Tag Archives: georgia force

Benson, Mykel

tntafl14 bensonCard: TNT AFL Talons 2014, TNT 2011 AFL promo
Acquired: IP, 5/3/2014 Talons vs. Barnstormers, 5/17/14 Talons vs. Voodoo

With Chad Cook sitting out the season for the Talons, the team signed Mykel Benson to be the starting fullback. A compact, low to the ground runner, Benson was originally signed by the Milwaukee Mustangs in 2011, after graduating from Florida A&M. While playing for A&M, Benson lodged 14 career scores.

During his rookie season with Milwaukee, Mykel ran for 178 yards and 17 touchdowns. The following season, he’d split time with the Georgia Force and Orlando Predators, but still managed to record 8 scores in 74 carries. He’d continue playing for the Predators in 2013, rushing for 89 yards and 10 more scores, before hopping over to the Talons for the 2014 season.

When I got Mykel’s autograph he remarked that the cards looked similar to one he had signed of himself in his Mustangs uniform.tntafl11 benson I must admit that I am flattered that somebody out there printed out the older card previously and had him sign it. When I told him that I was actually the person who designed that card, he quickly also asked me for a copy of that card as well.

I approached Benson after the Voodoo game, this time with his 2011 promo. He told me he had already framed up the card I gave him in his Talons uniform, and also printed out a copy of the card I made of him back in 2011 from my drawingwithlee.com website. He thanked me profusely for the Mustangs promo and signed an extra for me to keep. It is amazing how things work out, as I never would have thought back in 2011, that the promos I was working on would ever be treasured so much by these players- little less signed by them. As word has spread, a lot of players have begun requesting a copy of their cards that I designed or for me to design one for them. It brings me great joy that I can bring these players happiness and added sense of pride/ accomplishment through what I do for them. It is the least I can do to pay them back for their efforts on the gridiron and in the arena.

Holmes, Brent

Card: TNT AFL 2011, TNT Talons 2014
Acquired: In person, 3/1/14  Talons Season Ticket Party, 5/3/14 Talons vs. Barnstormers.

After playing college ball at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Brent joined the AFL in 2008 splitting time on the roster of 3 teams: Georgia, Tampa, and Philadelphia. Still he managed to haul in 69 receptions for 745 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Holmes joined the roster of the Cleveland Gladiators in 2010, where he had his finest season to date, recording 1,299 yards and 22 touchdowns on 110 receptions. In 2011, he’d split time on the roster of the Milwaukee Iron and the Kansas City Command. There he’d bag 70 catches for 772 yards and 10 TDs, before heading over to San Antonio for the 2012 season, tallying another 62 receptions and 4 TDs. Holmes has rejoined the San Antonio Talons in 2014 after spending 2013 with the New Orleans Voodoo. An accomplished return man as well, Brent has returned 178 kicks for 2743 yards and a TD.

tntafl14 bholmesI was really surprised to see how many players were in attendance to rally support and it really goes to show how much the AFL wants the Talons to succeed. When Brent saw my custom card, he got very excited and hugged the card to his chest. After telling me that the card made his week, he asked me to send him a copy of it since he had never had one before. Brent even got excited about the fact that it was from his time with the Milwaukee Iron. He gleefully signed the card and gave me his email so I could send him a digital copy for himself. I was really happy that my effort could touch his life in such a profound way.

Later at the Talons game, Brent had made his way onto IR due to a broken forearm, but he recognized me, and welcomed me with a beaming smile. I gave Brent the cards of himself in his San Antonio uniform and had him sign this TNT AFL 14 card for me.  He was instrumental in helping me get down to the field after the game so that I could snag a few autographs before the crowd hit.

I think a lot of NFL’ers have lost sight of what really makes the league: the fans. It’s not just the paying fans, or the kids, or the money- it’s all the fans they entertain.  I wish the NFL would take a page out of the Arena leagues about this, because there’s not much ceiling left for the #1 sport if they aren’t trying to foster the base.

Subtle changes were made between the 2011 AFL Starter set and the 2014 Talons release. I removed the team name, and moved the player name up. This was done for bleed and tangent purposes. In addition the player name, number, and position were also colored, as opposed to the flat white. The final thing I did was give a light poster effect to the photo to make it pop a bit from the dark image. I think the 2014 effort is a quiet refinement of the original design, but now that I’ve had time to let it set in, I’d tweak it some more too.

 

Lyles, Robert

Cards: Proset 1989, Score 1990
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o (Army Black Knights [Westpoint])
Sent:   4/3     Received: 5/7  (34 days)

In 1984 the long suffering Houston Oilers franchise drafted linebacker Robert Lyles out of TCU in the 5th round of the common draft. Over 20 linebackers were taken before undersized Lyles came off the board, including fellow linebackers Johnny Meads and John Grimsley. The Oilers aggressively were trying to address their defensive issues, and spent a whopping 10 choices on defense in the draft on that side of the ball. Lyles would be tutored at OLB by new defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville, and by 1985, the speedy linebacker secured the starting job despite being considered undersized for the job (6″-1′, 226). Over that time Lyles would display soft hands and strong coverage ability recording an interception or fumble in 6 straight seasons and in 1989 he’d record a career high 4 picks. A tough nosed player, the media could always count on Robert to fire the team up or have a quotable line. It was during the Oilers’ rise back to the playoffs, where Robert Lyles playing on special teams laid out an opposing player on the turf in furious fashion. The player laid on the turf motionless and Lyles was quoted as saying, “Welcome to the House of Pain!”  The name stuck and the Oilers kept it as part of their way of intimidating opponents and playing mind games with them.  Jerry Glanville over this period would climb into the head coaching seat of the Houston Oilers franchise, but at the end of the 1989 season resigned under fire after losing early in the playoffs to the Pittsburgh Steelers. With a new head coach in place, and a new defensive system being used (4-3), Lyles would be released by the team, but would quickly be retained by the Jerry Glanville and the Atlanta Falcons, where Robert would finish his career after the 1991 season.

After Robert’s departure from the NFL, he took up coaching and by 1994 was in the Arena Football League coaching with both the Tampa Bay Storm and the Memphis Pharaohs for a year a piece as a positional coach. In 1996, he became the Portland Forest Dragons’ defensive coordinator- a job Lyles would hold for two seasons until he’d take up the same job with the Los Angeles Avengers in 1999. He’d serve as interim head coach for 11 games in 2001, guiding the team to a 5-6 record. The team would respond by leading the AFL in variety of defensive categories. He’d then be named head coach of the Georgia Force, and then later defensive coordinator of the Grand Rapids Rampage for 2004 and 2005. Lyles would join the Black Knights staff in 2007 and has moved up to linebackers coach, where he has brought an intense and aggressive style to the double eagle flex style defense.

G/Gs 109/100    Tac  N/a    Sac 10      Fum 8     Int 10   Yds 111   Avg 11.1   Td 0    lg  48