Eskridge Makes the Transition
Editor's note: Eddie Bobbitt conducted the following Q&A with Coach George Eskridge at Freedom Hall during the Louisville Fire Arena Football Media Day.
Coach George Eskridge is in his third year with the Louisville Fire as the Special Teams Coordinator and the FB/ LB coach. Last year, coach Eskridge started off as a defensive assistant and was promoted to the Special Teams Coordinator during the second half of the season. Eskridge was born in Memphis, TN, but grew up in Fort Knox, KY. He graduated from Ft. Knox High School in 1986, where he lettered 3 years in each football, basketball, and track. Esckridge then graduated from University of Louisville's Speed Scientific School in 1992 with a B.S. in Information Science and Data Processing. While at U of L, he lettered in track. Eskridge has coached 10 years of high school football at Louisville's Eastern High (1994 - 1998) and at North Hardin High in Radcliff, KY (2000 - 2004). I recently caught up with Coach Eskridge to talk about the Louisville Fire season as well his transition to the league and city of Louisville:
Q: Coach Eskridge, despite the obvious age difference between the two, what is the biggest difference from your previous coaching experience to now with the Fire?
A: It's not that simple of a question. Well, I guess it would be the overall talent level. These guys are coming in already played college ball and have seen their share of success. At the high school level you try to be more of a mentor. It still comes down to teaching the game. The difference is when you are out here coaching these guys, they can do more athletically.
Q: In your three years with the Fire, what is the most intimidating venue you have ever coached at?
A: I think there is a toss up here. I hate saying this but I will give credit were credit is due. Green Bay this year was by far the most deafening crowd I have ever heard. In the same category you have to throw Quad City in there as well. Both of those cities do a great job of supporting their team and making it a difficult place for opponents to come in and leave with a win.
Q: How does the Louisville Fire fan base stack up against the Green Bay Blizzard and the Quad City Steamwheelers?
A: We stack up well. Our crowds are just as rowdy as they are. I don't believe there is such a thing as an "easy" win on the road in this league. But some crowds do make it tougher than others. The Louisville Fire fans are definitely some of the loudest and most dedicated. Another thing that you got to take into consideration is the fact that we get the opportunity to play in historic Freedom Hall. It's very open in here and our crowds still make it noisy, other venues maybe louder, but at the same time they are a lot smaller.
Q: What makes the city of Louisville a great "football" city?
A: I think what makes the city of Louisville a great football city is the talent level and the fans. You can take a look around the country and make an argument that the city of Louisville is some of the most dedicated fans in the country. The community does an outstanding job backing the great teams. That's what makes this city a great sports city, not just football. I also believe the fact that a lot of the Kentucky Mr. Football winners have been from right here in the Derby City. So the talent pool is also extremely deep.
Q: For someone who has never seen an Arena football game, how would you explain it to them?
A: I hope they at least understand a little bit about the game of basketball. That would make it easier to describe. I guess the best way is to think of it as "fast break" football. It is fast and exciting. There isn't a lot of dead time so it creates a great atmosphere. People love scoring; I grant you there will be a ton of it if you come out and see a game.
Q: Why should a family come out and see a game?
A: That is the easiest question you have asked me. It's a fun family atmosphere. My grandmother, who is 100 years old has come to a game and absolutely loved it. The games are up beat and exciting so the kids will love it too. Bottom line is this, once you give it a try and you come see a game, it will hook you. It's hard to explain. But, the energy of the game is amazing, and the fact that the city of Louisville is home to one of the most exciting teams and by far one of the best crowds should give people even more incentive to come out and see us play.
There are still two games left for the 2007 Louisville Fire season. Tickets can be purchased by calling 502-368-0009 or at louisvillefirefootball.com.
Fire vs. Steamwheelers Fire vs. Vipers
July, 14 2007 July, 28 2007
7:00 pm 7:00 pm
Season tickets for the 2007 season are on sale now starting at $80 and can be purchased by calling the Fire office, (502) 368-0009, or by visiting louisvillefirefootball.com.
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