Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hall Of Fame...

This is not some Internet lingo "hof" (hall of fame) blog. This blog is to recognize my father who was inducted into the Florida Flag Football Hall Of Fame on Saturday. Luckily, I was around (not in Vegas yet) and was able to attend the ceremony for the INAUGURAL INDUCTION for the Hall of Fame. They inducted I think 10 people. Some of the guys were the men who promoted the league back in the late 70's and early 80's and then the other guys were the players.

There were 3 quarterbacks, one wide receiver, a couple guys who promoted the league, a referee, and then my father (who was a rusher.) I believe he was the only defensive player inducted.

Let me give a couple more details about the league so everyone can understand the magnitude of it. At first I didn't understand but after talking to all the players and the people involved with the league, it's pretty amazing. The league started back in the late 70's/early 80's. There were about 10 teams in every city league with 10-15 people on a team. There were roughly 3k-5k teams in the state of Florida. The teams would play Tues/Thurs in their city league and then they would travel during the weekends to tournaments. Any teams could pay their way into the tournaments but basically all the good city teams would meet up and play against each other in these weekend tournaments. Depending how they did in their city leagues they then moved onto regionals and then the state championship. So if you won a state championship you bested the other 3k teams. My father won 4 State Championships and played in 2 National Championships. He was a two-time All-American Rusher and I'm sure a laundry list full of other accolades. I'm not sure how accurate all my information is but it's late at night and I can't ask him to confirm so bare with me.

The ceremony was held at Palm Bay Regional Park and there was actually a flag football tournament going on during the ceremony. The league is still strong and kicking 30 years later. Everyone who was inducted gave a little speech, they all reminisced, and had a blast.

Let me just say that none of them expected this to happen. My dad actually received the phone call a week ago about the induction. He was pretty excited. They played Flag Football and loved to play. They never expected something like a Hall of Fame induction would actually happen, or that a Hall of Fame would ever exist in their sport.

My girlfriend and her family live in Palm Bay so they came and enjoyed all the festivities. After we all went out to eat and some of the guys who were inducted came as well. We finished eating and everyone left. Me and my father stayed and hung out with the other guys who were there that were inducted and they were all telling me stories and talking about my dad. One of the quarterbacks was telling me that he knew every time he was going to play against "jimmy" (my dads name is James/Jim but they called him Jimmy in the league I guess) he had to bring his A game because he knew Jimmy was going to. He also explained to me how many teams, how many players, and how long the league had been going on; and how my dad was the best rusher ever. Granted there was liquor involved, but I believe him.

I always knew he played Flag Football back in the day (I was 2 or 3 when he stopped) but I never knew the magnitude of it. It was nice seeing him have his moment and learning more about his life and what he's accomplished. The league had ex-college players and even some professional players play in it. They all loved the game and had a passion for it and looked forward to the weekends where they would meet up and play against all the other good teams in the tournaments.

There was one story about one guy who played in a tournament in Jacksonville against them on Sunday and then come Monday Night Football the guy had been picked up by the 49ers and was playing that night on T.V. Haha, that was a pretty funny story. I saw some of the teams out there playing during the weekend and there were some serious athletes playing. It's a recreational league but definitely one of the most competitive and organized leagues I have seen.

Hopefully the Hall of Fame continues and the league also keeps growing. I have some pictures that I will put up here -- they are on my other computer. I will add them in the morning.

(My sister, my dad, me, and my nephew touching the trophy)

(Mom, dad, sister, nephew)

(Dad giving his little 30 second speech about not believing all the quarterbacks and that he ate their lunches lol)

(Hall of Fame Trophy)

(Me, dad, and one of the quarterbacks who was inducted -- he was the one who told me all the stories later in the bar and bragged about how good my dad was)

I am heading to Vegas on Friday and am going to start my summer poker schedule Saturday with the $1500 NLH WSOP. I will definitely be blogging A LOT. I will give tournament summaries and all of that good stuff. I am definitely prepared to win a big tournament. That's all I will say about that =)

I'll keep everyone updated, and the pictures will come soon. Goodnight.

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