By Ken Wisnefski
For any football fans who are missing the NFL, there may be a good option right in Atlantic City.
I had the opportunity to take in the first AC Blackjacks game this past Saturday at Boardwalk Hall and I walked away impressed with the overall environment and the excitement of arena football.
I have been aware of arena football but never saw a game live, and the biggest takeaway is the speed of the game and just how close the fans are to the field — you really feel a part of the game.
The Blackjacks did a great job keeping the younger crowd interested through the stoppages in play by throwing T-shirts into the crowd, doing contests on the field and even firing a few hot dogs into the stands as well.
The quality of the game play was also outstanding, and many of the players on both teams had played for big-time college football programs before graduating to the Arena Football League.
“I thought the product on the field was great. The game moves fast and there is a lot of quick decision-making,” said Kevin Smith, the head football coach at Ocean City High School who attended the game with his family.
“It’s a great family event and I hope people continue to come out to support the Blackjacks as it would be great to have live sports in Atlantic City again!” Smith added.
The crowd in attendance, a mix of kids and adults, was accommodated by the 3:30 p.m. start time on a Saturday. There are five more home games on the schedule for this season, including a mix of afternoon and 7 p.m. start times.
“I am thrilled we have professional football in Atlantic City,” said Drew Fasy, a coach with the Ocean City Junior Raiders Football Program. “The football is hard-hitting, fast and exciting. It was an awesome experience and I plan to attend as many games as I possibly can this season!”
To say you were at any professional sports team’s first win in their franchise history is something you will always remember. I was glad I was able to have my family share in the AC Blackjacks first win on Saturday, a 42-35 decision over the Columbus Destroyers.
Hopefully, this is the start of something amazing in Atlantic City and more fans can experience the excitement!
For more information or to purchase tickets to an upcoming game, visit www.ACBlackjacks.com