I hope everyone is enjoying a great Memorial Day weekend. This has been one of the better weekends on record for great weather. My weekend started off pretty well as I took in my second indoor football game. I went back to Mennen Arena in Morristown, NJ to see the New Jersey Revolution take on the Erie Storm. I was there to record the game and behind the scenes as well. I want to show fans in the documentary that there are alternatives to the NFL out there. All you have to do is look and you might find some hard hitting football action in your own backyard.
I know some reading this will say the NFL is in their own backyard. But so are many indoor football teams with tickets 1/10th of the NFL price and the same kind of hard hitting action. You even get to see some guys that did play in the NFL. It can be a very hard hitting match up. But Saturday night, there was action on as well as off the field. The trash talking from the player before the game to the heated words between the coaches and the referees at the end of the game. Even between coaches after the game. Coaches from the NJ Revolution were not happy by some of the calls the referees made and they got thrown out at the end of the game.
The head coach, defensive line coach, and the special teams coach all got thrown out. The special teams coach, also part owner, tried to throw a referee out of the game. You know you are passionate about your team and the game when you even try to throw a referee out of a game. One of the NJ Revolutions coaches even got into it with one of the Erie Storms coach after the game. It got very heated and loud. Arguing over calls, players, and even no towels in the locker room and a doctor not present. There was an ambulance and EMT’s there so it was kind of a moot point. But Both sides calmed down after the team owners had a private talk. Everyone is just passionate about the game and their respective teams.
The fans are so close they can even interact with the players during the game. They don’t but it is nice to se the fans are able to get up close and personal. They even give you autographs on the spot. Never see that as NFL players are walking back to the locker room. It may be at the Mennen Arena and not some big outdoor stadium. But at least there are no parking issues, reasonable ticket prices, hard hitting football, cheerleaders, and an affordable night of football for the entire family.
That is the way it was meant to be. Not spend thousands on seats and overpriced food and beer. But for some, it is a luxury they can afford. That is what professional sports has become to many fans, a high priced luxury. Pro athletes seem more focused on salary, endorsements, bonuses, high priced toys, and getting their spot on SportsCenter. I know they do charity events, have foundations, and do contribute in ways to their community. But for once let it be about the game and the love of the game. Not for the love of what is in your contract.
Rob Tester, Coach Al, and Coach Chris really do care about the players on the NJ Revolution. They are building a team of dedicated athletes who not just have heart, but a desire to play because they just love to play the game. So does every coach in the AIFA. They all want to see their players and team be something for the fans that come out to see them every game. It may be football on a smaller, regional scale, but it is still football. Find a league or team in your area and just take in one game. See for yourself what indoor football is all about. You may not think it is the NFL, but it will give you respect for the guys that break their ass every week. Here are a few of my last pictures from Giants Stadium.