This should be interesting. It's definitely either the CIFL or PIFL. I'm gonna' bet my paycheck & say it's the CIFL.......lol.
The First and Always The Finest
https://twitter.com/ETNmmartin/status/2 ... 80/photo/1
I was at the 3PM press conf.
Then I had to get to a Gannon University opening night
tailgate party. My team won in a nail biter.
Just got home and you guys were right on top of things.
Erie indoor football franchises have seemingly played in as many leagues as Baskin-Robbins has ice cream flavors.
On Thursday, the Erie Explosion officially joined the 10-team, Midwest-based Continental Indoor Football League, with the belief that the two will fit like scoops of chocolate and vanilla on a sugar cone.
The Explosion, under the sole ownership of businessman Bill Stafford in 2012, caught the attention of several leagues looking for a model small- to mid-market franchise. After losing the United Indoor Football League semifinal game to the Cincinnati Commandos in June, Stafford searched for a league to fit the model.
"After the past season, four different leagues approached us, knowing that they liked what we did and what (coach Shawn Liotta) was doing and results our players had,'' Stafford said at a news conference at the Avalon Hotel. "We spent 21/2 months listening to presentations and eliminating some things, and the Continental League is a very good fit.''
Jim O'Brien, CIFL president and co-owner of the 2012-champion Saginaw Sting franchise, said he watched the playoff game in Cincinnati and was impressed.
"This is the longest continuous-running league with the eighth season coming up, and Bill and the organization is doing things for all the right reasons,'' O'Brien said. "We're excited about what we see, and we've done background checks. Erie has good ownership, a talented team, and the same beliefs.''
The UIFL-champion Commandos, the Marion Blue Racers and the Eastern Kentucky Drillers also joined the CIFL. Other teams are in Louisville, Ky., Port Huron, Mich., Evansville, Ind., Dayton, Ohio and Chicago. A team in Fort Wayne, Ind., will join in 2013.
"This league has been around, and you look around at what makes sense is that you see stable, competitive franchises and are close enough geographically,'' said Liotta, who coached one season with the Erie RiverRats, one with the Erie Storm, and will be in his third season with the Explosion. This will be the fifth different league in which Liotta has guided an Erie team.
The Erie Insurance Arena, which closed last May as the $42 million renovation project began -- the Explosion beat Marion in a June outdoor playoff game at the Cathedral Prep Events Center's Dollinger Field -- will be partially finished when the season opens in February.
"This league is a business model that is something doable in a smaller market, with competition week in and week out,'' Stafford said. "We believe this will work out for years to come in a fantastic facility.''
BOB JARZOMSKI can be reached at 870-1678 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNjarzomski.