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An Open Letter to the Tampa Bay Storm: Show Us Something

Connor Akeman
Wednesday April 22, 2015

On Friday night, the Tampa Bay Storm picked up their first win in front of the home fans since June of 2014. While a 42-13 thrashing of the New Orleans VooDoo was certainly nice to see, an important opportunity now presents itself this week in Cleveland. And frankly, the time has come for the Storm to win a game like this. It’s time for a signature win, on the road, against the defending conference champions. If revenge isn’t enough to fire this Storm team up, the stats certainly will.

Dating back to last season, the Storm are 1-3 in their past four road contests with the only win coming against the lowly Portland Thunder. Before that, the Storm’s only other road wins came against the San Antonio Talons, Iowa Barnstomers, and New Orleans. Again, not an impressive resume. Heck, two of those three teams are now no longer in the AFL.

The main point in all of this? Where are all the signature wins? If such wins do exist, the Storm arguably don’t have one in years. In fact, the last time the Storm won a road game against a team that A) has not left the league or B) had a winning record was in April of 2013 when Tampa Bay beat the Spokane Shock. Of course, the Storm would finish that same season on an eight-game losing streak and lose a first round playoff game... on the road.

Alas, we come to Week 5 of this season. And here again lies an opportunity for the Storm to pick up a clutch, signature road win. The Storm have dropped their last three against the Gladiators, two of which most likely left a very bad taste in the Storm’s mouth. The Gladiators spoiled the Storm’s home opener this year, just months after ending Tampa Bay’s 2014 campaign with a win in the final regular season game.

“We have to respect them,” Storm defensive lineman Brandon Sesay said when asked about the Gladiators after Friday’s game. “They’re a great team. Obviously, they went to the championship last year. They have good coaching. It’s not just a pushover team, so we have to go respectfully in and study extra hard, find our flaws and go in and get it done.”

So with all of this in mind, the time has come. The months and months of below average play and just plain mediocrity on the road needs to come to a stop. Prove that you can win on the road, and not only against the bottom dwellers of the league. I think I speak for the majority of the Storm’s fan base when I say simply… Show us something.

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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