The Home of Arena Football Fans since 1998

ESPN3 is a Great Way to Watch the AFL

Randy Snow
Wednesday April 16, 2014

Ten years ago, in 2004, I wrote an article on ArenaFan called "How I Spent My Friday Night." It told how I tried to follow an Arena Football game between the Grand Rapids Rampage and the Indiana Firebirds one night on the Internet. My dial-up modem did not make for an easy time of it.

I was reduced to following the entire game on a live game stats page on There was a graphic on the screen of a playing field and a football that showed what yard line the ball was on. The screen refreshed about every 30 seconds or so. Text would soon appear on the screen saying who had just run the ball on the previous play or who caught the pass and how many yards were gained on the play. It was an archaic and frustrating way to follow a live game. But that was the level of technology available at the time.

Four years later in 2008, I wrote another article called, "How I Spent My Monday Night." Again, I was trying to follow the Rampage during a road game, this time against the Kansas City Brigade. By then, I had a high-speed connection at home and was able to stream the game live on my computer for free using something called AFL Net.

This season, I have been watching live AFL games on ESPN3. The Arena Football League has TV contracts with CBS Sports Network as well as on ESPN. If the game you want to watch isn’t on one of those two networks, you can still watch all AFL games on ESPN3 on the internet.

Since Grand Rapids does not have an AFL team anymore (something I feel the league needs to rectify ASAP) I have been following the Cleveland Gladiators the past few years. Head coach Steve Thonn and assistant coach Ron Selesky coached in Grand Rapids that 2008 season, and this season they have led the Gladiators to a 4-0 start.

I watched the Gladiators game against the Los Angeles KISS last weekend on ESPN3. I used an HDMI cable to connect my laptop to the flat screen TV and enjoyed the game on the big screen. It was just as good as if it were being broadcast on any of my other 300 satellite channels.

The week before, I was watching one AFL game on TV and another game (Cleveland) on my laptop at the same time! I was in Arena Football heaven.

I also recently purchased a Blue Ray/DVD player that is connected to the internet, but I have not figured out how to watch AFL games on it as of yet.

What a difference 10 years makes! The technology available today is incredible and AFL fans have no excuse for not following their team of choice every week throughout the entire season.

Randy Snow covered the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League for ArenaFan from 2003-2008. He also covered the Fort Wayne Fusion of arenafootball2 in 2007. From 2004-2008 and in 2010, he was a member of the Arena Football League Writer’s Association and, since 2011, has been a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association. Randy lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan but will travel just about anywhere for a football game or a great football story. He runs the web site and hosts a podcast with his son, Adam, called “This Week in The World of Football.”
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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