100 ArenaFan Articles...and Counting
by Randy Snow
Originally posted on ArenaFan.com, Monday, November 19, 2007
The game of Arena Football has been a big part of my life the past several years. Going to games with my kids has been a great way for us to spend time together and becoming an ArenaFan columnist was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I attended my first Arena Football League game in Grand Rapids back in 2000 and I loved the experience so much after just one game that I became a season ticket holder of the Rampage in 2001. (That was the year that Grand Rapids won ArenaBowl XV)
I began covering the Rampage for ArenaFan in 2003 and this is my 100th article for the web site. I had known about ArenaFan.com for quite some time and found it to be a great place to get the latest news from around the League. In December of 2002, I saw that the web site was looking for someone to cover the Rampage and I thought it sounded like fun. So I sent them an e-mail, along with some samples of my writing, and was accepted as a columnist. My first article appeared on this web site in January of 2003.
Over the last five years I have met and interviewed many great players, coaches and fans, as well as a number of team and League officials from all around the AFL and arenafootball2.
I have had such a great time that I want others to have the same experience as well. That’s why I would like to encourage anyone who likes to write and who loves Arena Football to contact the staff at ArenaFan.com and ask about becoming a team columnist for next season.
Does your local AFL or af2 team have an ArenaFan columnist? If not, maybe you are just the person who can fill the position? A number of teams in both leagues do not currently have ArenaFan columnists and every Arena team deserves to have someone covering them on this web site. Is your city in line to get an Arena or af2 expansion team next year? If so, this would be a great opportunity for you to get in on the ground floor with the new team.
The benefits of being an ArenaFan columnist include; access to players and coaches that the average fan does not have, as well as helping the team get additional national exposure. However, there are also a few drawbacks. The biggest one is not being able to scream and holler for your hometown team while sitting in the press box!
My love for the game has taken me beyond just covering the team in Grand Rapids and has taken me to destinations throughout the Midwest. I also began attending and covering af2 games, which has provided many more opportunities to meet people and to write articles for ArenaFan.
In 2003, my two oldest sons and I went to our first af2 game. It was at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky where we saw the Louisville Fire take on the Quad City Steamwheelers. In 2004, we traveled to Wisconsin and attended a Green Bay Blizzard-San Diego Riptide game at the Resch Center in Green Bay. In 2006, we went to Moline, Illinois for a Quad City Steamwheelers game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers at The Mark of the Quad Cities. I did articles for ArenaFan on those last two games in the form of ArenaFan Travelogues, describing not only the games, but our trips there and back as well. I even attended an Arizona Rattlers-Detroit Fury game in Phoenix in 2003 while I was on vacation.
This past season, I also covered five regular season games (and an exhibition game) of the expansion Fort Wayne Fusion of arenafootball2. Covering two Arena teams was made possible because I live about halfway between Grand Rapids and Fort Wayne. At the Fusion games I got to meet “Touchdown” Eddie Brown, who, in 2006, was voted the greatest player in Arena Football League history. Brown was the Fusion’s head coach this past season. I also got to meet several fans of the former AFL Indiana Firebirds, who made the trip up to Fort Wayne from Indianapolis to see Brown coach his new team. Brown played for the Indiana Firebirds from 2001-2003. Unfortunately, the Fusion are not returning to the af2 next year, so I’m glad I got the chance to cover the team last season.
I have witnessed many changes in the AFL since I began writing for ArenaFan in 2003. I have seen five expansion teams added to the League and another five teams fold. Three teams have moved to new cities and one team has left the AFL to become a member of the arenafootball2 developmental league in 2008. But one thing has remained constant over the years and that is the passion that fans all around the country have shown for the game of Arena Football.
But covering AFL and af2 games for ArenaFan is only part of the job. There are many stories going on all year long that fans would like to know about like tryouts, player signings and coaching changes just to name a few. There is always something going on in the League, even during the off-season.
Writing for ArenaFan has brought me in contact with countless people that I never would have met otherwise and I am grateful for the doors that it has opened for me. I want to thank everyone at ArenaFan.com for giving me the opportunity to cover the great game of Arena Football over the past five years. I can’t wait to see what the 2008 season has in store.