This is just my OPINION.....and nothing more:
I am not trying to upset anyone in the Indy area, but having been apart of Semi-pro in the Indy area for some many years, I have to question this new team popping up. To me it just seems idiotic to try and start another team when there are already 4 teams within the Marion County boarders and another 2 or 3 just outside in the surrounding county. With all the talent that is this city has to offer, it just confuses me why Indianapolis can not have one or two power house teams like some other city’s the likes of Racine or Penn. The only answers that I keep coming too are the same ones that I have seen time and time again. No one in the Indy area seems to want to share the glory of putting together such a team or teams. Then you also have guys that are not as good as they think that they are starting teams because they did not get the playing time that in their minds that they deserved. Prompting the continued diluting of the talent pool that this city has to offer by starting new a team with little too no regards to the overall product that is being presented to the city. This is just my opinion and not meant to offend, annoy, or piss anyone off. I have been involved at this level in one way or another for more than 15 years and just feel that the Indy area deserves better than it has been getting from its football community. I wish nothing but the best for all the teams and players in the Indy area, for I have either played, coached, or just met many of the guys on just about all the teams in the area. Have a great off season and I look forward to seeing as many of the games as I can next season.
I now await all the negative talk and personal attacks on me that this post will generate........
You know what Ed I'm not going to even lie this situation reminds of when I was in high school. I played for Warren Central from 2000-2003, and I was stuck behind some great backs, one Mark Bonds just graduated from Western Michigan last year as their starting tailback, another Stephen Willis was a starter at Western Kentucky before he came back to Indy, but is now back at Western getting plenty carries in their rotation. There was also a Junior named Joshua Bailey who went down to IU and started on defense. With that being said I thought about transferring twice. The first time was my sophomore year when I almost went to Cathedral but was turned off when while taking my placement test one of the teachers made the comment that, "You must be here to play ball." The other time was my senior year. I was living with a family member in Fishers and driving 20 plus minutes a day to get to Warren, and I was still number 2 on the depth chart, so going to Hamilton Southeastern sounded like a no brainer, but then I took into consideration of why I play football. I wanted to be apart of something great, I wanted to be apart of a championship.
Records are meant to be broken, but people can't take your rings away. In staying I earned a state ring, things happened people got shuffled, I received ample opportunity to play and because I decided to let the classroom be my ticket, I was offered a full ride to Hampton University and was able to be a preffered walk on.
I'm a preacher and I know this might be long winded, but I say all that to ask what type of message are we sending our youth? If I don't get 80 carries a game I take my ball and go home. What ever happened to competition? I've always told players I coach that there is no depth chart. Week by week it could change. But I guess people feel like since they are paying to play they might as well play.
The bible says that pride goeth before the fall. As long as there are egoes, there will be new teams popping up yearly. I have one state championship, 2 MEAC championships, and 1 IFL championships to my name. But winning rings is where my loyalty lies.
Chew on this for a taste Indy area 6 teams =0 championships.
Take a look at the post .... INDIANAPOLIS LIGHTING!!!!!!
This is why Indianapolis will never have a powerhouse team. There is always a group of individuals that think they are god's gift to football and deserve better than what they have.
I don't know what teams in the Indy area you have been watching, but Indy does have a powerhouse team in the Indy Tornados, thats where all the college and pro level ball players have migrated to. I watched four of their games and I was impressed, just look at their roster from NFL to AFL2 to a bunch of local colleges represented. That is where the ballers are at. I love all levels of football and support all Indy teams but of all the games that I attended (cutters, generals, stampede,warriors etc.) the best were the Tornados by a landslide.
Despite my skepticism, I am making this post
Mr. Taylor... excellent post.
Mr. Dixson... nice addition
I must agree with NAPFan. This latest edition of the Tornado’s seems to feature a very good collection of players. They also play in the very competitive NAFL. While various teams within the IFL and MFL have found Road Games to be a challenge, the travel equation is an every week occurrence in the NAFL. Despite these odds, they are having considerable success.
There is really no reason that the Indianapolis Metropolitan area should not be able to support at least 4 teams. The population of this area exceeds 1 Million folks. By contrast, the majority of teams within the IFL and MFL hail from bases of operation that are considerably smaller. Thus, I must conclude that the issue is not necessarily one of quantity but quality of a given organization. Here, I intend this to mean various team organizations and the players that comprise such as well as the respective leagues that they compete in. In all instances, the result is only as good as the sum of all its parts.
There is no easy answer to the dysfunctional state that continues to create the chaos eluded to by Mr. Taylor and Mr. Dixson. In some cases, there are practical reasons for a desire for a new team to come into existence. An example of this might be if a hypothetical group of guys such as the core group of the IFL’s Mercer County Cougars got together and wanted to play competitively but there was no team within 60 miles of them. I would think this would be a good case for forming a new team. This example however is not the reason that we actually see in most cases. In my opinion, the reason at the top of the list is ultimately due to lack of commitment. Within it lie the seeds of discontent. I highly suspect that it is this discontent which manifests itself in the upheaval of teams folding and being created or resurrecting.
Discontent may emerge as a factor for several reasons. In some cases, it may be a player not being satisfied with his "PT". For another player, it may be the desire to win a championship. Yet another player may be looking for an opportunity (realistic or not) to play at "the next level". Attempting to incorporate all of these various player "needs" into a team is the biggest challenge for teams at this level. This makes the endeavor fundamentally different than any other football environment that "experienced" players have competed in. I would argue that in school sanctioned football organizations before this, winning is tantamount to everything else. For the most part, this is understood and accepted. The players then "submit" to adhere to the requirements and expectations of given team. Players that can not accept this, have no other recourse than to not participate. Therein lies the rub. The Rub... is then, do you play guys that show up to practice or do you play the best players?
If you are fortunate, you have a team of committed players that have decent practice attendance. This situation will minimize all other negatives associated with creating "discontent". This type of team environment will almost always produce success on the field. The exceptions to this are if there is poor leadership or poor management within the given team. However, either of those two negatives is usually accompanied by poor attendance. Occasionally, there will be teams comprised of tremendous talent with poor attendance habits. They will typically have the trademark of a strong defense and special teams along with an offense that features "big plays". However, they are usually underachievers and while very competitive, are usually beaten by the "better team" in the championship or latter rounds of league play-offs. The exception to this scenario is if they happen to play in a fairly weak league where they are the cream of the crop.
On the other hand, if you are not fortunate, the situation will inevitably lead to lack of success on the football field. Without a decent practice regimen, a team will lack cohesiveness, they will lack the ability to execute a game plan, they will not be able to successfully implement game day adjustments, and they will not be able to develop sufficient depth to utilize in case of injuries or other adversity. The effect of this will show up in the "Wins and Losses" column. At this point, the players desiring a championship become "discontented". Additionally, less talented players that typically do "show up" for practice but are not being "rewarded" with a modicum of "PT" will become unenthusiastic or "discontented". When they also begin to not show up for practice, it becomes virtually impossible to maintain productive practices. The cumulative effect of this tends to show up in the latter stages of a season with symptoms that manifest themselves as games being forfeited and even a team folding.
Finally, the "discontented" players will seek for a solution that fulfills their need. This could be going to another team in the following season or a group of players striking out on their own to form a new team. And the cycle repeats itself.
Leadership within various Leagues might be able to help in this issue. I found it interesting to see this on the NAFL site. This is an excerpt:
"...The NAFL is entering its ninth season of existence. League President, Robert F. Licopoli, began this endeavor when he realized that there are tens of thousands of people involved in semi pro and adult football throughout the United States. Each group was operating independently of each other. MISTAKES WERE BEING REPEATED YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT. One of the goals of Licopoli was to CREATE A BEST PRACTICES GUIDE AND EDUCATE TEAM OWNERS ABOUT HOW TO OPERATE A TEAM SUCCESSFULLY. In less than 5 years the NAFL proved itself and is quickly becoming recognized as a viable developmental league for the colleges and pros. Licopoli dropped the name semi pro, because the term itself includes the word pro and contradicted the amateur status of the league. Licopoli's leadership has also proven to be invaluable to executives and coaches at all levels of football".
Mr. Hill, as you always have great post.
NapFan, I did not mean to diminish in any way what the Tornado's have accomplished this year. Having played against them twice this year feel that they are a very tough and talented team.
Thank you for you input.
NAPFan I made my post out of ignorance not thinking to check and see if the Tornados had won or not. I know the Tornados have a ton of talent, I either played high school ball with or against them. But think about it even if they do win that will be 1 team out of 6. Last time I checked 17% is never a good number. That's all I was saying. I was just looking at the Indy area as a whole. Just imagine if the Pirates and Stampede came together as one team? Wait nevermind it already happened. lol. I'm just playin much love to all teams and all players.
Ya the tornadoes are good but they dont rep the nap dont they play in carmel they should be the carmel tornadoes hell if most people from the city drive up there u end up in gettin pulled over cause ur plates say marion screw carmel if u rep indy play in ur county
Well there is the idiot statement. Where your team plays does not mean who the team represents. When I played for the Madison County Chiefs I drove from Johnson county. Same with the Tornados. The Tornados represent the Indy Metro area. Don't hate them because they got a good field arrangement. Also they played their last game at Arlington. Last time I checked that was in Marion County.Funny I only got pulled over once and that was for an unsafe lane change. I never heard about there being a rash of Tornados players being pulled over so your statement is inaccurate.
On to the subject at hand. When you talk about the Indy metro area, you have to include the doughnut counties. I think Indy itself could support 4 well ran teams easily. Then each Doughnut county could support one as well. I would like to see 8 teams in the Indy area. 4 in Indy and one in each direction, North, south, east, and west. The key is well ran teams. Without a good management the team will fall apart eventually. Without well defined boundries for players and management the teams will fall into dissarray. Each person that starts a team has to ask themselves these questions:
"Am I doing this for the love of the game or do I just want to run things myself?"
"Am I willing to do what it take to keep this team going when everything else goes wrong?"
"Do I have a solid Management team and a Core of Players that are dedicated to this?"
Teams that just start out and say we want players without anything planned out before hand are destined to fail. You can get your name out there, but do you have any plans done. There are at least 5 teams who have already announced they are recruiting for next year. Some have a solid base and some have nothing but a name and an owner. I raise caution to everybody who has not thought this out. Running a team takes a lot of time from your everyday life. Be prepared to spend long hours of work for your team. Do not take a month or two off after your initial meeting.
Lastly I wish good luck to everybody who is trying to start a team. Keep to it, but if you find out you cannot do it, then let the team know and do not just dissappear. By Spring the teams will be winnowed down as they were last year.
For this next post, I will attempt to present some of the challenges of forming a new team. In doing so, I hope to ‘tie-in’ or incorporate several current threads on Supafan’s Board. By no means is this an all encompassing list. It is merely intended as ‘food for thought’. Additionally, I present these issues from the personal perspective or experience. I served as Head Coach of the Madison County Chiefs from 1997 – 2003 and Head Coach of the Madison County Pirates from 2005 – 2006. Also, from the organizational perspective, I served as Chairman of the CRFL from 2002 – 2003 and Secretary of the IFL in 2006. Outside of football at this level, I have served as a Vice President of a local Baseball Little League, various posts in the local youth football league and Charter President of a local Optimists Club. Lastly, by no means am I attempting to "tell you how to run your organization".
Setting up your organization
Securing a Home Field
Setting up a team budget
Targeting a League and Application
Impact on Officiating
Personal Sacrifice – This is perhaps the most important factor that the initiator of a 'new team effort' must contemplate. If you are married or have a "significant other", I hope you have had a thorough discussion of this undertaking with them. Whether you have determined to have a board ran operation or plan to go the route of a "William Wallace", it is going to require a significant portion of personal time. Even if you are 'single' and since most also have a job that they must stay committed to, a very large portion of your "quality time" is going to be devoted to this endeavor. The strain has felled many before you.
Setting up your organization – Once you have taken a deep breath and determined to move forward with your effort, you must determine how your team is going to be managed. I would suggest that a good starting point include discussing your ideas with someone within an organization that has proven to be successful. I would in fact even go as far as to say that you might want to use it as a "model" for forming your club. Without trying to be offending or exclusive, I would like to mention several. They are (in alphabetical order to avoid appearances of favoritism): Adams County Patriots – led by Wayne Wolf; Indiana Cutters; Indiana Generals – led by Troy Edwards; and the Kosciusko County Mustangs – led by Bart Brower and Sid Phillips. Each of these can give you their own unique perspective on "what it takes" to take a team from the beginning stages to a viable team organization. Additionally, this gives you an opportunity to establish a dialogue with a team already in a league where you may consider applying. I did not include the Indiana Tornados in this list because of their unique circumstances and challenges (primarily travel requirements).
Securing a Home Field – This item is listed toward the top of the list because of its importance. If you can not obtain a "very strong promise" with good, positive likelihood for being able to secure an 'adequate' playing venue, you may as well STOP right now! Additionally, in many cases, the 'quality' of your chosen playing field may have a bearing on acceptance within certain leagues. This particular acceptance factor may have begun to wane in recent years due to the difficulties for all teams in obtaining authorization to utilize High School fields in particular. (see: "Ask these people WHY" post)
Uniforms – I perhaps should have also included 'team name' within this topic. At any rate, selecting your team colors can also de a league selection factor AS WELL AS team name selection (see: 'Return of the South Bend Stampede' post). Indeed, I recall the discussion within the IFL Board when considering the application of the Miami Valley Warriors. At that time, the Darke County Warriors were already members of the IFL. As a large number of teams have only one jersey, jersey color will be an issue to consider.
Setting up a team budget – Unfortunately, there is no "free ride". At the very least, you are probably going to have some leasing or rental fee for a playing field; you will have uniform costs; you will have league fees; and finally, you will have officiating fees. This means you will obviously require some sources of revenue. Most teams have some amount of player fees, sponsorships, and fund raising. Again, this will be a factor in the league/team selection process.
Player Recruitment – This is perhaps the most visible and also controversial element of forming a new team. I have seen it set off a firestorm of discussion not only on this board but also within league board rooms. It used to be that it was simply a matter of several teams accusing each other of "impropriety" but has increasingly included roster cut-off times as well. If you are recruiting players that have no previous affiliation with a current team, this could be a minor factor. That is however, rarely the case. In any event, you need to get your roster manned ASAP.
Targeting a league and application – While most teams are now done playing, it might seem as though you have plenty of time. I would caution you that this is a mere illusion. You will find yourself increasingly compressed for time. On the front end, you have Thanksgiving quickly followed by Christmas and New Years to deal with. On the back end, most leagues will have their new team applicant presentations in the February/March time frame. They will then make their selections any time after that. In most cases, an installment on league fees will quickly follow. Thus it is important to try to make contact with a perspective league ASAP. Ask pertinent questions. Try to determine if they are a good fit for you and vice-versa. Here again, selecting a league to apply to can become a "political football" as attested to by this message board.
Impact on Officiating – This topic might seem to not belong on the list. Nevertheless, I have included it based on the impact that it seems to have on the reputation of various leagues. With the increasing plethora of new teams popping up every year, it is my opinion that nobody is considering the impact that it has upon officiating quality. Using the IFL and MFL as examples; if each league adds two teams to its membership, it has essentially added 1 game to each of their schedules. As most games feature a standard crew of 4, this indicates that 8 new officials will be required to work the additional games. I will let folks contemplate the various impact of this issue.