Who Is This Guy?
What do I now about The World of Football? Plenty. I have traveled quite a bit over the years and I've experienced many aspects of the football world first hand.
I saw my first NFL game in 1975 at the age of 16 when my brother took me to a Detroit Lions game. The Lions defeated the Green Bay Packers that day, 13-10. It was the first season that the Lions played in the Pontiac Silverdome.
I played high school football in 1976 at Maple Valley High School in Vermontville, Michigan. At 115 pounds, I was the third string offensive center for the MV Lions. I was terrible as a player, but I was, and always have been, a huge fan of the game.
In 1983, I attended my first United States Football League (USFL) game, also at the Pontiac Silverdome. The Michigan Panthers defeated the Chicago Blitz 17-12. In 1985 I flew out to Arizona from Michigan to see Doug Flutie and the New Jersey Generals play Doug Williams and the Arizona Outlaws. Arizona won the game, 31-13. (I was young and single at the time and could afford to do crazy stuff like that)
I went to my first Canadian Football League game in Toronto in 1994, again to see Doug Flutie play. This time he was playing for the visiting Calgary Stampeders. Calgary beat the Toronto Argonauts, 52-3 at the SkyDome.
In 2000, I attended my first Arena Football League game. The Grand Rapids Rampage lost to the visiting Tampa Bay Storm 74-54, but I had such a great time that night that I was hooked on the game. I became a Rampage season ticket holder the very next season.
In 2003, I began covering the Rampage for the web site, ArenaFan.com. I also attended my first National Indoor Football League game and my first arenafootball2 game that year. The NIFL game was in Fort Wayne, Indiana between the Fort Wayne Freedom and the visiting Tennessee Riverhawks. The af2 game was in Kentucky between the Louisville Fire and the Quad City Steamwheelers at Freedom Hall.
Also in 2003, I got to see Doug Flutie play in person yet again. This time he was the starting quarterback of the San Diego Chargers in a game at Ford Field against the Detroit Lions. San Diego won the game, 14-7.
In 2005, I added two more indoor leagues to the list of games that I attended, the Atlantic Indoor Football League and United Indoor Football. The Fort Wayne Freedom had jumped to the UIF when I saw them for the second time and I also took in an AIFL game in Ohio between the Canton Legends and the visiting Johnstown Riverhawks.
In 2006, I covered the Battle Creek Crunch of the Great Lakes Indoor Football League for the web site, OurSportsCentral.com. In 2007 and 2008 I covered the Kalamazoo Xplosion of the Continental Indoor Football League (formerly the GLIFL). I also covered the Fort Wayne Fusion of arenafootball2 in 2007, the Fort Wayne Freedom of the CIFL in 2008 and 2009 and the Fort Wayne Firehawks in 2010.
Along the way I have also attended countless pee-wee, high school, college and even Women's football games.
I have also written articles for AmericanChronicle.com (2006-2011) and Yahoo! Voices (2011-2014). I was a member of the Arena Football League Writer's Association from 2005-2008 and 2010 and have been a member of the Professional Football Researcher's Association since 2010. In order to combine my love of football with my love for the military, I ran Operation Gridiron Airlift from 2008-2010, which accepted donations of new and used footballs and sent them to U.S. troops serving overseas.
Welcome to my world, The World of Football.
TOP - Maple Valley High School, Vermontville, Mi, 1976
BOTTOM - Detroit Lions Training Camp, 1999
I spent over 21 years in the Michigan Air National Guard, deploying once to Panama in 1985 and three times to Italy between 1994 and 1997 in support of Operation Deny Flight. I was an Aircraft Weapons System Mechanic for 16 years, 10 years on the A-37 Dragonfly and six years on the A-10 Thunderbolt II. After that, I spent three years as a Deployment Specialist and during the last two years of my military career I was a Public Affairs Specialist / Editor of the base newspaper. I retired from the military in 2002 at the rank of Master Sergeant.
In 1992 I designed the squadron emblem (above) for the 110th Aircraft Generation Squadron at the base and had it officially approved by the Air Force Institute of Heraldry. It was made into a subdued-colored patch and worn on the uniforms of everyone in the squadron, including me.
(Left) Post-flight on an A-37, 1985. (Right) Aviano Air Base in Northern Italy with the A-10, December 1994
2009 - 2012
For four years, I was a member of the Stats Crew for the JV and Varsity football teams at Galesburg-Augusta High School in Galesburg, Michigan.
2009 G-A Football Stat Crew - (L-R) Colin, me and Chris
My Football Travels
The only NFL teams that I HAVE NOT seen in person yet;
Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers
Major College Football teams that I have seen in person;
Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Indiana Hoosiers, Purdue Boilermakers, Illinois Fighting Illini, Wisconsin Badgers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Boston College Eagles, Navy Midshipmen, Army Black Knights, Memphis Tigers, Hawaii Warriors, Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, Western Michigan Broncos, Central Michigan Chippewas, Eastern Michigan Eagles, Akron Zips, Ball State Cardinals, Miami (Ohio) Redhawks, Northern Illinois Huskies, Toledo Rockets, Temple Owls, Ohio Bobcats, Marshall Thundering Herd, Air Force Fighting Falcons, University of Connecticut Huskies, University of Massachusetts Minutemen, Kent State Golden Flashes, Buffalo Bulls, Utah Utes, Syracuse Orange
Motor City Bowl (2005, 2006, 2007), Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (2009, 2011), Cotton Bowl (2017)
Other College teams;
(FCS/Div I-AA) - Youngstown State Penguins, Central Connecticut State Blue Devils, Hofstra Pride, Campbell Fighting Camels, UNC Charlotte 49ers, Delaware State Hornets
(Div II) - Grand Valley State Lakers, Ohio Dominican Panthers
(Div III) - Olivet College Comets, Kalamazoo College Hornets
(NAIA) - St. Francis Cougars, Northwestern (Iowa) Red Raiders
Canadian Football League (CFL) teams that I have seen in person;
Toronto Argonauts, Calgary Stampeders, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton Eskimos, Montreal Alouettes, British Columbia Lions, Ottawa RedBlacks, Las Vegas Posse (CFL-USA 1994)
Canadian College Football teams that I have seen in person (2008);
Windsor Lancers, Toronto Varsity Blues
United States Football League (USFL) teams that I saw in person (1983-1985);
Michigan Panthers, Chicago Blitz, Arizona Wranglers, New Jersey Generals, Arizona Outlaws
Arena Football League teams that I have seen in person (2000-present);
Grand Rapids Rampage, Tampa Bay Storm, Chicago Rush, Orlando Predators, Georgia Force, New York Dragons, Arizona Rattlers, Dallas Desperados, Colorado Crush, Columbus Destroyers, San Jose SaberCats, Utah Blaze, Philadelphia Soul, Kansas City Brigade, Cleveland Gladiators, Houston Thunderbears, Milwaukee Mustangs, Indiana Firebirds, Detroit Fury, Carolina Cobras, Toronto Phantoms, Las Vegas Gladiators, Nashville Kats, Austin Wranglers, Los Angeles Avengers, New Orleans VooDoo, Jacksonville Sharks, San Antonio Talons, Los Angeles KISS, Iowa Barnstormers, Portland Thunder, Baltimore Brigade, Washington Valor, Albany Empire
ArenaBowl XV (2001), ArenaBowl XXVII (2014)
arenafootball2 (af2) teams that I have seen in person (2003-2009);
Quad City Steamwheelers, Louisville Fire, Green Bay Blizzard, San Diego Riptide, Wikes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, Fort Wayne Fusion, Mahoning Valley Thunder, Spokane Shock, Albany Conquest, Cincinnati Jungle Kats, Milwaukee Iron, Iowa Barnstormers, Corpus Christi Sharks, Oklahoma City Yard Dawgs, Albany Firebirds
Indoor Football teams that I have seen in person (NIFL, UIF, AIFL, GLIFL, CIFL, IFL, UIFL, AIF);
(2003) Fort Wayne Freedom, Tennessee Riverhawks (2005) Tupelo Fireants, Canton Legends, Johnstown Riverhawks (2006) Battle Creek Crunch, Rochester Raiders, NY/NJ Revolution, Marion Mayhem, Lehigh Valley Outlawz, Sioux City Bandits (2007) Kalamazoo Xplosion, , Muskegon Thunder, Chicago Slaughter (2008) Miami Valley Silverbacks, Michigan Pirates, Flint Phantoms, Rock River Raptors (2009) Milwaukee Bonecrushers, Wheeling Wildcats, Wisconsin Wolfpack, Saginaw Sting, Sioux Falls Storm, River City Rage (2010) Fort Wayne Firehawks, West Michigan ThunderHawks, Maryland Maniacs (2011) Eastern Kentucky Drillers, Port Huron Predators, Dayton Silverbacks (2016) West Michigan Ironmen, Cincinnati Bulldogs ,
CIFL Championship Game (2008, 2009)
Women's Football teams that I have seen in person (2002-present);
Southwest Michigan Jaguars, Detroit Danger, Cleveland Fusion, Columbus Comets, West Michigan Mayhem, Milwaukee Momentum, Fort Wayne Flash, Toledo Reign, Philadelphia Liberty Belles, St. Louis Slam, Chicago Force, Indy Crash
My "Wish List" of football games / teams I would like to see in person someday;
The Army-Navy game
The Harvard-Yale game
An Air Force Academy home game in Colorado Springs
A Super Bowl
A Pro Bowl in Hawaii
A football game at Snow Community College in Ephraim, Utah