The one pro team in this town that I gave a shit about has shut down. The Pittsburgh Power have ceased operations as of today after four years of operations. This after going 15-4 last season, a 12 game winning streak, and making the AFL playoffs for the first time. I went to the games, became a part of their fan club, met and hung out with some of the players. As I get older, I find myself less interested in professional sports, and when I decided to go to the Power games and buy in to what they were selling, I thought that I might have found a pro sports team that was worth my money, the little that I have.
I've met some cool people whom I can call friends. The atmosphere at the games was fun, inexpensive, and family friendly. You could take your kids and not worry about having some drunk cursing at them and throwing up on them. The players appreciated the fans' support. Every game, players would high - five the kids and shake hands with the fans. The fan club had a table at the Blue Line Grille and after each game, the players would come up and say hi to us. We hosted a picnic in South Park last summer, and a dozen or so players came out and hung out with us. Just last month, we hosted a meet and greet with Coach Ron James, who gave us time out of his schedule to talk with us fans about the upcoming season. Our spirits were sky high, we thought that 2015 was the Power's year to bring hardware back to Pittsburgh. But today we found out that the Power have shut down operations. I guess it's the nature of professional sports, especially those sports on the fringe and without the money of the Big Four sports of the US. We got a cold dose of reality today, that yes, sports is a business and businesses do fail. And the fans who pour their time and money into supporting their team get left out in the cold.
Thanks to the Power Players who gave us so much to cheer about: James Bryant, Arvell Nelson, Sergio Gilliam, Prechae Rodriguez, Jake Killeen, Shaun Kileinamoku (sp) , Julian Rauch, Tommy Grady and so many others who wore the Black and Gold with pride and class.
Thanks to Coach Ron James for coming to Pittsburgh and turning our team around and turning the Power from a laughingstock to a team that was respected.
Thanks to the Power Up fan club for giving voice to the fans headed by the awesome Mary Lee Marshman, The Power Brothers, Dom Errico , and his wife Libbie Errico. Dee Dan Witherup, Melvin Moten, TJ Klisavage, and so many more who I can't remember. If I've forgotten anyone, please forgive, I am old.
So at least for now, Will the last person leaving the Power Plant roll up the rug, turn out the lights, bring in the dog, and put out the cat one last time. POWER UP!