Tag Archives: hartford colonials

Mathis, Jerome

Card: Playoff Contenders 2005
Acquired: 2017, C/o EBay

Jerome Mathis was a phenomenal track man while he was at Hampton.  He took it to the gridiron too, setting the NCAA record with a gaudy 26.6 career kick return average and 6 TDs. During the combine, Mathis created quite a buzz posting the second best 40 time in history at 4.26. Still he waited to hear his named called until the 4th round of the 2005 draft, because he was considered just a return man from a small school.

The Texans are a very patient team and felt they could wait for Mathis to mature as a receiver. His speed was proven and he could be used on kick and punt returns at least. Mathis took the league by storm his rookie year. He posted 54 kick returns for 1542 yards (28.6 yard average) and 2 touchdowns, including a 99 yarder.  His strong rookie campaign earned him Pro Bowl and special teams player of the year honors. During the Pro Bowl he fractured his foot, but it went undetected, forcing him to miss nearly the entire next season on IR.  He came back to the squad for 2007 but after 3 games lost his entire year to injured reserve. He still managed to post 11 returns for 320 yards and a 84 yard TD.

Mathis was in a contract year with the Texans in 2007, and as a restricted free agent in 2008 the Texans had first right of refusal or tender.  Late in 2007 he had a run in with the law- but whether or not that had anything to do with it, Houston cut him outright 9 days after being charged with a misdemeanor.  He signed with the Redskins but was cut a few months later.

In 2009 he joined the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and was on and off their roster for the season.  He spent 2010 briefly with the UFL Hartford Colonials, before playing one final glorious year in the Arena Football League for the Pittsburgh Power. There he set a variety of Power records, retiring after the 2011 season.

NFL  17    Rec 6     Yds 80    Avg 13.3   Td 1  Lg 34t
KR   72    Yds 2154   Avg  28.5    Td 3    Lg 99t
PR  12    Yds 68    Avg 5.7   Td 0   Lg 19

Arena   Rec  30    Yds  418    Avg    Td 7   Lg 46t
Ret  31   Yds 688    Avg    Td 1   Lg 49t

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

White, Markee “Kee”

tntufl11 mwhiteCard: TNT UFL 2011
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent:  9/7/11  Received: 7/1/16  (1759 days)

Jy Bond deserves an assist for this one. The original plan was for me to attend the Colonials game against the Mountain Lions in early October, but with the NFL Lockout ending, the league scuttling the operations in Hartford, and rearranging their schedule, this was obviously out of the question. Among one of the cards I was most proud of was this high resolution shot* of Markee White making an understated tall grab. I knew this one would be awesome to get an autograph on.

After hooking Jy up with his player card design, I moved forward with sending him a set of physical trading cards based off of the design early in August. During the exchange he also offered to hook me up with other members of the squad he knew.

I immediately asked for Markee and he hooked me up with him via Facebook. I was surprised to realize that Kee played at Texas State- roughly 35 miles to the South of Austin, where I was from. Bobcat stadium also was the home of the San Antonio Riders during the early ’90s.  We exchanged pleasantries and worked out virtually the same deal I had with Jy and went from there.

It took him a while to respond, as he was hustling for a job, but in the end this one turned into a white elephant. Eventually irony interceded, and I happened to be at an Arena Football game in 2014 between the San Antonio Talons and Los Angeles Kiss, and it just so happened that he was on the Kiss. I attempted to flag him down after the game after I had made my way to the front of the visiting endzone, but he had already made his way through the crowd to the exit.  He responded to my email on facebook, and again promised to mail me one out. I waited another year and a half and asked him again. Kee struck me as being a man of his word. That’s why it always bothered me I had never gotten a response from but, but lo after some  1700+  days, -the longest I’ve ever waited for an autograph, I got this sweet custom card signed.

Markee finally got a gig after the UFL fiasco of 2010. A member of the disbanded Hartford Colonials, – the UFL left him out to dry following the season. Kee rounded the wagons and headed to the CFL for a season, playing for the Calgary Stampeders in 2012.  He returned to the AFL again in 2012 playing for the Arizona Rattlers, and then was traded in the offseason to the Jacksonville Sharks in 2013. Markee was again traded in 2014 to the Kiss, where he made a fearsome combo with Donovan Morgan at receiver. He was again traded, this time to the Philadelphia Soul, where he made an immediate impact catching an electrifying one handed grab against the Predators, in a must win game on ESPN.  Markee finished the game with 5 catches for 64 yards and 3 TDs.  Between the two teams White finished the 2014 season with 85 receptions for 855 yards and 13 TDs.  He returned to the Rattlers in 2015 and was having a career year with 16 TDs on just 57 receptions, but broke his back against the Spokane Shock.  A metal rod had to be inserted, and although the doctors have said Kee can return to football after rehab, it is unclear as to when or if he will return.

Disclaimer: The photos and logos remain the properties of their respective parties. The designs, bios, and presentations, I do claim ownership over. I am not affiliated with the United Football League or any of its member teams and these are classified as ‘mock up’ demonstration cards. Not for resale.
*CREDIT: photo taken by Mike D’Avino from Sportspagemagazine.com.