Thursday, March 21, 2013

Restoring the Power

...and just like that, it's Arena season again.

After a long off-season and a fairly disappointing Steeler season, I find myself more than ready to switch gears and go back to the indoor game.  The first post of the year is hard in most sports, because you really don't know what the season is going to bring and how new acquisitions are going to work out.  This is even more true for this league.  It's almost impossible to predict what will shake out in the coming weeks, but I can show you the clues.

A few months ago, I talked about the things the team had and the things that they needed.  Specifically, I mentioned that our defense could take care of itself, kicking is killing us, and QB doesn't matter if we can't get anyone up front to protect him.

Well, the biggest moves they made in the off season shore up the defense and snag a promising QB.  *sigh* It's like no one reads these posts...

Now, I'm not going to complain about us making sure to hold on to Chris "Gingabread" LeFlore to keep snagging picks, and I'm really not going to complain about them also getting Alvin Ray Jackson from the Voodoo, who grabs even more picks than LeFlore...but we had the #1 defense last year, and we still couldn't make the playoffs.  This is an offense-driven league and no matter how awesome the D is, we need something up front.

We still have Mike "Joystick" Washington, PJ "Superman" Berry, and Tyree "is he a FB or DL" Young.  This is good, and was what I really hoped we'd be able to pull off.  Fantastic and bully for us - if they stay healthy, we have some solid, experienced targets for our QB-of-the-week.

Yeah, I still really don't feel good about QB.  Why?  I mean, we have Jordan Jefferson starting at QB - an LSU standout who briefly worked out with the Tampa Bay Bucs and did some time in the CFL.  Backing him up is a fairly competent-looking Shane Austin out of Hawaii.  Well, there are multiple concerns here.  For one - Kurt Warner aside - rookies that were at the NFL level have a lot of trouble adjusting to this league.  It's a huge change.  But, even if it wasn't, they're both still green.

More importantly, we've had good QBs before.  Despite the crap the Facebook and Twitter like to heap on our past signal callers, I maintain that most of them could have done a hell of a job if they weren't thinking about how long it'd be before they got freight-trained into the turf.  The #1, no bullshit, buck-stops-here thing that I said we had to do was to shore up the offensive line, and I really don't know if we did that.  Of those four guys, we have two rookies, a guy who's played five games and returning center Beau Elliott.  Hey, maybe these guys are going to be the real deal - I don't know.   With only two years of history to look back on, and about that much combined AFL experience among them, it's a major wild card that concerns me quite a bit.

One way or another, we're going to find out Saturday night when the season starts.  Once again, Pittsburgh gets the honor of playing the first game (though it's not the nationally televised one) and that worked out wonderfully for us last year.  We're also playing one of the best teams from last year, the Utah Blaze.   They've had some turnover, which is to be expected, but they still have Tommy Grady and - frankly - that's all that really matters.

The Power really needs to start out with a solid win at home this season to get things rolling on the right foot, and Utah will make that hard.  I really wish we could have started out against someone like Orlando again - even if they beat us, we have the seeds of a rivalry there...but we're playing the Blaze and that's the card we've been dealt.  Win or lose, it should be a hell of a game.

Remember, it's a home game and tickets are cheap.  Opening night is generally the most festive game of the year with the highest energy and best attendance, so it's a great time to check the sport out for the first time.  Plus, the team is giving away some pretty slick swag this year and are offering $1 hot dogs and sodas.

Come on down, and here's to a great season of Power football!

Elsewhere in the League
While it's hard to gauge what my team is gonna do for the year, it's almost impossible to call the other teams.  But if I had to pick, these are the games to watch (and this year, they've change the viewing options AGAIN!  Now it's through the AFL site):
  • Philly at Arizona:  Arena Bowl rematch is always fun.  These two teams kept most of their respective rosters intact in the off-season, so this Game of the Week (on CBS Sports) should be explosive
  • San Jose at San Antonio:  Whoooo boy...first the hated 'Cats steal Garcia from the Talons, and then they get matched up right out of the gate.  Hell, the Talons even got Lil Jon for their half time show.  Seriously.


  1. Kizzle reads'em rather than watching Power games I prefer to read about'em on this blog yinz do.

  2. Thanks for reading! You should catch some games, though. They're a lot of fun to watch. (But, seriously, still keep reading the blog posts.)