Just A Minute: Arena Football Returns to Albany

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Let me just start out by saying that the day I found out that the Albany Firebirds were leaving town and shipping out to Indiana back in 2000 it was like having my first breakup.


The Firebirds were my first love. I can still remember getting chills down my back as the piano intro to Van Halen’s Right Now blared in the Pepsi Arena while the team was introduced running through fireworks. Every time that song comes on I can hear the announcer in the back of my head screaming, “Get on your feet for your Albany Firebirds!!!”

Tomorrow the Albany Empire are set to kick off their inaugural season bringing back the AFL to the Capital Region. I’m both excited and skeptical at the same time.

Excited because the game is sold out and might bring me back to that same nostalgia to when I was an adolescent. Skeptical because well lets face it there’s only four teams in the league.

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I explain it all here in just a minute:

I snagged a couple press passes and will be in attendance enjoying all of the festivities. My childhood idol, Mr. Touchdown Eddie Brown, will have is #17 jersey retired in the rafters and he’s bringing his son, NFL superstar Antonio Brown.

I’m going to get as close to the action without getting arrested and of course we’ll be documenting it in classic 2BD fashion. Look for me at the block party, in the stands and sneaking into suites to sneak some free beer. It’s going to be hell of a day.

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