Once again, we’re wading into the wilds of SportsNation to deliver the hard-hitting investigative reporting you’d expect from two guys who don’t really know all that much about the Arena League, but know quite a lot about smart-assery. LA Avengers QB Sonny Cumbie (3:30 EDT) and Chicago Rush QB Matt D’Orazio (4:00 EDT) were the recipients of our vigorous journalizing.
Questions that were not addressed included, to Mr. Cumbie: “I’m hoping you can settle a bet: what exactly is the Avengers logo? My friend says it’s a Spartan-thing, but I think it’s a pterodactyl,” and to Mr. D’Orazio: “Have you tried any of Ditka’s wine?” However, I would say we were pretty successful, overall, and I hope it’s as informative to you as it was to us.
Sonny Cumbie was first, and we’re clearly going to strangle our topic du
jour semaine to death:
TC (Chicago):Have you ever had any incidents with fans breaking up your passes, like the one in the Dallas/Orlando game on Monday night? What are the appropriate repurcussions for something like that?
Sonny Cumbie: (3:36 PM ET )I’ve never seen anything like that in my football career. It’s a tough situation to really say what should be the reprocussions for it. It’s a fan friendly game, but the best way for the fans to support their team is in their seat.
Classy answer, Sonny! You also handled “repercussions” with as much skill as I initially did. So, we’ve learned Sonny and I can’t spell big words. What else do we have in common? Sadly, we’ll never know, because he didn’t answer whether or not he liked red wine, petite girls, watching old episodes of The West Wing, and if, perhaps, his favorite color was purple. Perhaps we’re not soul mates after all. But I get the impression Sonny would’ve beaten the crap out of Peach Shirt, so that’s cool. Hear that, asshole? Number 15 says to stay in your seat.
It’s okay, because your ISF SportsNation Strike Force went all-out for Matt D’Orazio, cleverly disguising ourselves, when the need arose. J struck first, as he now has multiple times in these chats:
J Fizzle (Chicago): Hi Matt, What’s the best and worst part about playing in such a sports-crazy town?
Matt D’Orazio: (4:13 PM ET ) The best part about it is that the fans are so supportive and the expectations are so high. I love that. The worst part is, this year, there is no bad parts. I’m living with my family this year, last year they weren’t living with me, so there are no bad parts.
A bit of a softball from my co-editor, but he was the first question, which is important. And I feel quite comfortable going into battle with a QB whose favorite thing about playing in a city is the astronomical expectations. The only other guy who can probably say this is the Pope: “Everybody expects me to be infallible! I love it! Bring on that doctrine!” (And he has JC backing him up. D’Orazio just has Mike Hohensee. But I digress.
Tom, Chicago, IL:Who, if he were to inexplicably drop out of the NFL draft, would have the most impact on the league? Someone on offense like Adrian Peterson, JaMarcus Russell, or a defensive player of the quality of Jamaal Anderson?
Matt D’Orazio: (4:19 PM ET )Obviously, the two QBs Quinn and Russell come to mind because of how talented they are. But a guy like Calvin Johnson with him in motion and his height and speed, he pops out right away with how talented he is.
This was my third question in the queue, when I had to disguise my name from TC. Genius! What we’ve learned is that nobody gives a crap about defense in the Arena League. I wanted to see if he’d say something like, “Well, if there was a really talented DB or lineman that could disrupt things, that’d really change the face of the game,” but he went with Calvin Johnson, who I removed from my original question, because I figured it would be the easy answer; I was right. It also managed to screw up my grammar slightly. Damn. J Fizzle makes an excellent point when he e-mails me:
“Haha, yes. Can you imagine a beast like Johnson SPRINTING TOWARDS THE FUCKING LINE OF SCRIMMAGE? He would DESTROY you!”
I hadn’t thoroughly considered the destructive power of a fully armed and operational Calvin Johnson if unleashed upon the AFL, so I guess my defensive curiosity will have to go unsated. Or will it?
TC (Chicago):Defense is infrequently discussed in the AFL; is there a defensive unit that tends to give you fits? If so, what do they do differently?
Matt D’Orazio: (4:15 PM ET ) Every week, we honestly give the other team a ton of respect. I couldn’t really name one, they’re really strong. I know our defense is strong; they give us good looks in practice.
Defense is my new obsession in the AFL, because there doesn’t seem to be any. Mr. D’Orazio apparently fears no defense. Good for him, but bad for getting questions answered. Also, I sound like a pompous jagoff: “Defense is infrequently discussed in the AFL, semicolon… Could you please pass the crumpets?” Meh.
Thos (Orland Park, IL):Bobby Sippio: A great receiver, or the greatest receiver?
Matt D’Orazio: (4:26 PM ET ) No question, the best I’ve ever played with. I think he’s the best in the league right now. If that translates down the road of him being the greatest ever, I don’t think anyone would argue with that.
I will cheerfully steal from Steven Colbert (like your editors, an NU School of Speech/Communications grad). He’d want it that way. I also will divulge my original home town and preferred wacky abbreviation of “Thomas.” Clearly, everyone loves Bobby Sippio, and why wouldn’t you? The guy catches everything thrown to the same zip code. If he were around in 1912, he would’ve caught the Titanic, kept it from sinking, and trash-talked the iceberg.
So, there you have it; we ask the tough questions. We’re piercing beacons of journalistic radiance, and we bring what we uncover to you, the random people who decided to stick around after finding us on Deadspin.