Thursday, September 20, 2012

Philadelphia Passion Announce New Home Stadium

Lingerie Football League, LLC. (LFL) and PPL Park officials announced LFL’s back-to-back Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia Passion will be playing their 2013 home games at PPL Park.
Since premiering in 2009, the LFL has become ‘The Fastest Growing Sports League in the US’ (BusinessWeek) drawing sell-out crowds, acquiring a national television contract, first-ever video game deal in the history of women’s sport, named highest-rated LIVE sports series in the history of MTV Networks’ and incredible growth in the US as well as internationally with formation and launch of LFL Canada (2012), LFL Australia (2013) and LFL Europa (2014).
“LFL Football has become one of the fastest growing sports in the country and its momentum is only getting stronger,” said Global Spectrum’s Mike Scanlon, General Manager of PPL Park. “We welcome one of the LFL’s most successful franchises in the Philadelphia Passion to their new home stadium.”
The Passion have been one of the league’s most successful franchises on-the-field going to the Playoffs in two of its first three seasons of play. Despite their on-field success the franchise has struggled to draw a significant Philadelphia fan base as the past three seasons of home games were played at New Jersey’s Sun National Bank Center.
“We want to thank the great people of Sun National Bank Center for hosting Passion Football for the past three seasons. We are however thrilled to finally bring the Philadelphia Passion where they belong, the great city of Philadelphia. Our move to PPL Park creates the perfect storm of a great franchise, a new home stadium and a fanatical sports city,” said Mitchell Mortaza, Founder & Chairman, Lingerie Football League, LLC.
The move to Philadelphia, as well as a shift in regular season schedule to a Spring through Summer format, will surely draw a fan base to PPL Park. The two 2013 home games will be played on Saturday, June 15, 2013 and Saturday, July 13, 2013.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Latest IFL Team Is The Texas Revolution

Championship Sports Group has decided on the name Texas Revolution for the Allen, Texas entrant in the Indoor Football League. The name was selected from nearly 1,000 entries submitted from members of the community on-line and through entry displays at area Dick's Sporting Goods stores over recent weeks.
The team hand delivered "hints" to Dallas and Collin County media early this week leading up to the unveiling. These hints started with Texas shaped cakes on Monday morning and finished on Tuesday with the famed "Come and Take It" flags which served as a rally call to Texas troops during the revolution. Each delivery was accompanied with a riddle to provoke the recipient's thoughts on the name. Along with partners Tim Brown and Ken Paxton, team president & CEO Tommy Benizio utilized human signs on the roof of the Alamo and a live horse to unveil the Revolution name and logo in dramatic fashion. "We recognize that we are in the entertainment business and want to make a statement from the very beginning that we are serious about our business", explained Benizio about the weeks interaction with the media and community.
Plano resident Todd Carlson was the lucky fan who submitted the name Texas Revolution and will be given the choice of $5,000 in cash and/or tickets. "I am an older guy and have loved history since I was a child. The story of Davey Crockett and the Alamo is among my favorites and I thought that the rally and emotion behind the name would be very fitting for a community to get behind, particularly here in Texas!" explained Carlson. Team Chairman & CFO Paul Williams agreed, "We knew from the beginning that we wanted to be a symbol of passion with a local flavor and the Texas Revolution says it better than any of the many other entries."
Produced by the clever and creative local marketing firm, Oh Ya Media, the logo itself was designed specifically with the families of Collin county in mind. Centered around a kid-friendly cannon with an attitude, this icon also includes the subtle likeness of both the star and flag of Texas. "We are proud to have been selected to create this icon which we feel confident will represent the team and community well for years to come" noted Oh Ya Media president Suzanne Jacob. "There are a higher concentration of both families, and football fans in Collin County than almost anywhere else in the country and we feel that we have designed a logo that will be appealing to both." Revolution Vice President of Sales, Barney Welch added, "We selected the colors of red, white and blue largely because they are representative of the Texas flag. However, we also recognized that the cobalt blue reminds us of the big, beautiful skies that we are accustom to enjoying here in Dallas more days each year than almost anywhere in America. We added jet black as a representation of the cannons that won Texas their independence so long ago, and or course the blood red will serve as a reminder to our opponents of exactly how fierce we are going to be on the field!"
An additional announcement was made regarding the team's signing of former Wranglers wide receiver/kick returner Ramonce Taylor. Taylor was a standout for the University of Texas scoring 15 TD's in his sophomore year including one in the Rose Bowl, while earning 1,219 offensive yards. He was a leader in the Wranglers offense and special teams in 2012 and joins Frankie Solomon Jr. as the second player on the still-coachless Revolution roster, and the second player from the great state of Texas. Taylor stated, "I am honored to be one of the first players signed and to be involved with the team so early in its creation. I believe that the Revolution leadership will present the community with a first-class, championship caliber team that I will be proud to be part of."
The team is closing in on hiring a coach and expects to introduce him to the media and fans next month. Season tickets are now on sale and start as low as $99 each with the season kicking off around March 1st. For more information on these or any other Texas Revolution stories, log onto the team's new website at or call the team offices at 972.422.PASS (7277). If media is in need of high resolution copies of the logo please contact the front office.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ho-Chunk, Inc. Launches New CPIFL Team

Ho-Chunk, Inc. together with partners, Justin Hayes and Brad Lindgren, has formed the Lincoln Haymakers. Ho-Chunk, Inc. officially announced today, along with Hayes and Lindgren, that the team will be part of the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL).
The Lincoln Haymakers will be holding a Try Out Session on October 20, 2012 at the Bison Sports Arena located at 710 Hill Street in Lincoln. Check in starts at 12:00 P.M. and try outs will run until 5:00 P.M. For more information, email: or
The new team has already signed two former Cornhusker standouts, Cory Ross and Marlon Lucky. As a Cornhusker, running back Cory Ross earned the nickname "Pork Chop" due to his 5'6", 220 lb. stature. Ross earned several honors including Nebraska Offensive MVP (2004, 2005) and the Tom Novak Award (2005). After college, Ross went on to play for the Baltimore Ravens (2006 - 2007), the Sacramento Mountain Lions (2009 - 2011) and the Edmonton Eskimos (2012). In addition to playing, Ross will serve as Assistant Director of Player Personnel and assist with sales and marketing.
Ranked by as the second best high school running back in the country in 2005, Marlon Lucky was one of the most sought after prospects in the nation. Lucky chose to play for Nebraska, turning down USC, Washington and other schools. During his freshman year, Lucky was backup to senior Cory Ross. The Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League (UFL) signed Lucky in July, 2011.
"We are excited to bring this new franchise to Lincoln and plan on building a championship team beginning with these two great former UNL players," said partner Justin Hayes.
The Lincoln Haymakers also signed four other players, James Patterson, Marques Parker, Everett Corley and Julius Nero. Patterson (Sacramento State University, University of Mary) most recently played with the Council Bluffs Express of the American Professional Football League (APFL) and will play defensive lineman. Parker is a graduate of Omaha Westside and played football at UNO. Offensive lineman Corley (Midland University) comes from the Omaha Beef, a member of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Nero attended Omaha North and Northwest Missouri State University. During the 2011 - 2012 season, he was a team captain.
The team is majority-owned by Ho-Chunk, Inc., with minority ownership held by Hayes and Lindgren. Lance Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of Ho-Chunk, Inc. launched the company in 1994 as the economic development corporation for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. During his association with Ho-Chunk, Inc. he has directed the development of 30 subsidiaries with operations throughout the United States and in five foreign countries. Headquartered in Winnebago, the company maintains offices in Bellevue and Elkhorn, Nebraska.
"The Winnebago Tribe has been in Nebraska for 150 years and Ho-Chunk, Inc. is a Nebraska corporation. We are committed to economic development in our region and in the state," says Morgan. "This is an opportunity for us to provide both an entertainment venue and a sports franchise for Lincoln, and it is an opportunity to be associated with a game that all Nebraskans love."
The Haymaker name was derived from reference to the very popular Lincoln Haymarket and from the common term used for a knock out punch in boxing.
Justin Hayes, a Lincoln native, will be the Director of Football Operations & Player Personnel for the Lincoln Haymakers. For the past 10 years, Hayes has served at Nebraska and Iowa high schools in a variety of roles such as position coach, special teams coordinator and Director of Operations. He also spent time with the Omaha Beef of the IFL and the Iowa Blackhawks of the APFL. Most recently, as Offensive Coordinator he assisted the Council Bluffs Express in getting to the championship game. Hayes currently resides in Omaha.
Brad Lindgren, Lincoln resident, will take on the role of General Manager for the Lincoln Haymakers. Lindgren's primary duties will include running the day to day operations. Having served as General Manager of the Council Bluffs Express, Lindgren brings extensive business experience to the team.
Lincoln resident Dave Brumagen will serve as Head Coach for the team. Coach Brumagen was with the Omaha Nighthawks where he served as the Assistant Director of Player Personnel. While serving as Council Bluffs Express Interim Head Coach for the last 10 games of the 2012 season, Brumagen led the team to play in the APFL Championship game.

Indoor Football League Elects Commissioner

The Indoor Football League's (IFL) Board of Directors have unanimously voted at the IFL's Annual League Meetings to promote Robert Loving from Interim Commissioner to Commissioner of the Indoor Football League. Loving becomes the second commissioner in the IFL's history.
Loving joined the League Office in the IFL's inaugural 2009 season and in 2010 was appointed as Asst. Commissioner. He served in that capacity until 2012. Upon the resignation of former IFL Commissioner Tommy Benizio in March 2012, Loving became the IFL's Interim Commissioner.
"It is truly an honor to have been appointed the Indoor Football League's Commissioner at our recent Annual League Meetings. Having been with the IFL since its inaugural season in 2009, I have a strong kinship with the League." stated Loving. "I feel there is a sense of unity among the League's teams as has never existed before. I look forward to an exciting and successful 2013 season"
The Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of Loving last Thursday at the IFL's Annual League Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Robert has been a hard-working employee of the league and this is a great opportunity for him to help the League move in the right direction. We are excited that he has accepted the position and are looking forward to more great things in the future", said Chairman of the IFL's Executive Committee Arney Silvestri.
Mike Layton, the Vice Chairman of the IFL's Executive Committee, also shared those sentiments.
"I could not be more pleased about the promotion of Mr. Robert Loving from Interim Commissioner to Commissioner of the IFL. Robert is honest, trustworthy, hard-working and focused. One might call him a 'Diamond in the Rough'. This is a brutal business, but Robert attacks the challenges head-on with conviction."
Since the conclusion of the League Meetings, the IFL has been working feverishly on the 2013 schedule which is scheduled to be released in early October.

LFL Announces First-Ever Border War With 2012 Pacific Cup

Lingerie Football League officials announced today that the league’s first-ever ‘Border War’ will feature one of the league’s most successful franchises, the Seattle Mist hosting the BC Angels for the 2012 Pacific Cup on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at ShoWare Center in Kent, WA.
The Pacific Cup has been developed to further the LFL Global strategy and will be an annual game played between the Seattle Mist and the BC Angels with home venues alternating each season. “Our focus in 2012 has been to brand LFL Football beyond our US borders and the Pacific Cup will be a great annual rivalry game serving to engage not only our established Seattle Mist fan base but a growing BC Angels fan nation”, said, Mitchell Mortaza, Founder & Chairman, Lingerie Football League, LLC.
The ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington which has drawn some of the LFL’s biggest crowds will play host to the 2012 annual game. Tickets are to be released on Monday, September 24th, the game is expected to draw yet another LFL sell-out crowd.
Tickets go on-sale Monday, September 24, at 10AM. To order call 866.973.9613 or 253.856.6999 or visit

Thursday, September 13, 2012

PIFL Adds Eighth Member in Charlotte Speed

The Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) is proud to announce the addition of the Charlotte Speed franchise making them the eighth and final member of the PIFL for the upcoming 2013 season.
Based in Charlotte, NC, the expansion Speed will be led by two former NFL veterans in General Manager Mo Collins and Head Coach Brentson Buckner with the Bojangles' Coliseum serving as their home venue.
The Speed ultimately decided the PIFL regional footprint was more ideal for the organization's future. Charlotte marks the second addition of the offseason for the PIFL as just last month the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks were added as the seventh member.
The PIFL now consists of teams in Richmond, VA, Knoxville, TN, Columbus, GA, Albany, GA, Huntsville, AL, Lake Charles, LA, Lehigh Valley, PA, and Charlotte, NC. The league holds a 12-game regular season schedule that runs March through June. The PIFL's playoffs begin in late June culminating with the PIFL Championship Cup.
With the addition of the eighth and final member, league being to put the final touches on the 2013 football schedule with a release coming in the next month.
For more information about the Charlotte Speed, be sure to log on to and for more information about all eight teams in the PIFL, log on to

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

UIFL Concludes Annual League Meetings

On Friday and Saturday the Ultimate Indoor Football League held its annual league meetings in Fort Myers, FL. The meetings were very productive, and the 2013 season is shaping up to be very solid.
Items that came from the meetings;
  • Playoff format - three (3) teams will make the post season, top team in the regular season will host the Ultimate Bowl 3. Team 3 will travel to Team 2, with the winner advancing to the UB2.
  • Extended our agreement with for our league wide film exchange.
  • Changed game film rule to: teams have 48 hours after the game to have the film uploaded, or face a $500 fine, and loss of on field privileges for coaching staff during the next game, 2nd offense same, 3rd offense Head Coach is suspended one game plus a $500 fine.
  • Changed Stats rule to: teams have 24 hours after the game to have the stats sent to the league office, or face a $500 fine, and loss of on field privileges for coaching staff during the next game, 2nd offense same, 3rd offense Head Coach is suspended one game plus a $500 fine.
  • Agreed to terms with Insane Sportswear as the Official Uniform Supplier of the UIFL.
  • Will be creating an appeal process for teams to appeal sanctions
  • Teams will have a league schedule of five (5) home, and five (5) away games that will count toward the post season.
  • Teams can hold up to four (4), two day mini camps from now until February 1st.
  • Training camp can start on February 15th or later.
  • Teams can dress a "19th" man for any regular season game, as long as they haven't played professional football in the last 8 years, or college football in the last 8 years. 19th Man was designed as a marketing position to help gain more exposure or revenue. (examples are, radio personalities, celebrities, sponsors, etc)
  • Approved the relocation of the Sting, location to be announced soon.
  • Approved two (2) additional expansion teams for the 2013 season with a time restraint on finalizing arena deals, otherwise the team(s) will begin play in 2014.
  • Approved the removal of the Indianapolis Panthers from the UIFL for failing to meet league obligations.
  • UIFL will play with 6-8 teams for the 2013 season
  • Schedule to be completed in October.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Council Bluffs Express moving to Lincoln

The Council Bluffs Express is on a one-way trip out of town.
The indoor professional team, which has played in the last four American Professional Football League championship games, is ceasing operations to start anew in a different city and new league.
The Lincoln (Neb.) Haymakers will open play in the Champions Professional Indoor Football League at Pershing Auditorium in early March.
Owners Justin Hayes and Brad Lindgren have sold the majority interest of the franchise to Ho-Chunk Inc., the economic development arm of the Winnebago Tribe.
Both will remain with the team as minority owners. Lindgren will also serve as the team's general manager while Hayes will be the director of football operations and player personnel.
The CPIFL formed last month during a potential owners meeting in Council Bluffs. After weighing the options of staying in Council Bluffs or moving to either Lincoln or Salina, Kan., the ownership group eventually settled on Lincoln within the last month.
The Haymakers opened their Lincoln office in the Haymarket Monday.
The CPIFL also currently includes champion Sioux City, Tulsa (Okla.) and Mid-Missouri from the APFL. Wichita (Kan.), previously in the Indoor Football League, and Kansas City will join them.
Unlike the APFL, the CPIFL has a commissioner and head of officials that are not affiliated with any team.
"I think it is important to be in a league that has professionalism, first and foremost, along with sportsmanship and provides an atmosphere that is conducive to the fans," Hayes said.
The former Express, which averaged 850 fans per home date in 2012, weren't a big hit in C.B.
"We had great fans and sponsors," Lindgren said, "just not enough of them."
The move brings the end to a successful run by the Council Bluffs organization. The franchise, founded in 2000 by Jake Hiffernan, reached a championship level from a modest beginning.
The team started in the recreational Nebraska Indoor Football League as the Council Bluffs Rams, playing with football equipment purchased by Hiffernan, then 24, with his first credit card.
Its games were played indoors in Lincoln for two years before moving to an outdoor eight-man field in Malcolm, Neb. The team, which changed its name to the River City Redemption, won the NIFL title in 2003 and was invited to play an indoor exhibition game against the APFL champion Kansas Koyotes.
The Council Bluffs franchise, which later became the Iowa Blackhawks, was competitive enough that it was invited to join the APFL in 2004. It has played in that indoor professional league ever since.
Iowa won back-to-back APFL championships in 2009 and 2010. The Blackhawks, who became the Express prior to last season, have been the league's runner-up to Sioux City for the past two years.
Citing financial concerns, Hiffernan sold the team in 2011 to local businessman John Jerkovich in an attempt to keep it in C.B. Lindgren and Hayes purchased the franchise and changed its name this year.
The recent owners were actually exploring the possibility of starting an expansion franchise in Lincoln prior to last season. Their plan changed when Jerkovich offered the Blackhawks to them instead.

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Orleans VooDoo Head Coach O'Hara Making Progress in Recovery from Staph Infection

New Orleans VooDoo Head Coach Pat O'Hara continues to make progress after suffering a post-operation staph infection in his knee and is recovering at home with his family in Orlando.
O'Hara's most recent step to normalcy came yesterday when he was taken off of a once-a-day antibiotic drip and will now be on an oral antibiotic regiment.
"I am excited to be making progress, but all of the credit goes to my family. My wife, Billie, has been great throughout this entire process and I can't thank her, my friends and all of the people that have reached out to me during this trying time," said O'Hara.
O'Hara underwent a routine knee scope in late July, and a week later O'Hara found himself back in the hospital with a staph infection. He then went through two additional surgeries to help rid his body of the infection.
He was discharged from Tulane Hospital on Thursday, August 16, and his recovery process began.
"Aside from the antibiotic drip I was on non-stop, I have been going to rehab twice a day, five times a week for the knee that I had operated on. It has been a struggle being on crutches, and hopefully next week I will be walking under my own power," said O'Hara.
As O'Hara always does, he finds the positives in any situation, and two of those things are his sons Tyler and Trace who are playing in the CYFL. With the down time, he has had a lot of opportunities to watch the two play football.
Tyler is following in his father's footsteps as a quarterback, while Trace has been anchoring the offensive line for his team playing left tackle.
"I thoroughly enjoy it," said O'Hara about watching Tyler and Trace play football. "It gives me a chance to be a Dad and not a coach. They make me proud all the time."
O'Hara and his family thank everyone for their support and prayers during this time.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Member Of Predators Ownership Gives Back To Florida Amateur Athletics

A multi-purpose facility proposed for Tampa's Westshore Business District is slated to be a center for indoor amateur athletics.
Bob Gries, a former owner of the Tampa Bay Storm and a current member of the Orlando Predators ownership group, has agreed to raise $20 million and to donate a portion of the amount.
The facility has an expected development budget of $20 million to $25 million and annual operating deficit of $200,000 to $250,000.
It will be a community asset that will attract tournament activity and generate hotel room nights, Susan Sieger, president of Crossroads Consulting Services LLC, said at a Hillsborough County Hotel and Motel Association meeting on Thursday.
Crossroads, based in Tampa, led an assessment of the proposed facility.
It is expected to feature 16 volleyball courts or 12 basketball courts and a parking lot with an estimated 1,000 spaces.
This will take 15 to 20 acres to accomplish.
The search for a site is under way.
In a down economy, sports tourism continued to provide a source of hotel room nights, Tampa Bay Business Journal reported in 2010.
While families might have hesitated to spend money on a vacation, they continued to travel for children’s tournaments and other sports activity, TBBJ reported.
Parents still want to do things with their kids, Sieger said, and the facility will help attract this audience.
The Westshore business district has a large number of hotel rooms and easy access to shopping, restaurants and amenities.
“If you look at this district and everything that’s nearby it’s a great package,” Sieger said.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lingerie Football: Reality Check For Lacrosse

By Marty ONeill (writer for IL Indoor)
I have to admit I was caught off guard this past Saturday night. Cruising the TV channels with my limited cable plan, I landed on a tape-delayed Lingerie Football League game between Vancouver’s team, the Angels, and Regina on CHEK-TV, which is a regular feed here in Victoria, B.C. I thought it was a gimmick because of an e-mail forward I received in the past. Secondly, I didn’t know anything about a women’s Lingerie Football League or a Canadian league. I watched with horror for about 10 minutes. The horror wasn’t that it was women playing football in lingerie. The horror was that this was a big time production and everyone was taking this thing seriously, including the gals playing the game. Here I was watching a football game Saturday night prime time and it wasn’t the CFL!
First off, there were people in the stands at the Abbottsford Arena watching, the same arena that would make the most sense for NLL expansion to YVR. Next up, you can tell that the costs to make this league happen took some decent cake. Last, while the action wasn’t great, it was entertaining for a moment and more entertaining than men’s arena football I’ve watched before.
Obviously, it appeals to women for the spectacle of this type of female athleticism and men for reasons that don’t need to be spelled out. This all adds up to more competition for the NLL and other indoor lacrosse leagues and that’s what’s on my mind and really bothering me as I write.
I started to look online for some facts about Lingerie Football. First off, the ladies play for free or part of the gate (after expenses). The franchises start at about $1.5 million, I read, much less than the NLL and I’m betting the Canadian franchises were much less. They have about 12 USA-based teams across the country and 4 in Canada, now in a satellite league.
They have had MTV2 cable coverage the last two years in America and they have travelled to play exhibitions in Mexico twice and Australia. In short, they aren’t the rollergals, they have a lot going on and seem to be building speed.
All this sweaty female action spells more trouble for the NLL. This LFL has a leg up on the pro lacrosse because it has no overhead for payroll and they are gaining exposure quickly with cable TV contracts and lots of interest in their brand of football and the girls behind the scenes.
Instead of the NLL pumping out the storyline of “regular Joe” during the week and professional lacrosse player on the weekend, Lingerie Football can take that a step further and say these regular Janes play for the love of the game and a few bumps and bruises but no cash. When you consider the wide appeal of the sport of football across this continent, you can see where I’m troubled by this newest competition of entertainment for our beloved sport of indoor lacrosse.
The LFL has ripped another page from the NLL handbook by having the players do meet and greets with the fans right after the game for autographs and the like. The games are on weekends and should be wrapped in less than two hours, another NLL strategy. They play music during games and have cool in arena props and such to go with flashy uniforms. The big difference is the sex appeal and who it’s directed at. Research turned up ticket prices in Regina that go for $75.00 on the sides, $37.50 for upper level sides and $16.50 for end zones. So you can get in the building for a reasonable amount if you’re a lookielue and you’ll have to spend to get up close or bring binoculars.
Minnesota, Seattle and Philadelphia have competition from the USA side and Toronto in Canada. While the first games don’t dictate attendance good or bad, for long term I will be checking these markets to see what the attendance draw is and if it surpasses the NLL teams in those markets.
This is an ego check for all of us involved in lacrosse. I have been saying all along that indoor lacrosse is entertainment and that we can’t take ourselves too seriously, yet. Marketing has to get aggressive now and we need to expose more of the aspects of the top levels of lacrosse to draw in interest from outside our regular fan base.
Later this week, the Mann Cup will start to unfold in Peterborough, Ontario, and in about 7 to 10 days it will be over. I predict the good people of the CLA and the OLA will miss yet another chance to get our national summer sport covered on a hockey starved “sports only” television network here in Canada and the Mann Cup will once again be a who-done-it for 90% of Canada.
At least I know I can catch a good Lingerie Football game in my own living room this coming Saturday night.

Collin County's IFL Team Announces Former NFL Star & State Representative As Part Of New Ownership

In a press conference at Dick's Sporting Goods in Allen today, Championship Sports Group announced the formation of a new partnership group that will own and operate the Indoor Football League team that plays at the Allen Event Center. Lead by former IFL commissioner and 21 year professional sports management veteran Tommy Benizio, he and Chairman/CFO Paul Williams have recruited the top staff in the league and are in the processes of filling out the team’s new ownership group with the likes of former NFL star Tim Brown, and State Representative Ken Paxton. In addition, officials announced a "Name YOUR Team" contest in which fans are encouraged to submit suggestions as to what the team's new name and colors should be. Finally, the teams first step towards filling out a championship caliber roster was unveiled in the signing of Wranglers star defensive back Frankie Solomon Jr. from Dallas, who lead the Wranglers defense during the 2012 season and earned a spot on the 1st Team All-IFL.
Through efforts spearheaded by team Chairman and CFO, Paul Williams, the Texas corporation, Championship Sports Group, Inc. was formed over recent months. Williams serves as the CEO of both Bison Financial Group of Frisco, and Halo Companies of Allen and earned the honor of Dallas Business Journal's CEO of the year in 2010. "I quickly recognized the quality of this project and wanted to be involved", explained Williams, "The football product at the Allen Event Center is amazing and I am looking forward to helping our team grow roots for many seasons to come". He and Benizio, along with partners Barney Welch, and Charlie Hildbold have since added Dallas native Tim Brown as the team’s General Manager and as a partner in the business. Brown performed to great acclaim as a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team earning himself the 1987 Heisman Trophy before entering the NFL where he played 17 seasons, primarily in an Oakland Raiders uniform. Tim was a runner up for the NFL Hall of Fame in both 2011 and 2012. His duties as GM will include assisting in building partnerships with local businesses and in management of the team’s football operations. "I am thrilled to be involved with this team and to be serving the football fans of Collin County", stated Brown, "Keeping my hand in professional football has been a goal of mine for some time and I am excited to be doing so with this team." Additionally, area attorney and State Representative Ken Paxton has joined the ownership group in addition to his duties in serving as the team's general council. Paxton is a hopeful in the upcoming election for State Senator. Meetings are on-going with several interested local business people in efforts to fill out the ownership team. Paxton is in Austin today at the Governors office and Brown is participating in the NFL's season kick-off game in New York but both plan to participate in the teams next press conference on Wednesday, September 19th.
"Name YOUR Team" Contest: In partnership with both Dick's Sporting Goods in Allen and Frisco, and Star Media Local Papers, CSG is seeking a new team name. "We exist to contribute something special to the community. It truly is their team so we felt strongly that it should be named by the community.", explained Benizio. Group Publisher Roger Will of Star Local Media has the papers in Allen, McKinney, Plano, Frisco, Little Elm, and Salina all running team ads this week that feature entry ballots where fans and members of the community can write their suggestions for the new team name and colors and can bring these into the Dick's Sporting Goods in Allen or Frisco where 8-foot tall team displays are located and serving as entry boxes. Entries will be accepted between today and Sunday, September 16th. Officials are planning to unveil the team name on Wednesday, September 19th at a location to be determined and announced. One lucky fan who makes a suggestion that the team utilizes for the name will win $5,000 cash! Name suggestions can also be submitted at
Frankie Solomon Jr.: The final announcement of the day focuses on star defensive back Frankie Solomon Jr. joining the team after a remarkable year as an Allen Wrangler in 2012. With Benizio still leading the charge to select a new Head Coach, the team is relying on Tim Brown to gain momentum in the signing of players. Brown noted, "Frankie was a natural choice to start the building of our roster. He has remarkable talent, great character, and strong local ties. We look forward to continue building a roster around him over the coming months". In 2012, Solomon recorded 115 total tackles and earned the Wranglers 123 yards on his 7 interceptions including bringing two of them back for touchdowns. "Dallas is my home and I am very proud to be part of such exciting times for the city's indoor football team", stated Solomon, "While I remain inspired to seek out a job at the next level of professional football, I am eager to continue my career in Allen if I remain in the IFL." Frankie's photograph is featured on all elements of the "Name YOUR Team" contest.

Orlando Predators Name Doug Plank New Head Coach

The Orlando Predators today announced the hiring of two-time Arena Football League Coach of the Year Doug Plank as the team's new head coach and President of Football Operations.
In his first five years as an AFL head coach, Plank has won more games to start his career than any previous coach in AFL history (64-29). He has made two ArenaBowl trips, including leading the American Conference Champion Philadelphia Soul to ArenaBowl XXV in 2012. He was also named AFL's Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2007 when he was with the Georgia Force.
"We are thrilled to have Doug Plank join the Orlando Predators organization," said Predators Managing Partner Brett Bouchy. "With Doug's work ethic and passion for the sport of football, I am confident that he can bring the Predators back to our winning tradition and bring an ArenaBowl title home to Orlando."
In addition, the team announced that AFL Hall of Fame Coach Tim Marcum will join the Predators as the team's Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, marking his 25th year overall coaching in the AFL.
Plank began his coaching career in 2001 as the Arizona Rattlers' defensive coordinator for three seasons, under which the Rattlers made it to three consecutive ArenaBowls. He was hired as head coach of the Georgia Force in 2004, where he led the team to ArenaBowl XIX during his first year with the team, as well as three playoff appearances.
A native of Greensburg, PA, Plank spent eight years as a safety for the NFL's Chicago Bears, where he was the team's first rookie to lead the team in tackles. He was drafted out of Ohio State, where he made three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances under Coach Woody Hayes.
Marcum has been an AFL fixture since the league's inception in 1987, holding a 211-99 career coaching mark, coupled with seven ArenaBowl Championships in the 10 times his teams reached the big game.
"We couldn't be more pleased to welcome Tim to the team," said Bouchy. "He is a legendary coach, and we are confident that he and Doug are going to do great things in Orlando."
Marcum's most recent AFL tour of duty took place in Tampa Bay, where he served as the Storm's head coach from 1995 to 2010. With the Storm, Marcum had a 140-77 regular season record and a 16-10 postseason mark over 15 seasons, winning five of the seven ArenaBowls that he coached in during that span.
His prior stops before settling in with the Storm include stints with the Detriot Drive from 1988 to 1993 and the Denver Dynamite in the League's inaugural 1987 season.
The Snyder, Texas native is a two-time AFL Coach of the Year recipient, winning the award in 1987 and 1998. In 1998, he was also inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame and still stands as the only coach in the League's history to lead three different franchises to ArenaBowl appearances.
Orlando's Arena Football League franchise since 1991, the Orlando Predators are heading into their 22nd year in the AFL. In that time, the Predators have advanced to the AFL Playoffs a league-leading 19 seasons and appeared in the Arena Bowl seven times, winning AFL Championships in 1998 and 2000.

Allen Wranglers To Host Press Conference Regarding Management Team

The Management team of the Allen Wranglers Professional Football team are hosting a press conference this Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM from the Dick's Sporting Goods store located in the Village at Allen shopping center.
Topics to be discussed at the press conference include:
  1.  Update on team  ownership  and continuity of team's Management Staff
  2.  Addition of former NFL Star Tim Brown as well as local attorney and State  
       Representative Ken Paxton to team                      
  3.  Official Launch of the "Name YOUR Team" Contest
  4.  A familiar face commits to be first player for the 2013 season
The Championship Sports Group is a proud member of the Indoor Football League, and will play the 2013 season in the Allen Event Center, with the season kicking off in the beginning of March.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

News From The AFL Rules And Competition Meetings

The Arena Football League’s Rules and Competition Committee wrapped up two extensive days of meetings last Friday evening in Jacksonville, FL.
During the meetings, the committee discussed Ironman football, defensive offside penalties, Jack linebacker out of the box calls, replays, officials and key dates for the 2013 season.
A potential return to Ironman football sparked a major debate. The group discussed the pros and cons of returning to the true Ironman style of play. The AFL transitioned from true Ironman football following the 2006 season. When the AFL introduced free substitution in 2006, Ironman football in the AFL was far more limited. Prior to the change, only one substitution was allowed per quarter.
“We took the Ironman discussion very seriously. We owed it to the history of the League. We owed it to all of the great, former Ironmen players, coaches and fans. There were a lot of good reasons on the table of why we should go back to that style of play. It was a heated discussion,” Chairman of the Rules and Competition Committee and owner of the Jacksonville Sharks Jeff Bouchy said. “I felt like I was the voice in the room for the guys in the past.”
Another major topic included defensive offside penalties. Prior to the 2012 season, new sets of rules were put in place for defensive offside. For the first infraction, a five-yard penalty was assessed. For a second call, a five-yard penalty was enforced and the player was removed for the remainder of the half. In the second half, the first defensive offside penalty would result in the removal of the player for the remainder of the game. This resulted in a 35 percent reduction in defensive offside penalties from 2011 to 2012 while sack numbers remained similar.
“We are working very hard at cleaning up other penalties much like we did with defensive offside rule,” Bouchy said.
During the 2012 season, one of the most prevalent penalties was the Jack out of the box rule. The Committee made suggestions to tighten rules of the Jack linebacker and the possibility of eliminating the Jack out of the box rule.
The replay process was also discussed during the meetings including the accessibility of more cameras and angles for review.  The drop to a five-man officiating team was also considered.
A final decision on the rulings is expected at the Board of Directors Meetings on September 12 and 13 in Phoenix, AZ.
Along with Bouchy, Tampa Bay Storm President Derrick Brooks, Sharks Head Coach Les Moss, Cleveland Gladiators President Scott Woodruff, Iowa Barnstormers General Manager John Pettit, AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz, AFL Director of Football Operations Joe Kleinsmith, AFL Manager of Football Operations Matt Kurz and Pittsburgh Power President Peter Hill were also in attendance.

Continental Indoor Football League Welcomes Kentucky Xtreme

The Kentucky Xtreme will launch its debut season in the Continental Indoor Football League at the Kentucky Exposition Center’s Freedom Hall in February, according to Brent Adams, the team’s assistant coach and director of media relations. It will play four or five home games there during the season, which will wrap up in June.
The Kentucky State Fair Board and Louisville Sports Commission have scheduled a 10 a.m. Wednesday news conference at Freedom Hall to announce a new sports tenant.
Adams declined to say whether the Xtreme will be the tenant introduced at the event but confirmed the team’s plans to play at Freedom Hall. The team’s Web site also identifies Freedom Hall as the team’s home.
This fall, the Xtreme will hold open tryouts for players in Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green, Ky., and Indianapolis, according to Adams.
He said ticket prices have not been determined.
“I hope the fans will come out and support it,” Adams said of the new football team.
Freedom Hall hosted arena football from 2001 to 2008, when the Louisville Fire called the venue home. That team folded after the 2008 season.