2023 Convention/Week 1 Recap: Growing a Family
For every SFL player and fan who has ever been to a league convention, you understand the power behind meeting the people of the league. For those who have never been, you just don't get it until you get the opportunity.
The amount of times I've heard over the years, "We're so glad we came, we'll never miss another one." And it's not about just meeting people - it's about seeing how everyone interacts with one another. Social anxiety, introversion, an unfamiliarity with others - it all doesn't much matter at this event. If you're in the SFL, you belong ... and that's kind of the end of it.
A memorable Hall-of-Fame crop capped Friday evening, headlined by Community Ambassador Ashley Jackson, broadcaster Michael Truilo and home town man T-Roy Gaines. The first Flag Football game went to five overtimes and showed off some decent football in the process, with Team O'Neal topping Team Solberg 20-19. The auction provided plenty of laughs, unusual, charitable and meaningful bids and lasting memories. People congregated late night over drinks, at tables, with teammates and with newfound friends.
And those weren't even the games - and we had 13 of those in the span of a little over 24 hours. You see, it's not just about football - it's because of football and it's not just because of football - it's because of virtual football, that allows everyone to participate.
Conventions are an investment in the community and a celebration of it and the community, fortunately for the league, gives their time, their money, their vacation days, their efforts to show the league that it matters. Every year, we hear you loud and clear.
To those that aren't there, desperate for league admin's attention back in front of their keyboards - we're occupied and rightfully so, with the people who have spent at times thousands of dollars to show up and be present. And if you feel in those moments like you're missing out, you are. Join us sometime - it's more than a game, a product, a moment in time. It just means more.
So about those games: some blowouts, some drama, some outstanding performances. Offenses are ahead of defenses mostly, which makes great defense stand out even more. Vegas' secondary was elite holding LA to just 3 points, Alamo City locked down Vancouver and held the Legion to 17, Atlanta mustered just 13 against Louisiana, Fort Worth locked down Mexico City on the road (27-3), Denver held Tulsa to 14 and Houston locked down Sioux Falls to 17 at home. Sure, there were a lot of points and a lot of superlatives, but don't sleep on the defenses that got it done and got the win in Week 1.
Now we set our sights on Week 2 with the Convention and opening week of the 4K23 era in the rear-view mirror. Thanks to all who made it memorable and managed to make their own memories along the way.