The Home of Arena Football Fans since 1998

Storm playoff hopes, Lawrence Samuels' coaching career fading

Connor Akeman
Sunday July 19, 2015

I present to you this scenario: Team A has a 2-12 record, is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, and financial troubles have basically led to the ceasing of all football operations. Team B, on the other hand, boasts a 6-8 record, is in the thick of a playoff race, and frankly is one of the most well-respected franchises in the league. A cakewalk for Team B, right?

Way wrong.

So, who is Team B? Well, it’s the Tampa Bay Storm. The team that always seems to come up short. The team that always seems to waste a golden opportunity. And honestly, I’ve seen enough. 

With a 65-53 loss to the New Orleans VooDoo on Saturday night, the Storm are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Tampa Bay will essentially need to win out and get help elsewhere. While the final score may indicate a back-and-forth tight game, don’t be fooled. New Orleans last winning third quarter was May 2nd, so naturally the VooDoo went on a 27-0 run in the third quarter against the Storm and led 44-28 at one point. 

While I usually enjoy singling out some kind of bright spot, or impressive stats. I’ve got nothing. It was truly an inspiring performance from the usually inferior VooDoo and just a complete dud for the Storm. And now, the dreaded question becomes relevant and must be asked. Just how hot is that seat getting, Lawrence Samuels?

Nearing the end of his second full season at the helm, the Storm head coach is 14-19 overall with a couple, well, unacceptable losses. A blowout at the hands of the Portland Thunder on home turf last season, and now this night in New Orleans certainly finds its way to the top of that list. Samuels is 1-4 against the division rival Orlando Predators, and the Storm will once again not finish above .500, something they haven’t done since the 2010 campaign. 

Yes, it’s one game. And yes, maybe I’m making more of this than I should. But I can’t be the only one recognizing this losing trend. These numbers need to be acknowledged and people need to be held accountable.

You certainly wouldn’t know that all signs are pointing to the VooDoo franchise folding in the next month or so with such an impressive showing on Saturday night, and all the credit in the world to them. But for the Storm, enough is enough. No more begging. No more excuses. No more settling for this mediocrity. Win the games you’re supposed to win, and then maybe we can talk about this whole playoff thing.


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.
Connor Akeman Articles
Storm lose ArenaBowl XXX As Soul Complete Comeback
Storm Roll By Gladiators To Clinch Spot In ArenaBowl XXX
Storm Secure Home Playoff Game With Yet Another Thrilling Win Over Valor
Tampa Bay Storm Midseason Review: Playoffs! And more
Storm Defeat Valor For Fourth Straight Victory And Best Start Since 2001
Storm Push Winning Streak To Three After Road Win Over Valor
Storm Win Thriller Over Brigade In First Ever Meeting
Storm Drop Third Consecutive Home Opener, Fall Short Against Defending Champs
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly - Wrapping up the 2016 Tampa Bay Storm Season
Extra, Extra! Everything you need to know about the Tampa Bay Storm as season winds down
View all articles