#TBT: Arena Football on ESPN2

ESPN Fans at an Arena Football Game
Fans of ESPN2 – and the Grand Rapids Rampage – at an Arena League game. (ESPN Images)

Welcome to another edition of Front Row’s #TBT: Throwback Thursday.

Click to enlarge
ESPN’s 1987 press release announcing its agreement to televise Arena Football. (Click to enlarge.)

ESPN started airing Arena Football League games in June 1987. This was shortly after the inventor of the league, Jim Foster, came up with his version of football by drawing on a manila folder an outline of a miniature football field stretched over a hockey rink. He was inspired to invent this version of football while watching a soccer game at Madison Square Garden.

A copy of that sketch now resides in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (and can be seen on Front Row’s Facebook page). What’s written on it serves as the foundation for the game that is still being played today and aired on ESPN’s networks.

ESPN2 will feature an AFL game this Sunday with the Spokane Shock visiting the LA KISS (7 p.m. ET). Additionally, ESPN3 and WatchESPN will air four other games this weekend.

AFL Announcers Mike Golic (R) and Mike Greenberg (L) are shown in this hilarious promotional portrait.
In 2007, “Mike & Mike” co-hosts Mike Golic (r) and Mike Greenberg (l) provided play-by-play and analysis for Arena Football games. (Rich Arden/ESPN Images)
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