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Reality Show "4th and Long" Features AFL Players

by Randy Snow

Originally posted on OurSportsCentral.com, Sunday, June 7, 2009

The new Spike TV reality show Fourth and Long, which airs on Monday Nights, will give one of the 12 contestants a roster spot at the Dallas Cowboys 80-man training camp this fall. The show features six wide receivers and six defensive backs competing in a series of drills against each other.

Former Cowboys wide receiver, and Hall of Famer, Michael Irvin is the host of the 10-episode show. It takes place in and around the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, the original home of the Cowboys in 1960. The contestants actually live in the stadium during the course of the show.

Also featured on the show are Joe Avezzano, the former Dallas Cowboys special teams coach and former Cowboys defensive back Bill Bates. Avezzano, who also spent time as the head coach of the AFL Dallas Desperados, coaches the wide receivers while Bates coaches the defensive backs.

Several other former Dallas Cowboys have made appearances in the first few episodes of the show including, Tony Dorsett, Drew Pearson, Jay Novacek and, of course, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Former Cowboy Nate Newton is a regular on the show and is tasked with delivering the three contestants who are up for elimination each week to the War Room where Irvin, Bates and Avezzano decide who will be cut.

A couple of the contestants on the show have experience playing in either the Arena Football League or its developmental league, arenafootball2;

- Wide receiver Steve "Speedy" Gonzalez has played for the af2 San Diego Riptide and with the AFL Philadelphia Soul.

- Defensive back Eddie Moten played for the AFL Philadelphia Soul from 2005-2008 and won an ArenaBowl championship with the team in 2008.

Incidentally, defensive back Erick Jackson, who was cut in the third episode of the show, signed with the af2 Rio Grande Valley Dorados on April 29 and is still with the team.

Three episodes of "4th and Long" have already aired since the show premiered on May 18. So far, Gonzalez and Moten have managed to avoid elimination.


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