Extreme Indoor Football in Bloomington, IL
There, the Bloomington Extreme play as part of the United Indoor Football League.
Bloomington's season is not going well, and the 7,000 arena was just a little over half full.
Indoor football is different from the NFL game in many ways. Many players have offensive and defensive responsibilities, and there are no punters. If you do not get a first down after three tries, you try a field goal regardless of where you are (if you do not go for it).
The short field, 50 yards, make for high scoring and entertaining affairs.
With the arena being small, there are no bad views of the action.
They have cheerleaders and these ladies are definitely the hottest girls in Bloomington, IL.
The away team, the Ohio Valley Greyhounds, built up a small lead throughout the game. The Extreme was forced to play from behind most of the time.
When Greyhounds kicker John Wehrle kicked an extra point, the true form of indoor arena fans came out...
...here is a father of a young boy fighting with a woman in the stands for the souvenir football. She won. He may have had a weight and height advantage, but she was drunk.
Extreme kicker #3 Peter Christofilakos made some good plays, but it wasn't enough. #5, quarterback Dusty Burk did not impress me much, as he tried to be a poor man's Michael Vick (without the speed and arm strength), making poor decisions to run.
Greyhounds quarterback Matt Kohn had a good day, including a 43 touchdown pass (the whole field basically) to Willie Austin.
Whenever the Extreme would begin to catch up, the Greyhounds would answer immediately. Here is #1 Willie Austin after catching a fourth quarter touchdown.
Austin is the all time leading reception leader in Greyhound history, and he must have felt like Kevin Costner's character did in Bull Durham when he set that record.
With 16 seconds left, the home team Extreme was behind 43-37, but they had the ball. They couldn't do anything with it, and the Greyhounds would take a bus home to West Virginia with a victory.
The fans would go home sad, not quite sure what to do.
I had a great time. This was a piece of Americana. Small time football played by local guys most likely for the love of the game. I'm not sure I'm ready to watch the AFL on TV, but this was a fun time.