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Over a Cup of Coffee

by Jerry Hewitt
October 6, 2010 - Indoor Football League (IFL)

We want them back! Indoor football fans of Rapid City, South Dakota and Lincoln, Nebraska will side with me in making that statement. The Indoor Football League has welcomed ownership in Grand Island, Nebraska, a neighbor to Kearney, home once to the NIFL's Tri Cities Diesel, and a community which I am sure would love to see good ownership step forward there and in Rapid City and Lincoln to revive indoor football.

Just what the heck is going on in Sioux City, one of the oldest franchises in the game and one that in spite of its owner's best efforts to not win a championship, still packs them in on game nights? Yes, Bob Scott, long-time owner of the Bandits, is rumored to have called it quits, but wait... isn't this the same song he sings every year? So maybe the Bandits will once again take to the field in 2011.

In all probability, the Bandits make their owner money, so if he is indeed tired of the team, why doesn't he sell it? I'm sure there are other local ownership possibilities that might want to take on this winner off the field and make it one on the field as well. I think it's time that a new guard take over in Sioux City as this is one city in the IFL that is long overdue a championship. I just want to say to Bob Scott that a thank you to the fans in the way of building a winner is long overdue, and if you don't want to say thank you, step aside and let ownership in that will show some appreciation to Bandit fans for their long support.

Are West Michigan and Austin done as well? West Michigan recently overhauled their website, and even though it is now even worse than before, it still sends the message they plan on returning. But to be honest, the IFL has been trimming the fat this off season, cutting loose some franchises that don't meet their standards. I understand West Michigan was given extra time to meet those financial requirements, and if they fall short I feel bad for the Thunderhawks fans, but it might be best for the sport.

Austin was trying to make a move to San Antonio after two years in the poor Austin market and I had heard that was a done deal. So, what happened that may have caused the TurfCats to have second thoughts about returning to the IFL for 2011? That's easy: Corpus Christi, Abilene and San Angelo. Corpus and Abilene jumped to the SIFL and San Angelo is taking the year off, leaving the TurfCats maybe wondering about an increased travel budget.

There still isn't any official word on Sioux City, Austin or West Michigan. Stay tuned.

Most of us have seen the rumors of the AFL Oklahoma City team looking to bail and join the IFL. I've seen nothing from IFL official sources or from any of my insiders to say if that's true or not, but it would be a good fit for the IFL and a big help in the budget area for the Yard Dogz. This is a rumor that just makes sense so the likelihood of it happening is very slim. That addition would sure help out teams in Northern Texas though.

It is also rumored that the SIFL and AIFA East have struck a deal, which will create a merged league for the upcoming season. I'm beginning to wonder if the SIFL has collected one penny of expansion fees from their four newcomers as of yet. If the SIFL can't sell itself well enough to new teams that they pony up the expansion fees, will them taking over the AIFA will be much of an improvement? The best thing that may come out of any merger would be the AIFA teams having a voice on league matters for the very first time.

I am seeing where two of the sport's newest teams, the Lehigh Valley and Grand Island entries are hitting the ground running, not wasting any time in putting together a team, and I will also say that the Grand Island team picked what should be a good coach. If Sean Ponder can entice players to play in Fairbanks and build a competitive team there, Grand Island should be a piece of cake, and he should bring the fans a playoff contender from the start, even if they are in indoor football's toughest division with Sioux Falls, Omaha, Wichita, and others.

I still expect some bigger announcements from the SIFL and IFL late this week. So until such time, I'm going to stay on the let's return indoor football to Rapid City and Lincoln bandwagon!

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Indoor Football League Stories from October 6, 2010

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