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Storm lose another at home, rally falls short against SaberCats

Connor Akeman
Saturday April 11, 2015

It may be fitting to begin this article by pointing out two key elements in the Storm’s 36-27 loss to the San Jose SaberCats on Friday night. First off, this game was not nearly as close as the final score indicates. And second, someone should maybe suggest a new team slogan. Because there seems to be plenty of calm in this Storm.

Although it certainly wasn’t the most exciting game ever played, this contest had a little bit of something for everyone. Record breaking moments? Check. Terrible, yet sometimes laughable, offensive line play? Check. Heck, you can even throw in the first half buzzer-beating safety and a couple awkward onside kick recoveries in there.

While the game ended up being decided by just nine points, it was a blowout. Plain and simple. The Storm trailed 36-7 midway through the final quarter and were at one point on the brink of finishing with the least amount of points at home in franchise history. After a couple of fluky bounces went the Storm’s way late, Tampa Bay managed to put together a 20-0 run in the fourth quarter and the crisis was averted.

Veteran WR T.T Toliver was certainly the main highlight for the Storm on this night. Toliver caught his 1,000th career ball late in the second quarter and received a nice ovation from the 8,588 fans in attendance that were looking for anything to cheer for.

Toliver is the fourth player in AFL history to reach 1,000 receptions and 17th in all of professional football history. But even Toliver himself after the game was hesitant to talk about the record.

“I still feel like I should have pushed the guys harder…. I’m not really enjoying it right now, I’m really just out here trying to win games and get the Storm back into the playoffs,” Toliver said when asked about his accomplishment.

Toliver knows what we all know at this point. The Tampa Bay Storm can’t beat what many people consider to be “elite” teams in this league. Not even at home. Dating back to last season, the Storm have dropped their last three home games. Two of those to Cleveland and now a humiliating beat down from San Jose.

What happened to the days of impressive, dominant wins for the Storm? A last second, come from behind win in Portland last week? That’s not significant. That should be a given. The Portland Thunder have played 21 games in their short existence and have won a grand total of seven. A win there impresses nobody.

Things need to change, and change quick. Play a full 60 minutes, play together as a team, and beat someone. For the sake of the fans, and writers that picked this team to win nine games, get it together.

Now, about that slogan change.

Connor Akeman is a freelance sports writer and aspiring radio broadcaster who resides in Tampa, FL. A Tampa native, he considers himself emotionally invested in the Rays, Buccaneers, and Lightning by enjoying season tickets to all three teams. He has followed the Storm since the early Tim Marcum days and can remember attending his first ever Arena Football game in 2007. Studying Mass Communications/Journalism, Connor graduated from the University of South Florida in May 2017. He has spent time with and has been published by the Orange County Register in Anaheim, CA as well as other outlets. He currently contributes to of SB Nation. You can follow Connor on Twitter @ConnorAkeman.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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