Written By Chris Mabry
With a few weeks until the 2022 Championships Indoor Football season getting started, the CIF has launched a new app.
The CIF Network app is now be available on Amazon Mobile, Amazon FireTV and a web application. There will be more apps and streaming services coming soon.
Since the league started their first season back in 2015 games were streamed on the CIF YouTube Chanel.
The first game of the 2022 season will kickoff this Sunday between the Arlington Longhorns and the Southwest Kansas Storm. The game starts at 2:00pm central time, 12:00pm pacific time on the CIF Network app for free.
Written by Chris Mabry
As we are weeks away from the start of the 2022 Indoor Football League season, the IFL has announced that they have removed the Spokane Shock from the league due to lack of Payment.
In a press release by the league, the IFL said "Due to multiple issues in the Spokane market, including a dispute with the arena, the IFL board of directors have terminated the Spokane Shock effective immediately.
“This is not an ideal situation to say the least; you never want to see a member going through issues in such a public way. We felt it was necessary to move on from the Spokane market and adjust our schedule accordingly.” said IFL Commissioner Todd Tryon. “We have so many positive things we are experiencing in our league and as unfortunate as this situation is, we will get better as we move forward.”
Going forward, the 2022 IFL season will feature 14 teams divided into two conferences (7 in each).
East Conference: Bismarck Bucks, Green Bay Blizzard, Frisco Fighters, Iowa Barnstormers, Massachusetts Pirates, and Quad City Steamwheelers
West Conference: Arizona Rattlers, Bay Area Panthers, Duke City Gladiators, Northern Arizona Wranglers, San Diego Strike Force, Tucson Sugar Skulls, and Vegas Knight Hawks.
The teams will play a 19-week regular season with the top four teams in each conference (eight total) will make the playoffs.
To see the complete revised 2022 schedule Click Here!
The season kicksoff March 12 2022 when the Pirates take on the Fighters.
.As many fans know, the world of arena/indoor football can be an unpredictable carousel of changes. Teams come and go, switching leagues, changing logos, uniforms, venues. Some pop up for a season and fold--while others don't make it through a full season.
With that said, there are some burning questions about a few teams in particular, that I'm dying to learn about.
# 1 - Delaware Bull Sharks
At one time, they had announced on social media that the Delaware Bull Sharks were preparing to play in the AAL for 2021. Covid affected a lot of things, but if their social media is any indication, they have no intention of ever coming back from it. I hope I'm wrong. It would be great to have a professional team out of the colony of Delaware.
# 2 - Music City Fire
This team seemed to be legit after they played the only AAL game of 2020, before everything shut down. The expansion team traveled to Muskegon and shocked the arena world, upsetting the West Michigan Ironmen 47-37! There was excitement in Nashville and abroad for what this team would bring going forward. Then....Covid, then........crickets. They had a few Facebook posts prior to '21 as if they'd play another season in the AAL but didn't play at all. Who knows what became of them?
# 3 - New York Streets
The New York Streets played the 2019 season in the National Arena League. They didn't have ideal conditions, by any means: a shorter field, a crook stealing Carolina Cobra player belongings at halftime. They played in a city where there are too many other options for entertainment, and to say they averaged 500 fans a game would be generous. They managed a 4-12 season, and though owner Corey Galloway intended for the team to be around for a long time, perhaps the expense of operating became a deterrent, and the team vanished.
# 4 - Cedar Rapids River Kings
Cedar Rapids started play in 2012 under the name of "Titans". They had ups-and-downs, and great success at times. In 2018 the team was put up for sale and California-based businessman Roy Choi purchased the team with intentions of keeping them in Cedar Rapids. They rebranded to the River Kings, but lost 14 of their last 15 games. After the covid shutdown killed their momentum and Roy Choi's casinos were closed, his revenue wasn't sufficient to float his 3 teams. It appears that Cedar Rapids was the victim considering his other two teams are California-based like he is. However, no one from the River Kings organization made any kind of an announcement as to what happened.
HOWEVER, the helmets, uniforms, and trademark are out there somewhere. If anyone knows who owns them, please reach out to me. I want to see about buying the assets and trademark and bringing the team back!
# 5 - Fargo Falcons
Throughout 2019 and parts of 2020, there were many social media posts from the Fargo Falcons about possibly joining a league. Their intentions seemed to play an independent schedule to start out in Fargo, building a fan base and brand, and thus have greater value to the leagues. Their last post was November of 2020 when they announced their independent schedule had been cancelled. It had been their second or third schedule they cancelled and perhaps got discouraged with how hard it is to field a team. I await with eager anticipation to hear from them again, but they appear to be dead birds at this point. Y'all tell me it ain't so!!!
# 6 - Jersey Flight
The team appeared to be doing well when they joined the National Arena League for the '21 season. They played well at times, finishing with the same record as Jacksonville Sharks. Well, 2-6 isn't saying much, but were in the playoff hunt in their last game. They had roughly 200 fans a game, if even that. They hadn't agreed to play in NAL for '22 and were soon after announced as a member of the newly-formed Arena Professional Football League (APFL). However, the league threw us fans a screw ball when they released the schedule and the Flight were nowhere to be seen. The Jersey Ballaz were present on the schedule, but after personally calling the Jersey Flight, they've confirmed that the Flight aren't playing and they didn't rebrand. The Ballaz is someone new. But what has become of the Flight and will they ever come back?
# 7 - Louisville Xtreme
Most owners have learned the hard way that you don't make money fielding a professional arena team; you lose it. Those who have grown comfortable with that idea, have found ways to minimize their losses and come back year after year. The Louisville Xtreme came out of nowhere, and were scheduled to play in the AAL in 2020, but Covid. Then, they were going to play in NAL in 2021, but no LOC. They joined the IFL, rented the KFC Yum Center for around 30K a game, and couldn't get enough fans to come make up the difference. As a result, Game 6 on their schedule was postponed before the IFL ended their partnership with them mid-season. Did they lose too much money that they just gave up trying in another league somewhere? Who has heard of them since?
# 8 - Colorado Stampede
Before the start of the 2021 season, a team called the Colorado Stampede started posting on social media that they would play professionally in '22. Some people asked when they'd announce a league and venue. They replied "Keep rounding them up! Announcement coming along with season ticket information!" That was May of 2021. They haven't posted since and those I've talked to are as clueless as I am, as to what their doing.
# 9 - Colorado Team (CIF)
It was announced in '21 that the CIF would have a team from Colorado playing in the league in '22. The team kept fans very involved in letting them vote for the team name. In early September, the Denver Dynamite seemed to have the most votes from what the fans could tell. The team planned to announce the team name at a special event, but the CIF suddenly released their '22 schedule and the Colorado team wasn't listed. One source confirms that the person that was going to fund the team pulled out the funding, making it a pipe dream for them to play. Will this Colorado team ever see the field? One can hope, right!?
# 10 - Ontario Bandits
Scheduled to play in the NAL for 2021, the team was signing players and seemed rich enough to travel to the East Coast for all of their road games. When it came close to the season, things weren't ready to proceed and they went dormant for '21, a week before the season started. The NAL maintained hope that Ontario would get things organized enough to join the league later, but they never made it on the schedule for '22--casting doubt that they ever will. It's puzzling that a team that seems to have the money hasn't made it on the field yet. Whatever happened to them?
While this may seem like a complaint, I mean for it to be a statement of gratitude. Seeing how difficult it is to even field a team, and the subsequent expenses that follow, I'm extremely grateful for the teams that come back year-after-year and give us fans some high-octane smash-mouth Spring football to enjoy. Thank you, especially to the owners that know they'll lose time and money by having their team play for our enjoyment. I only hope they get enjoyment, too!
Written by Ducon Williams
Have you ever rode on a roller coaster? The ups-and-downs, curves, turns, side-to-side, whiplash inducing effects can leave one reeling, frightened, or. . .exhilarated! Being an adult male, I'm not really in tune with my feelings to let you know what I think about it. However, watching this roller-coaster of an offseason in professional arena/indoor football has been nothing short of entertaining. I've laughed; I've cried; was frustrated, angry, elated, joyful, and everything in between. Having this many emotions in such a short amount of time, has made me question if men are capable of having periods. The theatrics and suspense of this frustrating offseason leaves me to say one thing to the fans: "Get yer popcorn ready!"
From the photo above, you'll see 3 champions from a year ago, 3 expansion teams, two that have been removed from a previous league, and a slew of teams that couldn't finish a season a year ago. Here's a quick sum up of some of the offseason moves:
American Arena League sells to Jersey Bearcats owners AJ Roque and Jermaine Sanders. Of the 13 AAL teams that played in 2021, only one is still in the AAL. The Jersey Bearcats. AAL Champion North Texas Bulls joined a new regional league called the Arena Football Association (AFA), which includes another champion in the West Texas Warbirds. Joining the 6-team league are the Amarillo Venom, Texas Jets, Rio Grande Valley Dorados, and Magnolia State Spartans.
Arguably the AAL's best team last year, the Charlotte Thunder started their own league, called the Arena Professional Football League. AAL teams West Michigan Ironmen and Pennsylvania Union have joined them as well as the Carolina Cowboyz, and the previous National Arena League partner, the Jersey Flight.
The Tampa Bay Tornados rebranded to the Cyclones and started the American Indoor Football Alliance. Mississippi Raiders joined along with the Carolina Predators, the Las Vegas Kings, and the St. Charles Bandits (previously St. Louis).
Out West, in the American West Football Conference, the Yakima Canines were removed from the schedule and replaced by the travel team, the Washington Elite. Champion Tri-City Rush returns and will hold matchups versus the Idaho Horsemen, Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks, Oregon High Desert Storm, and the expansion SoCal Red Tails, in addition to the Elite.
Two leagues with 6 teams, and two leagues with 5 teams. One has to wonder what will become of the Wichita Force, since they've been removed from the Champions Indoor Football (CIF) league. My speculation? They join the AFA, who has two other CIF escapees. Relatability has a curious power.
Early predictions? Stay tuned. First game out of the gate will have the Arlington Longhorns visiting the SouthWest Kansas Storm on February 27, 2022!
by Ducon Williams