Tag Archives: American Indoor Football

The History of the X-League Indoor Football League

“The ‘X’ is for ‘EXTREME.’  What has happened to my life?”

~Michael Mink, CEO and Commissioner of X-League Indoor Football

x-league

This week, in celebration of National Professional American Indoor Football Week, which is a fake event that we made up to justify this whole enterprise, we have been writing extremely longwinded articles about various professional indoor football leagues and their teams.  This honestly-pretty-weird idea for a themed week of articles has seen us write about the Indoor Football League and the Professional Indoor Football League, both of which pay their players about $200 a game to sacrifice their bodies while possible over 100 bloodthirsty fans cheer for their demise like the gladiators of old.

While we already know way more about semiprofessional indoor football leagues than anyone really should (technically they’re “professional” because they get paid, but when we’re dealing with salaries this low, calling these leagues anything more than semiprofessional is like claiming to be an auto parts salesman because you once traded your old station wagon to Carmax) we’re going to that well one more time to tell you about the newest and, if we’re being perfectly honest, stupidest participant in the overcrowded arena football game.

No seriously, this gets kind of dumb.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you.  Anyway, let’s talk about…

The History of the X-League Indoor Football League

arena kickoff

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The History of The Indoor Football League

“My boy plays in a football league!  He’s going to make it to the NFL one day, just like that Drew Brady!”

~The Mother of an Indoor Football League quarterback

ifl player

Two years ago, we talked about the American Indoor Football League, now just called “American Indoor Football”, a hilariously small, 10 team semi-professional football league that exists in such hotbed communities in dire need of a professional sports franchise such as Laurel, Maryland, the 25,000 population home of the defending AIFL champions, the Maryland Eagles.  We delved into the rich and honestly haphazard history of the league operating under the motto of “Fast Paced Family Fun” and gently prodded this league that probably doesn’t really need to exist.  We had a good time, and got to write about football in a way that doesn’t help Roger Goodell’s brand, so it really was a double win for us.

In a fit of nostalgia, we revisited this topic only to find that American Indoor Football is hardly alone in the field of “leagues of traveling semi-pro football teams getting paid peanuts to hit each other for the amusement of literally of dozens of fans.”  No, America is a land rich with high school varsity players just out of college desperate for a chance to relive their glory days, so we’re not content with simply one non-Arena-Football-League-knock-off.  And this week, we’re going to introduce you to three more.

That’s right, it’s National Professional American Indoor Football Week here in America (according to a sentence we just made up) so what better way to celebrate than to give three of these leagues (yup, we’ve got three distinct leagues here) their due, and introduce you to your new favorite teams to root for when your car breaks down in Sioux Falls and you just decide to shrug and start a new life there instead of paying for a new transmission.  First up—the inventively named Indoor Football League.

The History of The Indoor Football League

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The History of American Indoor Football (AIF)

“Yeah, I play professional football.  No, not for the NFL.  No, not for the Arena Football League.  Yeah, no, you’re not going to guess it.”

~AIFL Starting Quarterback

aif

America loves football as much as they love concussions.  And they must love concussions, because they really love football.  Long the nation’s most popular sport, it is responsible for the majority of the nation’s millionaires who weigh in over 300 pounds.  However, when we think of football, we think of two types of players: The really good ones who get paid ridiculous amounts of money in exchange for taking years off their life like some sort of warped bizarro-Dorian-Gray (NFL) or the occasionally-great-but-normally-okay ones who put their body at risk for free but get in trouble if they accept a free tattoo (NCAA).  Now, some of you might say, “Hey, there’s also the Arena Football League!  You know, with guys not quite good enough to play in the NFL?” and to you we’d say, wow, someone’s been watching ESPN2 at 3 in the afternoon on a slow sports day.  But you are right, the Arena Football League does have a small hold in America, and since they’re based in major cities, they manage to stay relevant enough that upon hearing the words “I’m the quarterback of the Chicago Rush” you’d typically respond, “Oh, right, I think I’ve heard of them.”

But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the insufferably poor quality of NFL Thursday night games, it’s that America views football a lot like they view sex.  When it’s good, it’s really good.  And when it’s bad?  It’s still pretty good.  So even though not everyone who played as a backup quarterback for Oregon is going to make the big show, they can at least find a way to get paid sometimes literally thousands of dollars to play a season of professional football in some strange, haphazardly put together professional football league.

A league like the AIF.  American Indoor Football.

This is their story.

aifa ball

THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN INDOOR FOOTBALL (Previously Atlantic Indoor Football League/American Indoor Football League/American Indoor Football Association)

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