I've been a fan of alternative football leagues since the Denver Gold of the USFL. The Arena League was invented in 1987 with some developmental help from former Gold coach Mouse Davis. I was excited to learn that Denver would have one of the four inaugural teams. And when the Denver Dynamite won Arena Bowl I, it was surprisingly significant to me after the disappointment of the Broncos' Super Bowl loss to the Giants earlier that year.
I was hooked on the AFL. They didn't get a lot of coverage, but I would watch the tape delayed games at odd hours on obscure cable channels anyway. After the Dynamite folded, it was impossible to get news on the AFL from local sources, so I lost touch for a couple of years. Then the internet (and Arenafan.com) came along and I was able to follow the sport again. When John Elway brought the Colorado Crush to Denver, I bought season tickets.
So it made me quite sad to hear the news that after 22 seasons, the AFL is suspending operations for the 2009 season. They claim that they will be back "bigger and better" in 2010, but that's hard to believe; if it was difficult to get broadcast deals, sponsorships, season ticket sales, and respect from sports reporters and football fans before, why would it be easier after a bush league stunt like this?
I do expect they will be back in 2010. But I expect a "meeker and humbler" league instead of a "bigger and better" one. But I suppose I'll continue to follow it anyway.
Is your story F**CKING great?
1 year ago