It happened almost without fail in elementary school. With
that first week of school came the dreaded "what I did
on my summer vacation" essay. It was a difficult essay
to write. In the primary grades it was hard to remember everything
that happened, and with age what happened during summer vacation
became nobody else's business.
Two practices beyond the halfway point of the Birmingham Thunderbolts
full-squad mini-camp seemed as good a time as any to follow
your elementary school teacher's lead and find out "what
we have learned about the Thunderbolts".
Through tedious observation we have learned, or confirmed,
- running back Troy Davis and quarterback Casey Weldon
were both runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, Davis to Danny
Wuerffel in 1996 and Weldon to Desmond Howard in 1991.
- defensive end Cedric Pittman is a deacon in his church
- receiver Jahine Arnold has battled through two knee
surgeries and a broken collarbone in his professional
- running back James Bostic's tattoo reads "Never
- offensive lineman Justin Burroughs once worked in a
tractor trailer junkyard.
- defensive back Anthony Derricks amassed 1,575 all-purpose
yards in the Arena Football League last season, all on
defense or special teams.
- offensive tackle Ed King was working as a collection
agent in Phenix City, Ala. after a seven-year professional
career in the NFL and Canada.
- defensive tackle Kevin Landolt was a high school heavyweight
state wrestling champion in New Jersey
- quarterback Jon Nielsen threw 11 touchdown passes for
the Arkansas Twisters in an AF2 game last season.
- kicking specialist Brad Palazzo's dad played quarterback
for the Birmingham franchise of the World Football League
- now at 252 pounds, defensive end Quinton Reese was a
wide receiver at West End High School in Birmingham.
- tight end Ed Smith did not play college football, instead
opting for the baseball minor leagues after signing with
the Chicago White Sox.
- tight end Scott Thompson coached this past season at
Bullard (Calif.) High School, helping lead BHS to the
state semi-final round.
- Birmingham has never failed a professional football
league, the league has always failed Birmingham. BIRMINGHAM
BELONGS IN THE XFL!!!