Category Archives: Orlando Predators

Quick Update!

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The days are shorter and the temperature is continuing to drop. It’s Fall here in Florida and Winter is coming in a hurry! Hello all, it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog and kept you guys up to date on what I’m doing. I was pretty busy this past summer with work, travel and volunteering with the Orlando Predators. Things have calmed down a little bit and I’m hoping I can use this time to get in a better routine!

As of right now, I’m still working at LeadsOnDemand and it has been pretty busy the last couple of months which has been intense. Lately, I have taken on more responsibilities, which is great; I love the challenge. I’m also looking for opportunities in the law field now because I plan to go back to law school in a couple of years. In addition, I’m always interested in opportunities in pro football since my long-range goal is to work in the NFL. Experience in both fields would be invaluable to me.

Because it’s football season and I’m a major football fan, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time following the NFL and NCAA. I’m more of a fan of the NFL than the NCAA though, because the Green Bay Packers are my favorite team. I even own a share in the team! 

There has been a lot of drama this season in the NFL and NCAA with regards to player behavior and it disappoints me that these guys have the opportunity to do what they love doing and they are wasting it by making poor decisions. I’m not sure why so many players continue to make poor decisions and it frustrates me because they have all of this fantastic talent and a gigantic opportunity to do what they love, and they are wasting it away. Hopefully though, all of these issues will be resolved and maybe more players will become wiser because of it. In any case though, I am happy that many of the Packer players seem to have been able to stay away from these sorts of issues as it allows them to live their lives and do their jobs in relative peace.

Exciting times!

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and the temperature is rising. Summer is right around the corner! These last couple of months have been a great learning experience for me and have presented me with many opportunities. I have been very busy working at Leads On Demand and the Orlando Predators these last couple of months and it’s been a great learning experience as I have been able to learn more about the ins and outs of the internet marketing business, as well as the running of a sports team.

It’s been an interesting and nervous but exciting time at the Predators this last month because we are currently going through an ownership change and I have never been a part of something like this. Our previous owner didn’t leave on the best of terms as he wasn’t paying his bills, so the AFL took the team away from him and he wasn’t too happy about it. So, even though it’s a little dicey right now for the Predators, there are a couple ownership groups out there who are very interested in buying the team. It’s kind of exciting and very interesting to be of part of this kind of experience because it’s nothing like anything I’ve been a part of before. Hopefully it all works out in the end!

Erik Slaby Lake Legal NewsAlso, in these last couple months, I got the opportunity to be the feature article and cover for a local magazine called Lake Legal News (LLN)! LLN is local legal magazine here in Lake County and I was contacted by the publisher and editor of the magazine, James Hope about working together on a feature article for their upcoming edition. Mr. Hope said that he “discovered” me by reading an edition of The Bunk Room and coming across my blog and becoming very interested in my story. I’m very excited to be a part of LLN and honored that someone in the legal community has taken an interest in my story and has read my blog. It is hard for me to know if people are actually reading my blog, so when something like this happens, I get very excited and happy that people actually are reading my blog. It also makes me feel satisfied and proud that my blog is being read and it’s an awesome feeling!

What’s Up!

Phones are ringing. Fingers are clicking away on keyboards. Welcome to The Jungle blasts through speakers over the roar of the crowd. These last couple months have been super crazy for me! I just got a new job working at an internet marketing company, Leads On Demand and just started interning for the Orlando Predators again! My weeks are pretty hectic with having to go to work and intern, but it’s a lot of fun.

The company I work for, Leads On Demand is a pretty interesting business idea and everyone who works there is awesome. There is always positive energy surrounding everyone and that makes working there so much better than if there was no positive energy, or not a lot. What’s also cool about working there is that my dad works there as well! He’s higher on the totem pole than me but that’s to be expected given my very limited experience in the work industry. It’s fun though because I can see him all the time and talk to him whenever I want (as long he and I aren’t busy working!).

Interning at the Predators has been a lot of fun so far this year. The office moved to a new location, the team facility is at a different location and we play our home games at CFE Arena instead of the Amway Center! There are also a ton of new players, interns, coaches and staff members. I am the only intern returning from last year this season, other than Minh who is now an employee, so it is definitely very interesting doing things I’ve done before with a bunch of different people.

So far we’ve played three games and we won all of them! We are 3-0 for the first time since 2005! It’s a big accomplishment as the whole coaching staff, players and people in the office have all helped changed the culture of the Predators around.

On gameday, I try to get to CFE Arena as early as possible to help Amie (my boss) and Mallory (another intern) set up and make sure everything is all ready for the game. Running the promotions during the game is probably the easiest thing, out of all the things we have to do. Once the game starts, everything usually goes pretty smoothly. Hopefully, the Predators keep on winning and get to the Arena Bowl!

ArenaBowl XVI

Today was a very exciting day! Today was ArenaBowl XVI and I had the fantastic opportunity to work at it! During the week leading up to the ArenaBowl, Adrian had sent out a couple emails to all of us interns asking who would be able to work the ArenaBowl. When I saw that email I was ecstatic! I have never attended any championship game for any sports so I was thrilled to get this experience!

When I got to the Amway Center, everyone was running around and there seemed like there were thousands of things to do! It was very hectic and what made it even crazier for us interns was that there were only about seven of us: Alec, Dakota, David, Jorge, Julian and Corey and me. Julian and Corey helped us out before the game but during the game they were going to be up in the press boxes doing media work while the rest of use were on the field. So the game day field crew was short about four people!

Before the game when everyone was working Adrian gave all of us interns official AFL shirts to wear because he wanted us to all look professional and we were going to be on national TV. It was pretty cool!

While we were waiting for the game to start I got the opportunity to talk with Coach Plank about his playing days in college at Ohio State, playing with the Bears, the rivalry against the Packers as well as his coaching experience. It was fun to be able to talk to him about those things and learning what he though about them, especially the Bears-Packers rivalry as I’m a die-hard Packer fan.

Coach Plank said that it was a hard fight every time they played the Packers. “Every time we played them we knew we would be in for a rough fight. Both teams hated each other and it was very physical. It was like a civil war.”

The two teams playing in the ArenaBowl were the Arizona Rattlers and the Philadelphia Soul and both teams played their hearts out. It was a very fun and exciting game to watch. One of the fun things that I got to do was be the pizza delivery guy again! I got to go up into the top section and give a pizza to someone and that was fun because normally those people never get anything promotion-wise so it was nice to be able to give them something in the biggest game of the year.

In the end, Arizona won and they were presented with the championship trophy and it was very interesting to see the presenting ceremony and to be on the field for it! I had a great experience and I can’t wait to be involved in something like this again!

My experience with the Orlando Predators this season has been fantastic! I’ve learned so much about coaching, scouting and the daily operations of a sports team in general from working at the Predators. So many people from coaches to office workers, to fellow interns have taught me so much about the game and working in sports. I would gladly work with the Orlando Predators again given the opportunity!

All the tickets!

On gameday, I was definitely hoping the team would be able to beat the Iowa Barnstormers so that we could get closer to locking up a playoff spot and beating on Tampa and New Orleans for the three and/or four spot. As Alec, Adrian and I were unloading the carts full of promotional items and sodas and I told them what happened to Dad and his job. They both said that that was bummer and they understood what how difficult that might be for Dad because their dads had lost their jobs at some point too. So it was nice to be able to talk to them about that.

While all of us interns- Frank, Alec, Marshall, Jorge, Danielle, David and I- unloaded the storage room in the away team locker room of the promotional items and table and chairs, Adrian was talking to the Iowa equipment manager about them getting out of the locker room after the game quickly. The Iowa guy said that they should be out of there in no time because when the team loses, the coaches basically go in and say, “ok, we suck get on the bus.” The Iowa manager also said that this last week had been literally the worst practice he has ever seen in his days involved with football. He said the game would probably be a a suckfest for Iowa and that we would win!

After setting up the chairs and tables in the Coors Light Lounge, a couple of us threw the ball on the field for a little bit after we set up the big banners and smaller banners which was fun.  While we were waiting for dinner in the Green Room, after we ate dinner, Adrian came by and touched base with all of us to make sure that we all had things to do before and during the game.

Danielle and I handed out tickets again this week and there were not as many people who were coming to get free tickets as last week. After we handed out tickets through the first quarter, Danielle and I went to the field and helped there. The game was a lot of fun to watch and work. What made it especially great was that the Predators won! We are working are way to the playoffs!

Yes… Ironic

This last week at work has been very crazy. I went to practice early on Wednesday morning and after I was at practice for around two hours before I was asked by the head athletic trainer to go pick up a player at the apartments and take him to the doctors for his exit physical. Players only get exit physicals when they are getting cut so it was a little awkward driving him around while I was still working for the Predators. That uncomfortable feeling is probably why the staff has interns drive players around when they are getting released.

So I drove him to the doctors and we were there for about an hour waiting for him to get his physical. After I dropped him back off at his apartments I got a call from Dad and he sounded very nervous and uneasy. I asked him what happened and he said that his whole department had just been laid off and he needed me to come and pick him up! After I picked him up he answered a couple phone calls from former employees and fellow employees. I was very upset that Dad lost his job but I knew that it wasn’t his fault. The only reason he got let go was because Rasmussen moved the department to Minnesota.

I was very disappointed though in the fact that Rasmussen did not offer him another position in the college. He spent almost five years there and they couldn’t find another position for him anywhere in the college at any campus. It was just disappointing because he had improved every department and every job he worked at there. As Dad and I drove home we talked about what his plans where, what his severance package was and how the whole thing went down.

After a little while I realized how ironic my day had been. I had spent most of my day driving around a player that was a dead man walking (meaning he was getting cut that day) and took him for an exit physical, then I had to go pick up Dad and drive him because he had just been “cut.” Ironic.

“Pizza! I want the pizza!!”

We ended up losing that game to Jacksonville, which hurt our playoff chances, but we figured that if we won at least two of our last four games we would be able to make it into the playoffs! This week we had a home game and it was a nationally televised game against the Arizona Rattlers, the best team in the country. Our odds weren’t very good but we thought that we had a shot.

Because that game was nationally televised, it was particularly hectic for all of the interns involved with the gameday operations side of things. Before the game, Adrian told Danielle, another intern, and I to sit at a ticket table by the admin desk and handout and distribute tickets to people who had ticket vouchers. We were there from about 5 to 7:30 distributing tickets and it was very crazy because we would have people waiting in line for tickets and we would run out of tickets and have to run and get tickets from the box office! We probably gave out around 300 tickets or so.

The game itself was fun to watch because of all the action going on and I got to be part of several on field promotions which is always fun because you get to be on the big jumbotron and sometimes television! One promotion that I always do is the Hungry Howies Pizza challenge where I go into the stands and deliver a pizza to a random fan. It’s fun to do because fans are always screaming for the pizza and are excited! During the promotion I was about to hand the pizza to this one lady who was jumping up and down to get the pizza and I was about to give it to her, when a little kid came up and took the pizza out of my hand. I was a little shocked but I just went along with it because I didn’t want to take the pizza back from the little kid.

The game was fun to watch but we ended up losing which was very disappointing but I figured that we would lose this game so it was kind of alright. Hopefully though, we will get into the playoffs!

Just a Day in the Life…

Today was a very interesting and exciting day! Over this last week, everybody at the Predators has been preparing to go on the road and face our rivals, the Jacksonville Sharks and get our fourth win in a row! (We won last week at home!) At practice this past week my new job in the player personal department was to keep tabs on players in the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) and create a list of my top 3 players at every position and contact the teams they are on so that I can establish a relationship with those teams. It’s very exciting because I’m learning more about how the scouting side of football works! It’s an important step in my journey to be an NFL General Manager.

While I have been working on the personal stuff, I do continue to go into the office and today was one of the days that I went into the office. Today was a pretty quiet day at the office because we have a away game this week and not many people are calling in to buy tickets, get info about the game etc. The day started off pretty slow and quiet with nothing too exciting happening but it all started getting a lot more interesting when Scott left around noon for the day.

When Scott left, it was Marshall (another intern) and I up front watching the phones and doors if customers came in, Al, Dan and Amanda in the ticket office and Adrian. Soon after Scott left Coach Plank came in to talk with Adrian and check a couple things up on the computer. Because Coach Plank was here, and no one really had anything to do, we all came up and talked to Coach Plank about his time as a player with the Bears and his other coaching jobs in the AFL. It was very interesting.

One story about the AFL was that when he was the head coach of the Georgia Force a play had to be reviewed and the refs went to review it and after a couple of minutes they came on the field and said the call stood. Soon after an coach came to Plank and said that the replay TV hadn’t even been turned on! There was no cable plugged into it! It’s shocking on how inept AFL officials are sometimes!

Player Personal Department? Oooo

Today I went to practice again and I was almost very close to not arriving there on time because I woke up a bit late. Dad and I were able to hustle out of the house and get him to work and me to practice on time.

Before practice I talked with Minh, Omar and Eric (another intern) about what kind of work they do with the team. Along with Dakota, they are part of the Predator’s Player Personal Department. One of the coaches, Sean Coen, is the head of the department and he has the interns calling up players, teams in other professional football leagues and agents asking about players statuses and if they would be interested in either having a tryout or signing with the team. It’s very interesting and cool! These things are what GMs in the NFL do, so I really wanted to get involved with this. I talked to Sean before practice and he said that if I was interested in being a part of the player personal team to talk to him after practice. I was definitely very interested to talk to him.

Practice was pretty simple, it wasn’t as difficult as yesterday’s was because I had learned about the in and outs of practice and today they practiced without pads. Yesterday they practiced with pads. Practice is typically a lot harder and rougher when the players practice with pads because they can hit each other and get physical. Without pads, they really can’t be all that physical. I did the same thing as yesterday in practice, caught balls as they went out of bounds dried them off and then toss them back to Pat, the equipment manager.

After practice while we were waiting for lunch to arrive the players broke off into groups and watched film of practice and game film of the other team to prepare them for this week’s game. I sat and ran the film footage for the quarterback and wide receiver film group while Sean talked with the players about the film. It was very cool being in there!

After lunch arrived and everyone had eaten, I talked with Sean about being on the personal team and he told me that it was very serious work and I have to put a lot of effort into it. I told him that I was definitely prepared to do so. He then told me that I would be probably working with Omar on player personal and that I could start after this week’s game!

Later that day I went to the office and worked with everyone to prepare for gameday. People were calling wanting to buy tickets, bring in vouchers and try to get better seats for the game. It was pretty hectic. My day there was pretty much the same as it always is, I answer phones, talk to and help out customers and go run errands. All in all, my day was pretty low key.