I have talked at length about how much I love professional sports, especially at the lower levels. I love college sports too, and high level professional sports, but there is something VERY special about professional teams that do not play on a national stage.
To me, the lower levels are where interesting things can happen. Odd and interesting situations can occur, and the game is just more fun to watch.
I love the history of major league baseball, and I love researching the old teams that were there when the majors kind of came together. How cool would it have been to see teams like the Louisville Colonels and the Cincinnati Red Stockings back in the late 1800s?
I think arena/indoor football is kind of in the same place that early era MLB baseball was at 140 or so years ago. I hope that in a few decades people will talk about going to those early games. People like indoor football, but I could see it becoming a LOT more popular in the near future.
Lexington and Louisville have both had successful arena teams (both are defunct but both had impressive crowds). Pikeville has a team now that has lasted for a few seasons.
Now Owensboro has a team! On a personal level, I am very excited about Owensboro having their first professional football team!
I know that several years ago, there was talk of trying to get a Frontier League baseball team in the area. That fell through. Owensboro did have a professional basketball team for a couple of years. Well, they do have a pro sports team for 2013 (take that Bowling Green)!
I do hope that the area really gets behind this team. I think they had a crowd of around 400 for this first game. I hope that the local government, sponsors, and fans do what they can to make sure that the Rage sticks around.
So, I drove down to Owensboro Friday to be at the first ever professional football game in town! This was my first time at the Next Level Indoor Sports Facility.
First off, I like the Next Level. If you have been to indoor football games before, the atmosphere is a bit different.
I feel very lucky that I was able to catch the Northern Kentucky River Monsters at the Banks of Kentucky Center, and the Horsemen play at Rupp. Those are very upscale venues, and it is great seeing a sports event at either location. Both are amazing facilities.
Well, the Next Level is not exactly Rupp Arena. Then again, thats OK too (traffic around Rupp can be a bit of a headache at times).
One MAJOR advantage to playing at a facility like the Next Level is that you can stand right up against the wall for the price of a general admission ticket. You literally can't get this close to the action at most any other venue. There is a nice balcony area too, which gives another angle for watching the action. We watched the game from this point for a few minutes. You are directly over the sidelines, and you can even hear some of the players and coaches. We enjoyed hearing a little bit of trash talk going on with the players.
This was a preseason game but Owensboro looked great. In fact, they dominated the other team. After the 3rd quarter, The Rage were up 60-0 (thats not a typo) and the team from Cincinatti went home before the 4th quarter.
Players mingled with fans before and after the game. This level of football (and the friendly town of Owensboro) encourages a certain familiarity and informalness.
Please get down to see a game soon, this is a team that needs and appreciates your support!!!!
Even if you missed the first professional football game in Owensboro, you still have a chance to witness the first professional football game in Owensboro that doesn't end in forfeit!