By RJ Ciancio
Director of NAL Coverage
With the Arena Football League having just launched a new set of uniforms I decided to go over my personal top five favorite.
Albany Empire (5)
At the number five slot we have the newest uniform on the list. Something about the neon orange against the navy blue is exciting yet soothing. The Arena Football League (AFL) made a wise choice as the flashy uniform compliments the league’s style of play. It was exciting, memorable and full of exuberance, just like the AFL’s mission.
Dallas Desperados (4)
The only away uniform on this list belongs to the Dallas Desperados. The color scheme is simple, royal blue and white. Dallas’ uniform wouldn’t be that memorable if it didn’t have the top half of the jersey in an elegant royal blue. The white lettering is a nice contrast and the same goes for the blue numbering on the white. Overall, this a solid and simple uniform.
Portland Thunder (3)
The Portland Thunder had a complex yet elegant uniform. The pants are you standed white complimented by royal blue socks. As far of the tops go they are a traditional royal blue with white numbering. However, it is the helmet that truly make the uniform memorable. The fat royal blue stripe divides the helmet well, giving two distinct areas for the grey to surround the powerful Thunder logo. This is the best uniform the revived AFL has put out so far.
Milwaukee Mustangs (2)
The original Milwaukee Mustangs are the only team that I can recall that have made turquoise, white and royal purple work as a color scheme. Royal purple is a great base for a uniform and turquoise trimming provide a smooth transition to the white numbers. The helmet, however, is what makes the look memorable. WIth a turquoise stripe down the middle of a royal purple shell with a mustang speeding along in front of an M it’s clear that much time and effort was put into this design.
New York Dragons (1)
Up to this point we have gone over bold, flashy, and clean uniforms, but none of them are quite as classic as the Aaron Garcia era New York Dragons home uniform. The fire red helmet goes perfectly with the menacing and sharp black dragon. New York was smart to make the lettering and number trim yellow, so to not overwhelm us with fire red. The black uniform has a dark and menacing look installing (as much) fear (as a uniform can) into the opposing fans and players. When you and the small red and yellow flames on the shoulders the uniform becomes a classic.
Photo courtesy of Wichita Force By James Chambers Contributing Writer
The Wichita Force improved their game in week 2 against the Texas Revolution. Even though the team gave the Revolution multiple first downs that came on fourth down attempts, fans seen a drastic improvement over week one. The first score of the game went to the Revolution, when Robert Kent Jr. threw a four-yard strike against the Force. That play defined the rest of the game.
However, the Force did make it a competition by only losing by 10 points by game end. Aside from the defensive penalties, the Force managed to improve as a team after a 50 point loss to the Duke City Gladiators. Joe Hubener finished the game with 197 yards and four touchdown passes. Eventually, the Force would end the game trailing by ten with a final score of 47 – 37.
Week three the Force played the Flying Aces in Enid, Oklahoma. The Force received the first kickoff. They would hold on the ball for an unprecedented six minutes before running back Jack Tomlinson rushed in with a five-yard scamper into the end zone.
The Aces looked like they switched places with the Force starting the game out with mis-snaps making it difficult for quarterback Joshua Floyd to handle the ball. After throwing an initial 15-yard pass to Joshua Steward Floyd fumbled the snap with the Force recovering. The Aces defense initially held the Force to a three and done possession, forcing a field goal attempt that was blocked by the Aces defense. Consequently the Force recovered the blocked football ten yards up the field yielding a first down. Additionally the Aces defense came up strong, making the Force settle for a 22-yard field goal attempt giving the Force a 10 – 0 lead.
The second quarter was time for the Aces to start their comeback attempt. The Aces put together a ten play offensive escapade that led to a touchdown with help from three penalties on the Force defense. The Aces went into the locker room at half time with a 20 – 13 lead.
The start of the second half the Aces received the first kickoff. Floyd again fumbled the throw and Wichita recovered fumble the ball again and recovering in the end zone for the tying score. Aces offensive line was flagged for a holding call on their next possession, causing their next possession to be cut short and missing a field goal attempt. Joe Hubener would help lead the Force offense down the field and throw a 19-yard toss to make the score 27 – 20.
The Aces next possession would eventually land them on the two-yard line where Floyd scored the touchdown on a quarterback keeper to close the gap just before the third quarter came to a close. The Aces missed the extra point, leaving the Force a one-point lead.
The Force answered the touchdown with a field goal giving them a four-point lead to start the fourth quarter. Floyd, determined to score selected the quarterback keeper to score another two-yard touchdown to put the Aces up by two points. Wichita’s offense proved to be too much to handle for the Aces defense. Wichita went on to score three consecutive times against the Aces. Winning the game with a score of 42 – 32. A Marcus Carter interception put the game at rest and allowed the Force the ability to seal the victory.
Next up for the Force they travel to take on the Omaha Beef who currently holds a similar one and two records. This game will be one to watch with both teams fighting for second place in their respective divisions.