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More on the reconstituted AFL

Some of you have taken issue with our assertion that “Arena Football 1″ has changed its name to the “Arena Football League.”  We’ve confirmed that, indeed, the group of indoor-war-on-the-floor squads that were going to be known as “AF1″ will instead be the “AFL.”

And before any of you start complaining about another AFL article, consider these realities. 

First, it’s the offseason.  Second, free agency doesn’t start for 17 days.  Third, though the name of this site was designed in large part to avoid a copyright/trademark claim from the NFL (it’s a good thing we didn’t include “who dat” in the URL), we’re called “ProFootballTalk.com,” and the AFL players get paid, even though sometimes the compensation comes in the form of day-old bagels and muffin stumps.

Fourth, the AFL games will be televised by NFL Network, which strengthens the link to the core of our coverage.  Fifth, would you prefer more articles about Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham tampering with Chiefs players?

Now, where was I?  Oh yeah, more stuff about the AFL.

Here are the 15 teams:  Alabama Vipers, Arizona Rattlers, Bossier-Shreveport Battlewings, Chicago Rush, Cleveland Gladiators, Dallas Vigilantes, Iowa Barnstormers, Jacksonville Sharks, Milwaukee Iron, Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, Orlando Predators, Spokane Shock, Tampa Bay Storm, Tulsa Talons, Utah Blaze.

And if you need proof as to how much I already miss football, I actually plan to make the four-hour drive to Cleveland for a home game, especially if one of the Cleveland home games will be televised on NFLN.

I’m also holding out hope for the placement of a 16th team in Pittsburgh come 2011.  Hell, I’d probably drive up there for every game.

So welcome back, AFL.  We ignored you the last time around.  And though you still fall a huge step behind the NFL on our priority list, we’ll at least pay closer attention this time around.

Actually that implies that we paid any attention to the old AFL.  We didn’t.  But now we will.
 

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45 Responses to “More on the reconstituted AFL”
  1. zeke777 says: Feb 16, 2010 7:22 AM

    Wait, no Philadelphia Soul???

  2. Koheba says: Feb 16, 2010 7:27 AM

    Jacksonville can barely keep an NFL football team… of all the thousands of cities in the US who would love an AFL team… why the HELL would they put it one Jacksonville! What were they thinking!?

  3. Ches says: Feb 16, 2010 7:36 AM

    I am all for coverage of the AFL.
    So many alliterations up there.
    Not sure who to pick to be my team though.

  4. RexRyan'sStressedLapband says: Feb 16, 2010 7:46 AM

    Muffin stumps. HA
    It’s been quite a while since you went to the Seinfeld reference well. It used to be mentioned in every damn article. Good job.

  5. GoBrowns19 says: Feb 16, 2010 7:48 AM

    Are you going to trash the Gladiators in favor the Pittsburgh team too? I think a good name for the Pittsburgh team would be the Pittsburgh Slobs With Mullets.

  6. wydok says: Feb 16, 2010 7:52 AM

    You guys didn’t pay attention because Philly won the AFL championship.
    Now that the ne AFL doesn’t have a Philly team, you can feel justified in not having to say anything nice about the city :P

  7. TheDPR says: Feb 16, 2010 7:54 AM

    Personally, I’d like to see a little more CFL coverage here on PFT.
    I’m being serious.

  8. BearsFan18 says: Feb 16, 2010 7:55 AM

    Very well written article. I know people complain about what is written and some articles appear on other sites. But the beauty of this site is that I don’t have to go anywhere else because I get everything football related (NFL, AFL, UFL, CFL) all in one spot. Again I will say what I have said in previous posts, if you don’t like what is said here people, then by all means start your own site!!

  9. NachoBidness says: Feb 16, 2010 8:06 AM

    You don’t have to defend your blog to these idiot readers who complain, but still show up to read everyday anyway. This is your baby Florio, you raise it the way you damn well want to.

  10. drubatuba says: Feb 16, 2010 8:06 AM

    Wow Florio is finaly fighting back in his articles. I wonder how angry this will make posters?

  11. K-Rock says: Feb 16, 2010 8:06 AM

    Dallas Vigilantes? Who comes up with these names? It is cool that the Battlewings are included (an hour from where I live), and the fact that they are located in a town with an Air Force Base helps me understand the name.

  12. severs28 says: Feb 16, 2010 8:08 AM

    Why didn’t the NFL help the UFL more. I thought the style of play was much more appealing for the UFL. I actually watched the whole season where as I have seen maybe two total AFL games, and I live in a city with a debunked AFL team.

  13. The Oven says: Feb 16, 2010 8:13 AM

    Nice to start out the day with a lecture. Good morning to you too, Herr Florio.

  14. 4ever19 says: Feb 16, 2010 8:14 AM

    Are you old enough to have paid any attention to the old AFL. I am and I did, although I was am and always will be a Colts fan and was a bit grieved when they were pushed into the AFC. Anyway, when does play start? And can you get me a Battlewings jersey.

  15. Ari says: Feb 16, 2010 8:19 AM

    Another team in Jacksonville? They don’t support an NFL team. Why would they support and AFL team? When will people learn…

  16. lespaul89 says: Feb 16, 2010 8:31 AM

    Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz?
    jesus, I cant wait to watch these games

  17. Larry David says: Feb 16, 2010 8:35 AM

    What happened to the Philly team owned by Jaws and Bon Jovi?

  18. James says: Feb 16, 2010 8:42 AM

    I’m literally on the edge of my seat for the Bossier-Shreveport Battlewings playing the Iowa Barnstormers. Maybe this time around they can do a scramble for the ball instead of a coin toss and put stupid names on the back of jerseys like “He Hate Me”. Oh wait I’m confusing failed football leagues again.

  19. sniperhare says: Feb 16, 2010 8:44 AM

    I have room to root for the NFL and the AFL. Sometimes I even watch Canadian football.

  20. steelerfan9598 says: Feb 16, 2010 8:44 AM

    Arena football is great in person. On TV, not so much. If you have a team near you, go, you won’t be disappointed.

  21. realitypolice says: Feb 16, 2010 8:50 AM

    Pretty great marketing strategy to avoid virtually every major market- no New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, LA, or South Florida. That’s sure to garner lots of national attention for the league. The should call it the FOFL (Fly Over Football League) since most of the franchises are in cities that people “fly over” to get where they are going.
    Really surprised about Philly. The Soul was a very popular franchise, regularly selling out the Wachovia Center and owned by two very popular local guys, Jon BonJovi and Ron Jaworski.

  22. Brandon Folsom says: Feb 16, 2010 9:04 AM

    Wow I’m glad that this is coming back but I am not happy that I was just stabbed in the heart! I cannot believe that they arn’t bringing back my Grand Rapids Rampage. I loved going to watch them at Van Andel.

  23. SlimPickens says: Feb 16, 2010 9:05 AM

    Jacksonville cant support a NFL team and now they have a AFL one?
    Seriously Yard Dawgz? If you cant have a nickname spelled right you shouldnt have a team
    Spokane Shock…nerp!
    Milwaukee Iron sounds awesome though.

  24. danmateus75 says: Feb 16, 2010 9:05 AM

    It’s obvious what the NFL is doing here.
    Allowing the “AFL” to be broadcast on the NFLN is one of several ways to send a message to the NFLPA.
    The NFL is endorsing that product and the players who are involved and if the NFL players want to play hard ball then the NFL owners will simply lockout the players and use the “AFL” players as replacements.
    This is just two ways in which to send a message and get us used to watching these future scabs.

  25. mnvikefan0922 says: Feb 16, 2010 9:21 AM

    Maybe Minnesota can get a team when the Vikings make an exit for LA.

  26. mnvikefan0922 says: Feb 16, 2010 9:24 AM

    I’d have to agree with severs28 above, why not support the UFL instead? The games with style of play and what not, are much more related to the NFL.

  27. cbrianwatkins says: Feb 16, 2010 9:31 AM

    James says:
    February 16, 2010 8:42 AM
    I’m literally on the edge of my seat for the Bossier-Shreveport Battlewings playing the Iowa Barnstormers. Maybe this time around they can do a scramble for the ball instead of a coin toss and put stupid names on the back of jerseys like “He Hate Me”. Oh wait I’m confusing failed football leagues again.
    ————————————————-
    failed football league? james, my non football knowing friend, arena football has been around longer than most of these people posting on here have been alive

  28. Darth Jay says: Feb 16, 2010 9:40 AM

    They need to put a team back in Worcester, MA. They have the DCU Center that can pack in at least 12k, maybe more. The one year we had a team, the Mass Marauders, everyone was into it, until the owner punched out the league commissioner at some meeting and they got kicked out of the league…
    But seriously, I agree with the person who questioned the markets chosen. I get that they are targeting areas without football, but wasn’t Philly one of the more successful franchises at the gates? Wouldn’t it make sense to have a team in or around NYC and Boston? Worcester is 45 minutes from every major city in New England. It’s perfect.
    Oh well…
    Oh and PS: cover whatever football you want. It’s your site.

  29. realitypolice says: Feb 16, 2010 9:59 AM

    failed football league? james, my non football knowing friend, arena football has been around longer than most of these people posting on here have been alive.
    ———————————-
    If it had been around for a thousand years, it wouldn’t change the fact that by definition, it failed. They didn’t shut down operations last year because they decided that they had made enough money.

  30. reps456 says: Feb 16, 2010 10:03 AM

    To realitypolice: First off, Bon Jovi is not a “local” guy(he was born/raised/lives closer to NY than Philly), and certainly not a “solid” one, at that. Secondly, Jaws was not part of the ownership group. That would be Bon Jovi, Sambora, and Craig Spencer of The Arden Group. Jaws was brought in as President in order to have someone local, with a name involved, in order to help sell to the fans, as well as be a buffer between JBJ & Spencer, who were competing for a team against each other, not together from the start. The league asked them to merge in order to assure a a franchise in Philly. What happened next was expected by many.
    Spencer & JBJ had 2 different agendas for owning the Soul. JBJ, being a football fan and always wanting to own an NFL franchise, saw this as a way to legitimize his prospects for future NFL consideration. When he saw that wouldn’t be the result, it became nothing more than an expensive toy. For Spencer & The Arden Group, it was a write off if failed, nothing more than what could potentially be good business if it succeeded.
    In the end, the players and fans got screwed by both factions. JBJ promised Philly a free concert if the Soul won the ’08 title. They did. Still no concert. The players never got championship rings, and when a fan group elected to purchase rings for them, out of their own pocket, they were handed a “Cease and Desist” letter/order, advising them they’d be sued if they used any Soul colors or logos on any rings. They were also served papers regarding their fan site, which came about before the Soul’s first game.
    Finally, JBJ & Spencer lied to fans regarding how they voted when the league was meeting to decide whether or not to play in ’09. They never expected the vote to be made public, and when it was, the were exposed for alot more than simply lying about their stance. The rift between them became public, as did their reasons for owning a team. They wanted to be rid of each other, and neither would give an inch. They wanted to rid themselves of the franchise (one of a few that sold out the majority of their games), and be done with a league with a business model that was in bad shape moving forward.
    While I would not be surprised to see Arena Football in Philly again, I don’t foresee the same owners involved, individually or collectively, nor do I see the “Soul” name or colors attached, and JBJ refuses to relinquish it.

  31. cannoli says: Feb 16, 2010 10:07 AM

    # TheDPR says: February 16, 2010 7:54 AM
    Personally, I’d like to see a little more CFL coverage here on PFT.
    I’m being serious.
    I agree. I’d like to hear more about the CFL as well.
    But tell me they didn’t name that team the Battlewings just so someone would start calling them the bat wings. lol

  32. realitypolice says: Feb 16, 2010 10:18 AM

    @ reps456:
    I don’t usually thank people for correcting me, but I appreciate all of that info about the Soul. I had no idea it was that contentious, and it certainly gives some insight as to why they are being left out of the new league. I also didn’t know Jaws wasn’t part owner. He certainly seemed to represent himself that way to the national media
    I will however, point out that I was speaking in generalities when I said JBJ was “local”. Being a lifelong PA/NJ resident, I am aware that he is more NY than Philly.

  33. possessed says: Feb 16, 2010 10:33 AM

    What happened to the San Jose Saber Cats? They were one of the better AFL teams. Plus, the Bay Area needs a professional football team!
    Oh well… Go Spokane Shock!

  34. Occam says: Feb 16, 2010 10:34 AM

    ” Bossier-Shreveport Battlewings”
    Am I the only one who would have to Google ‘Bossier/Shreveport’ to find out what state they are in?

  35. reps456 says: Feb 16, 2010 10:38 AM

    realitypolice: LOL No one likes to be corrected, and I wasn’t doing it so much to “correct” you, as I was to just put some info out there regarding what happened. Glad you didn’t take offense, because it wasn’t my intention. Though there was some frustration an the entire situation in my comments. lol
    Jaws represented the organization in every way possible- doing all the things JBJ & Spencer didn’t want to do. HE was a LARGE reason for the success. Sure, many female JBJ fans bought season tix, simply because it was JBJ’s team. But Jaws sold the everyday football fan on the Soul and Arena Football. When the novelty of it wore off to the JBJ fanatics, he’s the one who was working hard to attract the true sports fans, and keep them. He was named Team President for many reasons (one of the first acts of the merged ownership groups), one being to help keep peace, and another to have that solid, local, respected flavor to keep Philadelphians on their side.

  36. answer3 says: Feb 16, 2010 10:50 AM

    Go Spokane Shock! They owned the AFL2 for the past half decade, now they hopefully get a step up in competition, and can prove themselves on a slightly bigger stage.

  37. TJO5 says: Feb 16, 2010 10:59 AM

    Darth Jay says: February 16, 2010 9:40 AM
    They need to put a team back in Worcester, MA.
    —————————————————–
    I thought Worcester would be the perfect place to put the Patriots back when they were talking about leaving Foxboro. Besides being central to everywhere, it would eliminate the congestion on Rt. 1. And with the highway project going on at the time they could have added access ramps to all the major highways.

  38. TJO5 says: Feb 16, 2010 11:04 AM

    Darth Jay says: February 16, 2010 9:40 AM
    They need to put a team back in Worcester, MA.
    —————————————————–
    I thought Worcester would be the perfect place to put the Patriots back when they were talking about leaving Foxboro. Besides being central to everywhere, it would eliminate the congestion on Rt. 1. And with the highway project going on at the time they could have added access ramps to all the major highways.

  39. James says: Feb 16, 2010 11:20 AM

    cbrianwatkins: As was pointed out in an earlier post, the league did shut down for a year and was reconstituted so in all fairness it did fail. Not to the extent of the XFL, NFLE and the UFL, but they still ran out of money to have a season this past year and had to restructure their business plan.

  40. pft is dead says: Feb 16, 2010 11:22 AM

    *actually, the vipers had owned a considerable share of the past af2 decade as well

  41. schism says: Feb 16, 2010 11:36 AM

    Go Barnstormers

  42. btmbtm1 says: Feb 16, 2010 1:49 PM

    Arena League (something ball) is not football. Expend more time on the UFL/CFL since thats what we’ll be watching in 2011.

  43. edgy1957 says: Feb 16, 2010 2:46 PM

    danmateus75 says: February 16, 2010 9:05 AM
    It’s obvious what the NFL is doing here.
    Allowing the “AFL” to be broadcast on the NFLN is one of several ways to send a message to the NFLPA.
    The NFL is endorsing that product and the players who are involved and if the NFL players want to play hard ball then the NFL owners will simply lockout the players and use the “AFL” players as replacements.
    This is just two ways in which to send a message and get us used to watching these future scabs.
    **************
    That would be about the stupidest message that they could send because they’d be hiring players that fans would consider even worse than the replacements back in 1987, when crowds were between 10% to 45% of normal average and TV viewership was down by 20%. Hell, look at how much fun they made of the Nets the other night because of the sparse crowd due to weather (and of course, their inept play). Imagine how they’d play up only getting 4,900 like they did in Detroit back in 1987.
    Look, the Arena League made a big mistake by not crawling to ESPN to get time on ESPN2. Like it or not, Versus and the NFL Network are the worst options because they’re both LIMITED in the scope. They’re on digital tiers on cable and they’re also in disputes with cable/satellite providers and they’re playing to a far smaller audience than ESPN2, which is on BASIC everything (BTW, for stating THIS, I was banned from the AF1 message boards).

  44. edgy1957 says: Feb 16, 2010 2:49 PM

    K-Rock says:
    Dallas Vigilantes?
    **************
    I’m going to say that this probably has to do with Jerry Jones, whose AFL team owned the rights to Desperadoes and probably wasn’t willing to give that up for anything less than a king’s ransom.

  45. Mike Daly says: Feb 20, 2010 3:01 PM

    “Arena League is not football.” That’s a lie, mister. It is indeed football, and immensely enjoyable football.
    edgy1957 is wrong. The Arena League had games televised on ESPN in the 2006-8 period and ESPN ultimately did the league no good; the league did better on NBC than it did on ESPN. ESPN is not the positive power people think it is; going to Versus and the NFL Network is better for the league in the long term.

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