Football season is here!

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Arena football season, that is.  Shawn here…

The Barnstormers were borderline dominant in just their second year of competition in the af2.  I’m concerned, however, that the franchise hasn’t updgraded its talent enough to be a force in the AFL.  Iowa kicks off the 2010 season against Chicago on Friday night. 

Friday’s game will be televised live on NFL Network.  I’m interested to see if the live telecast has any effect on attendance.  The Barnstormers were 2nd in the af2 in home attendance in 2009, averaging more than 9,000 fans per game.  The broadcast probably won’t help attendance, but I don’t think it will hurt either. Like most minor league sporting events, the allure lies in the experiencing the event live.  With the exception of a few hundred hard-core fans, most people at arena football games are there for the atmosphere, the people watching, and the excuse to tailgate in April.  Besides, most of the Barnstormers games in 2009 were broadcast locally, and that didn’t seem to have a noticeably effect.

Brian Brown is a phenomenal ambassador for the Drake Relays.  Brian is everything a event director should be; personable, available, and creative.  Once again this year, Brown has come up with a few new ideas to spice up the Relays.  If only Brian could guarantee sunshine and 80 degree temperatures for April 22-24.

Both Iowa junior Kachine Alexander and Iowa State senior Alison Lacey were named honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press.  I think Lacey would have had a legitimate shot at making the 2nd team if not for a late season bout with pneumonia.  Lacey returned and played in the NCAA tournament, and tried to down-play her health, but she wasn’t close to 100 percent in March.  Still, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference against UCONN.  By the way, the Huskies only beat Flordia State by 40 to advance to the Final Four.

Shawn