The Best Part of Arena Football
By Sharon Soares
After a long week of family, friends, and Arena Football; I have not had my fill, but am ready for my bed. We started the week long vacation with a flight from Kansas City to Las Vegas on Friday, June 19th. The next morning, we awoke and drove to LA for our first ever LA KISS home game. It was a great surprise to find that an open conference had been called regarding the State of the Team. The conference was exciting to hear and learn about some of the other things the LA KISS team hopes to have happen over the next year. If you would like to see the review on it or hear the recording, go to https://aflfanzone.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/state-of-the-team-la-kiss-theyre-staying/ .
The best part about the LA experience was, of course, the game and the players. LA was playing against the Philadelphia Soul. We have met a lot of players over the past few years. From Kansas City Brigade, Kansas City Command, Iowa Barnstormers, and various ArenaBowls, we know players from around the league at all different teams. With the stability of the Philadelphia Soul’s roster over the last few years, the Soul have members that we have come to know well. It was great seeing players from our old teams, as well as others we follow, in addition to coaches we have come to know. Don’t let anyone tell you different, the LA production is great. It might have been more extravagant last year, but it has a great team to put on the field, caring owners, an outgoing CEO who actually cares about the game and the players, and a production that could rival any veteran team.
This set the stage for what the next week would bring. LOTS of reunions.
Over the next 24 hours, we traveled back to Vegas and watched the Las Vegas Outlaws take on the San Jose Sabercats. Once again, many reunions were able to take place and we saw lots of beloved players. We were able to get updates on their families and how they’re children have grown. Many of the players we have followed for years now have children that are 4 years old, and some older, that we have watched grow since birth. I remember making some welcome blankets for these kids when they were born and they are already ready to enter kindergarten.
We were able to visit the home office of the league, briefly. No one was able to give an interview or give us any comments on what the status of the league or teams were, but we made it known we were around. We visited the home office of the Outlaws and met some very dedicated and devoted office staff who were doing everything they could to make the team and production a success. With only two people in the office taking care of all aspects from press passes to game day production, they did a great job making it look easy. The player practice for the Outlaws was open to the public and we took the team up on that opportunity to see how the team worked during practice and the comradery that is developing.
This last weekend was the best of the entire time. Not only did we have the great reunion time with the players, but we were able to see two great games. LA KISS only lost by 6 points and were in it to until the very end against Arizona Rattlers. They don’t give up. It was great to see them fighting until the end. The KISS lost, but each game they play, they seem to become a stronger team. Coaches are working with the players, the players are working with each other, and the leadership of the team help drive the team forward. They have support from their ownership and the new CEO, Joe Windham. I can see big things coming around the corner for this team.
The same thing happened in Vegas against Portland. Down to the wire with only 40 something seconds left and a fumble occurred by Portland giving the Outlaws a final shot at the end zone and a chance to win. Such excitement came from the crowd as their team was in position to win their first home game since May 4th against the LA KISS. The players were excited and encouraged the fans to cheer loud throughout the fourth quarter, especially. The win filled the arena with excitement and gave the team a little encouragement to finish the last part of the season.
So what is the best part of Arena Football? The fans that you get to meet, reunite with, and become family with. No, it’s the players that you follow from team to team and no matter what arena they see you show up in, they know they are supported from you just as they would their own family. The sport itself, watching to the last minute and knowing anything can happen. Yes to all of the above. Arena Football is a great sport that can endear to the hearts of many. Given a chance, it can become your passion, as much as it becomes the players’ passion. Fans give up time and effort to volunteer to help out teams and to be the support that the players need. Players give up their time and effort to put on the best show you could hope for. Ownership and office staff support the fans and the players and make the game as special as it can be each and every week.
The best part of Arena Football is all of it. Arena Football is a special game and given a chance, can become the game that you just can’t get enough of.