A Labor of Love
Two flew in from the Chicago area, one from Phoenix, one is from the Tampa Bay area and one was lucky enough to live in the gameís host city. These fanatical and weary travelers were part of the staff from ArenaFan Online.
It was as if these strangers had known each other all their lives, living down the street from each other in high school and then hanging out as an inseparable group in college. However, we had barely met personally, knowing each other only from this wonderful and powerful medium called the Internet.
ArenaFan was begun over the Internet from five avid fans who corresponded frequently about the league on the Arena Football mailing list. Dave Carlson thought it would be neat if we could pool all of our collective knowledge and information we had collected and offer it to other fans like ourselves. ArenaFan was born. In three short years the ArenaFan staff has grown to over 20 contributors from all corners of the country.
This is truly a labor of love as all staff are volunteers, facilitating a strong personal bond. No staff person gets paid from ArenaFan Online. Whatever residuals are gathered from advertising banners that may appear on the site go directly back into expenses; internet site fees, prizes for our contests, hats and shirts for our staff, and numerous long distance phone calls to get you the latest Arena Football news and information from around the country. We squeeze in our ArenaFan duties between our day (and night) jobs, family commitments, and the like. During the season, late nights on the computer are quite common.
The airplane fares, hotel and food accommodations to the ArenaBowl were paid for out of each individual`s own pockets. People took off work to make their way to Orlando. Others couldnít make it until they had finished their workweek. Red-eye flights made it into Orlando International Airport as late at 12:15 a.m. Saturday morning. Our correspondents made it to the league awards dinner, team practices, state of the league address, other press conferences and, of course, were on the floor of TD Waterhouse Centre itself to cover the big game.
Commissioner Baker, the league office, and all of the clubs have been very generous to us. We get news and information faxed to us on a daily basis. Media guides from all teams are available. We receive press credentials to the field to get those in-depth stories and excellent photos you have come to expect from ArenaFan. It has been a good working relationship with the league. They truly are a fanís league.
As we met for our own ArenaBowl dinner on Saturday night we shared many laughs about adventures and misadventures we have had along the way. We discussed where the league will be going from here and planned the new features, looks and additions ArenaFan.com will be adding as both the league and us explode into the new millennium. Despite our differing backgrounds and occupations we share one thing, a love for this game called Arena Football.
While almost all players in this league would love to get another shot at the NFL, most are here because they love the game. They are making nowhere near the salary that the average NFL player does. No one here is getting rich. But yet they play. ArenaFan staff members have no complaints either. We too do it because be love the game. A labor of love!
Jay Jacox was a writer for ArenaFan Online from 1998 to 2002.