A shame that one of the greatest indoor franchises will go out like this.
The first was in 2004 with a big van full of Beef fans. After halftime, a Wyoming fan who had made the drive up to see the game sat with us and was just enjoying the atmosphere and helped us cheer on the Beef. I always thought that was a great thing and it inspired me to see over 30 live games across the country in 2005 and always root for the away team when possible. Some traveling fans thought it strange for me to sit with them and root for their team, but most gladly accepted it. After the Beef lost to Billings in that game we had a mini-after party loss by the van with music blaring and a stadium official came up to us and lamented that that would probably be the last year of Billings indoor football. Little did he guess that new ownership would save the day, or build the new practice facility, and eventually lead Billings to become one of the best teams of all time in indoor football.
The last trip was in 2008 with 3 other Beef fans, again for a playoff game. We had high hopes of a Beef win this time around after the Beef had successfully ended Sioux Falls undefeated run of a couple years before fading right before the playoffs. Coach Fuller and Fullerzgirl even showed up and sat with us, great to always see the greatest coach of all time (maybe not in wins and championships, but in character and personality). Billings won yet again, delivering another crushing blow to us Beef faithful. It was still nice to see a great team like Billings, which was beginning to show their rise to challenge Sioux Falls in the coming years, play and to see their fans get into the experience.
When Billings came to your town, you knew you were in for a good show and a hard fought battle.
Billings has some great fans and the team was a great part of their community. It's sad to see Billings go, and I for one hope they'll be able to return despite the current situation. A long shot, but perhaps the county will see the error of their ways.
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"Well, I'm not going to jump the gun and say they are out for sure. I know what the press release says, but keep in mind in 2005 when it looked like the Americans where going to cease operations. Fans come out of the woodwork and miracles happen. I am going to wait and see if the press release and some upset fans will apply some additional pressure to the city of Billings. Maybe they will decide to work with the Outlaws.
If it does end up happening for sure it really doesn't effect the Fever other than we will have to travel a little further for one of our away games. None of their players have been released yet. Until their players are released they can not be contacted by any other team.
The downside is that Billings has been a stable team and one of the original indoor football teams, so it would be a shame to lose such good business partners.
Stay tuned...I don't think this story is over.
http://billingsgazette.com/sports/footb ... 002e0.html