Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Football Association Semi-Pro Football Hall Of Fame Announces The Names Of Those
“Going In” As The Class Of 2005

April 24, 2005 -- The American Football Association announced today the names of
those former semi-pro football players, coaches, executives and officials that
will be honored with enshrinement into the national associations Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 4th in Chicago.

Over the past 24 years the AFA has singled out 461 people from across the country who have dedicated a lifetime to an obscure level of the sport known as “Semi-Pro Football”. On Saturday, June 4th the AFA will once again gather to honor a group of semi-pro football overachievers and induct them into a unique brotherhood cherished by semi-pro footballers from coast-to-coast.

In order to help the AFA achieve another milestone in its quest to bring some much deserved awareness to the semi-pro football level - the AFA nominating committee has selected a record number of inductees to enshrine into this years class in June. With 39 new inductees accepting their Hall of Fame ‘Legends’ plaques and their AFA/HOF “Semi-Pro and Proud” commemorative rings - the AFA Hall of Fame total number of enshrinees over the past 25 years will reach the 500 mark.

As part of the American Football Association’s “Silver Anniversary” celebration in Chicago the AFA will host a semi-pro football ‘Convention/Seminar/Trade Show’ on Saturday morning and afternoon June 4th prior to their 25th annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.

“It only seems fitting that we take our Hall of Fame Induction Dinner back to the Chicagoland area where we gave birth to the American Football Association two and a half decades ago in 1980,” said the AFA president and Hall of Fame founder, Ron Real. “While we moved the AFA national headquarters from Oakbrook, Illinois to Sarasota, Florida 10 years ago, it makes sense to celebrate our 25th anniversary back in the city where it all began. Ironically, this years induction dinner will be held at the Oakbrook Terrace Hilton Suites/Drury Lane Convention Center right next door to where the AFA national office was located more than 10 years ago”, added Real.

In order to help facilitate the large number of dinner guests that the AFA anticipates this year -as well as returning AFA/HOF Alumni ‘Legends’ from ll over the country - the national association selected the well known Chicagoland Oakbrook Drury Lane Convention Center (attached to the Hilton Suites Hotel) to celebrate the induction of the Semi-Pro Football ‘Class of 2005’.

Of the 39 new inductees to be honored by the AFA national association this year, 14 acquired their semi-pro reputations on football fields in Illinois while another 5 gained their peer popularity in Wisconsin. The AFA’s birth state (Illinois) now leads the nation in the number of total inductees over the past 25 years with 88. Pennsylvania is second with 62 enshrinees while Ohio has 44 - followed closely by New York with 33, Massachusetts 31, Wisconsin 30 and California’s 27.

One of the reasons so many Mid-West regional footballers have been singled out by the AFA for HOF honors over the years is because in the past two and a half decades 4 Illinois teams have won American Football Association National Championships (1986-1992-1993-2001). Wisconsin teams won 3 AFA national titles (1981-1983-1988) and a Michigan team won the 1988 AFA Semi-Pro Football Nationals. Only the state of New York can claim to have as many national titles as Illinois with four (1985-1987-1990-2003). California heads up the west coast bragging rights for earned AFA national championships with three (1980-1991-1994) while the state of Washington is close behind with recent title wins in 2002 and 2004. East-coast honors go to New York with their 4 and Pennsylvania with 3 AFA titles (1982-1984-1989) while Massachusetts has two(1997-1999). North Carolina (1995) and Virginia (1996) also have possession of one national title each. A Texas team captured the AFA national title in 2000.

The players and head coaches from every team to win an AFA National Championship in the past 25 years have had their names engraved on the Arthur S. Arkush Memorial Cup. The Arkush Cup is symbolically awarded to the team winning the AFA’s Semi-Pro National Championship each year. Currently there are 1277 names engraved on the Arkush Cup. This years ‘Cup’ presentation will take place during the AFA’s Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and will be presented to a representative from the 2004 National Championship team the Eastside (Washington) Hawks.

To help make the Arkush Cup presentation during the AFA’s 25th anniversary celebration will be the AFA’s special guest dinner speaker, Hub Arkush. Hub is the publishing/editor of Pro Football Weekly News headquartered in Chicago. Hub was also very instrumental in helping the AFA get established 25 years ago and the Arkush Cup was named after his late father, Arthur, who founded PFW and was a true supporter of semi-pro/minor league football prior to his untimely death in 1978.Between the AFA’s first ever semi-pro football ‘Convention/Seminar/Trade Show’, the AFA League Commissioner’s meeting (to determine the 2005 ‘National Playoff’ pairings), the AFA’s Silver Anniversary Alumni ‘Huddle Cocktail Party’, coaches and officials clinics and the Hall of Fame Induction Dinner - semi-pro football enthusiasts will find themselves very busy during the weekend of June 3-4-5 in the Chicagoland area.

The AFA ‘Convention/Seminar/Trade Show (Saturday June 4th) is free to all AFA
card carrying members. Individual memberships to the AFA can be obtained with a
$10 (tax deductible) donation to the AFA national association. Team and Individual membership applications can be downloaded from the AFA’s website

More information about the AFA’s Hall of Fame weekend events can be found on the website. Tickets for the 25th annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner are $50 each and must be purchased in advance. Dinner ticket order forms are available on the AFA’s website as well. All events will take place at the Oakbrook Terrace Hilton Hotel/Drury Lane Convention Center in Oakbrook, Illinois. For additional information about the AFA June 3-4-5 events please contact the AFA national office at 941-388-3510.

The American Football Association is proud to present the following as new inductees into the AFA Semi-Pro Football (click here)

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