Local officer pursues his lifelong ambition to play professional football

By Ryan Lengerich

He takes college classes in the morning and lifts weights around noon. He protects Tucumcari streets and coaches football before dinner. As the sun subsides he resumes his never ending role as a father.

But Nov. 1, Milton Brown will continue to chase his dream to become a professional football player.

The Mesalands Community College student, Tucumcari policeman, Rattlers’ assistant football coach, boyfriend and father of two girls will put his life on hold — for a day — for a tryout with the Arena Football League’s Dallas Desperados.

“I am not getting any younger,” said the 28-year-old Brown. “I love football and I will love it to the day I die. I am willing to compete against whoever I have to compete against to try and make it.”

Brown will make the 470 mile trip to Dallas Oct. 31. The following morning the 6 foot, 250 pound quarterback/fullback will be evaluated by Desperado coaches and scouts in the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle run and standing broad jump. Those scouts will select players for an afternoon session before making a final decision possibly that day.

“Speed wise I would like to be a little faster,” he said. “But strength wise I am right where I want to be.”

Brown was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he played football three years at Class 5A Foy H. Moody High School before entering the Army prior to his senior year.

In 1995 he received his first station assignment in Fort Lewis, Wash. and in 1997 played for the Washington based Pierce County Bengals, a semi-pro team in the Northwest Football League.

Brown was later relocated to Texas, and played one year as tight end and quarterback for the Arlington Storm, another semi-pro team. In 2001 he moved to Tucumcari and continued his semi-pro career with the New Mexico Rams in Rio Rancho, where he made two hour trips for practices and games.

Sgt. Pete Rivera has known Brown since he moved to the city and entered the police force. Rivera made the drive one afternoon to see Brown play for the Rams.

“He is a fast kid,” Rivera said. “He played real well, he made a touchdown when I saw him that day.”

Rivera said Brown’s chance of making the team is a tossup, because he doesn’t know what caliber athletes to expect.

Brown is realistic, he said the chances are about 50 percent and he will need, “a lot of luck and a lot of praying.”

“At least 98 percent of the people you meet at these tryouts have college experience,” Brown said. “Having no college experience at all is kind of intimidating when you meet guys that were playing three or four years in division one or two.”

Even while smiling, Brown admits his daily schedule is hectic. He has two daughters, Aaliyah, 1, and Desiree, 3, with his girlfriend of six years Josette Watts. He met her in South Korea while they both were serving in the Army.

Brown said she has always supported him. Watts said when he is happy — she is happy.

“I always get excited for him and different tryouts he goes to,” Watts said. “It is hard sometimes with everything he does.
“I think in the long run if he makes it, it will pay off. That is the dream of his lifetime.”

Barring disappointment with the Desperados, Brown is planning a tryout with an upstart indoor football team in Amarillo, which will open play next May in the Corpus Christi based Intense Football League’s inaugural season.

“I think his chances are good, he can play pretty much any position you put him in because his heart is in it,” Watts said. “He plays for the love of the game, he just wants to get out there and play.”