After years of mediocrity and downright futility, the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (and Portland’s own adopted team) brought a championship football team to the Pacific Northwest. And, while we continue to celebrate the accomplishment of the recent past and await the upcoming NFL season, many of us are suffering terrific gridiron withdrawals. Sure, there’s Canadian football, but, Canadian football has strange rules and huge fields, limiting the action. Besides, Canada is a ways away and the Canadian Football League isn’t really televised much here in the states anyway.
Thankfully, there is the Arena Football League—which happens to have its season right as the NFL season comes to a close. And, after a long hiatus following the departure of the Forest Dragons (whom played in Portland from 1997-1999), Arena Football is back in the Rose City.
Arena Football is professional football, but it’s not like the football that takes place on fields across the United States throughout fall and early winter. Arena Football is centered around offense and, with fields that are half as long and half as wide as NFL fields, passes and points are plentiful. 61-54 scores are common place—providing ample excitement and action.
And these players can play. Many NFL stars were discovered after playing in the Arena League; most notably NFL future Hall of Famer (and ESPN Commentator) Kurt Warner got his start as a quarterback for the Iowa Barnstormers of the AFL.
The Portland Thunder, donning handsome red, grey and blue, are enjoying their inaugural season here in the Rose City. Making their home in the Moda Center (home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers), Thunder games provide affordability, fun and excitement that is clean and amusing for the whole family and, unlike NFL games which can run upwards of $300 a ticket, Thunder tickets don’t cost you an arm and a leg. Because the playing field is smaller and more concentrated than NFL and college fields, there is not a bad seat in the house.
The Portland Forest Dragons were short lived, but still met with some success (and live on as the Oklahoma City Wranglers). The Portland Thunder, and the city of Portland, is hoping for a long and prosperous stay. Win, lose, or draw; come and show your support for the new home team. Arena Football is a scoring happy translation of the traditional game of football that we Portlanders know and love. If you have never experienced it, or if you just have a need for some high octane sports action as you await the return of the NFL and NBA seasons to kick off, consider a night at the Moda Center to cheer on YOUR Portland Thunder. For a complete listing of home games, events, prices and availability, visit http://portlandthunder.com.