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Between the Walls

by Josh Stein
March 30, 2004 - National Indoor Football League (NIFL)

This was an eventful week, more eventful than one would possibly guess. We saw a bunch of high-quality games, and most every team has finally started the season. Of course, that’s not why this was a week to remember. The best move the NIFL has made in a long while happened this past week, when Tri-States Indoor Professional Sports (TIPS) was shown the door, and their ownership of three teams (Greenville, Waco, Colorado) revoked.

So, what does this do for the teams? Well, the schedule is in some semblance of chaos. We don’t know if Greenville or Fort Collins can play any home games, because their arenas have, understandably, cancelled leases and are probably going to sue for breach of contract. Do they even have teams to play away games? Well, I have been given information that Greenville *is* in Myrtle Beach playing during the time this article is being written, so all is not lost on that front. But can they play their home slate?

That’s not for us to worry about here. Let’s think about the *good!* Since this is indoor football, there’s going to be a lot of scoring. And there’s going to be a lot of passing touchdowns. So without further rambling, it’s time to bring back the Touchdown Watch.

Matt StrandWYO6184
Doug ColemanHOU10270
Danny RagsdaleBIL9263
Dusty BonnerLEX9263
Doug SmithUT92*59
Alex NeistTRIC8256
Jon HowdeshellOK41*52
Richard FuentesSF11351
Antoine TaylorFW10347

* Can only have 13 games of stats, whether it be due to no stats being given or the player not playing in one game.

Will Strand hit the magic number of 84, the NIFL record, held by Albert Higgs and Danny Ragsdale? It’s too early to expect that. But this is still fun to watch.

On to the games, perhaps?

***** Now we can start seeing what games are really important.

Myrtle Beach Stingrays @ Ohio Valley Greyhounds
The teams are undefeated, so I guess this is the big game of the week. It’s also a divisional game, between what are probably the best two teams in the division. Myrtle Beach had a close win over Greenville, and Ohio Valley played the part of two-time champion vs. brand new expansion team. However, they didn’t look all that great. The kinks were worked out, and Myrtle Beach now has to worry about a Greyhounds team that is honed and ready. So, it won’t be all that close, now will it? Greyhounds 52, Stingrays 24.

**** Divisional matchups, so they have importance still

Beaumont Drillers @ Houma Bayou Bucks
Houma lost in the fourth quarter at Tupelo, and then showed that it may have been a fluke with their domination of the Lake Charles Landsharks. Beaumont beat Oklahoma by 20 then got smacked in Tupelo. So, what does this mean? Houma’s the home team, so they’re gonna win this one…and Beaumont still isn’t very good. Houma 46, Beaumont 30.

Sioux City Bandits @ Omaha Beef
Sioux City had a poor opening against a Sioux Falls team that had played two games already. Omaha beat the tar out of that Sioux Falls team. The Bandits know what they’re doing on the field now, and Omaha has had quite awhile to rest. So, what teams are going to show up? Sioux City will come with their heads on straight, now that they’ve had a game to figure it all out. Omaha will be the same strong team that has won and won and won some more under Sandy Buda. So, who do you chalk it up to? The Beef rarely lose in the Slaughterhouse. Beef 43, Bandits 38.

Wyoming Cavalry @ Sioux Falls Storm
Tri-City isn’t that bad a team. So, a Wyoming win in which they performed magnificently on offense looks all the more impressive. Sioux Falls finally got untracked with a blowout win at their rival Sioux City Bandits, so this has the makings of a good one. Richard Fuentes wants to impress his old mates (so old that very few, if any are still on the team that went to Indoor Bowl I). And, as he has shown the last two games, he can still play this game. Storm 52, Cavalry 39.

*** The barrel is getting thinner and thinner

Tri-City Diesel @ Wichita Falls Thunder
Why not a **** game? The Thunder really aren’t that good. Tri-City should probably do as they wish in this one. Will they? That remains to be seen. Wichita Falls plays a fairly poor defensive scheme, from reports I have seen. However, that defense hasn’t done quite as poorly as their offense seems to have. Their home opener will be a tough game for both teams, but the one with more experience will be the one that gets the win here. Diesel 34, Thunder 24.

Oklahoma @ Lake Charles
We’re clawing here. Lake Charles is the two-time defending champ of their division. Oklahoma is a contender in their “division.” Lake Charles is currently without a quarterback, and is in fairly desperate need of one. Oklahoma has a pretty decent quarterback, and not much else. So, what gives here? Who’s going to get the win? Well, it IS Oklahoma, and Lake Charles can still run the ball pretty well. Landsharks 45, Crude 31.

** It’s still early.

Atlantic City Cardsharks @ Staten Island Xtreme
Atlantic City got their butts handed to them in Show Me, and Staten Island really didn’t play all that bad in the Ohio Valley. What gives? Well, the Xtreme certainly have the experience edge, with a number of players (Roberson, Simpson for example) that are in their 6th year of indoor football. Atlantic City didn’t know what they were doing in St. Charles, and they probably still don’t have too much of a clue. They should be better as the season goes on, but we’re not there yet. Xtreme 44, Cardsharks 24.

Show Me Believers @ Myrtle Beach Stingrays
Another set of two games in one week. This one (unlike Waco) will probably go down. Myrtle Beach won against Greenville, but are they really a good team? Greenville doesn’t technically even have a home, and it was only a 10-point win. I am not all that impressed with the Beach, and Show Me could be a lot better than they ever have been before. And Myrtle Beach will be worn out (3rd game in 8 days). Believers 45, Stingrays 27.

* At least TIPS is gone

Greenville Riverhawks @ Tupelo Fireants
Tupelo is a good team. Greenville doesn’t have a home. Right. Fireants 59, Riverhawks 21.

Lincoln Capitols @ Colorado Venom
This game probably won’t even be played. But if it is, it’ll be in Lincoln or something. Capitols 84, Venom 25.

My thoughts on Week 3? There’s many, and more of them this week are good than bad. I like that. I can deal with the good outnumbering the bad. That means progress.

  • TIPS is gone. Thank you. I will admit to being behind them at times, because I thought they were viable and being thrown as the scapegoat. Guess what, I was wrong. So very wrong.
  • Staten Island didn’t look as bad as 58-16 sounds.
  • Ohio Valley didn’t look as good as 58-16 sounds. Although Angel Estrada was as good as advertised, if not better. The AFL will soon be getting another NIFL product in Estrada.
  • For being the best team money can buy, Billings didn’t exactly light the place on fire in their win over a quarterback-less Utah team (for awhile).
  • I figured Waco was the most viable TIPS franchise. But how weird is it now that head coach/GM John Bronkhorst has to answer to his defensive coordinator and special teams coach, since they sign his paychecks?
  • Now that we’ve had over a week to sit back and watch tape, is Tupelo really that good?
  • Lake Charles better get a quarterback to play while Harrison rests, or the season will fall apart quickly.
  • Who told Myrtle Beach to play three games in eight days? And why do they not like the Stingrays?
  • What is higher, the official attendance or number of beers sold in a game?
  • Sioux City needs to shape up, the fans are already complaining that the team isn’t “local,” and is therefore “not good enough.” With Haege in there and good talent, those fans will shut up soon. The Greyhounds barely have any local talent, and that didn’t hurt them much.
  • I want more inter-conference games. Even with 10 games against 2 teams in the division, the Greyhounds DID travel to the Southern Oregon Heat…3000 mile trip, something they haven’t even thought about doing since.

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National Indoor Football League Stories from March 30, 2004

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