Won't Anyone think of Sonny Cumbie?
The Arena League, which had suspended the 2009 season in hopes of reorganizing for 2010, is now suspended indefinitely (meaning its dead). This news depresses me.
I realize the league never really gained a lot of popularity, but it did survive for 20 years. A lot of people didn't care at all for the games being shown on NBC or ESPN, but I did, and I'll tell you why:
It was fucking FOOTBALL, PEOPLE.
Don't look a god damn gift horse in the mouth. An entire league was willing to give us some form of football each spring/summer, and people let it die. Okay, so you couldn't grasp the 8 men teams, the "box", the MAC/JAC linebackers, the forward motion, the 50 yard field, who the hell cares? It wasn't the NFL. It didn't try to be. But it was televised football. What did you want to watch during that time period anyways? The NBA? Bullshit, I say.
You know why else the Arena League was great? Because it kicked ass when you could turn on a game between the Kansas City Brigade and the Colorado Crush and see Jonathan Quinn holding a clipboard. Yes, I loved watching NFL flameouts or college superstars lacking the right "tools" for the NFL wind up in the AFL. It's the reason I watch Canadian Football and the reason I'll watch the UFL this fall. I loved hearing about Alonzo Spellman trying to piece together all of his crazy and play for the Las Vegas Gladiators. It was good to see guys like Sonny Cumbie, who, like Graham Harrell couldn't even get an invite to training camp despite his big numbers at Texas Tech, get a chance to keep playing some form of football. Hell, the league did give us Kurt Warner, even if we couldn't stand his wife. Hopefully the UFL will pick up many of these guys, as will Arena Football 2 (which now becomes just AFL maybe? I don't know), which intends to keep playing this season (which is good because I was a season ticket holder for the Quad City Steamwheelers).
I don't care if it qualified somewhere south of real, professional football. It was football nonetheless, and I'll miss it. Goodbye, AFL.
Go UFL? (They have JP Losman AND Koren Robinson AND Simeon Rice. They can't fail!)