ArenaFan Chat: Doug MacGregor
MacGregor is completing his second year with the Wranglers and manages the team's daily business operations. He combines a broad range of business experience from chip design to high tech business management. He answered questions on subjects from Deion Sanders to a possible new arena in Austin.
Below is the transcript of the chat session. It has not been edited for spelling or content, other than to remove chat room "noise". Doug MacGregor posted to the chat as "MacWrangler".
[arenazone] 8:51 pm: Hi Doug thanks for taking time chat with fans
[The Mangler Bartender] 8:51 pm: HI Doug
[MacWrangler] 8:51 pm: Glad to be here
[MacWrangler] 8:53 pm: So are we going to wait until 8:00 or should we get started?
[arenazone] 8:53 pm: we can start now
[arenazone] 8:54 pm: how important is it for the Wranglers to win this week and get a home playoff game
[MacWrangler] 8:54 pm: It's a huge game. We were glad to beat GR, but we know that going into the playoffs, we are going to play great teams and Orlando will be a good first step
[MacWrangler] 8:55 pm: The other thing is of course we want to have a home playoff game
[arenazone] 8:56 pm: So what has Deion Sanders done for the team since joining the ownership group
[MacWrangler] 8:58 pm: He's got an insight and marketing flair that I really appreciate. He's in this deal for the long term and understands that it's going to take time to build a successful franchise
[MacWrangler] 8:58 pm: He's already gotten involved with the fans and sponsors.
[arenazone] 8:59 pm: so Deion has made a positive impact so far
[AFL Chat]: Brooklyn 316 has entered at 8:00 pm
[MacWrangler] 9:00 pm: Yes, but the contribution has just begun. He's going to help in many facets - football, marketing and awareness
[JStorm] 9:01 pm: Doug remeber the Jim..JStorm fromthe arena cup?
[JStorm] 9:01 pm: in Bossier?
[MacWrangler] 9:01 pm: I'm really excited about working with Deion
[MacWrangler] 9:02 pm: JStorm, of course I remember you and I also enjoy reading your opinions on the boards
[JStorm] 9:02 pm: OH My
[MacWrangler] 9:02 pm: So, do you wear your hardhat while you're in the chat room?
[JStorm] 9:02 pm: It was nice talking to you
[JStorm] 9:02 pm: Ummm no....Only on game days
[MacWrangler] 9:03 pm: I go on the road with the team and I love the fans throughout the league, they give us a ribbing, but it's all in fun and we love their passion for the game
[MacWrangler] 9:04 pm: After the game in Dallas, we agreed that we had to meet for the conf. Championship
[JStorm] 9:04 pm: Dallas owes pay back.
[MacWrangler] 9:05 pm: Well, the beauty of the playoffs is that it's a new season. We've been disappointed by our results over the previous weeks and we have something to prove.
[MacWrangler] 9:06 pm: I had a concern that since we're a new franchise that didn't have a strong history, that we might suffer from our early success. I hope that we've worked through that and gained the focus we need to hit the playoffs
[JStorm] 9:06 pm: Why didnt former Desperados Shawndel Tucker make the squad?
[MacWrangler] 9:08 pm: Shawndel is a talented player, but with K. Nickerson, D. Lewis, and now Chiv & S. Robinson, it's tough to make the team
[Brooklyn 316] 9:06 pm: I donít think you should have any problem with the road Mac Your team is 5 and 2 on the road and 4 and 4 at home. I Imagine you welcome the road at that rate
[MacWrangler] 9:07 pm: We don't break it down like that. It's not about home - away. It's about how we played each game. We had lost some games where we had a strong lead and that's what we want to improve on.
[JStorm] 9:09 pm: You going to attend the arena cup this year?
[MacWrangler] 9:10 pm: I love all arena games and get as much as I can. I'm also learning the game so I'll plan to be there
[arenazone] 9:10 pm: is chance mock coming in to run the football on goaline situations because John Fitzgerald is banged up
[MacWrangler] 9:11 pm: John is a fierce competitor but he's dinged up and Chance is a talented player so I think that the coaches have come up with an approach that players into each player's strengths
[JStorm] 9:10 pm: OK...Dallas Desperados dancers or wrangler dancers there?
[MacWrangler] 9:11 pm: I don't know which dance team will be there
[JStorm] 9:12 pm: U think that chance is the future of the franchise? MacWrangler] 9:12 pm: I don't believe that any single player can be the future of a franchise. Too many things change. You need a balanced tem
[dcrown] 9:12 pm: The Manglers need to be the dancers...
[The Mangler Bartender] 9:12 pm: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[MacWrangler] 9:13 pm: I'd vote for the Manglers - but I don't know if Shreveport is cool enough to understand them
[dcrown] 9:13 pm: true true
[JStorm] 9:13 pm: older QB's seem to be better in this league. Ftizy has done good in Austin, New Orleans.
[MacWrangler] 9:14 pm: It's a game where a QB needs to be able to do far more than throw a good ball. The field is so small, you need to be able to make reads very quickly
[JStorm] 9:14 pm: What does your team need to do to ensure a good play off run?
[MacWrangler] 9:14 pm: Experience is critical
[MacWrangler] 9:15 pm: We have the ingredients. We have a solid team. We need to have the focus and execution. If we play at our potential, we can play with anyone
[afdave] 9:15 pm: How serious is the thinking about the Wranglers being involved in getting their own arena, and is the AFL particularly interested, since I believe this would be the first Arena (if built) primarily for an AFL franchise (not NBA or NHL)
[MacWrangler] 9:16 pm: First, we're exploring an arena. There is no question that Austin area needs one - not for the Wranglers but for all of the entertainment
[JStorm] 9:15 pm: has had
[JStorm] 9:15 pm: Who do you want to face in the play offs in the first round?
[MacWrangler] 9:17 pm: We don't care who we play in the playoffs. They're all going to be good teams
[JStorm] 9:17 pm: Will the new arena be built for the wranglers?
[MacWrangler] 9:18 pm: It will be built to be a great AFL arena, but that's only 10 out of what needs to be 150 dates. If we design it right, it will be great for the Wranglers and a great venue for concerts, etc
[JStorm] 9:18 pm: If so make the lower bowl close to the field. It helps witht he game.
[MacWrangler] 9:18 pm: Absoultely
[Brooklyn 316] 9:19 pm: While on the subject of the arena and what you had said earlier. Do you think that the transition playing on a small field and needing quicker reactions at home has contributed to your better road record
[MacWrangler] 9:20 pm: I don't know. We should have an advantage since we know the field better. I believe that it's been more of an issue of our execution
[MacWrangler] 9:21 pm: It's easy to look at home and road record - I look at the characteristics of the games we've won and lost. We do better when we're behind and have to fight back. When we've gotten a lead, we haven't done as well.
[arenazone] 9:21 pm: if San Antonio was to get an AFL expansion team would that at all cut into the Wranglers fan base
[MacWrangler] 9:21 pm: It might a little, but that will be offset by more marketing and awareness. We can have some great I35 rivalries
[MacWrangler] 9:22 pm: Look at Tampa & Orlando
[arenazone] 9:22 pm: shouldn't Dallas be in the same division as you guys
[MacWrangler] 9:23 pm: I would love to have a home-away series each year. As the league grows, there might be some changes. On the other hand, I love the Southern Division
[MacWrangler] 9:24 pm: I look at the growth potential of the league and if we look over the coming years, there will probably be some changes
[arenazone] 9:24 pm: Are you pleased to see how well Kansas City has done with fan support in such a short period of time
[MacWrangler] 9:24 pm: KC has done a great job and I've looked very carefully to learn some lessons from them
[JStorm] 9:24 pm: who are the expansion teams for next season? U see New Orleans coming back?
[MacWrangler] 9:25 pm: I don't know who will be expansions next year. I hope that we get that resolved at the league meeting in June
[Brooklyn 316] 9:25 pm: Will Indiana ever have a team again ?Will it be discussed at the June meeting?
[MacWrangler] 9:26 pm: I don't know whether there will be a team there. It's all dependent upon finding a good ownership group
[arenazone] 9:26 pm: did your learn anything when you went to Philadelphia to see the wranglers play the soul
[MacWrangler] 9:27 pm: Well aside from the fact that they need to cut the music when we come up to the line, I loved their PA - he did a great narration job.
[MacWrangler] 9:28 pm: League expansion is handled through the league offices. I'm focused on building our franchise and heaven knows, while we've made progress, we still have a long way to go
[arenazone] 9:28 pm: how active are the Wranglers with charities
[MacWrangler] 9:29 pm: Very involved. We built a Habitat House, we have a foundation that's commited to Capital Area kids
[MacWrangler] 9:30 pm: We encourage literacy, graduation, physical exercise, community support, and avoiding drugs and alcohol
[JStorm] 9:29 pm: Did Doug hit his thumb with a hammer?
[MacWrangler] 9:30 pm: I'm dangerous around tools, particularly power tools
[MacWrangler] 9:31 pm: When I was in the Navy they give you basic tests and they found that I was a mechanical idiot. I'm only good for lifting
[arenazone] 9:31 pm: Will Skip Foster be back next season as the teams head coach
[MacWrangler] 9:31 pm: I certainly hope so
[arenazone] 9:32 pm: What impact has Executive Director Mike Feder made
[MacWrangler] 9:33 pm: Mike has really helped the organization grow. He's done a great job working with our fans
[MacWrangler] 9:33 pm: Our game presentation has improved a lot. Derek Dawly has done a great job.
[arenazone] 9:33 pm: how are the tailgates at Wranglers games
[dcrown] 9:33 pm: they are AWESOME!!!
[dcrown] 9:34 pm: Hopefully a new arena will include a spectacular bbq area... we have some pro BBQ'ers as fans.
[MacWrangler] 9:34 pm: Someone asked about KC - they have fans who understand how to be professional football fans. The Manglers and our tailgaters are just getting that started in Austin. Once we get it going, we're going to go crazy
[arenazone] 9:35 pm: Do you feel the attendance can get even better in seasons to come
[MacWrangler] 9:35 pm: No question - we're not satisfied with attendance at all. We have perhaps the loudest per capita, but our capita is too low
[MacWrangler] 9:36 pm: This has been an execution problem that we're going to fix
[JStorm] 9:36 pm: Crowd louder in Dallas or in Austin?
[dcrown] 9:36 pm: Austin. No contest.
[MacWrangler] 9:37 pm: Our crowd was louder than Dallas when we were in Dallas
[arenazone] 9:36 pm: how has the corporate sponsors support been
[arenazone] 9:37 pm: are you going get the field named like Orlando or Colorado
[MacWrangler] 9:37 pm: I hope so. Thats a great sponsorship opportunity
[MacWrangler] 9:38 pm: When I watched the Dallas game this year, all I could hear were the Wrangler fans
[JStorm] 9:38 pm: Doug like the neutral site arena bowl or do you prefer the the highest seed?
[MacWrangler] 9:38 pm: I like the neutral site. In order to produce the show that we want to create, you need more prep time than you can have through a seed
[MacWrangler] 9:39 pm: This is just our 2nd year. The super bowl wan't that great at first. We'll build the AB
[arenazone] 9:39 pm: would you like to see the ArenaBowl moved around to different cities
[MacWrangler] 9:39 pm: Definitely - Austin would be perfect
[JStorm] 9:39 pm: agreed. However there is something about having it at the highest seeds arena. The fan base is alot more fun from a fan stand point.
[arenazone] 9:40 pm: so you feel there could better support from Austin than Las Vegas
[MacWrangler] 9:41 pm: Vegas has given good support and I was half joking about Austin. Perhaps with a new arena we could do it.
[NanIndy] 9:40 pm: I don't think the fans are that interested in too big of a SHOW, they want a good game closer and a few other events, not too big of a show like it is going to be in Vegas.
[MacWrangler] 9:40 pm: I understand that, but part of the growth of the league is going to entail tradeoffs. I hope that we make them wisely, but there will be change
[JStorm] 9:41 pm: Where is your choice of arena bowl for next year?
[MacWrangler] 9:41 pm: You question about change is an interesting one
[MacWrangler] 9:42 pm: If we could have a game in NO, I'd support that. Vegas may be the choice based on our agreements for ABXXI, but after that, I hope we look at the alternatives
[arenazone] 9:43 pm: Doug besides ArenaCup have you been at any other af2 games
[JStorm] 9:43 pm: Do u have scouts that attend af2 games?
[MacWrangler] 9:43 pm: I'm tied up during the season, so I can only watch the games on TV. Once the season is over, I hope to catch some games
[MacWrangler] 9:44 pm: We have good relations with a number of the AF2 coaches and try to keep up with what's going on there. We also have to look at the NFL
[MacWrangler] 9:45 pm: I believe that while AF2 has some great prospects, many more come from the NFL
[JStorm] 9:45 pm: afl is all fun league
[MacWrangler] 9:45 pm: That's why the players want to come to the AFL
[JStorm] 9:45 pm: agreed
[arenazone] 9:45 pm: Doug do you think NBC will renew to keep AFL games on their network
[MacWrangler] 9:46 pm: I have no idea, but I want to see us take the next step and build a much stronger partnership with the media
[NanIndy] 9:45 pm: How hard is it for the NFL players to adapt to the speed of the AFL game??
[MacWrangler] 9:47 pm: It's a tough adjustment for NFL players but those who respect the game do a great job
[JStorm] 9:45 pm: the league needs to realize that its the fans. NOT Corp money that is gonna make this last.
[MacWrangler] 9:48 pm: They're great players, but what's the question
[JStorm] 9:48 pm: Just my 2 cents doug but maybe the league should place some fans on TV
[JStorm] 9:49 pm: I mean as to help promote
[MacWrangler] 9:49 pm: I think that we need to do a better job marketing the league, that's for sure. How to do it is the question we're addressing now
[NanIndy] 9:49 pm: AFL Combine..do you know how many have registered for this so far and do you expect a big turnout in Vegas??? thank u
[MacWrangler] 9:50 pm: I'm not sure about the Combine - I love the idea of trying new things. Some will work and some won't. We'll see.
[arenazone] 9:50 pm: is it true there might be a reality show with Deion Sanders and the work he is doing with the Wranglers I read that in a newspaper someplace
[MacWrangler] 9:51 pm: We're working on a TV project about Deion and the Wranglers and how we take the next step. It's still preliminary, but I'm excited that it will give the fans a real look behind the scenes - how the whole deal works
[NanIndy] 9:51 pm: Do you think Troy Bergeron will make the roster on Atlanta Falcons along with Ryan Bowers??
[MacWrangler] 9:52 pm: I hope so - I don't really want to see Jackson, Lee and Bergeron lined up
[arenazone] 9:52 pm: so who is your biggest rival in the Southern division
[MacWrangler] 9:53 pm: I'll be frank - I respect them all but don't like any of them. There is nothing better than to beat a Souther Divison team
[MacWrangler] 9:54 pm: Let me amend my previous commment - beating Dallas is just as good as a divsion win
[JStorm] 9:53 pm: When you can Doug. Please voice what u can about moving game for the NBA, NHL, I realize that you do not have that in Austin but other
[MacWrangler] 9:54 pm: I hate the games moving. It sends a clear message that the AFL isn't that important. We need to change this and it's got to be driven through TV. That's how the arenas decide who plays when
[arenazone] 9:55 pm: Do you like having AFL games on Sunday afternoons
[MacWrangler] 9:56 pm: I prefer the evenings, but a lot of fans like Sunday afternoon. I don't like the early Sunday games
[MacWrangler] 9:56 pm: I love this game and wish that we had more teams in the league. I believe that it will happen
[arenazone] 9:56 pm: Have you played the AFL video game
[MacWrangler] 9:57 pm: Of course I've played the game. I have an open challenge out to the other owners - no one has taken me up on it
[arenazone] 9:57 pm: so how many owners do the Wranglers have
[MacWrangler] 9:58 pm: We have about a dozen owners
[Brooklyn 316] 9:58 pm: Do you feel that expansion dilutes the talent in the league and what are your feelings about 16 teams making the playoffs?
[MacWrangler] 9:59 pm: Expansion needs to take time and be done gradually - I just want to make sure that we're looking at the future and where the league will be over several years. I think that in 10 years there could be 32 teams
[MacWrangler] 10:00 pm: I don't like 12 teams in the playoffs - that's 2/3rds of the teams and there will be losing records.
[JStorm] 10:00 pm: What does Deion think about the Desperados?
[MacWrangler] 10:00 pm: I'm sure that Deion will love beating the Desperados
[JStorm] 10:00 pm: LOL
[dcrown] 10:00 pm: We love you Doug, thanks for being the best owner in the league and a great example for all of Austin!!
[MacWrangler] 10:00 pm: Well I love all of our fans as well as the AFL fans. They are great
[arenazone] 10:01 pm: Doug any chance we can get Deion for a chat
[MacWrangler] 10:02 pm: I don't know if a chat room is Deion's thing but I'll ask
[JStorm] 10:01 pm: Dallas put up 88 against orlando. U will need to go thru them first I think
[MacWrangler] 10:02 pm: There is no question that Orlando is tough and the Jungle is going to be a huge challenge. If we play well, I have faith that we can prevail. That's why we need to line up and play the game
[MacWrangler] 10:03 pm: Any other questions?
[JStorm] 10:04 pm: well thanks for the time Doug
[JStorm] 10:04 pm: look forward to talking at the arena cup
[NanIndy] 10:04 pm: Thank you Doug.
[arenazone] 10:04 pm: Are you pleased with the job Glyn Milburn has done not just as gm but as radio color commentary for road games
[MacWrangler] 10:05 pm: Glyn is one of the greatest blessings that I've had since I joined the team. He is a great man as well as a talented GM
[JStorm] 10:04 pm: if we meet at play offs come down to sec 105 3rd row and say hello
[JStorm] 10:05 pm: at the AAC
[MacWrangler] 10:05 pm: I'll definitely stop by and best of luck to Dallas until we meet
[Brooklyn 316] 10:06 pm: Thanx Doug for making time for the fans Good Luck
[arenazone] 10:06 pm: Thanks Doug for doing the chat and good luck with the Wranglers for the rest of the season
[MacWrangler] 10:06 pm: Thanks to all of you fans who make the game great. You are what it's all about
Fran Stuchbury has been the host of ArenaZone since 2003. In 2002 he was the co-host of ArenaFan Radio with Tim Capper. While in school, Fran was the host of the original ArenaZone radio show on his college radio station, where he interviewed many league names such as Kurt Warner, league founder Jim Foster, and Commissioner David Baker. Fran lives in Southampton, Pennsylvania and works for the website SportsNetwork. Fran will be attending all the Philadelphia Soul home games this season and will be covering arena football for ArenaFan Radio and OurSportsCentral. He has followed the AFL since its first game back in 1987 and has been part of the media since 1998.