Let’s talk about the AFL!

Remember the XFL? LOL.

I remember it so vividly. My husband was hyper-excited with exclamation points for football during the off-season.

And the rules were a bit different. The two I remember were that there was no such thing as a fair catch, meaning, prepare your teeth to fall out Tom and Jerry style if you’re the punt returner, and the rule that you could get any name you wished on your jersey.

Didn’t have to even be a name! Which gave birth to “He Hate Me.”

I think we cared about the XFL for about 30 minutes.

I wonder how long we’re going to care about the new Pittsburgh arena football team Pittsburgh Power, owned by former Steeler Lynn Swann, which has their inaugural game tomorrow night at CONSOL Energy Center. I honestly don’t know. My husband is once again whipping out exclamatory punctuation that he can watch some form of professional football in the spring and summer. I’m just kind of taking a wait and see approach.

From a completely superficial, non-sports blog, don’t really know nothing ’bout nothing standpoint, here’s what I’ve got my eye on with the Pittsburgh Power:

1. The Dance Team.

Known as The Sparks, they put the boobs in slutty. Did I do that right?

Check ’em out.

Also, I’m just kidding about the slutty thing. Don’t send me emails. I understand these girls are trained dancers and not just, you know, bow-chicka-bow dancers.

2. The merchandise.

Pretty decent.


As I think it was @shireman on twitter who pointed out that the Pittsburgh Power, somehow, despite being founded in 2010, already have a throwback shirt.

I’m thinking maybe they don’t know what the word “throwback” means?

Or they think Justin Bieber is a throwback to Justin Timberlake.

3. Tickets range from $15 to $180 each. Not bad. Affordable if you’re just looking for something different to do.

4. The first game against the Philadelphia Soul (DUMB NAME) will be announced by Paul Burmeister and Solomon Wilcots, and broadcast on the NFL Network. I will be watching.

5. I wrote a screenplay a long time ago, set in Pittsburgh, about a national anthem singer. In the opening scene, she is singing the national anthem for Pittsburgh’s at-the-time fictional arena football team, The Pittsburgh Bumblebees. TRUE STORY. LOL. What? They’re black and gold! I gotta dig that story out. It was pretty funny.

6. I never really cared about arena football before, so I took some time to familiarize myself with the rules.

Of import:

7. The team.

  • I don’t recognize a single name. Not a one. Because I never followed college ball. [shrug]
  • The youngest player is 23. The oldest is 33 and he is the kicker.
  • The shortest is a 5’8” wide receiver and the tallest are two 6’6” linemen.
  • The most experienced is former NFL kicker Paul Edinger who spent 8 years pro while the majority of the team are rookies.
  • Quarterback for the opener is Bernard Morris, whose both first and last names would make great butler names.
  • He’ll be backed up by Pine-Richland’s Kevin McCabe, who beat out Penn State’s Anthony Morelli for the job.
  • I write like I know who the eff these people are. I don’t. Just being honest.

8. Weird thing I found on Wiki:

Edinger is known for his unusual “corkscrew” kicking motion: before the snap he faces backwards in the direction of the opposite side of the field. As the ball is snapped he turns as he steps in a circular pattern toward the ball.

Wow. He really does.

YouTube Preview Image

That’s some bizarre-looking circumbilivagination.




  1. Jeremy
    March 10, 2011 12:28 pm

    You have to LOL a little that he missed the kick in that video. Sure it’s a sign of things to come.

    Too bad they couldn’t sign skippy.

  2. Karen
    March 10, 2011 12:32 pm

    I felt the same way about arena football until I actually went to a game on the advice of then player Ray Philyaw in Grand Rapids. It is definately different but we ended up falling in love with the sport. FYI on the dance team? They show up half naked in their uniforms for special need children family fun day. Innappropriate and told them so on the Power FB page where I got ripped a new one by other posters…who were men of course. Go figure.

  3. stephen
    March 10, 2011 12:36 pm

    Arena football is fun, but different. If you want your football with a lot of touchtown passes, this is an enjoyable game. If you are a football purist you will hate it. I happen to love it. Not more than gridiron football, but it’s pretty fun.

    Hopefully they do well. Arena football as a league has struggled and I don’t see any fundamental change in their business model, so we’ll see. Hopefully it gets more TV time.

  4. Robin
    March 10, 2011 12:46 pm

    The Power has a home game on my birthday and I’ve been telling my friends for months that we’re going. Ever since—DROP—my friend Lou Stein did the photo shoot for the Sparks for that first image up there.

  5. L-A
    March 10, 2011 12:51 pm

    I stopped reading after you called the girls slutty. My cousin is one of the dancers. Kinda not cool, V. First time I’ve been sorta sad at you.

  6. L-A
    March 10, 2011 12:54 pm

    i know you’re just kidding, but she’s just a kid. and she really has been dancing her whole life. ugh. i’m done now and over it.

  7. Virginia
    March 10, 2011 1:00 pm

    Probably you should have kept reading to get to the line RIGHT AFTER the picture.

  8. Nicki
    March 10, 2011 1:04 pm

    If you are into football and need to see it in the spring, there are two women football teams that play in the burgh. The Pittsburgh Passion and the Pittsburgh Force. They follow a combination of NFL and college football rules but are full-contact, tackle football teams. The Passion play their home games at Cupples Stadium in the south side, and their season runs from April-June. Tickets are pretty cheap and they are very family friendly. :)

  9. Butcher's Dog
    March 10, 2011 1:05 pm

    So the Sparks dress the way most everyone expected the Pens Ice Crew would dress, eh? And they don’t even have to skate. Just an observation.

    Went to an Arena game in Cleveland one time. Got there about a half-hour before kickoff and parked di-rectly in front of the arena. Bought choice seats a couple of rows from the field. It was the Cleveland Thunder, I think, and about once every five minutes or so the PA announcer bellowed, “Feel the Thunnnnnderrrrr!” Whole experience was a lot like a colonoscopy in that I was glad I did it and wasn’t looking forward to doing it again any time soon.

  10. JenEngland
    March 10, 2011 1:18 pm

    That publicity shot undermines any credibility they have as trained professional dancers and makes them look like “Dancers” of the exotic variety. For heaven’s sake, sexy isn’t only or always about looking like a toy….Sorry. I’m grumpy. It just seems unnecessary to put them in stripper clothes and poses. They might as well have just put a pole in the picture.

  11. Tracy
    March 10, 2011 1:44 pm

    My husband and I purchased season tickets for the Power and I am so excited for it to start. First of all, the tickets are cheap and arena football is fun!!! (We had season tickets to the Columbus Destroyers when living there) And hey, look at the bright side…they really can’t be any worse than the Pirates are.

    BTW, Jon Bon Jovi owns the Philadelphia Soul. Name makes sense now, doesn’t it.

  12. Kathy
    March 10, 2011 1:44 pm

    Arena Football is trailer trash white people sport at it’s finest. Seriously, some friends helped me move and I said I’d take them to the sporting event of their choice. One wanted to see the San Jose Sabercats.

    Rowdy fan section?

    The litter box.

    And in front of us, the whole time, was this 60 something year old woman in TIGHT white pants who would make love to the aisle bar every time they played the roaring cat music. She’d grab that poll like it was a life line and writhe around, flipping her hair.

    It was a hilariously fun time. Thogh the warm budweiser tasted like piss. Or, since I don’t actually know what piss tastes like, it tasted like that taste you get in your mouth when you walk my an area where someone has…

  13. Magnus Patris
    March 10, 2011 1:45 pm

    The Sparks must have a case of psoriasis or dandruff or something. It seems like half of them couldn’t stop scratching their heads in those pictures. Maybe they, like Troyseus, will get a gig with “Head & Shoulders”.

  14. Dave
    March 10, 2011 1:49 pm

    Kathy, you’re a snob.
    I find it funny that you are calling the whole sport trailer trash when you’ve been to one game in one city.
    Also find it funny that you have the nerve to be calling anyone/thing trailer trash when you can’t even spell.

  15. Karen
    March 10, 2011 1:58 pm

    Agree Dave…harsh much Kathy?
    And Tracy? Also saw a couple games in Columbus and loved my experience there also! Sadly, my Grand Rapids Rampage are no longer in the league which is why I was so excited to see arena football come to Pittsburgh!

  16. Greg
    March 10, 2011 2:05 pm

    I might go to a game just to see the dancers. ;)

  17. Moxie Bestos
    March 10, 2011 2:05 pm

    Why do these dance teams and ice crews and other similar cheering groups discriminate against girls with curly hair? Have you ever seen a young lady whose hair wasn’t ironed straight? And don’t tell me that the girl in the center, whose hair I covet, is curly-haired. Those are waves – beautiful waves, mind you – not curls.

  18. bucdaddy
    March 10, 2011 2:15 pm

    Meh, I only see two of what I would term “racks” on display there. The team shot is actually pretty demure as those things go. Conclusion: If you want to see football, there are far better places to see football than in an arena. And if you want to see hot chicks, there are far better places to see hot chicks than an arena.

    I can’t imagine the head injury risk of the game is lessened by having the sideline boards to run into or fall over, not to mention the inevitable highlight-reel collisions from the no-fair-catch policy. I think football in all its forms is right now about where the tobacco industry was in the 1970s, starting having their public “Come to Jesus” moment while privately wondering how they can continue to sell the same thing to the same suckers.

  19. Monty
    March 10, 2011 2:19 pm

    Look, if we can get one local hero out of this on par with Stan Terlicki or Paul Child from the Spirit, it will be a success.

    I personally like the Sparks, but I have to point out there is one very odd hand placement in the team photo that is throwing me off a little.

  20. bucdaddy
    March 10, 2011 2:24 pm

    Football is weird. They play inside on beautiful spring nights and outside in the middle of January.*

    *–Although I admit, I’m only interested in the game when they play in snowstorms. When I’m King of the World, football season starts in November and ends in March, and games MUST be convened spontaneously any time there’s more than two inches on the ground.

  21. Nicki
    March 10, 2011 2:29 pm

    Wanna see women’s football outside on beautiful spring nights? http://www.pittsburghpassion.com

  22. Julie
    March 10, 2011 2:34 pm

    If you look around, all young girls have straight long hair with no bangs. Go to the mall, you’ll be hard pressed to see a teenage girl without long (past the shoulder) straight hair with no bangs.

  23. Bill From Hanover
    March 10, 2011 3:01 pm

    Lynn Swann owns the team !

    We need to show some love and support for a new Black-N-Gold Team in the Burgh.

    Here we go Pittsburgh …… Let’s get us a Championship …

    Pirates ….. HAHHAHA, this will sure beat having to watch a Pirate Game !

  24. dave
    March 10, 2011 3:32 pm

    I guess you were not here when the Gladiators played. They used to hold their practices in Schenley Park.

    Their coach punched out the commish on the field. http://is.gd/cDiBJR

    Useless fact: The Soul’s coach is the former QB for the Gladiators.

  25. Butcher's Dog
    March 10, 2011 4:14 pm

    Who ever sees a young girl, at the mall or anywhere else, with her head upright to tell how long her hair is? They’re always looking down at the ubiquitous cell/smart phone. I think they might get kicked out of the union if they don’t do that.

    And bucdaddy’s right (duh): the team photo seems rather tame.

  26. #1 WI Steeler Fan
    March 10, 2011 4:28 pm

    If I lived in the Burgh, I would definitely go to that opening game- maybe catch of the Philly owner- Jon Bon Jovi- that would be worth the price of admission itself.

  27. bucdaddy
    March 10, 2011 5:30 pm

    I don’t usually notice stuff like this or care, but at the risk of starting a RAAAAAAACE WAAAAAAR: No women of color on the squad? Seriously? In 2011?

  28. Beth
    March 10, 2011 6:26 pm

    I think they’re confusing “throwback” with “distressed”.

  29. Jen
    March 10, 2011 7:00 pm

    I don’t think the dancers’ outfits are any worse than the ones NFL cheerleaders wear. Have you seen that Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader audition show? They devote a whole episode to costume fittings, which pretty much comes down to lengthy deliberations on cleavage clamping and hot pants hemlines.

    However, I think the Sparks costumer missed a golden opportunity to deck them all out in Flashdance attire. You know.. leotards, leg warmers, cut-off sweatshirts, etc. They could all get perms and tease them up 80’s style. It would be epic Pittsburgh.

  30. windy city steel city
    March 10, 2011 7:21 pm

    it’s so nice to see some ethnic diversity on the Sparks. it’s a veritable cornucopia of cultural balance. [Flashdance! right on Jen #29]

  31. windy city steel city
    March 10, 2011 7:23 pm

    and right on bucdaddy #27

  32. bucdaddy
    March 10, 2011 7:34 pm

    Nice sarcasm, windy @30, but there IS diversity there. It’s almost a 50-50 split between your blondes and your col … um, your nonblondes.

  33. Akirah
    March 10, 2011 8:18 pm

    I wish some of the dancers were women of color. I love dancing, but I doubt I’d be qualified. I’m not trained or anything. But I always thought something like that would be fun. And I’d get to represent women of color!

  34. Tracey
    March 10, 2011 8:34 pm

    Thank god for Dave’s comment…because I was starting to think I was imagining that Pittsburgh had aready had and lost an Arena Football team. All this talk of the Power and not once have I heard anyone talk about the Gladiators. Heck – ArenaBowl I was played in Pittsburgh…and if memory serves I was in attendance. LOL

  35. Megs
    March 10, 2011 9:23 pm

    We’re looking forward to going to a game. Its the only way we can afford to take our family to see live football in a great arena (as opposed to the school games). We hope they’re as much fun as the Wild Things :)

  36. LeeInIrwin
    March 10, 2011 11:33 pm

    I see the Spark with the biggest rack gets the biggest picture in the center of the poster…very subtle….

  37. pac-man
    March 11, 2011 11:06 am

    just a thought… maybe those were the 15 best dancers that tried out???

    also, the logo and name is ASS! i almost feel bad. all the creativity and great graphic designers in the region alone, and THAT’S what you come up with?!?! WEAK! i’m mean… WEAK!!!

    “they really can’t be any worse than the Pirates are” <— yeah they can

    "this will sure beat having to watch a Pirate Game" <— right, because they'll be playing other superstars in the league? negative…

    honestly, arena football is fun to watch and i hope it gets support! will definitely be checking out a few games. and again, that logo, uniform set, and the name is ASS…

  38. JennyMoon
    March 11, 2011 3:15 pm

    professional dancers you say? boob overflowing halter tops. That’s called professional? Nope I call that getting guys to the games.

  39. Pittsburgh Tom
    March 12, 2011 2:50 am

    I actually went to a pittsburgh gladiators game a long time ago. Remember it as being great live but boring on tv. So as soon as I heard about the power,I signed up for tickets. My seats are fifth row, just a few feet from Lynn Swann and the other owners.

  40. empirechick
    March 12, 2011 6:34 pm

    Right on, JennyMoon – just like the Ice Crew at Pens games. Yeah, they can skate, but the key is the pants that look like their thong is sticking out. Put the guys on the Crew in tank tops instead of oversized jerseys (assuming they’re as built as the girls) and I’ll call it even.

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  43. Bigdaddyjobba
    May 28, 2011 1:53 am

    Remember the XFL? It was 10 years ago this league made it’s debut. You either loved the rough play or hated all of it.

    The most famous player though was the man everyone wanted to hate because that’s the name he gave himself.

    Former XFL Las Vegas Outlaw running back Rod Smart aka “He Hate me” was one of the most popular personalities in the entire league.

    The football player NOW wanna be turned actor was definitely “smart” enough to get his name out there and get noticed.

    There are some games on youtube you can watch for yourself. He was an exciting player to say the least.