My Magical American Arena League Experience

My Magical American Arena League Experience

Despite my enthusiasm for football, just less than two weeks ago, I had never gone to see a football game in person before. I was graciously invited to the latest San Antonio Gunslingers match against Fort Worth by the owner of the American Arena League, Tony Zefiretto, and the CEO of the team, Hector Garcia. I was excited but, in all honestly, had no idea what to expect. What I arrived to find—excited tailgaters, the friendly smell of enticing concessions, a small but intensely passionate crowd, and a warm welcome from Hector, made me feel right at home. The atmosphere was simply magical.

If things weren’t great enough already, Hector hooked me up with a spot right on the sideline! I was able to see the entire game up close and personal. At one point, perhaps too close…

There were a ton of hijinks on the sideline. There were a few hecklers scattered here and there, as there often are. Players were offered beer, which they happily accepted, and some guy’s bottle was completely shattered by an overthrown pass. As I mention in the Tweet, this is why you don’t root for the Cubs.

For the icing on the cake, with just 15 seconds left to play in the game, Gunslingers quarterback David Olvera threw a touchdown down the middle to Shawn Muller, bringing San Antonio within one point of Fort Worth.
If you go to 2:55:35 in the video, you can see me in the blue shirt get completely left hanging. Definitely one of my better moments. I’m sure it wasn’t personal.


On the subsequent extra point attempt, the ball was fumbled, forcing Kali Rashaad to scramble. Cornered by his pursuers on the sideline, Rashaad, in a last-ditch effort, desperately lobbed the ball into the endzone. Intended for Joey Fisher, the ball ricocheted off a guarding defender and was then pulled down to complete the two-point conversion and win the Gunslingers the game. The crowd was absolutely electric, it was borderline deafening. Able to take and secure the lead in the final seconds of the game, the Gunslingers edged Fort Worth with a score of 23-22.

Overall, the experience was just fantastic. It was easy to see the thought and care the AAL put into creating the best product it could muster. They truly have something special.

You can cheer on your San Antonio Gunslingers at the Alamo City’s Rose Palace this May 24th, at 7 PM, as they look to continue their hot streak against the Mississippi Raiders. “We are inviting everyone to come and watch the last home game of the season!” says owner Hector Garcia. “This may be the last time to see your favorite player in red, white and blue as many will be chasing an opportunity to join the CFL (Canadian Football League).”