Arena Football Returns to Las Vegas
If Motley Crue were an Arena Football team, what would the opening game look like? Fireworks? Check. Black and gold uniforms? Check. Vince Neil singing the national anthem? Check. Add a crowd of 6,564 fans and, as Vince said, ”It’s (bleepin') game time.”
Unfortunately for the Outlaws, the game went about as expected for an expansion team that was a 17.5-point underdog. Las Vegas first possession ended with an interception. The SaberCats had a twenty-eight point lead before the Outlaws scored, The Outlaws never came closer than 15 points. The final score was 59-41.
Outlaw fans did have some things to cheer about. Las Vegas native Tysson Poots led the Outlaws with seven catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Las Vegas outscored San Jose 28-17 in the second half.
The fact is these guys are still learning to play together as a team (since there are no exhibition games). They showed great improvement just in one half. If the Outlaws can keep that up, the fans will have a lot more to cheer about this season.
One question that a number of people have been asking is, ”What will it take to make the Outlaws a success in Las Vegas?” Winning an Arena Bowl is one way. Since that is not the most likely outcome in the early years of the franchise, there are other things that will make them a success. First, is a strong league which has been addressed with the appointment of Scott Butera as commissioner. In the past, several Las Vegas franchises have folded often only one season ahead of the entire league they were playing in. Second, is local ownership. Mr. Neil and his partners from Rockstar LLC definitely address that. Finally, emulate the Las Vegas 51s (minor league baseball). For all the criticism of Las Vegas for not supporting teams the 51s have had 31 successful years as a professional sports team. I say to Outlaw management, learn from them.