Shock Remain Solid Despite AFL Upheaval - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Shock Remain Solid Despite AFL Upheaval

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The Goal Line Bandits have been loud and proud at Shock games all season long despite everything. The Goal Line Bandits have been loud and proud at Shock games all season long despite everything.

SWXRightNow.com -- On the eve of the Spokane Shock's week 15 game there hasn't been a lot to cheer about this season. In fact, there's been only a few things to even cheer about at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in 2015.

There's no reason to lie to fans. This year has been pretty bleak. A bunch of big faces in the franchise headed to different pastures, most notably AFL star QB Erik Meyer and his favorite receiving threat Adron Tennell have helped lead the division rival San Jose SaberCats to a league best 13-2. A bit of a bitter pill.

But even with a 4-10 record and only two wins from seven home games, Shock fans should rejoice. They still have a team in Spokane.

Many of you might be aware of the situation in the Arena Football League, the top indoor football league. For those of you who aren't, it isn't pretty.

With only a few weeks of play left, the AFL was forced to take control of two teams, the New Orleans VooDoo and Las Vegas Outlaws. And on top of that, the league has canceled a game for the first time in the 28 year history of the league, the week 18 matchup between both its newly acquired teams.

The VooDoo sit at a league worst 2-12. while Las Vegas holds a 5-9 mark and second place in the West Division behind the Shock's week 15 opponent, the Arizona Rattlers.

New Orleans could have hope with a group of investors from Texas possibly looking to buy the team and bring it home with them.

So why does this matter to Spokane?

Well it puts things in perspective.

In a league that has about as many changes in teams or ownership or divisions or conferences or whatever it is next season, the Shock have been a constant since joining the AF2 (the former sub-division and feeder league of the AFL) 10 years ago.

Attendance is always in the upper half of the AFL rankings, including leading the AF2 each year Spokane was in the league from 2006-09. All that with one of the lower attendance possibilities of seats to fill in the league with only 10,771 seats available for AFL games at the Spokane Arena. Even this season Spokane is filling the the Arena at 74 percent capacity. Not too shabby for a down year.

The new ownership of Arena Football Partners LLC. and president president Nader Naini brought in a new field in 2015, granted it was the old field of the folded San Antonio Talons, but it was still an investment and big improvement. Naini and co. have said they want to stay in Spokane and bring a championship back to the Lilac City.

Can't say the same for the Outlaws and VooDoo who both had to be taken under league control in their first year in the AFL.

This may feel like a major fluff piece for the Shock. But more so this is a chance to be thankful to have a team that isn't in a state of complete chaos. Unless you're a LA KISS fan, then you like the jungle they've created at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Spokane isn't paying players in illegitimate ways -- speaking of the Pittsburgh Power. The Shock aren't shy about cracking down on troublemakers either. They suspended a duo who got into some trouble on road trip to Las Vegas, went through the proper procedures and now one of those players is back on the roster after undergoing counseling.

It's not perfect. Head coach Andy Olson will be the first person to tell fans it isn't and that this team has underperformed in 2015. Sure injuries haven't helped, but the Shock have left winnable games on the table at home and on the road this year. But it could be worse. There could be no team at all.

They do things right and it doesn't look like they're going anywhere. Something about as rare as winning the ArenaCup and ArenaBowl in back-to-back years in the AFL. Be thankful Spokane, you've got the girl you want to bring home to mom for Thanksgiving dinner.

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