The Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football were soaring! The Steve-Spurrier-led team, with a gorgeous archer logo, touted the slogan, “Take Aim”! And they were aiming to win the Championship Game, with a stellar 7-1 record and a loyal fan base. Then…the AAF folded. Orlando had been left without football once again. But…a former Orlando Predator was on the prowl for opponents and various prey to victimize. After an illustrious and highlight-riddled career with the former Predators team in the Arena Football League, Kenny McEntyre was returning as the Predators new owner!
One of the greatest AFL franchises returned–this time as the newest member of the National Arena League (NAL). Exactly 11 days after the Apollos were shut down, the Predators welcomed the Columbus Lions to Orlando where they took down the kings of the animal kingdom to the tune of a 42-40 victory. No doubt, the Predator fans were excited to have them back! Kenny McEntyre donned a smile that would soon be wiped away.
The NAL scheduling department had ordered a 3-game road trip. The Predators, no doubt, licked their chops at what was on the menu. Unfortunately for them, they found themselves the prey in New York, Massachusetts, and Columbus, Georgia–losing three straight. A switch at quarterback (Israel to Hicks) brought temporary life in their next home game but ended in a one-point loss due to a ghastly and untimely fumble. The Streets of New York had claimed a second victory over the Predators, 54-53.
Tonight, May 18th, was an utter massacre as the Sharks defense led the way to a 61-7 rout over the hapless Preds, on Military Night. It was very reminiscent of the time the Polish army went to battle on horses with swords and spears, only to face a Nazi, Germany regime sporting tanks, during WWII.
Since their opening night victory, the Preds have been outscored 293-124. Lions, and Pirates, and Sharks (oh my!) have slaughtered them, and we get that the Streets of New York are dangerous, but if you fall prey to Streets, you certainly don’t represent the name Predators. Granted, those Streets are no yellow brick road. The five-game losing skid has been the most improbable plot line since Will Smith’s character survived the streets of New York, in I Am Legend. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the Preds gotta find a way to win.
New owner Kenny McEntyre helped the Predators of the AFL to 23 playoff appearances in 26 seasons. After three short stints with NFL teams, he focused on indoor ball, and for 13 years dominated the league. His stat line includes 729 tackles, 97 interceptions, 20 touchdowns, 19 forced fumbles, and 16 fumble recoveries. He helped the Orlando Predators win 2 Arena Bowls. The man they nicknamed “The Glove” had a handle on things, then. Now, “The Glove” must put on a latex glove and dissect his dead team to revive it.
It’s likely going to be a gruesome process. The team next travels to Greensboro, North Carolina to take on the league-leading Cobras (4-1), who are likely preparing for a festive meal…the Orlando Prey (1-5).
We’ll be watching on May 25th, at 7 PM EST. The Preds must return to their old form to become relevant in the league. If their new logo is any indication, they’ve lost their identity and vision. It’s time to put the yellow eye back and intimidate opponents again. The Prey must become the Predators and save Orlando football.