Florida Firecats Denied Participation in 2009 Playoffs
Estero, FL - The arenafootball2 (af2) Florida Firecats learned today that the af2 has decided not to allow the Firecats to participate in the 2009 playoffs. The Firecats organization issued the following response to the af2's playoff seeding:
The Florida Firecats stand by their previous issued statement. Today's denial by the af2 validates that statement. It is disappointing that in the af2's tenth anniversary season no true ArenaCup champion will be crowned because not all of the best teams were included in the playoffs. By tampering with the competition on the field credibility has been lost.
We continue to thank our fans for their loyal support.
The Florida Firecats Organization
The Firecats qualified for their eight straight post-season appearance with a 67-39 home victory over the Kentucky Horsemen this past weekend. The win gave Florida a 7-9 record. Based upon af2 tiebreakers Florida would have been the seven seed.
The Firecats have been one of the most successful teams in af2 history. Since the team's inception in 2001, Florida has won four division titles, appeared in four conference championships, played in two championship games and won the 2004 ArenaCup. The team has 100 franchise victories and nine post-season wins, tying them for the most playoff wins in af2 history.
Previously issued statement: During the early months of the 2009 season a few renegade owners of the af2 began taking actions that we felt were highly inappropriate. Those owners began having meetings that we feel were not in the best interest of the Arena Football League (AFL) or af2, and may have legal ramifications. To protect the integrity of the league, our fans and organization we worked out an arrangement with the league to finish this season.
These few owners have continued their course of action with the intent of starting a new league that would contain current members of the af2 while the 2009 season is still underway. We feel that their actions undermined the integrity of the AFL and af2 solely for their own benefit.
At this time we feel we must step back and see what's in the best interest of the game, the fans, and our organization. As one of the oldest ownership groups in arena football history we cannot be part of any actions to destroy the credibility of the AFL or the af2. We look forward to seeing what the AFL does in their efforts to reorganize and see which existing leagues continue to play or new leagues emerge. At that time we will be able to evaluate what is best option for our organization.
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