My NFL Journey Part 14

by Kerry Taylor

When we last spoke (Part 13), I was on my way to embark on another possible football adventure.  The call came from a coach from the Dallas Desperados, which was a new team in the Arena Football League.  I was asked if I would come down for a try out. I had to fly out the following week to see if I had what it took to be a part of their team. Thankfully, I had been working out, doing drills and being around football, so I was ready to go at a drop of a hat. When I finally got there, I was a nervous wreck, but ready to go (side note, high school football fields in Texas make some college fields look like a playground).

Waxahachie high school stadium.jpg

When we finally got to our destination, tryouts began. The testing and all the general drills went well. But then it was time to do drills more specific to the Arena game. I felt I did okay in, but could’ve done better. When it was all said and done, we were pulled into a group meeting and told, “a coach will meet with you back at the hotel before you leave to let you know what’s going on." When I got back to my room and was about to have a bite to eat, my hotel room phone rang, it was coach Norris on the other end asking to meet him in the lobby where I would learn my fate.  We spoke for about 20 minutes on how the day went and what are some things I could work on.  At the end was an invite to training camp to try to make the Dallas Desperados Arena Football Team. YES!! Insert tiger Woods Fist pump here!

So what is Arena football? Here’s a quick synopsis of it before I go any further:

The Arena Football League is a professional indoor football league. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster, who came up with the idea watching an indoor soccer game. While at the game he wrote the idea on an envelope with different sketches and notes. The goal was to create a game that was similar to outdoor football but faster paced, higher scoring, fan friendly and encouraged offensive performance.


Defensive Specialists: This player is designated every game and plays just defense, usually a defensive back.

Offensive Specialists: This player plays just offense (besides the QB), usually a receiver.

Motions: Can happen in every direction.

Substitutions: The starter can have a sub, but once the sub comes in and goes out, he cannot come back in for the current quarter. 

All kicks are live, no punting: if you miss a field goal, it’s a live ball and can be returned.

The box: The linebackers can only run in the area, 5 yards away from the line of scrimmage and in between the tackles, hence the name or area box.

Fan friendly: if the ball goes in the stands you keep the ball, players can go over the boards and end up in your lap.

Iron Man football: everyone plays both ways except for the specialists and the QB.

Another league, another set of rules, another set of coaches, another opportunity to prove myself.  Stay tuned. Until next time, continue to live life 1 degree above the rest.