Tag Archives: tnt ufl 2011

Crouch, Eric

UFLTNT10 CrouchCards: TNT UFL 2011, Upper Deck MVP 2002
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Home
Sent: 5/22     Received: 5/31    (9 days)*
*Failure: RTS 2013, C/o Home

Eric Crouch is a hometown football hero, playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and winning the 2002 Heisman Trophy. There he became as well known for his passing, as he was for his rushing, out of the wishbone offense. He set numerous records there including the career touchdown leader with 88, most TDs rushing by a QB with 59 (NCAA record), and the school’s career total offensive yardage leader with 7915 yards. He also became one of 3 quarterbacks to rush for over 3000 yards and pass for over 4000.

Draft pundits were unsure of the final position he should play, but overall he was generally regarded as a well rounded athlete.  The Rams drafted Eric in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft to play receiver, but with his heart not in the position change, Eric packed his bags. Later he’d resurface on the roster of the Packers from UDMVP02 Crouch2003-2004, and the Chiefs in 2005. Eric then took a stint to play in the NFLE with the Hamburg SeaDevils in 2005.  There he played free safety notching 25 tackles and 2 passes defensed.

Returning across the pond, Crouch went to play for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL in 2006. There he’d finally be taken seriously as a quarterback, where he could hone his skills. He completed 6 of 13 passes, for 127 yards, and a pick.  The next season, Crouch was expected to compete for the second string job, but injuries derailed his CFL career, and he’d be released midway through the 2007 season.

A new league, the AAFL (All American Football League) appeared in 2008 with teams scheduled to play in 6 markets. The league hastily put a draft together, and Eric Crouch was the 3rd overall pick by Team Texas, coached by former UH coach John Jenkins. Unfortunately the AAFL never took to the field due to ‘softening financial markets’.

With Eric’s rights released, he decided to give an open tryout a shot with the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks. He signed with the team in June of 2010, and played during the regular season, but in a September contest suffered a torn miniscus, ending his career.

He’s currently retired and lives in Nebraska with his wife and 2 children.

Green, Ahman

poff01 greenTNTUFL11 Green

Cards: Playoff Contenders 2001, Top Notch UFL 2011
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o The Green Bay Packers
Sent: 5/3  Received: 8/29  (118 days)

Among the pantheon of runningbacks that the Green Bay Packers have had in their storied history with guys like Paul Hornug and Jim Taylor, Ahman Green sits atop the top spot for the franchise with a surprising 8,322 career rushing yards. A prolific runner for the franchise at the stroke of the millennium, Green’s career began playing ball for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in college ranks. A local kid, Ahman chose Nebraska over such suitors as Notre Dame in 1995 and immediately ran for a freshman record 1,086 yards en route to a National Championship. In his final crowning moment at the school, he led Nebraska to another championship as he tallied an Orange Bowl record 209 yards on the ground. He declared for the NFL draft soon thereafter, but not before etching 3,880 career rushing yards into the annuls of Cornhusker fame.

At 6’0″, 215, Ahman only managed somehow a 3rd round mark by the Seattle Seahawks. Who knows why he was taken so low? Plenty of guys came off the board before him including Curtis Enis and John Avery. Still Green was seldom relied on by the Seahawks early on who were still basking in the glow of the 3rd rebirth of Ricky Watters.  He’d bide his time with his elite speed returning kicks, until head coach Mike Holmgren drafted Shaun Alexander. With Alexander and Watters in camp, the Seahawks elected to trade Ahman to the Holmgren’s former team- the Green Bay Packers.

It’d be in Green Bay, in an offense led by Brett Favre and with incumbent Dorsey Levens ailing, Ahman got his chance to really be a shining member of a great supporting cast. He’d record his first of 5 consecutive 1,000+ yard rushing seasons on the frozen tundra of Lambeau. From 2001-2004 Green earned Pro Bowl honors, and in ’03 and ’04, had the NFLs longest carry of the season from 98 and 90 yards.  With injuries limiting his production in 2005 to only 5 games, Ahman recovered nicely for 2006 to run for 1059 yards in 14 games. He’d be left unprotected heading into 2007, and sign with the Houston Texans.

The signing was considered either the biggest risk or the biggest coup of free agency and the Texans rolled out the red carpet money to get Ahman.  Despite visiting with Denver, Ahman felt most comfortable moving to Houston and being reunited with his former head coach in GB, Mike Sherman, who was offensive coordinator. The Texans desperately got a home run hitter at runningback, as injuries had ended Dominack Davis’ promising career. Things never quite seemed to take off for Ahman in Houston. (Green kept a professional lid on it, but behind the scenes he had a bad relationship with GM Rick Smith who accused Ahman of goldbricking.) It didn’t help either that injury also limited him to a combined 6 games in his 2 year stint there.  He’d be cut after the 2008 season. Ahman still had the desire to play, returning to the Packers for one final hurrah in 2009.

In 2010 the UFL was injecting new talent into the league to fill seats. The Omaha Nighthawks were the newest team on the block and with Ahman being a hometown kid, he was really a slam dunk to help fill the stands alongside Jeff Garcia while he mentored Maurice Clarett. Ahman would run for 253 yards that season. While really never officially retiring, he hasn’t played a down since, last surfacing briefly with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. He has from time to time indicated that his fire still burns for the sport and still wants to play. Green used to suffer from hyperhidrosis- or overactive sweat glands. His propensity to over sweat was blamed on more than one occasion for his fumbling issues, to which he wore black elbow guards during his time in Green Bay to keep the sweat from getting the ball too wet. Ahman finished his career with 37 fumbles in 2506 combined touches (1/67).

As of 2013 Ahman Green is a part owner of the indoor football Green Bay Blizzard. He also has dabbled in broadcasting and appears regularly at Green Bay alumni events. Green is also an unabashed Batman fan and has been seen at a few comic conventions dressed up as the Dark Knight.

NFL   G/Gs  148/97     Rush  2056    Yds 9205     Avg 4.5    Td  60   Lg 98t   |
Rec 378  Yds 2883    Avg 7.6    Td 14   Lg 53  |
Kr  72    Yds 1634    Avg 22.7    Td 0    Lg 57

UFL  Rush 68    Yds 253   Avg 3.7   Td 0    Lg 27
Rec 8     Yds 50      Avg 6.3    Td 0   Lg  13

Gray, Keith

tnt11-grayCard: TNT UFL 2011
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Home
Sent: 6/22    Received: 6/27   (5 days)

A physical offensive lineman who played collegiality at Connecticut from 2005-2008, Keith Gray was a free agent signee of the Carolina Panthers in 2009, and on the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts in 2010. He joined the Florida Tuskers of the UFL in 2010, and was then traded to the Hartford Colonials (formerly the New York Sentinels) in exchange for defensive tackle Bryan Save in the league’s first ever trade that year.  With the flexibility to play both guard and center, Gray was a valued contributor to the Colonials offense helping pave the way for the offense led by quarterback Josh McNown, and bruising runningbacks Lorenzo Booker and Andre Dixon. All in all Hartford rolled up 2593 yards in 2010, with 903 of it coming on the ground and an additional 1690 through the air, and a lot of credit up front with their prolific offense should go to the guys in the trenches, like Keith. Things were definitely moving in a positive direction for the team, but the organization as a whole- that being the UFL- was not. Bills had not been paid, and the rent was sky high at the Colonials facility. Head coach Chris Palmer, broke ranks with the league as soon as he could and landed a job back in the NFL as the offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. In the meantime, Jerry Glanville was brought in to replace Palmer under much fanfare, but the Colonials, -under the most financial duress, -folded, and Keith was a free agent.

Keith moved to Texas and focused on family life. In the meantime I had tracked him down through Facebook and offered him a card, but I honestly had a lot of things that went off the rails for me personally, along with a player who had agreed to respond to me after I sent him my customs, that never did.  It made me really gun shy about the project. A few weeks ago though I finally buckled down and got back to the UFL and AFL cards that I had done, and with a few extra dollars in my pocket, went ahead and printed a few for my portfolio. I also remembered Keith and my promise and sent him some to keep. In a short 5 days he responded, writing me a touching note discussing about how he was a trading card collector as a kid, thanking me for the cards, how they are a great keepsake, and how they’ve sparked a fire in him to keep going.

For all the Peyton Manning’s and Brett Favre’s I get TTM, it’s these types of responses in the end, that mean more than anything I could ever wish for.