Last Night's Arena Football Season-Opener Was A Farce

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Arena Football's 25th season kicked off last night, but it would be a stretch to call what was played in Orlando "football." A players' strike hours before kickoff meant both teams mostly used replacement players selected in a draft before the game, leaving NFL Network announcers without rosters and some players switching sides just before the game started. Coaches of both teams agreed to an additional set of rules for the game, including not blitzing middle linebackers and limiting how many experienced players could be on the field at one time.

Pittsburgh came out the victor over Orlando 40-26, and the 66 total points scored was fewer than all but one game in the entire 2011 AFL season. It was mostly a comedy of errors, with special teams being especially ridiculous (or mostly absent, as coaches elected to go for it on fourth down and attempt two-point conversions). AFL coaches were forced to "aggressively recruit" players the night before, resulting in rosters full of D-III dropouts and Orlando-area high school stars in last night's contest. The AFL players' union is pushing for an increase to their current $400 a game salary. [NFL Network]