as the team finished with the best record,  and played in the league championship.

ipflJames jumped at the opportunity to play for the Arena Football League the following year, joining the Nashville Kats.  He’d play with the team through 2001, and the preseason for the Georgia Force in 2002, and after a short stint in NFLE with the Scottish Claymores, returned to finish the season on the roster of the San Jose Sabrecats of the Arena Football League. The Georgia Force in 2003 resigned Brown again, but after only a few games, James went back to the NFLE to join the Claymores, but instead ended up on roster of the Frankfurt Galaxy. He played in the two-headed QB rotation with Quinn Gray, as the team won World Bowl IX. He played a third time with the Georgia Force in 2004 when he decided to hang up his cleets. James felt the urge to play again, and after the All American Football League folded before it even got off the ground, he played one final season for the CenTex Barracudas of the Intense Football League, guiding the team to the playoffs.

James has been a coach for a few years now, both at the high school and college level. He coached at Lamar University for a few years, and in 2014 became head coach at Sunnyside HS in Houston, Tx.

jersey brownI emailed James in 2011 at Lamar University to ask him if he could sign some memorabilia for me. A few months later he responded giving me his address and telling me to send it there. I gleefully put the cards in the mail, along with photos of his James Brown jersey, and an SASE. I never heard back from him again. A few months went by and I emailed him, but still never heard back. Recently I had a conversation with another collector who reported a similar result.  I was pretty disheartened.  Luckily at the card break that I had, one of my fellow collectors hit this card, so I pulled the trigger to make the trade and grab this card.

 

Purify, Maurice

tntafl11 purifyCard: TNT AFL 2011 Promo
Acquired: IP 6/15/2014, San Antonio Talons vs. The Arizona Rattlers

Maurice earned Second Team All-Big 12 Hounrs as a senior after catching 57 passes for 814 yards and 9 touchdowns with the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2007.  Going undrafted, Purify signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 where he’d see time on special teams, recording 5 tackles in 2009.  He joined the Georgia Force in 2010 and was named Rookie of the Year and Breakout Player of the Year. Maurice also earned Second-Team All-Arena honors after leading the Georgia Force with 130 receptions and 46 TDs, while finishing second on the team with 1,653 yards receiving.  In 2011, Maurice decided to play for the UFL, but an injury landed him on injured reserve for the majority of the league season, so Maurice returned to the Arena leagues, this time signing with the powerful Arizona Rattlers. He’d go on to catch 126 balls for 1,932 yards and 46 touchdowns that season and earn First-Team All-Arena Honors. He’d be a key component in the Rattlers ArenaBowl XXV victory, as he’d be named Offensive Player of the Game for his seven touchdown performance. Maurice resigned with Arizona for the 2013 season, but was injured for much of the year. Still he’d post up  51 receptions for 740 yards and nine touchdowns in nine games, and two touchdowns in the team’s return to ArenaBowl XXVI.  Maurice was the last of the ‘big 3’ that I was after from the Rattlers that evening. He went over to sign autographs before the game, so I had to dart across the stands with pen in hand to get him. Still I ended up with his autograph on this sweet looking card of him from his days with the Force.

 

Rodgers, Kelvin

tntafl14 rodgersCard: TNT AFL 2014
Acquired: In Person, 5/3/2014 Talons vs. Barnstormers

A well travelled defensive specialist and speedy return man, Kelvin has played for the San Antonio Talons since 2012- a season that saw him on the roster of 5 other teams, however it was during his rookie season of 2011, he had a banner year with 71 tackles, 6 interceptions for 120 yards, 3 fumble recoveries, and 13 pass break ups. In 2012, Kelvin returned 60 kicks- 6 of which went for touchdowns, which is the second highest season total in AFL history.

After suffering an injury in 2013 that sidelined him for most of the year, Rodgers had a fine 2014 for the San Antonio Talons ranking among league leaders with an impressive 12  interceptions and 83 tackles, earning Second Team All-Arena Honors. In addition Rodgers had 32 returns for 532 yards and a 57 yard TD.

In the final game of the franchise’s history, Rodgers paced the squad with 8 tackles, 3 PBU and a critical interception in the Talons exciting 38-35 overtime victory, and was voted the AFL MVP for Week 20 of the season.

Leading by performance, Rodgers remained a calm presence, in a San Antonio defensive backfield that changed weekly due to decimation from injury and trades.