After covering the AFL for a few months, I’ve started to fall in love with the sport. I’ve covered the home games of the Pittsburgh Power, and have formed a quality friendship with the players. After noticing the lack of attendance at AFL games, I’ve come to conclusion that sports fans do not take the AFL seriously.
What is the AFL?
The AFL (Arena Football League) is a professional indoor football league that was founded in the United States. Currently, the league consists of 14 teams; divided into two conferences. Players play on a field half the size of a regular football field (50 yards long). Average pay of each AFL player is about $40,000.
My question to you is: Why don’t sports fans take the AFL seriously? – Below, I asked a few supporters of the AFL to see their opinion.
Pittsburgh “Power Brothers”: avid fans of the Pittsburgh Power: “I don’t understand why people don’t take this league seriously. I guess since its not the NFL and the players making millions they’re used to seeing. I think this league is just as great as the NFL because you see guys playing with heart and passion of the game more often because they are not making the big money like the NFL. Plus it is another way for players to prove themselves to NFL scouts that could be watching.”
Pittsburgh Power’s announcer Dom Errico: “I often wonder how many people have actually gone to a game before saying it’s not a real sport or legitimate entertainment. Next time someone says Arena Football isn’t a real sport ask them if they’ve ever gone. Chances are good they haven’t. I fell in love with the sport the first time I saw it. It’s exciting, entertaining, and it’s more than just the game. I challenge anybody out there to come and check out a game this year if they’ve never seen the sport. Sure we aren’t going to please everybody, but a lot of people change their opinion of the sport once they finally see a game live.”
TSC’s writer and fan of AFL: Leah Blasko: “I think, that by and large people don’t take the AFL seriously because they see it as the “easy” alternative to the NFL. Mostly that is born out of ignorance, and is very untrue but the stigma hurts the league none the less which is a shame.”
The AFL is losing fans, as the attendance has dropped over the decade by thousands. Honestly, sports fans would rather support, and watch their local high school team than arena football. But why?
AFL players leave everything on the field each and every game. It’s fast, exciting, and enjoyable EVERYTIME you go. It’s not very common that a football player will come to a restaurant after a game, and thank you for visiting the game. It’s a pure example of a first class organization. Once you talk to an athlete like an AFL player, you realize that they are just normal people. The AFL is paying players to make $40,000 dollars to risk their body on the field in front of 8,000 people for YOUR enjoyment.
My final question to sports fans that criticize the AFL: Why don’t you watch the AFL?
Before you judge the sport, watch a game on ESPN or CBS Sports Network. I guarantee that you captivated by the quick, exciting, and addicting play of these athletes.