Thursday, April 26, 2007

Worcester's Football Follies

Following in the storied tradition of the Mass. Marauders (perhaps the only sports team in history to be banned from a league because the owner punched out the league commissioner), Worcester's new indoor football league team is having it's own owner problems. Surge owner Roy Lucas, Jr. has decided to do the Ted Turner thing after just four games, firing the coach and appointing himself successor:

WORCESTER— Disappointed with his team’s 1-3 record, New England Surge owner Roy Lucas Jr. fired coach Rick Buffington yesterday and appointed himself as the replacement.

“We feel very strongly that we should be at the top of our division,” Lucas said.

Worcester’s expansion team in the Continental Indoor Football League is fifth in the six-team Atlantic Division. The Steubenville Stampede leads the division with a 4-0 record.

I'd be disappointed too. You're three games behind a team that plays in a high school gym in Steubenville, Ohio? That would like being three games behind Clinton!

Obviously, a man of Lucas's football pedigree is needed to right the ship:

Lucas, 44, has never been a head football coach before, and his experience as an assistant coach is limited. While attending Bethel College in Minnesota in the 1980s, he was an intern for a year on the football staff at nearby Centennial High School. In 1996, he was strength and conditioning coach at Assumption College, and the following year he coached quarterbacks and running backs at Curry College....

Lucas was an all-purpose back for Burncoat High and a wide receiver for Bethel, a Division 3 school. After a brief free agent tryout with the Dallas Cowboys, Lucas played one season of semipro football in Colorado. Lucas owned his own sports conditioning business in Shrewsbury before founding the Surge.

And what of former coach Buffington?
Buffington said he contacted a lawyer about his firing and would remain in Worcester for a while instead of returning to his home in Somerset. “I’m not leaving here, not until things are taken care of,” Buffington said.
Of course, because it's a three-day coach ride along the post road to Somerset. You're less than an hour and a half away from home, Buff. I can't imagine why you'd want to stay back in Worcester. It's like a baby Steubenville, after all.

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