Iron Finale

Written by admin   // July 19, 2010   // 0 Comments

by Troy A. Sparks

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Judging by the summer calendar, it looks like the transition from indoor football to NFL training camp will go as planned.

The Milwaukee Iron clinched a playoff berth in the second year of their Arena Football League franchise by beating the Orlando Predators, 57-41, Saturday, at home.

“I’m glad (the playoff berth) is completed,” Iron coach Bob Landsee said.  “We’ve got two more games yet before we figure out where we end up.”

It was a good night to watch a pro sporting event, since the Brewers were out of town.  Almost 7,000 fans beat the heat and sat in the air-conditioned Bradley Center.

Maybe the season-high attendance had something to do with whether the Iron played their last game this season at the BC.

I say that because the team will play their last two regular season games on the road.

At 9-5, the Iron is half a game behind first place Chicago Rush, who’s 10-5 in the Midwest Division.

There’s no guarantee that the Orange and Black will host a first round playoff game.

On May 7, the Iron beat the Rush, 71-48 at home.  At that time, they were 4-1.

Since that victory, Milwaukee’s performance during the next eight weeks was like the stock market.  They would win a game and lose a game.

During that stretch, which also included a two-game losing streak, they played .500 football, going 4-4.

Entering the Orlando game, the Iron was tops in the league in scoring at 65.9 points per game and had the best offense, averaging 348.8 yards per game.  Their scoring defense and pass offense is second in the league.  The Iron gave up only seven defensive touchdowns and averaged 328.5 yards in the air.

In case you missed it, Damian Harrell caught his 1,000th career pass earlier this season.  He became the ninth receiver in pro football history to reach that milestone.  That includes receivers who played in the AFL, CFL and NFL.  It put Harrell in the company of Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison, Chris Carter, Tim Brown, Issac Bruce and Terrell Owens.

The regular season for the Iron ends on July 31, around the time NFL players report to training camp.

But at least arena football fans get to see at least one more game at home, which the Iron probably will get because they have one of the best records in the league.

Jolly Suspended for 2010 Season

Last Friday, Green Bay defensive end Johnny Jolly was suspended by the NFL for the 2010 season without pay for violating the league’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.  He can apply for reinstatement after the Super Bowl.

After that announcement, the Packers released the following statement:  “Johnny is a good player that loves everything about the game of football.  We appreciate the contributions he has made to the Packers the past four seasons.  His focus and priorities now lie elsewhere.  Our thoughts are with him during this difficult personal time.”

So what does that all mean?  Jolly has time to sort out his personal issues.

Jolly, an unsigned restricted free agent in the offseason, signed a new contract with the Packers, who have rights to him.  The team anticipated his absence, and that’s why they took Purdue defensive end Mike Neal in the second round of this year’s draft.

Since it’s a “league matter,” there’s nothing the Packers can do about it.

Jolly faces a July 30 trial date, the day before players report to training camp, for possessing more than 200 grams of codeine, which was found in 2008 during a traffic stop in Houston.  Prosecutors are trying to add more drug charges, believing that Jolly bought, sold, financed and transported illegal drugs for almost two years.

If the charges stick, Jolly could get anywhere from 2 to 30 years in jail.

If the Packers trade his rights or release Jolly, another team may give him a chance once the suspension is over and if he beat the charges.

AD Bans Staff from Sports Show

North Carolina Central University’s athletic director, Kyle Serba, said coaches or other athletic department staff can no longer appear on “The Batchelor Pad,” with host L.A. Batchelor on Blog Talk Radio.  At issue was the profane language that’s sometimes used on the show.

I’m an occasional guest on the show when they want the latest on the Packers, Brewers or Bucks.  I’m used to the language.

L.A. discussed the disrespect Historic Black Colleges and Universities get from ESPN when the network broadcast tape-delayed games late at night.   L.A. and his panel of guests thought that some HBCU’s were paying ESPN big money for low-class service.  Serba made his decision based on the filthy English that he heard on the air last week.

There’s no indication if other HBCU’s will follow Serba’s lead, but that’s one man’s opinion.  Internet radio isn’t regulated by the FCC, so people can express themselves however they want.


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