Arena League Circling The Drain?

AFL_Carter.jpgEarlier this week, PFT contributor Gregg Rosenthal pointed out that Mike Ditka, co-owner of the AFL’s Chicago Rush, fears that the leading indoor pro football league won’t return in 2010 from its current hiatus due to the presence of “too many weak sisters.”

There’s now something more tangible to suggest that the AFL won’t be back.

The Tampa Bay Storm has parted ways with coach Tim Marcum.

Marcum remained on the job even during the ongoing one-year break.  And he was being paid.

So does the move mean that there won’t be a 2010 season? 

Don’t ask me any trick questions,” a laughing Marcum told John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times.

Marcum is a charter member of the AFL’s Hall of Fame, and he owns seven championship rings.  (He’d have a few more, but they ran out of tin foil.)

“I’ve put 20 years of my life in this thing,” Marcum said.  “I’ve turned down
opportunities for other jobs. I left Steve Spurrier’s staff after one
year at Florida to return to this game.  I love this
game.  I love the players.  In the old days they played for $500 a game
because they loved it.  Kurt Warner probably never played for more than
$1,500 a game in Iowa because he loved it.

“We started this thing with four teams in 1987, and today
there are 120 teams playing some form of indoor football.  To have been
a part of the beginnings of all of that is great.  It really is.  But
that doesn’t pay the bills.”

Marcum’s age — 64 — likely is working against him, especially as it relates to opportunities in the NFL.  Maybe he can land in the UFL.

“I may need to get me a paper route,” Marcum told Romano.

Actually, that might pay better than the UFL.

14 responses to “Arena League Circling The Drain?

  1. This dude sounds like a character. I never would have left a major college program for Arena, though. Even if he wasn’t head coach, it’s still real football and more secure.

  2. I thought this was supposed to be PRO footballtalk…?!?!?
    What is this crap?

  3. That’s a shame. It was a really fun league and the players were down to Earth. They were approachable. You could talk to them.

  4. 120 teams playing indoor football? Er, suburban rec leagues don’t count, Tim…

  5. on they had something like this where Bon Jovi said he wasn’t sure if the AFL would be back. It’s kind of a shame, the AFL was fun to watch. I’m an admitted offensive junkie, and that’s what you got from the AFL.

  6. R.I.P. the last sporting event where you could buy cheap beer and actually talk to the players during the game.

  7. “That’s a shame. It was a really fun league and the players were down to Earth. They were approachable. You could talk to them.”
    They should be easier to approach now, given that they really have no claim to any sort of fame now.
    And why is the Tampa NFL franchise more of a cheapstake than the AFL franchise that will soon cease to exist?

  8. I really enjoyed the Arena League. Sure, it’s not the NFL but I loved the fast pace and quick scoring in it. AND it gave this football junkie something to watch after the NFL season ended, especially since NFL Europe is not more. Without it this season I went through football withdrawal!
    And if you’ve ever attended a game in person it is great fun because you are so close to the action.
    You just have to accept it for what it IS and not what it ISN’T in order to enjoy it.
    I will miss it.

  9. “He’d have a few more, but they ran out of tin foil”……
    That’s a spitting Pepsi on the keyboard line!

  10. Really, who cares?
    The arena league is full of guys who couldn’t hack it in the CFL, much less the NFL.
    So as the Arena league goes the way of the XFL, you still have Arena League 2, the UFL, and the CFL. Not to mention, whatever jerkwater league sponsored by a used car dealership that Quincy Carter and Peter Warrick are playing in.
    Don’t shed a league for the Arena League. If they were any good, they would have made money. (And I’m talking real money from consumers, not the taxpayer kind Obama gives away to his campaign contributors.)

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