In minor league indoor football, you do whatever you can to make news and get attention, which potentially leads to fans in the arena on gameday.
The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles are the poster child for this sort of things, being run as a “fan”chise where fans make all the decisions, including what uniforms the team will wear, and what plays the team will run during the game.
That fan power has now extended to what players they will sign, as the team apparently has reached a deal with serial domestic abuser Greg Hardy, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys.
In a press release on the team website, where you can vote on the decision, the team announced they have spoke with Hardy, as well as numerous former teammates and coaches, after Hardy said he had interested in signing with the team.
In fairness to the team, they are not shy in the release about pointing out that Hardy has had numerous off-the-field problems, most stemming from domestic violence where he allegedly threw his girlfriend onto a couch that was covered in guns.
“On the field, Greg would be a no-questions-asked signee for just about any coach in any league,” says Screaming Eagles head coach Matthew Sauk. “Greg is human and made some mistakes in his life and is paying for those mistakes. We want the fans to make the call.”
It’s an interesting idea, and will really give an idea of how the public views Hardy, who for a stretch was one of the premier pass-rushers in the NFL and even made the Pro Bowl.
Hardy last played in the NFL in 2015, and has not been signed by a team since.
“The Greg Hardy vote is a unique opportunity for our fans to be able to make a NFL-caliber decision,” says FANchise co-founder and CEO Sohrob Farudi. “Owners and GMs across the NFL made their decision on Greg without consulting their fans. Greg wants a chance to prove himself both on and off the field, and with this vote we’ll get a chance to see how fans ultimately feel about a player with a checkered past that wants another opportunity.”
The voting for the Hardy signing is open until tonight (March 29) at midnight.
I voted just after 2 p.m. CST and as of that time fans were overwhelmingly in favor of signing Hardy, with 67 percent saying yes.
Personally, I think this is just a big ploy to draw in fans for a game or two. But he probably would be the best defensive player in the IFL if he did sign, it’s not every day that an NFL-caliber player at his peak wants to join the league, so it would be interesting to see how he performed against inferior competition than he faced on Sundays in the NFL.
What do you think fans, would signing Greg Hardy be worth it for the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles?