Guest Post: Exploring the CIFL: Minor Minor-League Football

6 04 2009

Yes, the AFL is twisting in the wind, and despite rumors the league will return in some form for 2010, what is the wacky-indoor-football fan to do in the interim? One of our regular readers, known to you as Mr. jcompton, caught a CIFL game and filed the following report.

 

Football with seven men? This is madness!

Football with seven men? This is madness!

 

What’s an AFL fan to do this year? Why, avail himself of the hometown, expansion, second-tier indoor football team playing down the road, of course! Up in Madison, Wisconsin, we’re fortunate enough to have a new indoor team, the Wisconsin Wolfpack of the CIFL. The CIFL is better known as “The league with the Chicago team currently fielding a bunch of ex-Rush guys slaughtering the other seven teams.” I was part of an intimate gathering watching the Wolfpack beat the Rock River Raptors, 50-23.

I don’t know precisely how or why the Wolfpack got started, but I do know that their playing field used to belong to the Pensacola Barracudas, a defunct AF2 team. The AF2 logo is still at midfield and the Barracudas logo is still in the end zone. They’re a bit smudged, like somebody spent a few minutes scrubbing at it with turpentine, then said “This is second-tier minor league indoor football—why am I breaking my back?” and gave up.

At a generous guess, I’d say there were maybe 1300 people in the stands, in a stadium with capacity for 10,000+. It’s hard to say whether this being Final Four night hurt ticket sales, as the stands looked pretty empty in the photos from the Wolfpack’s only other home game to date. The fans in the stands were certainly thinking basketball, though—when the PA announcer broke the news of Michigan State’s win, he got arguably the biggest roar of the night. (Big Ten solidarity?) In any case, I got fine seats just walking up to the box office window 20 minutes before kickoff.

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