Column: A Sunday with the Arena Football League

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m really bored.

I mean, really bored.

It’s that weekend between the last Championship Sunday and Super Bowl Sunday and there’s nothing to watch on TV.


Well, except for an NBA game and a non-Big 10 college basketball game.

So nothing.

But wait. What’s this? The first arena football game of the year is also on.

Still nothing.

But my mom taught me never to knock something unless I tried it and I’ve never watched arena football. Who knows? I could like it. But then again. My mom was referring to hamburger casserole and that ended up being puked on the floor after trying.

Oh well. Might as well give this arena football stuff a try. If I don’t like, it can always end up on the floor. That’s what mops are for. The game being broadcast is Chicago against Dallas. The second quar-ter has just begun.

2:25 – Okay, I guess this Dallas team is called the Desperadoes. Is this really so different than Cowboys? Isn’t a desperado just a cowboy who can’t get a girlfriend? A “desperate” cowboy. Or am I wrong on this? In any case, “Desperate Cowboys” sounds like the Queer Eye version of “Desperate Housewives”.

2:28 – Dallas is now leading 28-7 after Rob Johnson recovered a Chicago fumble for a touchdown. No, not the Rob Johnson who quarterback for the Buffalo Bills a few years back and was sacked more than a group of “Apprentice” contestants. This guy looks like he might have some actual talent. But then again, he does play for the Arena Football League.

2:30 – The Chicago Rush are sponsored by the U.S. Army. Its patch is on the right shoulder of their uniforms. On the left shoulder is a Discover patch. I’m torn. Should I join the Army and get shipped out to that lovely paradise known as Iraq or should I get a credit card and rack up a lifetime worth of debt? Hmmm.

2:32 – NBC just posted an update from the San Jose-Tampa Bay game. I had no idea these cities even had arena football teams. I visited San Jose once and it was one of the deadest towns I’ve ever seen. It was like one of those horror movies where you’re the last person living in a city. I’m not sure what this has to do with arena football. It was freaky though.

2:36 – The Desperadoes are sponsored by Papa John’s and some company called Aaron’s. I’ve never heard of Aaron’s and have no idea what it sells. But unless Aaron’s makes paper plates to put my pizza on, I’m not really interested.

2:40 – I don’t understand why the goal posts look like erector set pieces, though I do like the whole kicking off into a net thing. But the ball should get stuck some-times, forcing the players to climb after it like they did in “American Gladiators”. And Nitro should already be in the net trying to prevent them from getting the ball. And you know what? They should just bring back “American Gladiators”.

2:45 – Dallas now leads 35-13. They score so darn quick in this game. Dennis Miller could never, ever, ever announce an arena football game. It just wouldn’t be physically possible. He would begin com-paring the game to Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” and would barely get through the first four sentences before a touchdown was scored, leading to commercial break. And then we would never know how arena football was like the “Art of War”. And that would just be sad.

2:47 – Commercial time. Okay, it seems like Aaron’s sells furniture and that Terry Bradshaw likes to dress up like a desper-ado in its commercials. Remind me to never shop at Aaron’s.

2:49 – Okay. I’m officially bored with this arena football stuff. I wonder what time “Coach Carter” is showing tonight?

2:50 – The Rush just scored on a running play. I didn’t even know that was allowed. Furthermore, I’ve just discovered there are four quarters in this game and we’ve just now reached the second. I’ve also determined that arena football is like a combination of NASCAR and the NBA. No defense. Plenty of human advertising. And a little voice in the back of my head telling me it would be smarter to stick a fork in the back of my hand than to con-tinue watching this. Just like when I watch NASCAR and the NBA.

2:54 – I’ll watch until halftime then I’m going to take a nap. Rough life, I know.

2:59 – Another touchdown for the Desperadoes. And an announcer just called the touchdown pass a frozen rope. I hate this cliche. I really do. Can’t you just say the pass was really straight? I can’t talk about this right now. Let me cool down. So that I can freeze like that terrible rope.

3:05 – Fans get to keep the football if it bounces into the stands in the AFL unlike in the NFL. Here’s the rub. Would you even keep it? Of course you would keep it. But would you treasure it? Or would you lke, “Hey, another football to use for the backyard game.”

3:09 – Keyshaun Johnson is here watching the game. Can’t you see him fighting fans for one of those loose balls? “Give me the **** ball!”

3:12 – Maybe this isn’t so bad. Chicago just got the ball back with a chance to get the score within seven. And just as I’m writing this, the Rush score a touchdown on a running play. 42-35. And it’s only the first half! Basketball teams have trouble scoring this many points in a half.

3:14 – Chicago’s John Mayor is an Arena Football League lineman god! If such a thing actually existed.

3:22 – Just like in the NFL, the last minute of an arena football half takes about an hour.

3:23 – Hey! A fight! And better yet, the announcers are commenting on it. One of them just said, and I quote, “Even his tattoos are angry.” This is, by far, the greatest thing an announcer has ever said on national television. And the time has just run out of the half. Nap time.

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