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Allen Wranglers Last Home Game 7pm Saturday June 16th

Allen Wranglers Football for First Timers
by J.B. Blocker 
Wranglers Team Chiropractor Dr. Lee Ligon turns friends into family.

The 16th of June is Faith and Family Night at the Allen Event Center. Great prices, exciting close up action, and more fun after the game!

One last chance for Collin County families to give a special collection of management and athletes a great show of community support for the final home game of the season.

Taking the first step
  I’ve been invited to arena football games on several occasions.  My old friend from the Cowboys days, Coach Joe Avezzano couldn’t get me to attend a game even when he was coaching the Desperados. It wasn’t that I was afraid of him breaking out in song. He always sang for his own entertainment and he is now singing with a heavenly choir for a much more forgiving audience.
  My impression was that arena football was going to be a poor excuse for scaled down semi-pro football. I love football and am a homer who always backs his local teams in any sport no matter what their record, but would there be room for arena football in my heart?
  I almost went to a game against Phoenix because I’m a friend of their coach Danny White who honorably filled the shoes of the great Roger Staubach while we waited for Troy’s arrival.  Danny was a winner and a Cowboy to boot. I was going to go out of respect but I never made it!
  Finally, I was invited by someone I couldn’t refuse. After working with Jim Tolbert on the Olympic Trials, the Breeders Cup, and the Sidekicks, I figured that if Jim was working with an arena football team, I should at least give the sport a good look. I got to know the Indoor Soccer League because of Jim. The experience was not what I expected, and I was soon reporting for the Dallas Sidekicks and became a fan of the sport. The Sidekicks games were filled with entertainment from start to finish and I am proud to report that they will make their new home the Allen Event Center starting this fall.

Love the Intimacy!
  As I think back to my days of team and event reporting, I learned two important things about myself. First of all, I would rather attend an event in a more intimate setting than in all the mega stadiums and arenas. I would rather watch those events from my couch or with a few good friends.
  I can go to pretty much any big local event with my press card, camera, and pen just by making a well placed phone call. I have done this many times for many years! I just don’t enjoy it anymore.
  And it’s not just because I passed the 50 yard line of life where loud noises, long lines, and pushy crowds annoy me, although they do. It’s probably more because I really enjoy the intimacy of smaller venues where there are no bad seats and there are more families present. I love to see families enjoying themselves instead of huddling together for protection.
  Secondly,
I learned that reporting on indoor football and soccer games is not for me! There is too much action going on at too quick a pace for me to be writing away. I found myself having to make a choice between getting wrapped up in the action or being an indifferent observer. Once again, intimacy won over. It became apparent to me that the stories I would write would not include play by play and they would not be at mega venues unless Jerry, Nolan, or Mark asked nicely and waved money.
  When you attend an arena sports event like football or soccer at places like the Allen Event Center, you see so much more. You see the faces of the players’ struggles even through a helmet. You feel the intensity of the kicks and hits and blows. You can hear those blows and grunts and collisions. You are almost in the huddle. You don’t need TV close up views to know what’s going on with the players on the sidelines. You can take it all in!
Dr. Ligon and #62 Prince Hickman
Dr. Lee calling!
  Dr. Lee Ligon is the team Chiropractor for the Allen Wranglers. His practice on Greenville Ave. is just up the street from the Allen Event Center and just a few blocks from where the team apartments are located.
  But more importantly, he is my friend. We fish together, barbeque, Lee plays the piano while I do my best Coach Joe imitations with guitar in hand, and he fixes the occasional ‘hitch in my get along’. Lee is a family man and his friends easily become family. Every time I’m at his home, it is filled with an eclectic mix who have learned to make themselves at home.
  And I have to tell you, Doc Lee has the best bed side manners! I find it comforting to be told what’s going on and being asked questions. I can certainly see why he has built such a loyal following. If you want to laugh and feel good about yourself and the person who is laying their hands on you and occasionally twisting you like a pretzel, Lee is your man. He is big and strong enough to manhandle linemen with guns as big as my thighs and gentle enough that he has a huge following of women clients and friends.
  Many of the team and management regularly visit his clinic for a wide range of services his clinic provides for athletes and soccer moms alike.
 
Hearts of Lions, Gentle as Lambs
  Lee was very excited about being associated with the Wranglers management and team. He particularly pointed out some very warming management moves.
Emma Anderson and Frankie Solomon Jr.
Team Chaplain Shawn Brann and Wranglers
  The team has a Team Chaplin. During pre-game preparation I ran across a cluster of players in a study circle with Bibles open while Shawn Brann was leading a Bible study. Most of the team leaders were in that huddle seated just outside the dressing room. They were sincere and serine as they participated in the study which was from the Book of Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. I realized this was no quick prayer before the game. That would come later. This was a ‘for real’ on going Bible study.
  Just to the side, Dr. Lee was adjusting big #62 Prince Hickman the 6’1, 340 lb. defensive lineman whose day job is as a Dallas County Juvenile Officer. The gentle giant was warm and easy to talk to.
Defensive Back Frankie Solomon Jr.
  On the other side of the study group, Team Massage Therapist Emma Anderson was loosening up 6’, 190 lb. defensive back #15 Frankie Solomon Jr. She must have done a great job because Frankie had to fill in at linebacker and ended up leading the team with 10 tackles and my vote for Wrangler Player of the Game.
  I later sat down with another gentle giant #5 Mike Landry the 6’4” 300+ lb. D-lineman and former NFL player. He was sore and working his injured shoulder and massive guns. As he gently began rubbing his aching knees we sat and talked quietly and openly.
  I asked him why he was suiting up with that much pain when he had a career as a professional sports trainer waiting for him. His answer epitomizes the feeling and the heart that I observed from all the other virtual unknowns with other lives waiting for them.
  “They are my teammates and friends, he thoughtfully replied, I can’t let them down.” The next thing I knew he was out in the arena, signing autographs, grabbing arms full of children for photos, enjoying the moment, and sharing his joy. I knew how much pain he was in!
Mike Landry and friends
 As I roamed around talking to other players, I realized that this was a team with heart and a real sense of brotherhood. Now that’s a spirit I can get behind! I knew I could support this team that was a direct reflection of the management that loves their players and their fans.

For the Love of the Game
  Texans love their football, and even though Allen, Texas is no exception, this city is the epitome of community support. They boast one of the perennial best H.S. teams in the Country and play in one of the largest and finest H.S. stadiums to a frenzied full house every game.
  I just want to leave you with this. There is one last home game for the Allen Wranglers for this season! It will be played on Saturday, June 16th against rival New Mexico Stars. The Wranglers are averaging 46 points a game so if you blink, you’ll miss one exciting play after another.
  Take my advice. Grab your family, your friends, your office staff, your Bible study group, and a few others and enjoy an exciting game where footballs and sometimes players come flying into the stands. Support your local team. And best of all, hang around after the game were truly nice guys are playing their hearts out for themselves, their teammates, and their fans and climb down to the playing field. Get pictures, get autographs, share your support, and feel better about your self and what your community has to offer.


I hope to see you all at the final game. If there are any other groups you have in mind to bring families to the final game let me know. Organizations, churches, everyone. It is our Faith and Family Night where we will focus on faith, fun and football. There is also a post game concert featuring Shane and Shane.

Please call for group help
Tracey Campbell

Allen Wranglers
Director of Communications
972-912-3131 


 J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962. Email: jbnorthtexas@gmail.com

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