Monday, June 27, 2011

AFA Newsletter June 29, 2011 AFA Newsletter June 29, 2011
In This Issue:
•   AFA Hosts Successful 31st Annual Semi-Pro Hall of Fame Inductions
• Closes $17.2 Million Funding Round
•   Professional Football Researchers Association
•   AFA Membership Programs
•   AFA News Clips
•   Join Us On Facebook
AFA Hosts Successful 31st Annual Semi-Pro Hall of Fame Inductions
This year's semi-pro football enshrinement festivities began on Thursday evening with the annual AFA/HOF Alumni Huddle cocktail party. The "Huddle" provided attending HOF Alumni an opportunity to meet the new group of semi-pro football legends before they were inducted.

The enshrinement of this year's class of 19 new hall of famers saw the 31-year total number of inductees expand from 634 members to 653 members. Since the inaugural enshrinement in 1981 (including the Class of 2011) the AFA has recognized 370 players; 100 coaches; 82 executives; 29 officials; 23 pioneers; 20 media/historians; 13 trainer/equipment men; 6 associated with youth football; 5 involved with international semi-pro; 4 from the women's level; and even 1 'super fan.'

On Friday evening, the Class of 2011 was honored by AFA Alumni, family and friends as they received their commemorative Semi-Pro Hall of Fame recognition plaques. Craig Ochoa (Class of '03) served as MC while former teammates and/or family members presented the new inductees to the dinner crowd. A slideshow accompanied each inductee's introduction which was followed by very sincere and touching testimony from each inductee. The highlight of the evening was the induction of NFL Pro Bowler Mike Lewis of the New Orleans Saints. Mike started his semi pro football career in 1994 with the Kenner City Chiefs and went on to become the New Orleans Saints all-time career leader in punt returns (142) and punt return yardage (1,482). Mike also is currently the team ambassador of the New Orleans Saints. Mike's bio.......

The American Football Association is proud to present the names of those who will be enshrined into the AFA Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame as the "Class of 2011" (names in parentheses indicate sponsors of the new inductees):

• Lynn Patrick - LaFargeville, NY - (George Ashcraft)
• Carl Neal - Manteno, IL - (Elmhurst Travelers, Mal Yarke, Don Busch, Al Klaeren, Jack Perry)
• Dale Berman - North Aurora, IL - (Ron Hansen, Jim Benja, Pat Albanese, Fred Fiorelli, James Kulton)
• Brett Wilson - Munster, IN - (Greg Skowronski)
• John Rogan - Columbia, SC - (Jerry McGonigle)
• Terry Gorton - Queensbury, NY - (Dick Leland)
• Mike Lewis - LaPlace, LA - (Keith Ballard)
• Andy Tranchita - Northlake, IL - (Neal Anderson, Bob Beshk, Ben Ward)
• Beau Jarrell - Groveland, FL - (Don Jonas)
• Mickey Morris - Middleburg Heights, OH - (Dennis McEllicott)
• Dave Friese - Shippensburg, PA - (Dave Bonsell)
• Christopher VanStone - Carpentersville, IL - (Sue Berg, Eliseo Saldivar)
• Robert Harrison - Aurora, IL (Larry Schmidt, Gary Thomas, Jerry Schropp, Roman Strzala)

• Bill Christie - Jackson, MI - (Ceil Real)
• Alan Perkins - Crystal Lake, IL - (Craig Ochoa)
• Daris Steen - Doral, FL - (Rev Gary Wilder)

• Tom Rudzinski - Clarks Summit, PA - (Bill Higgins)

• Anthony Bartley - Las Vegas, NV (BoD/Bo Brooks)

• Lawrence Haynes III - Portland, OR (Dave Burch)

National Press Releases:


Webcast video of the 2011 Hall of Fame Inductions:

AFA 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Photos:

American Football Association
Professional Football Researchers Association
The Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the history of professional football. Formed in 1979, PFRA members include many of the game's foremost historians and writers. The PFRA is also for any fan interested in the history of professional football. The PFRA is incorporated in the state of Connecticut and has 501(c)(3) status as an educational organization with the Internal Revenue Service.

Books - Professional Football Researchers Association
Outsiders II: Minor League and Independent Football 1951-1985 - by Bob Gill, Steve Brainerd and Tod Maher. Following the pattern set with Outsiders I (which covered 1923-1950), this volume covers the independent minor leagues of professional football from 1951 through 1985. Only semipro leagues existed after 1985, and so the two volumes of Outsiders cover the complete history of 20th century football below the National Football League. Many players in these leagues played in the hope that they might get a chance to move up to the NFL and many achieved that dream. This volume contains histories and yearly statistical summaries for the top minor leagues of the period, plus the World Football League, which has a claim to major league status, and the United States Football League, which was clearly a major league. It also includes yearly summaries for the best of the lesser leagues, which featured a good number of interesting players in their own right. ISBN 978-1-878282-65-1

I recently shared excerpts from this book (page 41) with Chuck McElligott, AFA Hall of Fame Class of 1999. He shared with me the following story:
………. Those money-hungry b*st*rds need all the good publicity they can get. I'll bet most of us spent more to play than we ever made playing. Aside from San Diego the largest contract I ever signed was with the Akron Vulcans of the Continental League - $250 a game.

Doak Walker was Head Coach, Tobin Rote was G.M. and Carl Tasseff (Miami Dolphins D. coordinator) and Lou Rymkus split the defense. I remember Doak telling me after the 1st game (against either Montreal or Toronto -I'd had 6 catches in the 1st half and felt pretty good about myself) "Mac, you'd better get out of here". I had no idea what he meant until the next day when I found out he and Tobin had quit. I was living with some of the other players at a Brown Derby Hotel and cashed a couple of my paychecks there. My wife had given her notice at her teaching job and we'd put a downpayment on 1/2 a duplex. After the 2nd game the checks bounced and I "got outta' Dodge" and came back to Dayton. Frank Hurn, the owner, had taken the gate receipts from the 2nd game and skipped town. Eventually he was indicted for fraud, and went to court-don't know the outcome but I do know he owed Kent State, where we had training camp, many thousands for their dorm and facilities usage, the city of Akron for rental of the Rubber Bowl and taxes and a few sporting goods companies for supplies.

Eventually the Brown Derby found me and I paid them what I owed, my wife substitute taught that year, I got my job back and finished the season with the Dayton Colts.

That was my 3rd year of life in the world of minor league/semi-pro football.. I went on to play eight more seasons with stops in Pontiac, Michigan playing for "Tom The Bomb" Tracy, 2 trips to the San Diego Chargers, the Columbus, Ohio "Bucks" and then the "Barons" and finally back home for 2 more years with the reorganized Dayton Colts.

I LOVED ALL OF IT, EVERY MINUTE! The friends I made, the fun I had, the bumps and bruises that I collected and now the stories and memories that those years gave to me.

I thank God frequently for creating an oblong ball with laces and guys with strong arms. What fun,

Professional Football Researchers Association
AFA News Clips
American Football Association Hall of Fame Jackets - Now Available !!!
American Football Association Hall of Fame Jackets - Now Available !!!
We are pleased to announce that AFA Hall of Fame jackets are now available for purchase directly from Chicago Knitting Mills.....and yes, they do have the plus sizes 2X -- 5X! Just send an email to to obtain an order form.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Keith Ballard, AFA Hall of Fame Class of 2010 for initiating this project; I can tell you he's really excited about his jacket!

AFA Alumni Jackets are now available …………the only difference between this jacket and the Hall of Fame Jacket above is the AFA Alumni logo on the back. If interested in placing an order, request an order form via email to

Wilson NFL Footballs
We have just been informed by Wilson that they will no longer sell "blem" footballs.............The good news is that we now stock new Wilson Footballs for $15 more per ball. So instead of $50/ball or $300 per case for blems, the price is now $65/ball or $390 per case for new balls. Shipping and handling remains the same at $20............

Chicago's finest enforce football superiority
Chicago Tribune
Instead, he was the one being pursued and tackled by a group of frustrated Philadelphia cops and firefighters after making an acrobatic interception en route to helping his fellow Chicago police officers win the National Public Safety Football League ...,0,6950912.story

The Chicago police Enforcers football team won their 1st league ...
Chicago Enforcers police football team defeats Philadelphia in championship ... win the National Public Safety Football League Division II Championship. ...

Football: Mustangs get a scare, but win 40th straight
MIDDLETON — Madison Mustangs safety David Pilla had a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1 minute, 19 seconds left to clinch a 24-10 victory over the Muskego Hitmen in an Ironman Football League game on Saturday night at Breitenbach ...
A member of the Ironman Football League, the Hitmen have been one of the league's most successful franchises since joining in 2003. Now in its 16th season, the ever-growing IFL consists of 10 teams who play a summer schedule from June until late August ...

North Stars cruise again
Plattsburgh Press Republican
"I think we're exactly where we need to be going into the Empire Football League season," Stars offensive coordinator Scott Aguglia said. Plattsburgh will open its EFL schedule in Albany July 9 with it plays visitor to the Metro Mallers. ...

Long time Darien Illinois Residents Gary Thomas and son James Thomas are recently back from the All American Bowl in Las Vegas Nevada. Gary Thomas was picked as Defensive Coach and son James at linebacker for the West All American Team by the Minor League Football News. Both Father and Son were with the Aurora Wildkatz last season. They were chosen from over 2700 Semi-Pro Football Teams throughout the Nation. Coach Thomas is a member of the AFA Semi-Pro Hall Of Fame 07. Son James Thomas led the West Defense with 12 tackles and 1 sack. Final score of the game was 23 to 15 West over the East.
+ Semi-pro Football HQ Scoreboard
New features at . In the upper right hand corner of our home page is a "Search this Site" button with which you can search 12.5 years of information accumulated for player names, coaches, teams, leagues, etc.
Additionally, you can now view 2010 league champions from the 79 semi-pro football leagues across the USA.
Copyright (c) 1998-2011, Joe Hulsebus

Semi Pro Football Newsfeed Closes $17.2 Million Funding Round
San Francisco, Calif. — June 7, 2011 -, a social lending marketplace that brings together creditworthy borrowers with individual and institutional investors, today announced that it has raised over $17 million in funding from new investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Crosslink Capital. Existing investors Accel Partners, CompuCredit, Omidyar Network, TomorrowVentures, and Volition Capital also participated in the round. The Wall Street Journal recently named Prosper to "The Next Big Thing" list for 2011, which recognizes the 50 most promising venture-backed companies, selected from more than 10,600 U.S.-based companies.$17.2_Million_Funding_Round%0A________

PROSPER (click here)
AFA Membership Programs
2011 AFA Alumni Club Membership - Are You A Card Carrying Member?
AFA Membership is open to anyone and everyone that, at one time or another, had been (or still is) involved with a semi-pro team and/or league. Semi-Pro Football Alumni Club is co-sponsored by the AFA National Association and the Members of the AFA Hall of Fame Alumni. If you are interested in a 2011 membership application, just click:

2011 AFA Team & League Membership
Membership applications are now being accepted for the 2011 season. The annual membership fee to join the AFA is $100 "per team" which provides a benefit package that is easily 10x this fee. Team membership applications can be downloaded by clicking:

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About the American Football Association: The American Football Association is a national 501(c) (3) non-profit, tax exempt corporation in its 31st year of operation and is dedicated to the advancement of adult (semi-pro) football from coast-to-coast. Our slogan is Semi Pro & Proud®. We are not affiliated with any other national semi-pro/minor league organization (Minor League Football News, American Football News Today, American Football Hall of Fame, Minor Pro Hall of Fame, etc). The AFA, Hall of Fame, American Football News™ and AFA logo design are registered trademarks of the American Football Association. All other AFA-related trademarks are trademarks of the American Football Association.  American Football Association

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