For the first time in sixty-six years Brooklyn has a professional football team. The Brooklyn Bolts is one of four teams in a new football league, called the FXFL (Fall Experimental Football League). The FXFL was created in 2014 with the goal to not challenge the NFL in popularity but to become a potential developmental league for it. The FXFL has minor rule alterations to increase the difficulty and safety of the game, but not to lessen the excitement of the game. For example, extra points and kickoffs will be taken from farther away and the hash marks will be spaced further apart. FXFL games will be played on Wednesday nights on local channels to avoid competition with high school, college and NFL games. FXFL players mainly consist of players that have the ability to make it to the NFL but just missed their chance and are trying to get another shot.
Coach McKenna, head coach of Tech’s varsity football team, attended the Bolts press conference prior to their first game. He said that there were about 40 people who also attended. He thinks that the league could gain a fan base and not risk shutting down if they build it gradually and keep their expectations reasonable. When asked about the possibility of the players getting back into the NFL, McKenna thinks that many will get another shot at the NFL.
The Brooklyn Bolts have a promising roster, which includes athletes that play on the college level and even in some NFL games. One player to watch on the Bolt’s roster is quarterback Corey Robinson. Robinson was a starting QB at Troy University, where he ranked 9th in passing yards with 3,726 passing yards (division 1 FBS players). When Corey was not selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, but instead signed as an undrafted free agent by The Cleveland Browns, but eventually released.
Bolt’s roster beat their first opponent, the Boston Brawlers 27-20. They went on to win their next three games, beating the Omaha Mammoths 15-13, the Brawlers again 23-16, and the Miami Blacktips 16-13. The Bolts hold the best record in the league at 4-0, and the team will play the championship game against the Omaha Mammoths tentatively on November 26th. One of the reasons for the Bolts’ ability to win is leading in the second half of the game.
In a press conference interview after a game, Bolt’s head coach John Bock said that during training camp they had talked about being a second half team. He also said that the players conditioned and trained for the second half and that’s why they hold up so well.
Coach Bock gave praise to tight end, A.C. Leonard, due to the fact that he can play most positions, substituting for injured starters. Leonard also had a great performance this year. In the same interview, coach Bock was asked a question about QB Corey Robinson and about his struggles during the game. Bock said that was mainly due to the fact that their opponent (Omaha) adjusted very well to the Bolts offense. Bock also stated that the Bolts play both QBs in every game. He said he does this because he wants to work on everyone’s skills, but he notes that it changes the pace of the game. Bock thinks the offense will not adjust to the QB changes quickly enough. In the next few years, the FXFL hopes to gain popularity, and create new teams to help players get back into the NFL.