First, a bit of housekeeping news before we get into the real reason for this post. My arena football site, http://www.aronafootball.wordpress.com was just too much to handle (AKA I couldn’t remember my user name/password) so all future arena football news I post from no on will be here on HOT SPROTS TAKES! It’ll just be under the aRONa Football tag. Anyways, on to the news!
Two more minor league indoor football teams (MLIFTs) bit the dust today, including my “hometown” team while I lived in Montana.
The Billings Wolves and Tri-Cities (WA) Fever, both of the Indoor Football League announced that they will cease operations. The Wolves made an announcement today on their Facebook page, while the Fever announced back in late June they would not continue playing after financial problems.
That means the IFL will again play a 10-team schedule after the addition of the expansion Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, and the real coup, the former Arena Football League Arizona Rattlers, one of the best teams in AFL history both on the field and at the gate.
Rumors were also swirling that the Jacksonville Sharks were looking to join the IFL for the 2017 season, but with the league releasing its entire schedule today, that appears it won’t be the case.
In other news, Champions Indoor Football (CIF) announced its final addition for the 2017 season, the River City Raiders in St. Louis, Missouri. The Raiders will compete in the North Division of CIF. With 16 teams, CIF will be the largest indoor football league in the country for the 2017 season.
At this time I’d like to share my favorite Billings Wolves memory.
I attended a game during the 2015 season and ended up scoring free tickets as we were walking into the game. I don’t remember who they played, but all I remember is they got killed and it was quite the white trash spectacle.
Cut to the third quarter and one of the officials makes an egregiously wrong call that mistakenly awards a touchdown to their opponent. It had no bearing on the game, but it was still a badly blown call.
We were about five rows up from the field near the goal line and in the section next to us was indoor football superfan No. 1 who had be screaming at the refs the whole game. After the refs blew this call he had the look on his face of confusion and anger, and like the gears were turning in his head about what he could yell at the refs this time.
And then, magic.
“HEY REF! WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO GO TO SCHOOL!?” At which point I burst out laughing while sitting 10 feet from him.
RIP Billings Wolves and Tri-Cities Fever, gone but not forgotten.