The annual IFL League Meetings in Chicago wrapped up yesterday, and Reading Express Owner Ted Lavender, GM Tim Glase and Head Coach/Assistant GM Chris Thompson each returned home with a significant bump in excitement about the upcoming season. A plethora of issues were discussed, and the hot-button item is the 2011 schedule. Details are still being finalized, but the Express are chasing home-and-home games versus some powerhouses in the Midwest.
At the top of our wish list is the Chicago Slaughter
, the 2009 CIFL champions who are now entering their second season in the IFL. The features popular Chicagoans Jim McMahon, who is part of the ownership group, Steve McMichael, the head coach, and Jarrett Payton, the starting running back. Another candidate for a home-and-home series is the Green Bay Blizzard
. For obvious reasons, it would be great to play a team from a football crazy market like Green Bay. But the team's strength lies in its players. It's not uncommon for a Blizzards star to adorn a Packers uni in the fall. If we get three wishes, then the list would include Bloomington Extreme
, one of the most-respected organizations in the IFL.
The Midwest rivalries will balance out a schedule that includes our fledgling fierce Divional rivalries. The Express' four-team division next season will include the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks
, the Rochester Raiders
and the Richmond Revolution
. While the Lehigh Valley team presents a natural rivalry, we're not writing off the Raiders and Revolution. The stakes will be high, no matter the opponent, come the 2011 season.
As our fans surely understand, putting a season schedule together is quite a task for the league. However, we're hopeful we have at least one wish come true in 2011.
Beyond the season schedule, the entire three-day meeting was productive for each team. We captured some footage from each day for our fans:
Photo from ChicagoSlaughter.com