We're just a little over the quarter mark of the 2017 Indoor Football League Season. The Spokane Empire, currently 4-1 at the time of this writing, sit atop of the Intense Conference looking to the rights to host the Intense Conference Championship and return to the United Bowl.
Just before the Empire's 53-36 victory over the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, I had the opportunity to speak with Ryan Eucker, the General manager of the Empire. Eucker, a graduate of Eastern Washington University, is entering his 7th season with the Spokane organization. Under his guidance, he engineered the franchise's transition from the AFL to the IFL, including the team's re-brand from the Shock to the Empire. In their first season, the Empire finished the 2016 season 12-4 and won the Intense Conference Championship. As a result of the team's transition and success, he was named the IFL's 2016 Executive of the Year.
Below is the full recorded interview with Ryan. We cover a variety of topics, including how the Empire are handling Year Two, free agent signings, Project FANchise's effect on the league, the IFL's Partnership with YouTube and more.
This was very thorough. It was interesting what he said about the difference this year in building the roster as opposed to last year when they had to fill the roster. This year, they were able to fill some spots. Bringing in Kalokoh is a perfect example. The Empire had a really rough time after TK went down last season. This season I don't think that would be the case. Even though TK has a high ankle sprain, they didn't miss a beat with Mulku. That kind of thing has made the team stronger. I can see them building a lot of momentum the rest of the season because of it.
I totally love the Youtube broadcasts. I've always felt videos on Youtube stream so much more easily than on other video sites. The games have streamed really well. I know I'm not alone when I say that I've watched some other games between teams we don't cover. Having this access is amazing. David and Angi can tell you more about the AFL, but I think this is the best and easiest way to enjoy a game. The IFL nailed this one.
Mr. Eucker is an excellent GM to be running a contender like the Empire. He understands all the various nuances about running the team. His history with the team when they were in the AFL gives him a great perspective and resource to put together everything. Did I mention the Youtube broadcasts?! There are a lot of things about the Empire and the IFL to be excited about and I think you can hear it in his voice.
Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you are one
just finished listening. great work from David! i cannot agree more with Heidi's last paragraph. it can't be easy dealing with so many things. i know i am working with a lot of different things in different areas; many which don't overlap. everything he is doing for the Empire is being done for the benefit of the league at the same time.
Post by DiamondThief on Apr 4, 2017 17:28:07 GMT -8
I listened the other day. I have always been impressed with Ryan's outlook. He definitely knows what he's talking about. Having someone who has been around for as long as he has in two leagues is greatly valuable.
Sprinting through life head first -- 60 feet at a time!