The Chesapeake Tide were a former professional Indoor Football team based in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The team began play in 2007 as an expansion team in the Continental Indoor Football League; the founding owner of the Tide was Martin Johnson. The Tide played its home games at The Show Place Arena. Midway through the 2008 season the team was acquired by Messay Hailermariam. Hailermariam founded the Maryland Maniacs. Despite playing in the same arena with the same head coach, the Maniacs were not a continuation of the Tide; the Tide's inaugural game drew in a crowd of 3,176 fans. The Tide won the final game of their existence, against the NJ Revolution; the team was led by 7 touchdown passes from Quarterback Joe Urso, RB/WR Darryl Overton's 4 total scores WR's Daryl Disbrow Jr. and Ray McCarter were recipients of Urso's TD passes. Official Maryland Maniacs website Official Chesapeake Tide website Tide's 2007 Stats
Fort Wayne Freedom
The Fort Wayne Freedom was a professional indoor football team based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The team was most a member of the Continental Indoor Football League, but began play in 2003 as an expansion team in the National Indoor Football League known as the Fort Wayne Safari; the Freedom were the original indoor football team. After four years of being the only indoor team in Fort Wayne, the franchise folded and the Fort Wayne Fusion was established as part of the AF2 in 2007. After a failed year in AF2, the Freedom came back in 2008 with new ownership and continued through the 2009 season. In 2010, another indoor team, the Fort Wayne FireHawks, replaced the Freedom in the CIFL; the owner of the second version of the Freedom was Bill Fahlsing. The Freedom played their home games at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne; the original Fort Wayne Freedom was a professional indoor football team. They were most a member of the United Indoor Football league, played their home games at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
In 2004, the Freedom set the single game record for attendance at 10,225. # = set single game indoor football attendance record with 10,225 fans.2004 stats do not include a NIFL playoff games with the Show Me Believers and at Ohio Valley *** The 2005 season was the best season in franchise history. This was the first year in the UIF, the team moved to the association, after two years in the NIFL. Finishing a league-best 14-2, winning the UIF Midwest Division. In the first-round of the UIF playoffs; the Tennessee Valley Raptors upset Freedom 57-22. As Matt Land left the Freedom to become head coach at Tri-State University in NCAA Division III; the Freedom selected offensive coordinator Dan Pifer to be their new head coach. Pifer would serve as the offensive coordinator for NCAA Division III Tri-State renamed Trine, under former coach Matt Land, he had worked as an assistant coach at the University of St. Francis, an NAIA institution, NCAA Division II Hillsdale College in Michigan. Pifer was a high school assistant and played quarterback at the University of California in Pennsylvania.
After completing its fourth year of football, the assets of the Freedom were sold to Jeremy Golden, who moved the franchise to AF2. Meanwhile, leaders with United Indoor Football did find an ownership group that sought a lease with Randy Brown and the Memorial Coliseum. Brown opted to go with the AF2 franchise; the team had been rumored to move to AF2 for quite some time, Coffey sold the assets to Golden on November 10, 2006. Golden had applied for and was awarded an AF2 franchise, but because only the assets and not the Freedom's corporate entity were sold, the Fort Wayne Fusion AF2 franchise is not a continuation of the UIF team. In October 2007, the group Fort Wayne Sports Partners owned by Todd Ellis, John Christener and Mike McCaffrey, adopted the name Freedom as a new franchise in 2008. Only the name, some players from the 2003–2006 teams were associated with the original franchise.. The team announced that Eddie Brown, who had coached the Fusion the season before, would be the head coach for the Freedom, who would be joining the Continental Indoor Football League.
Since the Fusion ownership had failed mid season in 2007, Brown and McCaffrey made majority owner Todd Ellis guaranteed them both that if the team ran into financial trouble they would not be responsible for any of the unpaid bills. The teams poor financial history left every part of owning the franchise more difficult as far as ownership of the team's turf; the team's new ownership showed signs of financial trouble right away, as they were banned from the CIFL in January 2008, for failing to pay league dues. These troubles made Brown and McCaffrey question the ownership, Ellis fired them both, replacing Brown with Willie Davis Jr. and McCaffrey with himself. The Freedom were able to work out a deal with CIFL Commissioner, Jeff Spitaleri, paid their $22,500 league fee, which removed the ban and allowed the team to join the CIFL in 2008. In September, 2008, the Freedom announced that former Freedom Assistant GM Brad Harris had been hired as GM. Head coach Matt Land returned for the 2009 to coach the team for the full season.
In 2008, the team's head coach for the 2005 campaign, was asked by team co-owner William Fahlsing to lead the team for the final four games of the season when original head coach Willie Davis, Jr. was fired the morning of the May 17 game against the Chicago Slaughter. With only 15 minutes of practice, Land's second term began with a 41-33 loss to the Slaughter, despite a solid performance by the Freedom defense. In 2009, the Freedom struggled financially. Toward the end of the 2009 season players were not paid promptly and not at all. Team Co-owners Bill Fahlsing and Mark Chappius were forced to ask for public support to help get the team through the season. Despite the financial issue with salaries, the players continued to play for the Freedom and won the Eastern Conference Championship over the Marion Mayhem but lost the 2009 CIFL championship game to the Chicago Slaughter; the Freedom Force is the official fan club of the Fort Wayne Freedom. Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2009 Continental Indoor Football League season.
History of sports in Fort Wayne, Indiana
The Chicago Knights were a professional indoor football team based in Loves Park, Illinois. The Knights were founded in 2010 as a member of the Continental Indoor Football League, playing their home games at the Victory Sports Complex; the Knights were the third Indoor Football Team based in Northern Illinois. The Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League were based in Rosemont, the Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League are based in Hoffman Estates; the Knights replaced the Chicago Cardinals as the Illinois-based CIFL team, which had replaced the Slaughter after they left for the Indoor Football League after a dispute with CIFL management. The Milwaukee Bonecrushers were a team in the Continental Indoor Football League, they played their home games at the U. S. Cellular Arena; the Bonecrushers were Milwaukee's second indoor football franchise, following the Milwaukee Mustangs of the Arena Football League. The franchise made an immediate splash in Milwaukee when it announced former Green Bay Packer Gilbert Brown signed a three-year contract to be the team's first head coach.
However, the optimism faded when Brown announced he was resigning from the position after just three games on April 8, 2008. Much of the team's staff and many of the team's players left at the same time, raising eyebrows among the Milwaukee media and fans; the Bonecrushers finished 2008 with a hodgepodge of players and coaches, winning just one game, a 51-46 road contest against the Muskegon Thunder featuring a 26-yard touchdown by Bonecrushers' quarterback Brian Ryczkowski with seconds left to set up a 1 yard game winning TD run by Ryczkowski on the final play of the game. The rumored reasoning behind the exodus of many of the original members of the franchise was the team's inability to pay its bills or personnel; this was confirmed when a judgment was entered against the Bonecrushers in favor of Challenger Industries, the company that sold the team its game field AstroTurf, in the amount of $29,539.29 on October 15, 2008. Challenger resolved its claim against John Burns, one of the owners of the Milwaukee Bonecrushers, prior to the matter going to trial.
The Bonecrushers returned to action in 2009 with renewed optimism after signing LeRoy McFadden, brother of NFL player Darren McFadden, as its new head coach, as well as the previous year's CIFL Offensive Player of the Year, Randy Bell. However, McFadden chose to resign after just three games, leaving assistant coach, John Burns, to take over as head coach; the Bonecrushers survived the 2009 season in Milwaukee with minimal attendance and finished 3-8. Prior to the 2010 season, the Bonecrushers management reorganized and the team elected to cease operations in Milwaukee. Many of the individuals involved with the Bonecrushers, including Burns, moved onto be part of the new Chicago Cardinals franchise based in Villa Park, Ill. While the Bonecrushers franchise is regarded as having failed in the eyes of Milwaukeeans, their existence did help create two other CIFL franchises: The Cardinals and the Wisconsin Wolfpack. Plans had been in place for the Wolfpack to field its first outdoor team in the summer of 2008 when Brown left the Bonecrushers.
Many members of the Wolfpack's staff were brought in to help the Bonecrushers complete the indoor season, including current Green Bay Blizzard Offensive Coordinator Dave Mogensen. In 2009, the Wolfpack fielded a CIFL team of its own in Wisconsin; the Bonecrushers would play the Wolfpack twice in their final season in Milwaukee, losing both times. The Cardinals replaced the Slaughter in the CIFL, after the Slaughter left that league for the IFL due to a dispute with CIFL management; the Cardinals were known as the Milwaukee Bonecrushers of the CIFL, relocated to Villa Park in 2010. The Cardinals use their name with permission from the original National Football League team, now known as the Arizona Cardinals; the Cardinals only season was one of utter disappointment. After starting 0-2, they signed the 2nd female Kicker in the CIFL history. After a successful soccer career at Benedictine University and Rockford College, where she was named to several all-conference teams. Well Harshbarger was not the first woman to score a point in an indoor football game, but she was the first woman to score a field goal in an indoor football game.
After a 20-58 loss on May 22, seeing their record drop to 0-8, the Cardinals let several of their best players, including the All-Purpose Player of the Year, leave the team for the nearby, contending, Wisconsin Wolfpack. The Knights started the season with a painful 7-53 loss to the defending champions, the Cincinnati Commandos. After a complete month off, the Knights were back in action on April 2 against the Port Huron Predators, came away with a 45-29 win; the Knights were led by Brandon Wogoman, the reigning CIFL All-Purpose Player of the Year, who had a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown and a kick-return touchdown to lead the Knights to their first win since the franchise moved to their present location in 2010. After a conflict with the Odeum Expo Center, the Knights played what was supposed to be a home game in Indianapolis against the Indianapolis Enforcers. On April 7, 2011 it was announced that the Knights would play the rest of their games in Loves Park, Illinois in the Victory Sports Complex.
The following is a list of all Bonecrushers/Cardinals/Knights players who won individual awards and honors. Chicago Knights official website
The Kentucky Xtreme were a professional indoor football team based in Louisville, which had its operations suspended by the Continental Indoor Football League midway through the 2014 CIFL season. The team was a member of the South Division of the CIFL after starting in 2013 as an expansion team; the Xtreme were the first indoor football team in the Louisville area since the Louisville Fire, a member of af2, folded in 2008. The co-owners of the Xtreme are Mario Urrutia; the Xtreme played their home games at Freedom Hall in Louisville, but was suspended by the league when Urrutia abandoned the team to join the Winnipeg Blue Bombers midseason. The Xtreme came into existence in 2012, when Victor Cole and five other partners, decided to use the money they had saved up from their tours in Afghanistan. In 2012, the Xtreme played a preseason exhibition game against the Evansville Rage, of the Continental Indoor Football League, losing 26-56. After the 2012 CIFL season, the Xtreme played another exhibition game, this time against the Indianapolis Enforcers of the CIFL.
They Xtreme defeated the Enforcers 20-16. In July 2012, the Xtreme announced that they would be playing at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. With the arena in place, the team named former Louisville Fire assistant coach, Roy McMillen as their first head coach; the Xtreme will return to the CIFL in 2014. In August, 2013, the Xtreme named LaKunta Farmer the team's second head coach in franchise history. In November 2013, former Arena Football League Rookie of the Year Award winner, Mario Urrutia joined the Xtreme ownership group, will play on the team. With most of the teams roster returning, the Xtreme seemed to be poised for a good season, but the team struggled mightily, starting the season 0-5, including 2 forfeit losses. After their second forfeit, the CIFL announced that Xtreme had been suspended by the league, that affiliate teams would fill out the Xtreme's remaining road games. Sports in Louisville, Kentucky Kentucky Xtreme website
The Chicago Pythons were a professional indoor football team based in Homer Glen, Illinois. The team was a member of the Continental Indoor Football League; the Pythons joined the CIFL in 2012 as an expansion team under the name "Chicago Vipers". They changed their name to the "Chicago Pythons" four weeks into the season; the Pythons were the third indoor football team based in the Chicago area. The Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League were based in Rosemont, the Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League are based in Hoffman Estates; the Pythons replaced the Chicago Knights the Chicago Cardinals, as the Illinois-based CIFL team, which replaced the Slaughter after they left for the Indoor Football League after a dispute with CIFL management. The Owner of the Pythons was Michael Duran; the Pythons were supposed to play their home games at The Megaplex in Homer Glen, but the team never hosted a home game. On December 9, 2011 it was announced that the Vipers and the Evansville Rage would become the 5th and 6th expansion teams for the 2012 CIFL season.
The Vipers will host only three games for the 2012 season and have availability to host for the playoffs should they qualify. Michael Duran are looking to bring back a positive image for Chicago CIFL teams as last two have left a bad taste in the fans mouths; the team was scheduled to play their home games at the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park, but decided to play at the Sports Zone in Melrose Park. In their first game, the Vipers lost 52-49 to the Port Huron Patriots, who were playing their first game. Chicago would have one last chance to tie the game, but Julie Harshbarger's kick was no-good as time expired. Before their week 5 game against the Saginaw Sting, the Vipers changed their nickname to the "Pythons" when the Mike Duran became the sole owner of the team. There was a release by the Ultimate Indoor Football League that the Pythons had joined their league for 2013, but the league late removed the story from their website and did not comment on its removal; when trying to think of a nickname to call the team, Former Co-Owner Richard Petroski Jr. was texting back and forth with some family members and friends, when his cousin sent him back the name "Vipers" and it stuck.
The team picked their colors. The team's original logo was introduced in December 2011 when the team announced that they would be playing in 2012; that logo featured a viper's head. To the right of the logo there is the words "Chicago Vipers"; the team introduced a new logo in late January, 2012. The new logo removed the football, changed the text of "Chicago Vipers" to look like that of snake skin. Before their week 5 game against the Saginaw Sting, the Vipers changed their nickname to the "Pythons."
Indoor American football
Indoor American football is a variation of American football played at ice hockey-sized indoor arenas. While varying in details from league to league, the rules of indoor football are designed to allow for play in a smaller arena, it is a distinct discipline and not be confused with traditional American football played in large domed stadiums, as is done by some teams at the college and professional levels. The first documented indoor football games were those played at the Chicago Coliseum in the late 1890s; the first such game matched Michigan against Chicago on Thanksgiving Day 1896. The match was "the first collegiate game of football played under a roof." Adding to the novelty, as daylight turned to darkness, the field inside the Coliseum was lit with electric lighting. With seven acres of floor space, the sprawling Coliseum is believed to have not needed any compromises to accommodate an American football field. According to a newspaper account, the field grew dark in the second half, play was halted for ten minutes to discuss whether play should continue.
Play was resumed, the lights were turned on after Michigan scored a touchdown. The press proclaimed the experiment in indoor football to be a success: One thing at least was settled by the game, that is, that indoor football is and figuratively speaking a howling success; the men had no trouble in catching punts, football was played on its merits, without the handicaps of a wet field or a strong wind. Toward the end of the second half it got dark, the spectators were treated to a novelty in the shape of football by electric light." Although both critically and commercially successful, the Coliseum was destroyed in a fire less than two years after its opening, its replacement could not accommodate an American football field. At Madison Square Garden in 1902 and 1903, there were games known as the "World Series of Pro Football." The games were otherwise adhered to outdoor rules. Poor attendance led to the tournament being discontinued after two years; the Chicago Bears of the National Football League hosted an experimental game against their crosstown rivals, the Cardinals, after the 1930 NFL season, at the indoor Chicago Stadium.
Two years poor weather conditions led to the Bears hosting the 1932 NFL Playoff Game against the Portsmouth Spartans at the stadium. A dirt and tanbark field measuring 80 yards long and 45 yards wide was constructed on the arena's floor; the Chicago Stadium games were notable for introducing several rule changes, including the introduction of hash marks to keep play away from spectators who were seated next to the field, while goal posts were moved to the goal line. To compensate for the smaller field, teams were "penalized" 20 yards upon crossing midfield. In 1930, the Atlantic City Convention Center constructed a full-size indoor football field, used it for one to three games a year during the 1930s. In the 1960s the Boardwalk Bowl, a post-season game involving small college teams, was contested at the convention center; the Bowl was an attempt to make Atlantic City more of a year-round resort in the pre-gambling era as opposed to a single-season one. The Atlantic Coast Football League played its inaugural championship game at the convention center in 1962, but the game only drew 2,000 fans and the game would thereafter move to the home stadium of the team with the best regular season record.
The Philadelphia-based Liberty Bowl game, played at Municipal Stadium from 1959–1963, was moved into the Convention Center in 1964 for the contest between Utah and West Virginia. The game drew just over 6,000 fans and the Liberty Bowl moved to Memphis the next year, where it has remained. Unlike modern indoor football, the size of the playing surface and hence the rules were the same as in the standard outdoor game, with rules updated to deal with contingencies for what could happen indoors, such as a punt striking the ceiling; the end zones were shorter—eight yards instead of the standard ten. While several attempts to create a true indoor football game have been made since shortly after American football was developed, the first version to meet with widespread success and acceptance is Arena football, devised by Jim Foster, a former executive of the United States Football League and the National Football League, he devised his game while watching another game derived from a sport played outdoors.
He worked on the game in the early 1980s, but put any plans for full development of it on hold while the United States Football League, an attempt to play traditional American football in a non-traditional season, was in operation in 1983–1985. When the USFL ceased operations, Foster saw his opportunity, he staged a "test" game in Rockford, Illinois in 1986 and put together a four-team league for a "demonstration season" in the spring of 1987, with games televised on ESPN. Foster had to adopt a field that would fit within the smaller playing surfaces found in most arenas and thus created a field, identical in size to a standard professional ice hockey rink, 200 by 85 feet; this resulted in the field being 50 yards long with eight-yard end zones, the field being
Port Huron Patriots
The Port Huron Patriots were a professional indoor football team based in Port Huron, Michigan. The team was a member of the North Division of the Continental Indoor Football League; the Patriots joined the CIFL in 2012 as an expansion team. The Patriots were the third indoor football team to be based in Port Huron, the first being CIFL charter members and inaugural champions the Port Huron Pirates, the other being the CIFL based Port Huron Predators; the Owners of the Patriots were Jude Carter, Lonnie Nichols, Lance Nichols, David Nichols, Larry Page, Matt Wuchte and Nick Kennedy-Saura. The Patriots played their home games at the McMorran Arena. After the disappointing end to the Port Huron Predators season in 2011, Dave and Cyndi Kinsman wanted to bring back a team to Port Huron in 2012 and the future. Kinsman stated, "We are aware of the history of teams in this city and the bottom line is that you have to win on and off the field to make this succeed. Other teams could win on the field, but couldn't win off the field meaning they didn't have the front office and leadership it takes to succeed.
We are confident in the direction this franchise will head and we are thrilled to be in Port Huron." The team announced that they would be playing at McMorran Arena during Kinsman's press conference. In early September 2011, the Patriots signed former Predators head coach John Forti, as well as re-signed local players who had played for the Predators. On December 24, 2011 the team announced its training camp roster. On February 11, 2012, the team played its first preseason game, they defeated the outdoor semi-professional Southern Michigan Timberwolves 35–21. This first unofficial win came in the wake of the tragic loss of Offensive Lineman Ken Hamilton, killed in a shooting outside of a Detroit nightclub. Teammate Antonio Martin was injured in the shooting. On March 10, 2012, the Patriots earned their first victory in franchise history with a 52–49 victory over the Chicago Vipers. On March 29, 2012 Kinsman fired Head Coach John Forti, the rest of his staff. Kinsman cited Forti's decision to hire his friends as assistant coaches and not make the best choices for the team as their reason for Forti's termination.
Kinsman went on to lead the Patriots to a 3–4 record, making them 4–6 overall, clinching the 4th seed in the CIFL playoffs, but despite this factor, the league decided to shorten the playoffs. This left the Evansville Rage both out of the playoffs; the Patriots will return to the CIFL in 2013. On February 21, just two games into the season, the Kinsman's sold the team, as David was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan; the team was sold locally to Jude Carter, Lonnie Nichols, Lance Nichols, David Nichols, Larry Page, Matt Wuchte and Nick Kennedy-Saura, with Carter serving as the team's general manager. The announced that the team's new head coach would be Demar Cranford. In June 2013, the Patriots agreed to terms with the CIFL to return for the 2014 season. Coach Demar Cranford left the team as did several players just prior to their April 13, 2014, game against the Erie Explosion, he says he resigned, but team co-owner Jude Carter said he was fired due to "lack of leadership and the team’s lack of performance".
The team would lose to the Explosion 114–0, leaving their future in serious doubt, but Carter stated otherwise. After the season, the CIFL disbanded and its remaining active teams joined other leagues; the team announced that its logo would be a bald eagle's head with a flag in the background, the colors would be red and blue, during a September 24, 2011 press conference at the McMorran The following Patriots players have been named to All-League Teams: RB A. J. Jimmerson