Journal entries from 2004
Journal entries from 2005
Journal Entry from Sandy, UT
March 1, 2010
A lot has happened over the last year and a
half since I wrote my last journal entry. Sorry for not updating
everyone earlier but to be honest there hasnít been much to say
football related since the AFL was suspended. I appreciate all
those that have sent emails wishing me the best wherever my life
and career takes me. As you know at the end of the 2008 season
with the Blaze, which ended in one of my best statistical
seasons to date, I signed a new 3-year contract. I was extremely
excited and fully anticipated finishing my career playing it out
However, a few months after signing we were
all informed that the AFL would suspend the 2009 season and
eventually that led into bankruptcy. Although, the Blaze had a
great following and lots and lots of fans some of the other
teams in the league were not doing as well. In addition to the
economy at the time the owners voted to shut it down. So, there
I was, shocked and not sure what my next move would be.
Since signing the contract my wife Lindsay
and I had made a lot of plans moving forward with our lives
anticipating playing and living in Utah for at least the next 3
years. One of those plans was to start a family and get
Not sure if you understand what a big deal
it was to feel like I for once had stability. It meant so much
for a guy like me who has been chasing my dream of pro football
all over the world for the last 7 years. Since finishing college
at the University of Kentucky, I moved to Dallas, TX with the
Cowboys, Chicago, IL with the Bears, they sent me for a spring
season in Berlin Germany with the NFL Europe League, then back
to Chicago. Then I moved to Charlotte, NC with the Panthers,
only to be sent back to Berlin for a second spring season after
which I went back to Charlotte. After being injured I returned
to Utah for shoulder surgery followed by my AFL career. Which
started with a move back across the country to Bon Joviís
Philadelphia Soul, half way through that season I was traded to
the Kansas City Brigade where I really had an opportunity to
emerge and grow as an Arena player. After making the AFL
All-Rookie team I chose to move back home to Utah and sign with
the Utah Blaze. My first season was disappointing; I got hurt in
the first game and ended up having surgery only returning to
play 7 games that year. Then finally 2008, I had another great
year, which led to me signing the 3-year deal I wrote about
above. WOW that was exhausting just explaining.
Needless to say my career has been a roll
coaster, but wow what a ride! I have loved it, the highs and the
lows of chasing my dream. Well, when I got news in Dec of 2008
that there would be no AFL in 2009 I was obviously disappointed.
I, along with every other player, coach and front office worker
that relied on the AFL for our income really felt like the rug
was pulled out from under us. I really had a hard time for a few
weeks coming to reality that I may have played my last down of
professional football. Thatís a hard pill to swallow for a guy
like me who had given all I had over the years in order to live
out my childhood dream. I finally understood why itís so hard
for guys to ďgive it upĒ. I found comfort in the fact I had
made it 7 years as a pro football player, granted I went from
team to team and city to city but I made a good living and loved
what I was doing. Maybe it was time for me to ďhang it upĒ and
start my one dream that was bigger to me than football, having a
wife and family of my own.
Well, Lindsay and I had a lot of
conversations over the next few weeks and it was decided we
needed a break, so like any unemployed couple with a child on
the way would do, we took a vacation to Peru for 3 weeks.
It was a great trip going down to the areas
I lived 10 years previously on my mission. It also gave us a lot
of time to think about things and move forward with our future.
First thing was I needed to find a job? I didnít know where to
start, my resume consisted of a bunch of football teams and my
references were a bunch of coaches. But luck would have it both
Lindsay and I walked into a great opportunity and they even
liked my resume. J
We both got hired on at Twinlab sports
nutrition. Its one of the largest vitamins and sports
supplements companies out there, based in Utah and sold around
the world in pretty much every major vitamin and supplement
shop. It was fun working together we were brought in to develop
a new division for the company. Simply put, we were to take some
ideas of the owners and turn them into a reality. It was a huge
responsibility for us but we had fun being creative and learning
on the fly as we developed the division. The best part about it
was Lindsay and I were together everyday; we drove to and from
work together and sat next to each other all day. Many people
asked how can you stand being with your wife all day everyday
and my reply was, ďI have a cool wifeĒ.
Anyway, we had that schedule up until she
had our little baby girl Kaiya 5 months ago in September. Yep,
Iím a dad!
O.k. so I was doing all right without
football, well at least better then I thought. However, I
couldnít ever just stop training, I definitely cut back on my
hours with a ďreal jobĒ and a family now but for some reason I
just couldnít get it out of my system. I think Lindsay saw it
too. I just wanted to play somewhere. In August I did have two
workouts with the new start up league the UFL. I thought I did
great at both workouts but in the end was told they want players
30 and younger. The vision of the new league was to get younger
guys more experience and then back to the NFL. Similar to the
old NFL Europe league used to be before it was shut down. It
was especially disheartening because the Las Vegas Locomotives
coached by former NFL coach Jim Fassel signed both of my younger
brothers Jesse and Jason. I thought it would be so cool had we
all had a chance to play on the same team, I havenít researched
it but the odds of three brothers all playing pro football are
slim but to all be playing on the same team I doubt has been
done. Well, I guess the odds won out because after it all I
wasnít picked up.
I kind of stopped thinking about football
for a few months after being disappointed about the UFL. I got
my fix playing on a couple local flag football teams. It was
fun; I played with a few of my old Snow College teammates from
way back in the day. We ended up winning the Utah league
championship. Playing even flag football only put fuel on the
fire, so thatís when I started researching European leagues. It
turns out there are teams and leagues throughout Europe. Italy,
Germany and Austria have the best leagues and pay the most. I
sent over some info to some of the teams and almost immediately
had a number of responses. Most of the coaches over there used
to be assistants or at least attended my old NFL Europe games
when I was with Berlin.
So, now we had a new dilemma, do we up and
leave our home and jobs to go to play in Europe for 5 months.
ďOf courseĒ was my wife Lindsayís reply. I mean think about it,
a paid trip to Europe for 5 months and I get to play football,
sign me up. Then on top of that, I got drafted by a team in Rome
in a new league called the AFX, in Italy.
It started to look like I was supposed to
Well, it wasnít more than a week or two
later that the news was announced that the Utah Blaze would be
back. I ended up discussing things with the new owners and then
eventually with the new coach they hired. At the same time I got
a new job offer away from football. So, Lindsay, Kaiya and I
needed to make some decisions.
Itís always good to have options right? I
swear its feast or famine in life, one minute you have no
options and the next you have them knocking down your door.
Anyway, after much thought and prayer we made some decisions.
First, I needed to make a long-term career decision; I took the
new job offer and left Twinlab. It was a huge promotion and I
became the Director of Sales for a large marketing and outsource
company out of the Philippines. Iím extremely excited about the
opportunity and the future with this company. Second, I had to
ask the boss about football. He was excited for me and told me
to take advantage of the opportunity and thatís when I called
Dave Affleck the new owner of the Utah Blaze and told him I was
in. Who knows, maybe we will go to Europe down the road as a
coach or something but for now I want to compete at the best
level of football that I can and thatís the new AF1 league.
Iím so excited to be back on the field and
play after a year hiatus. The next couple months will be a lot
of hard work getting back to playing shape but Iím up for the
challenge. I know I can still play at the top level and look
forward to using my experience to outplay the younger legs Iím
Well, there you have it, my football career
caries on to yet another chapter. Who would have thought a small
town boy from a little 2A school in Fillmore, UT would ever play
even past high school.
I did, and thatís all that mattered!
Thanks to everyone that has been such a
support to me over the years, my website will be updated
throughout the season so check back for updates.
All the best and may God bless you all!
Journal Entry from Provo, UT
April 1, 2007
Itís been quite awhile since I have written a journal entry, so I guess itís about that time. Life back in Utah for the first five weeks of the season playing for the Blaze has been good for the most part, if only I could stay healthy!
The season started the first week of February and started off great. I had just got back from a busy off season which concluded with a relaxing 7 day cruise to Jamaica, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. I went with some great friends of mine and really enjoyed the break. My girlfriend and her friends were on the cruise too. Yep, you heard me right! I have a girlfriend!!! Yeah I know itís pretty crazy but we have been dating 7 months now and itís going very well. We have done some pretty cool things and have been to some amazing places, Iím very excited about things. Sheís great!
season finally got here and training camp was a lot of fun. One
reason was because I was playing along side my brother Jesse for
the first time and another was simply that we have a good team
with good character guys. I really enjoyed camp and found that
it was going to be a learning process pretty quick. Our team at
least offensively at the skilled position is all the same guys
that were here last year. The QBís and all the receivers knew
the system and knew what coach expected and wants with the offense.
That made it difficult for me being a new guy trying to learn
a new system and terminology and earn a starting spot. In fact,
all but one of the receivers were with our head coach in Arizona
in past years. That made it intimidating but it also makes it
Camp went by pretty fast and I learned the system quickly although it didnít come easy. The second week of camp was fun because we went to scrimmage against the team I played for last year the Kansas City Brigade. It was good to see some familiar faces and catch up with some old teammates. By the third week crunch time started and day by day players were getting cut. I hate this time of the year because I have been on both sides of that cut day and itís not fun! The third week also took my younger brother Jesse, not to being cut but from a phone call from NFL Europe. He went as a free agent and got drafted by the Rhiene Fire, who happens to be coached by my old head coach from Berlin. Iím really excited for him; I think he will do well.
The first game of the season finally rolled around and it was a great feeling to take the field as a starter in front of my home crowd. I have so many friends and family that went out of their way to buy season tickets and support me. Unfortunately, the excitement was short lived because in the second quarter I went down awkwardly and rolled my ankle. I tried to fight through and come back in but it wasnít happening. We ended up winning the game over New Orleans which made the hurt a little less but injuries are never fun. I saw the doctor the next day and luckily it wasnít broke but I did have a high ankle sprain.
The next few weeks were painful both because of the physical pain and the mental pain of not being out on the field with the guys. Week two we went to Arizona and week three to Nashville. We won the first and lost the second. My ankle was finally feeling a little better and I was able to start practicing by week four. Just so you know it sounds nice to be hurt and not have to practice but itís absolutely miserable. When youíre hurt you have to get to practice two hours before anyone else to get treatment and do rehab. Then during practice instead of practicing with the guys you have to ride a stationary bike and do abs and then painful rehab exercises all alone with the trainer. It really isnít much fun at all!
Week four I slowly got better and better and because of other injuries to other receivers I almost needed to play against Grand Rapids back home in Utah. I was only about 85% but itís amazing what you can do with a little tape and adrenaline. lol Once I got warmed up it didnít hurt too bad but I still couldnít move like I wanted to. I finished the game with 5 catches for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Week five brought a very unsuspected surprise and I wasnít very happy about it. Wednesday of this last week during practice I was just running a route in practice when me and a defensive back got tangled up and I ended up rolling my other ankle. I donít know what the chances of rolling both your ankles in three weeks are but I managed to do it? I was very disappointed and frustrated. Fortunately, this one was more in the joint instead of a high ankle sprain. It swoll up super bad almost immediately and is still pretty swollen to this day but it wasnít as serious as the other one was and I still hoped to play in the game that week. Even though I did everything possible thanks to our great team trainer Kevin, I just wasnít quite ready and coach decided to rest me in our last game against Vegas. In fact, thatís where I am right now. I just got back from a dinner here in Vegas with my girlfriend and one of my best friends Dave Lee. They came all the way down to watch the game and then I didnít play. Right now I'm sitting in my hotel room after the game, we won but I didnít feel like doing much except resting and icing my ankles so I wonít have to miss any more games!
Our team record is 4-1 which is the best in our division, you got to be happy about that but I would be lying if I didnít say I wish I was a bigger part of that record. I canít wait for this next week to get back to practice and get better and then to our next game in Austin.
Life back in Utah has been good although itís been new and challenging trying to balance football with my other business ventures and social life. Normally during the season itís easy because I live in a random city and donít know anyone other than my teammates. I go to work and come home and rest and am bored out of my mind. Now back home itís a new experience learning to balance everything. Besides football and my business, I have a social life and I have church responsibilities and public events and appearances etc. Itís a learning process but in the long run I think it will all work out. I just need to get healthy and get back on the field. When Iím healthy it just seems everything is better, I have more control on my situation.
Iím excited for the next three quarters of the season. Over my long football career dating back to the 8th grade it has always taken me a few games to get in a groove with every new team I have been with. So stay tuned and expect big things! Thanks for all your support and God bless!
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Journal Entry from Provo, UT
October 10, 2006
Iím back!!!!! It has been a few months since I have updated everyone and I apologize. I guess, I just havenít had any big changes in my life to update you on. Well, now I do!
Today is an
exciting day for me and my career! After finishing my first Arena
football season earlier this year with the Kansas City Brigade
I decided to not re-sign with them and test the free agency market.
I never ruled out returning to KC because enjoyed playing there
but I wanted to see what else was out there. Over the last few
months after talking and researching different clubs around the
league I have finally made a decision. Today, October 10, 2006
at 1pm I have scheduled a press conference with the local media
to sign a contract with the UTAH BLAZE!!! I just feel like itís
the best move for my career, not only does it bring me home to
play football in front of my friends and family for the first
time of my career but it also brings me to what I think is the
best run organization out there! The season doesnít start until
February but already I am itching to play. The only bad thing
is I wont have my lucky #13 that I have had so many times over
the years, instead I will wear #1.
on the "We Are Marshall" movie set
Morehead State Defensive End
catch everybody up since the last time I wrote I was living in
Atlanta working on the Warner Bros movie ďWe Are MarshallĒ. I
had a great time down there and am anxiously awaiting its release
in late December. It should be a pretty great movie and will definitely
be promoted like crazy because its such an amazing story!
When the filming ended in late June I jumped in my car and started my 3 day drive home for the summer. It actually was a great drive until somewhere in the hot west Texas desert my air conditioning went out. I was forced to drive the rest of the trip including New Mexico, Arizona and Utah in 100+ temperatures, not fun.
This summer went fast but I really had a lot of fun. I did a little of everything this summer like traveling, training, relaxing and visiting. There are few things I enjoy more than hot summer days by the pool and cool summer nights by the BBQ or camping in the mountains. In fact, the first week I was back in Utah I spent 5 nights up in the mountains camping.
Briefly, I will catch you up to date on what I did this summer and early fall.
-4th of July in Fillmore ran in the Freedom mile run I thought
it was for fun but found myself actually trying pretty hard. lol
I came in third overall 1st in my age.
-10 yr high school class reunion. Iím getting old, but I had a
great time catching up with old friends some of which I havenít
seen since graduation night. It was kinda weird to see all of
them married and some with kids, I guess I need to get going!
-I spent the last three weeks of July in Dallas at a Mary Kay
Seminar with my older brother Jonathan helping him promoting and
selling his CDís. Yeah, I know it sounds weird but its actually
fun, I have gone for a number of years. Check out his website
. He sings and writes parodies catered to the Mary Kay market.
They are hilarious! While in Dallas I caught a Def Leppard/ Journey
concert and a Rangers vs. Yankees game.
-August I had a Boone family reunion for a week up behind Sundance
in Utah. We have one every 3 years and they just seem to get bigger
and bigger each time. Just from my grandparents on my fathers
side he already has 346 descendents!!!! I had a great time catching
up with them especially since we live all over the country. The
Booneís love sports so like always we spent the days competitively
playing about every sport imaginable and nights are spent all
together catching up and enjoying some sort of program. We play
a lot and eat a lot all week long! My families night to cook dinner
for everyone my Polynesian brother in Law Sonny cooked 2 huge
pigs! They were so good!
This fall so far I have kept myself very busy, besides training every morning hoping that maybe an NFL team will give me another shot I stay around football by helping coach a local high school. I coach WRís at Timpanogas HS in Orem, Utah. Its been challenging at times but I really enjoy spending time with the boys everyday itís a little bigger commitment then I realized but it has been very rewarding. I have a whole new respect for coaches. Its still hard for me to watch, I want to go out there and make plays but Iím learning that when the players make plays by doing the things you have taught them it can bring similar satisfaction. We only have 2 games left and are still fighting for a playoff spot.
The trip I have had the most fun on was the one I took to the Utah vs. UCLA game in LA. Although My brothers team lost we had a great week out there spending time on the beach in Huntington and then going to Malibu and hanging out with my old college roommates Winston and Tim. By the way my brother Jason the starting right tackle for the University of Utah has been playing awesome! He is only a junior but is a pre-season all conference pick and hasnít disappointed. He has already been voted offensive player of the game twice this season and he is a LINEMAN!!! As a unit the offensive line is the only line in the country to not have given up a sack this season and they are 6 games in.
Ok, thatís about it. Life is good and am I very excited for what the future holds. Iím working hard and playing hard, I wouldnít have it any other way! Thanks for all your support, God bless! AB
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Journal Entry from Atlanta, GA
May 21, 2006
On Dec 30th, I packed up my car and left for Philadelphia to start my first AFL season, here I am now five and a half months latter reflecting on what a season it was. As you know the first 8 weeks of the season I sat in Philly on the practice squad for a few weeks and then on the bench for the rest. In week 7 & 8 I got a little game action but mainly on defense where I recorded a few tackles. Offensively I played very sparingly and didnít even get one pass thrown my way. Week 9 I was traded to the Kansas City Brigade and sat out the first week learning the system. On my drive from Philly to Kansas City I was just so frustrated with the season, I was working as hard as I could but was growing short of patience. The trade was surprising and a little disappointing at first, no one likes to think they arenít wanted. When I got word of the trade, I felt that way. On the other hand I wanted to be where I was wanted and thatís what brought me to KC and gave me the opportunity I had been waiting and working for.
Week 10 thanks to a fluke injury to the guy who was supposed to start that game gave me my chance to prove myself and I never looked back. I was fortunate in the fact that my first three games were all home with our Brigade fans. It was so much fun to walk out on that field and hear the fans roar when I scored and made plays. I loved it! Over the next 7 games I was fortunate enough to experience success like few do, 7 games, catches, yards and 19 touchdowns.
Looking back over the season the time I spent in Philly seemed so long and frustrating and the time in KC went so fast and was so much fun. I have to say even though we only won a few games I still had more fun playing those last 7 games than I have in a long time. Sure I have played in bigger even more exciting games in my career, but my overall enjoyment of not only the game but also the week of preparation was at a high. I enjoyed going to work, I enjoyed playing in the games and I loved making plays. I was still upset and lost sleep when we lost but I could see our teams potential at times and it gave me hope. I have only been a part of one losing season in my entire career (first year at UK) so this was something new for me. Despite the loses I began to grow as a player and person as well as my new role on the team as a leader and play maker. Kansas City was great to me and I tried to be great back. More than anything I really came to understand the game and culture of arena football and enjoy being a part of it.
I finished up my first arena football season in one of the most bitter sweet ways possible. My final game of the season was in Utah against the Utah Blaze. What an awesome feeling for me to look up into the stands before, during and after the game and see so many family and friends. Iím so grateful for all those that went out of their way to be there both in person and watching and cheering me on through the TV. Despite a one point lose by my team I couldnít have asked for a better personal performance. I finished the night with a franchise best 5 touchdowns on 13 catches for a 147 yards. It was awesome to be able to run over to the section where most of my friends and family were and throw touchdown ball after touchdown ball up into the stands to them. The first one going to my Mom! After the game I tried my hardest to be able to visit with everybody it was hard to say hi to everybody because there were 150 people or so. It was so great to spend a few minutes none the less on that special night. Thank you.
After the game I returned to Kansas City and had my exit physical for the season . I jumped in my car and drove down to Atlanta where I am now doing my new part time job, I guess? Iím actually down here for about a month filming a movie. Its called ďWe Are MarshallĒ the main actor is Mathew Mcconaughey and its produced by Warner Bros. Itís a pretty cool true story about the 1970 Marshall football team that died in a plane crash following a game and how they rebuilt the program in the following year. I am on the opponents teams and change looks as well as positions so you cant tell itís the same guy. Initially I was supposed to be a background guy but after the first week they upgraded me so now I have a lot of close ups as well as some big stunt hits and a few lines. Iím more sore after the first week here than I was during the season. These 1970ís pads we are wearing just arenít as good as what we wear today.LOL Iím really having a good time and will let you all know when it is released.
From here I will probably go back to Utah for the summer depending on what happens with a couple NFL workouts scheduled for the next few weeks with Atlanta and Kansas City. If I donít get back into an NFL camp then I will sign back with an Arena team. It would be great to stay in Kansas City since we really started to play well together as a team and its where my fans are, we will see if contract talks work out.
This week I also received a great honor when I was voted to the Arena ďAll RookieĒ team despite only really playing in 7 of the seasons 16 games, my stats and fans got me voted on to the team. Iím not sure what the future holds, I just know Iím happy with the direction its going and I plan on making the most of it. Iím looking forward to this summer even though I donít know where I will be or what I will be doing? (The story of my football lifestyle!)Lol I do know that Iím getting old though, this summer I will attend my 10 year High School class reunion, thatís a scary thought. I will probably be the only single person left! LOL
I want to thank everyone for your friendship and continued support with my career, hopefully I can keep playing for awhile to come. Enjoy your summer, God bless! AB
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Journal Entry from Kansas City, MO
April 10, 2006
I wrote in my last journal entry that my week had been pretty crazy after being traded from Philly to KC, Lets just say the craziness continued over the past two weeks.!!!!
After my last entry I wasnít sure what my future held for me here in KC, I mean I had a great first week of practice but when I didnít play my first week vs. NYC I wondered if I would ever be in their plans. On my long drive here I had a lot of alone time, especially since I am too cheap to buy a new cell phone. My phone on a full charge now holds a 7 minute charge! LOL Needless to say I didnít talk to anyone on my long drive to Kansas City. It was good though it gave me time think things over and evaluate where I was in my career and life and most importantly where I want to be one day.
I arrived in KC tired from the drive but for some reason so refreshed and confident that things were about to change and I would get my chance. All week I battled it out in practice trying to show my worth and trying to some how get on the field come game time. Up to this point it seemed all season I would work my butt off all week and dominate in practice but come game day I would find myself watching the action either in street clothes or dressed but hardly playing. It was frustrating but the reassuring part about it all was that I had been here before at every level I have played from high school, JC, Kentucky, to NFL Europe. I knew my time would come and when it did, I needed to be ready.
My time finally came my second week here in KC and it didnít come exactly how I had hoped but it came and thatís all that matters. I was actually scheduled to not dress in our game against Georgia but the day before the game at walk through the guy they had chose to start ahead of me complained about a sore leg. Offensively our team was looking for answers and our 1-8 record didnít have the coaches sold on many guys at that point. Thanks to some lobbying by the QBís on the team the coaches told me the day before the game that I would be the starter. The difference was I was starting as the Offensive Specialist OS, a little change from the X wide receiver/ LB position I had been playing with Philly. That means I would play all offensive plays and no defense basically like the QB. Its kind of the featured position on Offense as a WR so I was way excited for the opportunity.
I put a lot of pressure on myself the next 24 hours in preparation for the game, I knew this might be my only chance considering the other guy would for sure be healthy by the next week. The tough part of the job was that I was still learning the offense and I would be going against one of the best defenses in the league, a team that went to the championship just the year before. Game time rolled around and I canít describe how excited I was to come running out of our flamed lit tunnel as the starter. I had a chip on my shoulder and I wanted nothing more then to get my chance to finally show my teammates, my coaches both here and in Philly that I could play at this level, I just needed a chance.
This is where it kind of gets funny because the very first play of the game I run a crossing pattern into the wall and droped the first pass thrown to me, not exactly the start I was looking for! LOL Fortunately, the next 11 balls I caught and finished the game with 129 yards (franchise record) and 2 touchdowns! I loved every second of it, until the last second of the game when we lost.
I had finally gotten my chance and I couldnít wait all week for the next game. I just wanted to get out there as soon as possible to show it wasnít a fluke and to get a win around here. The problem was I wasnít even sure I would start because the other guy that started before me was back. They ended up moving him to another position and told me I would be starting again that week against LA Avengers. I took practice seriously as always, I know I have so much to still learn. Each day I felt I got a little better leading up to our game yesterday vs. LA.
I started to feel at home as I ran into the stadium, itís a good comfortable feeling! In fact, I have only played in 4 games in the AFL, 3 of them have been in KC so maybe it was home? We started things off quick in this game. The first play of the game I knew I had to make up for last weeks first pass drop and I did by beating my guy deep for a 40 yard pass play, down to the 3 yard line. From there we just kept rolling converting on really every position the entire game. Our WR core all complements each other and we worked well together. I had another awesome day in one of my best games to date, setting franchise records in catches (13), Yards (157) and TDís (5)!!! The best part about it all was we finally won !!!! The defense played a great second half and we capitalized. My chemistry with the QB Chris Sanders has blossomed so much in the two short weeks I have been here. We just have a feel for each other and know where and what we are going to do before it happens. It feels good to have a relationship with a QB like that.
We still have five games this season and probably our toughest test lies ahead this week when we host the defending Arena champs Colorado Crush this week on NBC. I still have a lot to learn about the game but I have had a taste of it now and I love it! Once again I canít wait to get out there again. These next few days will be nice though to heal up some of these turf burns on my arms, they hurt! Lol
Well, I have to go right now, we are having a team function to help out with Habitat For Humanity, we are helping build houses. Its been fun getting to know the community through different events. This is a great city both to play in and to live.
Thanks again for all your prayers and patience with my career! God bless!!!! AB
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Journal Entry from Kansas City, MO
March 31, 2006
Lets just say it been a pretty crazy week!!! LOL
OK, I guess I will start with why I woke up at 5am on a Sat morning, took an hour long train ride from Long Island to NYC and am now sitting on a Amtrak train headed for Delaware. While I am at it, I might as well tell ya the rest of my day because from there I will jump in my car, drive 700 miles, then tomorrow another 700+ miles until I get to my new home in Kansas City?
As everyone knows I have been living in Philadelphia for the past two months slowly progressing, healing from injuries and trying to learn how to play Arena football. I finally got activated a couple of weeks ago with the Soul and feel like I made the most of my first game experience in Kansas City against the Brigade. I totaled 2 solo tackles and 4 assisted which put me third on the team for the game, not bad for a guy who had never played defense since Millard high school back in 1996.lol Although I didn't get any passes thrown my way, it just felt great to be out there and feel the flow of the game and the rush of adrenaline enter my body again. My second game took me to Columbus to battle the Destroyers, once again I played solid but was really confused why I didn't play much this game. The first game in KC I played a lot and really made plays but this week I was left confused as to why I wasn't playing. I'm still not sure what the head coach was doing but lets just say it didn't work, we lost miserably. In fact, we set a new franchise low with only 20 offensive points scored, for arena ball that sucks.
We traveled home and the whole plane ride home was an uneasy feeling for everyone. We didn't just lose, we lost bad. You could tell our head coach was panicking from the front office pressure in Philly. The next day I went about my business as normal and came into the facilities on my off day and got in a good workout to work out some soreness. On my way home I received a call from the head coach. I knew it wasn't good news because he never calls me. Sure enough he dropped the bomb right away and told me that Kansas City had traded for me. I was a little confused at first, I mean after all I was just picking up the game and I was dominating in practice everyday. It was obvious I was improving and the assistant coaches let me know daily how well I was doing. On the other hand I was excited for a fresh start with a coach who believed in me. The bottom line is I want to play and if I will play more in KC then Im all for it.
After the phone call, things got hectic!!!! I started packing up my stuff that night, the bad thing was I had just dropped off clothes at the dry cleaners and went grocery shopping earlier in the day. I was able to get my clothes back before they started and instead of just giving away my food, I invited some of my teammates over for a last diner together. Tuesday morning I was up at 5am packed and off to the airport along with Cyron Brown who also got traded with me. We arrived in KC around 10am and were taken straight to the practice facility. By 11am I was suited up and on the practice field with the rest of the team. It wasn't my best practice but for only having four hours of sleep, I had a pretty good day. The rest of the day was spent doing physicals, paperwork, meeting people and then moving into my apartment. They have a pretty nice setup here in KC. The team here, the Brigade, are in their first season so I wouldn't have thought it would be set up so well but I was impressed. I didn't get much unpacked that night, I mainly studied the playbook and then went to bed.
The next day was a lot better for me, maybe because I knew some of the plays and had got some sleep. Practice went well and I was starting to feel more comfortable with my surroundings. Afterwards, I went out to lunch with some of the QB's which is always a good idea for a WR.lol They gave me the scoop on life here as well as the gossip that every team has. So far our team hasn't done so well, their record is 1-7, I'm hoping we can get that changed around during the second half of the season.
The next day started bright and early at 5am when the team loaded up on a bus and we were off to our game in New York. We arrived Thursday afternoon and had a lot of free time, so as always I got out of the hotel and went to look around the city. We actually stayed in Long Island so it was a good 45 min train ride to downtown but it was worth it. I love NYC it's amazing to walk around to see if nothing else the sheer size of the city. I went with one other guy on the team who had never been so it even made it that much more exciting. We walked around Time Square and then grabbed the subway to go down to Chinatown to buy some junk and get some food. We had fun, not sure if it was NYC or if it was because I was being dumb and talking to everyone using my Irish accent. LOL
Game day was good despite losing by 6 points. I didn't play because I still didn't know the whole offense, but I was on the bench screaming my lungs off! I enjoyed the game and could definitely see myself being a contributing part of this team. After the game I went back to the hotel and crashed getting ready for the trip that lay ahead. It started once again at 5am the next morning when I jumped on the Amtrak train. I started writing this entry on that train but fell asleep. oops! I took the train into the city then jumped on another to get me to Philly. From there I loaded up the rest of my things into my car and hit the road by noon. I drove through the entire state of PA and into Ohio by days end. I have some friends in Columbus, former teammates from UK and Europe that I was able to stay with. The next morning I was back on the road driving another 12 hours until I made it here to Kansas City.
Its Monday and I am so tired of traveling. Over the last 4 weeks I have traveled entirely too much. The good thing is our next 3 games are all home games so maybe I can get used to being here! I'm really excited to be here and anxious to be out on the field making plays!
Thanks for all your support and prayers, God bless! AB
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Journal Entry from Philadelphia, PA
February 13, 2006
Hello again and sorry it's taken me awhile to get another journal
entry posted. Its February 13th so I felt it an appropriate day
to update everyone.
The last few weeks since training camp ended have been very interesting to say the last but if you have followed my career since high school you would expect nothing less! lol Training camp went very well I thought, especially after I capped it off with a great showing in our final scrimmage game against New York. In the game I played most of the second half on both offense and defense. The two passes that were thrown my way I made the most of taking both of them to the house for touchdowns. The first was a simple slant pass in which I broke a couple tackles and ran 30 more yards into the end zone, the second was a 35 yard fade route over the shoulder catch. I felt great out there other then a few defensive plays I could have done better on. Its a new game for me playing a defensive linebacker, obviously I have never played it so its going to take some time but I was able to make four tackles.
I thought everything was good especially after the next day
we had a final team meeting, they made cuts and everything seemed
fine. The next day things changed when I got a call from coach,
I guess I knew it was too good to be true.haha I guess our team
was over salary cap and since I had the least experience coach
put me on the auction block looking for a possible trade. When
I heard the news I went into the office and told coach I didn't
want to go anywhere, I wanted to play for the Soul. Other teams
had offered, but I told them no. If I wanted to be in another
city, I would have gone there from the beginning. I had almost
every team offer me but I chose to come here for a reason! The
coaches and I came to some agreements and here I am.
It's the start of week four and I have yet to see action yet,
but I am anxiously awaiting my chance. I am officially on the
injured reserve healing up from an aggravated hamstring, but I
hopefully will be activated here in the next week or two. So far
our team is 2-1, winning both home games and dropping the one
on the road. The games are exciting, its tough watching from the
sideline but I have to pay my dues I guess, until it happens.
This game more so then the outdoor game has a lot of little tricks
to being good, that come from experience. The good thing is I
am getting a ton of reps during the week in practice giving the
starters a good look for the team we face.
The other thing I wanted to comment on is the fans here in Philly, YES they are everything I heard they were plus some! The good thing about not playing is I can hear all their heckling, its hilarious. They love booing here, it doesn't matter if its us or them if someone is playing poorly they let them know! lol
Other then football life is pretty easy going, I'm slowly getting
more accustomed to my surroundings and enjoying what the Philly
area has to offer. It's a really cool place. I have spent some
time downtown sight seeing, there is a lot of national history
here. I was however disappointed by the Liberty Bell I since a
kid I always thought it was like the size of a truck or something,
needless to say its much smaller. lol Another highlight was driving
out to Atlantic City, NJ only an hour away to see my good Snow
College friend B.J. Flores, (www.bjflores.net)
he is pro boxer off to a very impressive 15-0 record win yet another
Well, that's about it. Hopefully I will be on the field soon and I will have some great news for the next one. Until then take care and God bless! AB
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Journal Entry Training Camp in Philadelphia, PA
January 11, 2006
It might be kind of long, Im not sure exactly what you had in mind. Please proof reed and feel free to make and corrections or revisions that you feel necessary. You can cut out portions or add whatever you want, just make it good! HAHA. The punctuation is terrible so maybe you can help me out a little. Thanks, I hope its kinda what you had in mind. AB
In college at the University of Kentucky the start of every football game the public address announcer's voice would echo through the stadium saying "It's football time in the blue grass." Although you would be hard pressed to find blue, red or even green grass this time of the year, you can find great football. I guess the announcers voice echoing through my head has changed with each NFL and NFL Europe team I've been with over the last few years, but it still gets me excited to play each and every time I step into a stadium regardless of my location. After getting released by the Carolina Panthers this last fall I've been starving for another opportunity to play football and now it's here! The voice is now saying;"It's football time in Philly!
My name is Aaron Boone and I am one of the newest members of the 2006 Philadelphia Soul. I have been chosen this training camp to give you the fans a personal inside look at the day to day routine that we go through here in camp. Most fans only get to see the fun part; the games. Im here to try and put into words what we do behind the scenes as well as help you get to know some of the players and coaches.
Here in training camp so far I have meet a variety of players with different backgrounds from all across the country. Some are from very small colleges, that I have never even heard of before LOL and others are from college powerhouses. Some have spent years moving up the ladder from small arena leagues to AFL2 to now getting their chance at making an AFL roster. Other players are from the opposite end of the spectrum, after college they spent a few years in NFL camps, or on active rosters and practice squads. Many of us have even played out of the country in the Canadian league or NFL Europe. I won't spend any time going into detail on my background or anyone else's right now, I will simply say that the bottom line is that today we are all happy to be here in camp and have the opportunity to become members of the Philadelphia Soul and we all want to WIN!
Training Camp for me started back on Dec 31, when I loaded up my car with my personal belongings and left my home in Provo, Utah at 6am driving all alone. I had returned to Utah just the night before after spending a week in San Francisco watching my two younger brothers who are starting offensive lineman for the University of Utah win the Emerald Bowl against Georgia Tech. Despite the lack of sleep all week and the jet lag I drove 16 hours that first day all the way to a small town outside of Kansas City. I spent New Years sleeping in my car in a Wal-Mart parking lot, not because I couldn't find a hotel but because I thought it would make a cool story. LOL My second day on the road I drove another 10 hours and made it back to my old college town of Lexington, Kentucky. My third day was another 8 hours on the road that took me to just outside Washington DC where I have three sisters living. It was nice to have a home cooked meal and a bed to sleep in. Finally on my fourth day Jan 3rd, after 38 total hours on the road I arrived to the Souls facilities, I was so glad to get out of the car!
Jan 3 Later on that night we had our first team meeting and officially kicked off the 2006 training camp. Head Coach Bret Munsey welcomed us all and introduced us to the coaching, training and equipment staff. From there we went to our respective living quarters for training camp. We were pretty much divided into three groups, a third going to a hotel, another to some temporary town houses and the rest mostly the veterans checked into their apartments where most of the team lives during the season. Every camp I have been to normally the whole team stays in one place during camp but maybe this way we wont get sick of each other. LOL I happen to be in the hotel with my roommate and fellow wide receiver Rob Milanese, it kinda sucks because he's probably the biggest guy on the team so he takes up a lot of room!LOL
Jan 4. We had to wake up bright and early to make it to the hospital by 7am for physicals. That process is basically a bunch of different doctors twisting your limps in different directions and inspecting you to make sure all is well. Next the dentist saw us and took a mold of our teeth to make us custom mouthpieces. Finally we finished the morning by taking a computerized pre concussion test. If a head injury is suffered we go back and take the same test and then compare the results to determine the extent of the injury. That afternoon we went back to the facilities and we were fitted with our helmets and gear.
Jan 5. Was great because it gave me a chance to catch up on rest and get a little work out in to try and get the soreness from the drive here out of my body. We were off all day until 4pm. I knew I needed to enjoy every minute because tomorrow the real part of camp was about to begin. The rest of the day was pretty fun, we just had a short meeting and then we headed out to Chickie's and Pete's restaurant for a some team bonding. We had a great little meal there and had the chance to meet some of the teams owners as well as the president Ron Jaworski. Each player in turn stood up and had a chance to introduce himself and some threw in a little extra about what it meant to be here as well as how bad they wanted to win. It got me pumped for practices to begin!
Jan 6. The time had finally come to see what we were all about! Are schedule for the first three days started with breakfast and taping from 7-8am, meetings followed from 8-10am, then we all loaded the bus to drive to the Eagles NovaCare indoor facility. It's a great facility and we are so fortunate to be able to use it. Obviously the arena field is smaller then a regular football field so cones are put up. Im glad that we aren't running into walls yet because it takes some getting used the smaller field, there would be some pretty ugly hits so far. Practice went very well, especially since more than half of the players in camp are new to the arena game. It was obvious who the experienced players were they just seemed to know the angles and the right moves to make plays. There are some great athletes here and I think with the help of the veterans we wont be too far behind. More than anything I think we were all just excited to get out there and run again and play football, even if was only with helmets on, no pads yet.
Practice lasted for about three hours and then we headed back to the facilities for lunch and a few hour break. During the break a lot of the guys will get in the weight room for a little while others will soak in the ice tubs to try and prevent soreness. At 5pm we meet again and watched film with our individual coaches and pretty much critique every aspect of practice from all different camera angles. There is an old saying I like, "the eye in the sky never lies!" It's always nice to watch film good or bad and see how you really did out there on the field. After meetings we end the day with dinner right there at the facilities and then we head home.
Jan 7. It's always amazing to me that regardless of how hard I train I always seem to get sore after the first day of camp.The second day is always the hardest day to get out of bed. Fortunately Im not alone and it's funny to watch the guys come walking into breakfast hobbling along because their legs are so sore. Today was just like the last other then practice was a little more difficult mentally. Not only is practice just as hard but now your sore and the coaches installed a ton of new plays just minutes before practice. I guess it is a little coaching trick to test our mental toughness, how do we play with pain and how fast can we learn. After practice there were a lot more guys in the ice tub then the day before.LOL
Jan 8. Today was awesome! Thinks started clicking a little better for us new guys as well as the timing with the vets. The bad part was it is our last single day practice for a while, plus we start wearing pads tomorrow too. Coach threw in a lot more plays today so there were still some mental mistakes but the effort was definitely there. So far Im pretty impressed with the over all athleticism of the team, there are some guys that can really play. Obviously I don't understand the ins and outs of the arena game completely but I can tell a player and competitor when I see one and we have lots of them.
It's Sunday night and tomorrow we really step it up. We go full pads from here on and we start two a day practices for the rest of the week. I better get some rest so I can survive! LOL Im really enjoying myself so far, the guys that have been here have been great to us younger guys helping us and coaching us up along the way. It will be interesting to see how everybody reacts with pads on, I will keep you posted through out camp.
The bottom line is I think everybody here from the owners to the coaches and staff to the players agree on one thing this season, "It's time to WIN!"
Take care and God bless! AB
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