Crush announcer Coverdale signs off Jun 18, 2017 17:29:57 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Jun 18, 2017 17:29:57 GMT -8
The Colorado Crush's season ended on June 16 with a heartbreaking 47-44 overtime loss to the Arizona Rattlers.
That leaves the question as to the future of the Crush. Project FANchise took over the team from Tom Wigley, who sold the franchise after being diagnosed with a terminal disease. Wigley put the team up for sale early in the 2016 season due to his health concerns after having owned and operated the team for five seasons. As many as five potential owners were interested in purchasing Crush when Project FANchise stepped in.
That organization had already established the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles in Utah. It employed the fan-run template which allowed fans to select the city, name and several other aspects of the team. The Crush, as run by FANchise, was an afterthought to the Screaming Eagles. The social media presence was gone. The website has been barely updated since the 2016 season. The head coach was fired as a cost-cutting move, and the general manager was let go a few weeks later for the same reason. Toward the end of the season, it was hard to tell if anyone actually was running the franchise.
What is the question now is whether there will be a 2018 IFL with the Colorado Crush on the schedule. Perhaps one of the aforementioned prospective owners steps in, or perhaps a new owner decides to take a chance on an established franchise in a league featuring this quirky game. To those possibilities, only the prospective principles know at this point.
The Crush were eliminated from the playoffs several weeks ago, but that fact did not prevent them from playing as if they were fighting for a spot in the post season. The Crush took the Wichita Falls Nighthawks to brink in week 17, failing to push the game into overtime on a failed two-point conversion attempt
Colorado fought equally as hard in their season finale at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, as they forced overtime against the Intense Conference's top seeded Arizona Rattlers. The Crush took the 44-41 overtime lead only to see the Rattlers run the ball in to provide Arizona with the 47-44 win.
Still, the Crush's future is undetermined. Troy Coverdale has provided the Play-by-play for the Crush since 2009; whether it be on the radio, or on the video end of things, most notably this season on Youtube. After 11 seasons of Crush football, Coverdale, alongside his analyst partner Aaron Rath (afrats ), delivered these thoughts as he signed off from what could very well be the final game in Colorado Crush history.
Coverdale's comments are brutal, honest, reflective and emotional. Read below for the full transcript of Coverdale's powerful sign off.
"As we wrap things up up tonight, thanks, as always, to Aaron Rath who has been along for the video excursion (this) year. It's been a lot of fun. You already have the countdown for UNC football I notice. 77 days (Rath: “77 days”).
That said, I've had the pleasure of being a part of this franchise at its inception; specifically a thank you to Collin Sanders, the longtime coach and general manager here, who ensured I was part of that at the inception in 2007. Ownership problems that year, wound up sidelining me and, well, kept me away from this franchise in terms of this role; the radio role at the time, until 2012, at which time Tom Wigley as owner of the Crush made the move where coach Collins became the general and Heron O'Neal became the head coach. (O'Neal) off his run at Billings and of course Heron proceeded to lead this team to really it's best three-season stint in its history. But since coming back in 2012 now, I've been along for the last six years; three years on radio and now the three years doing to video of home games.
And I hate to think it's coming to an end. A year ago we sat in this position and said, “We hope, we think, we believe.” And it almost didn't come to fruition. At that point, following a number of interviews and conversations involving the league and involving Tom Wigley and involving the other parties, it looked like there was a buyer looming. Instead, it took until the fall until a buyer jumped at this franchise.
It was that close to not even happening this year. You bring in the excitement; the discussions about what is going to go on and here's how were going to do things, that were brought in at the start of the season. And it didn't last three games in. It fell apart in three games. There was the added excitement for me personally to have my old friend Jose Jefferson, who I first learned this game from in Lincoln in a year of af2 football in 2001 and a year of NAIA football in 2002.
We barely got the opportunity to chat. Honestly, because Colorado wins the biggest game of the season, in that win over Wichita Falls (77-73) and the next day Jose is out as a cost-cutting move.
It is with a lot of frustration as I sit here at the end of this one tonight, and it's not the outcome of the ball game that has me frustrated. It's the disappointment in the likelihood that this franchise, as the doors shut tonight, may have the lights shut out on it for good. It's the anger that what Tom Wigley kept going for so many years, and was only forced to side from because his own health that a year later, it's all for not. First rating, from what we saw tonight in terms of crowd. How many times over, that crowd, in the matter of the 11 seasons of this franchise, would have been tremendous, but this franchise always found itself, seemingly playing from behind.
Not on an even footing with some of the other franchises. Honestly, if this franchise had the financial backing that the Nebraska Danger; that the Sioux Falls Storm have had, things would be a lot different even than even where we are right now tonight. That's not a knock on Tom Wigley by any stretch, Because he did what he could to keep this franchise here and keep it viable, but he was spending out of his own pocket and doesn't have the same resources that Charlie Bosselman or Todd Tryon has. We thought it was going to change this year.
We saw better marketing, at least at the front. But, that's what this comes down to is marketing. You've got to be able to market your product, and unfortunately that never … never seemingly caught on to the point that we can see a crowd like tonight be the normal here at the Budweiser Events center for this franchise. And so, are we saying that it's over. I don't know. I have a bad feeling about it. There were five interested groups for this franchise last year and none of them bit. None of them eventually followed through with a purchase.
I'm not privy to who's possibly interested and who's not right now, so I can't comfortably tell you that when these lights go out tonight that that's it. But what I can tell you is that it looks very dim going forward. It's exceptionally disappointing for someone who has been around and seen what this game can be; the fun, the excitement. The fans that are still with us, you know what I'm talking about. There are reasons why Spokane, Arizona, Sioux Falls are all franchises that continue year after year after year. Because their fan support is tremendous, and people love the game.
I think that's the thing that bugs me the most right now sitting here. And it seems so strange to say it, 11 years after the fact – or 11 years after this franchise began, I'm sitting here thinking of what could have been. That's unreal. And it's utterly disappointing and it's saddening. Despite the hard work; the efforts of great people, what might have been?
And so we will shut the door on 2017. Will that door open on 2018. I wish I could tell you it will. All I can say at this point that I've enjoyed the ride. Along the way, I've met great people; made some great friends and called a lot of fun football. And well Aaron and I will be waiting just like everybody else will now to see what plays out from here.
For those of you who have been along for the ride, thank you. It's much appreciated. I don't speak for the franchise in that aspect, but I know there a lot people who will echo what I have to say. So, with the question marks behind it, for the final time I sign off, along with with Aaron Rath, I'm Troy Coverdale. Tonight in overtime, Arizona knocks off Colorado by the final score of 47-44. For Arizona, they carry an eight-game wining streak into the intense Conference Championship next weekend.
Colorado's season ends with a 3-13 record. Enjoy the rest of your weekend."
Coverdale and Rath will move on to cover football for the University of Northern Colorado this fall. Should there be a savior for the Crush, the duo could very well be back in the booth to broadcast games for the team.
(Photo above: Troy Coverdale (left) and Aaron Rath. Photo courtesy Aaron Rath)
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