Harrison Leipold – Pittsburgh Power

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With the NFL in the midst of a lockout and the future of the 2011 season in serious doubt, local fans can now get their fill of some quality football inside from the Pittsburgh Power.  Led by owner and former Steelers great Lynn Swan, this new arena football franchise has opened up its season with a 2-3 record thus far.  Playing their games inside the Consol Energy Center, the new home of the Penguins, the team has drawn a lot of support from local fans in their first four home games.  In fact, the very first game against the Philadelphia Soul on March 11 drew the largest inaugural game crowd ever for an arena football team with 13,904.  With all the excitement that comes from these games, it is not hard to see why they are such a big draw.

While the basic concepts remain the same, there are unique rule differences in arena football as opposed to the NFL.  With the field only 50 yards long, there is constant offensive excitement and scoring.  This also allows the kicker to attempt a field goal from almost anywhere on the field, though the goal posts are significantly thinner in width.  Also, it is important that you get a first down in one of your four tries because there is no punting.  With all of the walls around the field padded, you are permitted to tackle a player against it while on defense.  You are also able to catch the ball off of the wall when on offense, and if the ball goes into the stands the fan that catches it gets to keep it.

With all of these different and exciting rules, an arena football game is something that any average sports fan should certainly check out.  Though it is only their first year, the Power have been very competitive so far in winning two games and losing three close contests.  For any Steelers fans or just local football fans in general, the Power is a team that is very easy to get behind and root for because of the maximum effort put forth by all of the players.  The games include a lot of crowd involvement and are very fan friendly.  Best of all, they are pretty inexpensive with upper-deck seats starting at just $15.  For that small amount of cash it is worth checking out.  It is an experience that you will most likely enjoy and if you’re lucky, you may even come home with a souvenir.