(Long Island, NY) Right smack in the first month of the NFL season, football is in the news. While that should come as no surprise, perhaps the fact that Arena football is what is being referred to is.
The New York Dragons yesterday unveiled their new ownership group and logo, and brought two familiar faces with them to do so. Jets safety Kerry Rhodes and Danny Clark, Giants linebacker, were seated at the dais and introduced as part of the team’s new advisory board.
“I am pleased to be a part of an organization such as the New York Dragons,” said Rhodes. “I feel with the talent, my experience as a professional football player and position on the Board of Advisors will allow me to explore options to enhance this team. I am excited and we are looking forward to a great season.”
Besides being on the board, both Rhodes and Clark will be a part of the Dragons’ promotions with personal appearances at games and signing autographs. With so much competition in this town for attention, having familiar names from the ‘other’ football league cannot hurt, something that the new team owner fully realizes.
“We’re so excited to have both NFLers on board giving the Dragons support throughout the season,” said Steven Silva, who purchased the team from Charles Wang as part of a group led by his wife Shanna and himself on July 25, 2008. “It shows how dedicated both Kerry and Danny are to growing the sport of football – as well as fan support of football – in the greater New York area.”
In the past few seasons, the AFL has had a distinct NFL flavor with the addition of some high profile names in the front office of many different teams, for the most part, in the same city. John Elway stayed close to his roots and is a part-owner of the Colorado Crush, Mike Ditka (Chicago Rush), Ron Jaworski (Philadelphia Soul) and Arthur Blank (Georgia Force), to name a few.
Since moving from Iowa, the franchise formerly known as the Barnstormers have been owned by Wang and have played their home games at the Nassau Coliseum, which will stay take place. Last season, the team finished with an 8-8 record, but made some noise in the AFL playoffs. They ousted the Dallas Desperados with a 77-63 win on the road, and then faced the Soul in Philadelphia in the conference finals.
A miraculous play as the clock ran out gave the Soul a come-from-behind 49-48 win. Two weeks later, Philadelphia beat San Jose for their first Arena Bowl title.
Silva took some time to explain the reason for the logo change during the press conference, which took place at the Sports Museum of America in Manhattan. “We want to bring a brand new start to the Dragons football team. Updating the logo is just the beginning. We want to show the fans that making sure they have the ultimate fan experience is paramount to this management team.
“From putting the best football team possible out on the field every night, to making sure fan involvement and customer service is the best it can be, this is the ‘new’ New York Dragons.”
Even for a team that didn’t need it, a fresh coat of paint is always welcome.