When the New York Dragons lost to the Philadelphia Soul in the 2008 Arena Football League playoffs, I had no idea it would be the last game in franchise history. When I left the broadcast booth in New Orleans after calling the national radio broadcast of the ArenaBowl that year, I had no idea that my eight-year run of working in the AFL would be coming to an end.
The AFL shut down after the 2008 season and returned in 2010 without the New York Dragons. As the years went by, it began to look like New York would never have Arena Football again and I wouldn’t able to be involved with a game that I love and means so much to me. I’ve always said that working for the Dragons and the league from 2001 to 2008 was the best job that I ever had and that was my story through eleven years of waiting.
Thankfully, the waiting ended this year with the inaugural season of the New York Streets in the National Arena League. Following a drought of more than a decade, Arena Football was back in New York and I couldn’t have been any happier to once again be a part of this great game. Having the opportunity to write for the Streets’ website and call our home games on MSG Network was an absolute thrill and I’m already excited about what lies ahead in 2020.
There are so many feelings that I have about this season and it all starts with team owners Corey and Tamara Galloway who shared the vision of bringing Arena Football back to New York. Shortly after the team was announced back in December, I reached out to Corey for two reasons. First, to have him as a guest on my podcast and second to express my interest in being involved with the team. I can’t Corey and Tamara enough for bringing me aboard and allowing me to be a part of the inaugural season.
In the past, I’ve worked with many great Arena Football coaches and that was no different this year getting to know Streets Head Coach Rick Marsilio as well as his staff. Rick was very generous with his time right from the start doing interviews for stories, responding quickly to my many text messages and having so many meaningful conversations with me at practices and games. This past season was an absolute treat from that perspective.
Thank you to all the players who were so grateful with their time for interviews and just chatting it up about football during games and practices. The Streets had some extremely talented players on the roster this season like Herbert Moore, Rob Jones, Edgar Allen Poe, Devante Jenkins, Denzel Thompson and so many more. Some of them will be back, some could move up to the Arena Football League, some may play in the new XFL and just how cool would it be to see a Streets player make it all the way to the NFL.
We could all say…we knew him back when!!!!
I’d like to thank everybody else in the organization for all of their assistance, guidance and friendship this past season, especially Bernard Frederic who always posted my stories so quickly and I’d like to publicly congratulate him on recently being promoted to Director of Football Operations. There are so many terrific people in this organization and I think this franchise will be doing some great things very soon.
I worked with some awesome people on our MSG telecasts this season.
When I was the radio voice of the Dragons, wide receiver/defensive back Will Holder was one of our best players and I was blessed to be able to stay in touch with him over the years. I’m absolutely thrilled that he was in the booth with me this season as our analyst. He may have been a rookie in the booth, but he performed like a veteran. There were a few times when I thought he was going to jump out of his chair and do a Clark Kent/Superman impersonation, take off his suit, have a uniform on and hop on the field to play, but seriously Will did an awesome job on the air. He did his homework, was always prepared, always talked to players and coaches and couldn’t be prouder of him.
Thanks to AJ Ross and Alex Giamo who were our sideline reporters this season and special thanks to ESPN Radio’s Anita Marks who joined us on selected telecasts. Also, a big thank you to Jonathan Yeardley for filling in for me on one broadcast so that I could be in Ohio to see my son Bradley compete in the USA Football Middle School Bowl Series at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Maybe he’s a future New York Street!
Also, a million thanks to all the people behind the scenes including Mark Fratto and everyone at Linacre Media for producing our telecasts and making sure everything looked and sounded great on the air. You guys and gals all did a great job!
From a personal standpoint, it was during my time in the AFL when I met my wife Sheryl and subsequently were married. It was also during that time that my older son Bradley was born and while he claims to remember a little bit about the Dragons, it was just awesome to see how he and my younger son Jared embraced the sport of Arena Football. It’s one thing to be involved with a team, a sport and a job that you love, but it’s another thing to have your family along for the ride and that made this year very special.
The Streets still have one more game to go this season as they travel to take on the Massachusetts Pirates this Saturday night (7pm YouTube). After this Saturday, everyone gets to take a deep breath to reflect on 2019 and begin preparations for 2020. I’m beyond excited for this team and franchise to build on the foundation that was set this season and to see where things go next year.
Good luck to the Jacksonville Sharks, Carolina Cobras, Massachusetts Pirates and Columbus Lions in the 2019 NAL playoffs. Hopefully, the Streets are part of that group next season and in the not to distant future bring the first Arena Football championship to New York.
Thanks for a great season and see everyone in 2020!
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