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To Melvin Cunningham

Dan Ryan
Tuesday June 11, 2002


These few thousand or so kilobytes go to Melvin Cunningham, even though there are so many other ways to fill this corner of the World Wide Web from Sunday’s renewal of the I-4 war between the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators.

What about David Saunders’ four-yarder from Scott Milanovich with just seven seconds left? Folks, this was Orlando-Tampa Bay. A last-second game-winner is a given in this series. And, unfortunately, with all the other thrills provided since 1991, this one will be all but forgotten in the next few years, unless the Storm uses it as the jumping off point for a late-season run that earns them the right to enter San Jose as a huge underdog.

What about the Predators’ continued struggles with their kicking game? Too bloody obvious. Besides, I’m rooting for Nick Gatto anyhow. Great kid, great attitude.

What about Jay Gruden saying that Tim Marcum can stick Gruden’s unretired No. 7 Storm jersey “up his rear if he wants” Boy, talk about a silver platter or what? But no, let’s give the props to Mr. Cunningham and his two second quarter kickoff returns that played a key role in the Storm’s 48-45 victory.

After all, Cunningham has spent the better part of two years recovering from a stressed arch injury in his foot while practicing at the team`s indoor facility during the preseason, keeping him from becoming the next great exciting player. Comeback stories work much better, anyhow.

And it isn’t as if this wasn’t expected. Prior to the injury, Cunningham had returned a kick every time against the Preds. He even gave his former Marshall teammate B.J. Cohen a warning that he “was going to get his 1.000 batting average up” and he delivered.


 
Dan Ryan has been involved with all forms of arena football since 1988, including writing for ArenaFan when Joe Kauffman and Tim Capper aren’t killing his columns because they don’t get his jokes or perspective. His day job is at Bethune-Cookman University, which has produced both an NFL Hall of Famer (Larry Little) and an Arena Football Hall of Famer (Stevie Thomas) and his hobby is tracking how many f-bombs Adam Markowitz drops in the chat room on game nights.
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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