As I start to get bombarded with emails, text and calls about finding guys a home for indoor football, it got me thinking about the past ten years playing pro indoor/arena football. I started out trying out for many arena teams, after leaving Graceland and just happened to get entered into the NFL draft the next year. So Arena became a second thought and half of me believes it should have stayed that way. I got to workout for a slew of NFL coaches and teams , below is a article from NolaSports.com, I guess I did OK at these workouts.
I did not get picked up to the NFL, after being told 17 teams had graded me out as a "draftable prospect" and I would get my shot. I fired my old agent David Canter, after I felt like he lied to me and moved on solo. Many agents called and I did not even entertain them, as I thought they were all liars. I then began my indoor career and thought it was going to be legit, boy was I mistaken. If you look at the link below you will see 9 Different leagues for the spring and a ton of coming and going. Teams fold with no warning, guys are kicked out to the streets, after severe knee injuries with no where to go. They also are left with no money in their pocket's either, as these indoor league's pay from 69 dollars a game to 200 (If you win). Guys really are trying to move up from dirt, to a little dirt. I have learned that they are playing off grown men's ambition and wills to succeed at the highest level. See after witnessing these owners of the IFL teams and their business tactics, I realized I could never again play in that league. They are trying to use football to come in and make a quick hit on small towns and/or have a ton of Oil money (that daddy gave them) and have no idea how to run a arena football team. When I over heard a IFL owner on the phone and him saying that "owning a IFL team is like owning slaves", I could not help to agree, even thou I was disgusted and never showed up to the next game, at Iowa. Getting a release and ending up in Nebraska, where a Coach lied to us everyday, in saying he played for Virginia Tech with Michael Vick. Well you can kinda look these things up and he never was even on a practice team there. The hypocrisy that has become spring football has sickened me. It is not PRO FOOTBALL, IT IS NOT EVEN CLOSE! There are Semi Pro leagues more formidable and you will make more money from gracious owners, for your services. My problem is I have never had to lie about anything I have done on the field. So if you feel the need to lie, you must be completely inadequate for the job at hand. I got to beat a man who coached the Crush two seasons ago, after he called me some of the worst things in the book. He is out in Kansas now making peanuts and should not be allowed around any respectable program, with his off the field antics. They make a beautiful web site and then give you the worst coaches and ownership in ALL of Football. They make up rules where you have to dribble the ball down the field, on kickoffs. They glorify people and induct them into their Hall of Fame, for running a entire program into folding. I have not heard one good word come out of anyone's mouth, who is not associated with the IFL, about the IFL! I started my "Pipeline Project", to maybe show them a way to give back to the communities. Then I see them trying to do it on their own and it is comical, because they have already lost respect across the landscape of Pro Football and College Football. These guys coaching in the IFL all were denied College Coaching jobs, every Coach wants to Coach College Football, because that is where the money jobs are! So your left with the bottom of the barrel for IFL Coaches and you get bottom barrel results. I have learned also in business, you must give before you receive. Well obviously the IFL and other fly by night indoor leagues are just about receiving. It is quite clear that this business model does not work and the only way to survive is to "Flip your focus", or continue to be the laughing stock of All of Football! Best of luck!
So back to the question, Was it worth it? For about 90 percent of the guys that I played with No. But their was about 10 percent of us who kept fighting. We did not take the lies very well and we stood up for our teammates. We also still had TOO much fun still getting to play the game we love. These networks I created mostly came from playing Indoor Football. The best league I ever played in was the Old PIFL! I enjoyed South Geogia and run a company now that can really benefit that region. Uno's (Kickoffs Through Posts) are now worth two points. Do you know how easy it is for me now to kick 60 yards? I also have my HEAD COACH, Antwone Savage who I admire and respect to the fullest. We never were ones to roll over and die, like I have seen so many do. I still have 10,000 dollars in medical bills from the last bell ringer, in the American Indoor Football and you don't see them stepping up to pay. This is why we have attorney's here at Scout Trout thou and we always remember the verse Phil 4:13. " I can do all things, through Christ who gives me strength"! I want to thank him for the strength to endure these past ten years and MAKING IT ALL WORTH IT! I want to thank all of my Friends/Fans who made this all possible. You ALL helped make my career, WORTH IT! EVERYTHING THEY SAY THAT COULDN'T BE DONE, WE DID! We also have a lot more in store! Getting ready to be 100 percent on 9 foot poles below! In the National Arena League!
70-72 yard field goal.
So in conclusion, if your goal is the play in the NFL, this league is not for you. You will get beat up twice as bad and have nothing left to show for it. Their are a ton of players in indoor football who are better than NFL guys, but they will not get the shot because the people who have them under contract, will do everything to make sure that does not happen. There are better and more frugal ways to chase your dreams! I now run Scout Trout Enterprises and cannot wait to get back to the Senior Bowl, as well as the Albany Civic Center!
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Merf Trout - Owner Scout Trout Elite LLC