All The News, Rumors and Rantings You Can Handle
Elected into the Minor League Football Hall of Fame in 2002 , Jack is an “Icon” within the arena/indoor football industry. He will always be remembered for his commitment to the sport and as a friend to the tens of thousands of people he touched.
Those were the words that bounced around the internet this morning as the American Arena League, CEO Tony Zefiretto announced, “It is with a heavy heart to share; late last night, AA President, Jack Bowman passed away.” For most of the last seven months, Jack was confined to a hospital bed as he battled to recover from a variety of illnesses. He fought to the very end.
All future American Arena League Championships will be played for the Jack Bowman Trophy
Welcome to Thursday and the LockedIN On Arena Football weekly blast! This week is special because 3 leagues are in play this weekend and our teams are out and about. The Arena Football League(AFL) kicks off their 2019 Season this weekend, joining the National Arena League(NAL going on week 3) and the American Arena League(going no where FAST).
Some interesting things to talk about this week, so let’s kick it off in the Arena Football League!
The BLOCKBUSTER Arena Football League, now rebranded and ready to kick off Friday Night has 6 teams this year. The Defending AFL Champion Washington Valor again joined by the Philadelphia Soul, Albany Empire and the Baltimore Brigade. This year, upstart Atlantic City Blackjacks and the Columbus Destroyers join the League.
In week 1, the Washington Valor head to Baltimore to take on the Brigade, and with the arsonal that Baltimore has added to the team, this year will be different.
DraftKings and the Arena Football League (AFL) have partnered to launch a new daily fantasy sports game ahead of the AFL’s 2019 season. Customers can now submit contest entries and get even closer to the fast-paced action on the turf that begins April 26th. This AFL offering is the 12th daily fantasy sports category for DraftKings, making the company the leader in available sports among fantasy operators.
“The fast-paced games of the AFL and zeal of its fans will enable a new customer base that loves sports just as much as we do to interact with our products,” said Greg Karamitis, SVP of Fantasy Sports at DraftKings. “The AFL is, and will continue to be, excellent partners in enhancing the entertainment experience for these dedicated fans every weekend for the 2019 season.”
With the AFL expanding its presence from four to six teams in 2019, DraftKings’ data capabilities will source game and player information at every moment of play for fans to leverage in their daily fantasy selections. Customers can enjoy special DraftKings Classic and Showdown modes for AFL contests, constructing lineups of six players while staying within a $50,000 salary cap range and designating a “captain” slot that grants one player a bonus multiplier. Classic contests will require selecting players from more than one game, while Showdown contests must include players from each team.
You can join Draftkings by CLICKING HERE!
Over in the National Arena League,
There is ONLY 1 game on the NAL Schedule this week, The Orlando Predators travel to Massachusetts to take on the Pirates and LockedIN Magazine will be at the game.
After back-to-back losses against the defending champion Carolina Cobras, the Massachusetts Pirates (0-2) look to catch their first victory of the season at home against the Orlando Predators (1-1) this Saturday, April 27th.
Coming into the contest, the key matchup to watch is Pirates WR Mardy Gilyard and Predators WR LJ Castile. Through two games the speedy Gilyard has racked up 111 yards and four touchdowns. The Pirates have totaled 44 points in the first two weeks of the season and Gilyard is credited for over half of those scores. On the other hand, Orlando’s Castile has been lighting up the scoreboard with his 109 yards and seven touchdowns to begin the season.
If special teams become the main factor of the game, then the Pirates have the upper hand in that department. The explosive Gilyard has totaled 130 kickoff return yards this season, while WR Edward Victorian of the Predators has 81 total return yards.
Key stats to note: The Predators are two of thirteen on third down so far this year. Orlando has also allowed their first two opponents to go nine for nine in the red zone.
The Massachusetts Pirates have signed three players who have been activated for this weeks’ game vs. Orlando. Offensive lineman Jokobi Smith, wide receiver Ishmael Zamora and defensive back Lashard Durr will dress for the Pirates Saturday night at the DCU Center.
Smith, native of Miami, FL checks in at 6’3.” 300 lbs. and played four seasons at Florida Atlantic. As a redshirt freshman Smith played against Nebraska, Alabama and Tulsa. By the time he finished his career he was a consistent force on the Owls offensive line, becoming a starter and appearing in 36 games. In 2017 Smith helped to establish four offensive team records including the most rushing yards in the program’s history versus Bethune and being a part of the offense that broke the FAU record for points with 69 and broke the program and C-USA record for yards with 804. The 2017 team became bowl eligible for the first time since 2013 and won the Conference USA Title. After College Smith was in NFL camps with Seattle and Cincinnati, Signed an Alliance of American Football contract with Orlando and in the Arena Football League with Albany.
Zamaor, 6’3,” 225 lbs. played two seasons at Baylor University where he had 72 receptions for 941 yards and ten touchdowns. The wide receiver from Houston, TX had by far his biggest season as a redshirt sophomore when he averaged 6.2 receptions per game which was second in the Big 12 and 22nd nationally. In 2016 he had 63 receptions for 809 yards and eight touchdowns. That led him to signing a contract as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders. This spring he signed with the San Antonio Commanders of the Alliance of American Football. In April Zamora was assigned to the Baltimore Brigade of the Arena Football League and was later acquired by the Washington Valor before signing with the Pirates.
Lashard Durr, a 5’11,” 195 lb. native of Gulfport, MS, enrolled at Mississippi State after playing two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. From 2016-2017 Durr appeared in 25 games making 13 starts. He finished his career as a Bulldog making 36 tackles with one interception. This past season Durr signed as free agent and went to camp with the Indianapolis Colts. He also was in camp with Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football.
In other moves this week the Pirates released defensive back Jason Matovu, place wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. and defensive lineman Du’Vonta Lampkin on long term injured reserve and activated defensive lineman Dajaun Drennon. Offensive lineman Mitchell Bell was placed on league suspension.
Over in the American Arena League,
West Virginia Roughriders (4-0) take on the New England Bobcats (2-0) in an undefeated Northern Division matchup @ The WesBanco Arena this Friday at 7pm in Wheeling, West Virginia. But do NOT let the Records fool you. The 4-0 Roughriders are really 1-0 with an additional 3-0 record against NON-LEAGUE Teams. So does that really Count? The New England BobCats are also 1-0 with an additional 1-0 record against NON-LEAGUE Teams.
How does a league allow a team to come INTO the league mid season? How can these games count? The ONLY People that get hurt by actions like this is the PLAYERS and FANS. The players risk life and limb when they get into the ARENA, and to call some of these places ARENAS is like calling pick up basketball the NBA!
Why do we still talk about the AAL? Cause we love the PLAYERS!
GAMES OF THE WEEK
AFL- Washington Valor vs Baltimore Brigade
Look for Joe ‘Superman” Hills to have another Stellar game
NAL- Orlando Predators Vs Massachusetts Pirates
Look for the Pirates to WIN the Slugfest
AAL- GEORGIA DOOM vs Carolina Energy
No One Can Stop The Doom