Travis Claridge and Jamacia Jackson

In the thread that mentions the passing of Leonard Nimoy, one poster continues to honour the memory of O Linemen Travis Claridge who was such a bright spot in the last part of the 2005 season. If he hadn't died he would probably have retired 2 or 3 years ago as linemen quite frequently go for 10+ years but he had started in the NFL in 2000. Pneumonia and painkillers took him.

Jamacia Jackson died in 2008. This linebacker had promise but an enlarged heart took him waaaay too early.

Anybody care to speculate on how the roster might have looked different prior to the Austin era if these men had lived?

nope

Guilty as charged.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Claridge

"Claridge played two games at the Right Tackle position with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League. He played brilliantly in his debut and was voted MVP of the game. It was the first time any player in his first CFL game was voted player of the game. He was injured in his second game and did not play again."

I forget who he was up against in that first game (a big name DE is all I truthfully recall), but whoever he was, Travis owned him. He was an amazing player gone much too soon.

I remember Travis' performance in that game clearly, and you are bang on that he owned the Big name DE he was up against. One of (if not THE) most dominant performance by an OT that I have ever witnessed.

The opponent was Edmonton's Joe Montford.

Thanks MadJack. My old-timers disease really struck me that time. :lol: :lol: :lol:

n/p; you are not the only one with oldtimers' disease. . . MadJack is no spring chicken by any means.

But back to that game; I don't ever recall a more dominant game by an OT. He completely removed Montford from the game, and Montford, even when not getting sacks, was normally a very disruptive DE. But not in that game. As I recall, the announcers only called his name twice during the game (showing how little impact he had), and those 2 occasions were when he went offside trying to get a jump on Travis.

I remember that game very well. The Cats were in the midst of a miserable season in 2005 destined to miss the playoffs while the Eskimos were on their way to being Grey Cup champions that season. The Cats were sitting at a hopeless 3-9 record when the Eskies came to town and lo and behold the Cats not only defeated them that day they hammered them 40-14 for one of the very view highlights of an otherwise dismal season. The Cats had a newbie playing in his first game on the line at Tackle that day,some kid called Claridge. I have to agree with MadJack it was the most dominant game I've ever seen by an O-Lineman in my life. I mean let's face it,the average fan rarely watches or notices the big boys upfront unless they are called for a holding or procedure call or the QB gets sacked. Believe me though that game you couldn't help but notice Claridge :smiley: He was that dominant and completely owned Joe Montford that game. The Eskimos may have gone on to win the Cup and the Cats finished up at a league worse 5-13 that season,but on that day thanks to Claridge the Cats were Kings for the day. Sadly Claridge only played 1 more game as a Cat :cry: IMO had he lived he could have gone down as one of the greatest who ever played in the league, he was THAT GOOD !!! :thup: :cowboy:

Could not agree with you more. Wish I had a tape of that game. . .

Photo of Claridge after going down with a season ending injury in only his 2nd game as a Cat and sadly the last game he would ever play. :cry:

I remember that game as well. He was blocking both Montford and a blitzing LB with ONE FREAKIN' HAND all the while looking upfield for more people to hit. Travis brought instant leadership to the line, and to the team as well. For some reason, everybody played better around him.

Then, during the off-season, tragedy struck. Pneumonia, mixed with the pain-killing opiate Oxycodone, ended this young man's life FAR too early.

And in my opinion if he had lived he had a chance to be on the all time Ticat team. He was that good (hence my signature below).

:rockin: :rockin:
I remember that game as well. He was blocking both Montford and a blitzing LB with ONE FREAKIN' HAND all the while looking upfield for more people to hit. Travis brought instant leadership to the line, and to the team as well. For some reason, everybody played better around him.
He kept pushing any D-linemen in front of him right until the whistle.

Sometimes the guy would end up on the turf 5 to 10 yards downfield

Not to forget the other player in this thread I found this short clip of Jamacia Jackson returning an int 99 yds for a TD in his college days playing for USC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMegm5NqIQY

Jamacia Jackson's obit:

http://archive.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=60896

https://a3-images.myspacecdn.com/images03/22/deb7dd4ddb724a009b3b08235a0a00ea/300x300.jpg

http://image2.findagrave.com/photos250/photos/2011/158/26491106_130755440034.jpg

Gone but not forgotten.....R.I.P. :cry: J.J :cry:

Joe Montford. And played him exceptionally well.

Mark: Great memories for sure....but it's time to move on.
Football is what it is. Ups and downs. The unexpected. Career-ending injuries. Recovering from bad games/seasons. New players, new coaches. However, it's always about the future.
The days of Mosca, Barrow, Henley etc were my golden memories of this team. I'm thankful for that and I am glad I was around to experience it. But every new season provides renewed optimism for the future.
We are finally coming out of the off-season doldrums. Spring is around the corner.Training camp is getting closer and all the ingredients are here for a good upcoming season. Maybe there'll be more "roster changers" too. :smiley:

Thanks for picking up on the recollections, gang. I originally posted this thread and it immediately dies. For some reason it gets resurrected by a poster with a negative comment and then you honour the guys mentioned.

I agree, Mr62. This was a winter thread. Now we move on to getting ready for the upcoming season.

Mark:

I did not see the February date on your first post...my apologies. Thought it was a new one.

It is never inappropriate (or too late) to pay tribute to these men. I don’t care if training camp is right around the corner. We honour our great players, no matter how short their time in Hamilton. I had the pleasure of meeting Travis Claridge at the Saint Anthony’s Grey Cup Stag that year, and he was an engaging, grateful, humble man, eager to succeed in the CFL. He was even in the process of encouraging his brother to come out of the NFL meat market, to join him in Hamilton. Travis truly felt that he had found a home in Hamilton, where he could finish out his career in an atmosphere of respect and caring. He knew we appreciated him. I will never forget his amazing performance against Edmonton, where he had Joe Montford on one arm, and a defensive tackle on the other, and he dominated them both. He was a wonderful man, and an excellent lineman. I will remember Travis Claridge for the rest of my life.

I never met Jamacia Jackson, but I appreciate and honour his work as a Tiger-Cat. We need to look back once in a while, to gather inspiration from all who went before. Today’s players stand on their shoulders.

You nailed it "Batlcat" :thup: I met Travis several times. We hit it off right away with stories of our teenage years (albeit we were years apart) spent in the Sarnia/Port Huron area. I talked to him from the sidelines after he was hurt in Ottawa... he was so disapointed, but said it wasn't the same injury that he had before in the NFL...AND...he would work hard to get back next year. I met his mom (She lived in Port Huron) and family at the funeral home. She told us about his "enlarged heart"...the same that took her brother, when he was the same age. There was more to the story at play here than the drugs and pneumonia. Travis was the one that said..."I protect my quarterback, it's like you try to slap my mother".

I will never look down on anyone's addiction to prescription pain medication. I fault his doctor and pharmacist if anyone. He was a huge talent and definitely showed his (en)large(d) heart by being the person he was. Again it was such a sad outcome to me and all Ticat fans.

:cry: :cry: :cry: