View Full Version : Grading the Pittsburgh Power Experience

03-13-2011, 12:09 AM
Grading the Pittsburgh Power Experience

Posted on March 12, 2011 by adam

Because it may be the only football we see played in 2011 due to the now ongoing NFL Lockout, I decided to check out the first Pittsburgh Power game on Friday night. Well, because of that, and also because I was curious. I had heard good things about the in-person experience for Arena games in the past and wanted to see it for myself, so I went in with what I thought were reasonable expectations.

I did not come out disappointed.

The Power ended up losing the game to Philadelphia in overtime, 58-52, thanks to an interception return for a touchdown. That after the final 58 seconds of regulation saw one touchdown, two onside kicks, a safety, a goal-line stand and a game-tying 39-yard field goal from former Chicago Bear Paul Edinger as time expired. Think of this as a cross between football, the WWE and a monster truck rally all played on a surface the size of an NHL rink. Itís complete madness. If you like defense and running the football (and if youíre from Pittsburgh, Iím guessing you do), this is probably not your game.

Itís all offense, all passing, and non-stop scoring. Itís also incredibly fast.

Iím not sure how well it will translate to TV, and I canít say I have much (if any) of a rooting interest in the team, but itís not a bad way to spend a Friday or Saturday night. Are there better ways? Sure. But some people probably think thereís a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon rather than watching football.

Long-time Civic Arena/Mellon Arena/Consol Energy Center staple Jeff Jimerson performed the National Anthem and received his usual loud ovation, while Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett did the pre-game coin toss. His reception was not quite as welcoming, receiving a seemingly never-ending chorus of boos fresh off his massive state-wide budget cuts. Iím not sure who thought inviting him was a good idea, but, well Ö it wasnít. The guy in front of us joked that heíd probably keep the coin.

But enough of that, letís get on to the experienceÖ

Ticket Prices/Bang For Your Buck: B-/C+

This is a tough one to grade because it simply depends on which price level you purchased. We paid $15 for general admission seats (pretty much the entire upper level, minus a couple of sections in the middle) and came away with seats like thisÖ


We could have sat closer, but because of the design of the CEC you enter the sections from the top (allowing for open concourses the entire way around, so you never miss the game when you get up to hit the bathroom or concession stand) so I always figured it was better, and easier, to sit near the top of the section. And it still allows for a great vantage point as thereís not a bad seat in the building.

For me, the $15 price tag was well worth it, and Iíd give that an A grade. The most expensive thing we paid for all night was parking (most of the garages close to the arena are $20, standard event rates for the CEC, but you can find cheaper lots and on-street parking all the way up and down Fifth Avenue).

The general admission seats are a great value, and I donít think you would come away disappointed if you paid $25 for the reserved upper level seats (pretty much at mid-field) or the $35 lower level end zone seats, which are also conveniently positioned directly behind the Pittsburgh Power Dance Team, The Sparks, at both ends of the field (yes, they have cheerleaders).

The problem, however, is that the rest of the lower level seats, as well as the seats along the front row, are a bit too overpriced. Way overpriced, actually. The remainder of the lower level prices range from $50 to $180, and not surprisingly, those were the sections that had the largest chunks of empty seats.


The $180 seats are the front rows along the sidelines, and if you sit there, you better be ready to catch a player or a football. At least four different times on Friday a player ended up, at least in part, in the seats. Good news: You can keep the football. Still, thatís a pretty steep price, even if you have the ability to be less than an arms length away from players and referees.

Bottom line: go with the cheaper seats and Iíd give the bang for your buck an A. Had I paid over $100 I would have come out giving it something along the lines of a D or a C-. I mean, come on, I paid that much for Stanley Cup Final tickets two years ago and was OK with it. Not Arena Football.

Straub Beer: The Official Beer of the Pittsburgh Power

Before Penguins games I typically kill time in the hotel lobby of the Marriot City Center across the street where they set up tubs of beer for $3 (a better deal than the $7.75 inside the arena). They were there on Friday, but only selling one beer: Straub. The Official Beer of the Pittsburgh Power. This is just personal taste but Straub, to me, is water with less flavor.

Once you get inside the arena, however, you have more choices (though more expensive). If youíre sitting in the upper deck be sure to check out the Brew House and Smoke House directly behind sections 206 and 207 for a wider selection of suds and some pretty good sandwiches. You can also get mixed drinks if youíre into that.

Crazy Ass Rules

My heavens, where to begin. You can complete passes off the net, off of the boards, and the clock doesnít stop for incompletions or out of bounds until the last minute of each half. Also: If youíre winning in the final two minutes and donít advance the football forward, the clock stops, so thereís no taking a knee. This almost cost Philadelphia in the Fourth Quarter trying to close out the game with a one-point lead. The Power had just two timeouts remaining, and after failing to recover an onside kick, Philadelphia had the football inside the 10-yard line. On their first play the Soul attempted a run and lost yardage, essentially giving Pittsburgh a free timeout. From there, the Power made a goal-line stand and had a chance to take the lead at the end of regulation. On fourth down of the ensuing drive, however, quarterback Bernard Morris (from Marshall) was sacked for a safety. With only 12 seconds left the game appeared to be over, but Pittsburgh attempted its second onside kick in the final minute (and third of the game, if you can believe it) and recovered it, allowing it to get into position for Paul Edinger to kick a game-tying field goal.

And this all happened in the final 56 seconds.

Quality Of Play

Letís face it, youíre not seeing the Steelers and Ravens play here, so itís clearly a lesser quality of football. And while the talent level is what it is, itís still an amazingly fast game. The speed is incredible. Put 16 players on a small field with a football with no out of bounds and itís going to be nuts. Again, I donít know if that translates well to TV, but in person itís definitely not boring.

The PA announcer definitely gives the game a minor league feel (and this is where the WWE/Monster Truck Rally aspect comes in) by giving players nicknames and screaming into the microphone all night. A typical play is ďBERNARD THE QUARTERBACK MORRIS COMPLETING A PASS TO JASON WHATíCHOO TALKINí ABOUT WILLIS FOR ANOTHER POWER FIRST DOWN!Ē


Iíll also say this: Itís very fan and kid friendly. Example: After the game they allowed you to go on the field and get autographs from players, so thatís a definitely a nice touch and a good way to get people interested.

Lynn Swann, Ladies and Gentlemen

As you may already know, Lynn Swann is part of the ownership group and he was at the game on Friday. Here he is speaking to the crowd at halftimeÖ


They also sell Swann í88? Power jerseyís, and Iím not going to lie, Iím not sure how I feel about that.

They also gave away these amazingly creepy posters on the way into the arena.


So there you have it. Overall, it was a pretty fun night, and again, itís not a terrible way to spend a relatively cheap (again, depending on where you sit) Friday or Saturday night and get a few hours of entertainment. I mean, itís better than a Pirates game.

Will I go back? Probably. Will I recommend it? Yes, but only if you pay between $15 and $35 for your tickets.

Here's another couple of picture from the night:


http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/03/g ... #more-4481 (http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/03/grading-pittsburgh-power-experience/#more-4481)

03-13-2011, 12:56 AM
The ticket prices are really the only complaint about them. They'll get it right in the long run, Swann is no fool.

Mister Pittsburgh
03-13-2011, 09:53 AM
I watched on TV. The Power website said the game would be on the CW, but it wasn't...it was on the NFL network which was strange. Overall, I had a good time watching it. Obviously wasn't following as intently as if it were the Steelers, but hey, it was a sporting event on Friday night to drink a few carbonated beverages over.

03-13-2011, 02:02 PM
I watched a good bit of the game too. I enjoyed having the opportunity to root for another Pittsburgh team. I wonder if they could beat the Pirates? :D

Stillers still rule though!


03-13-2011, 02:15 PM
In Wilkes-Barre, we have the W-B/S Penguins (AHL hockey) and used to have the W-B/S Pioneers (af2 football) at what is now known as the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. We've had a season ticket package in some form or fashion (not full season, but we've had half season packages, quarter season packages, 10-12 game plans, etc.) for the AHL Pens since they came to town a dozen or so years ago. Love it. Watching hockey in person is awesome.

I tried going to a Pioneers game on 2 occassions. Just couldn't get into it at all. Sure, it's fast...sure, it's high scoring...but it just seemed so contrived to me. Perhaps having season tix to the Steelers spoiled me, since the arena football experience cannot come close to comparing to that. In the event of this lockout taking away games from us this fall, if I get hungry to see some live football action, I would much prefer to see a high school football game on a Friday night than to watch Arena ball, but that's just me.

03-13-2011, 05:04 PM
There was an arena football team in Raleigh a few years back and I loved going to games. But almost no one ever showed up so they eventually left town.

Ticket prices were less than $10 and you could end up 3 rows back in the middle of the action. No one cared where you sat because there were less than 1000 people in the arena most of the time.

I kinda liked the play off the nets and the hits against the boards. But I thought it was a little too much offense for my liking. I wish they modified the rules a bit so WRs couldn't get a 20 yard sprint on the snap. And there was no real running game to speak of. But if you check your football knowledge at the door, it's enjoyable to watch.

I'm a huge fan of minor league sports where guys play for true love of the game.

03-14-2011, 01:43 AM
Power provide Pittsburgh fans with unique experience

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Excitement, but no 'W'
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

Fireworks lit the night, inside and outside Consol Energy Center.

Footballs filled the air high above the green carpet, giving a curious and ultimately noisy crowd an excuse for screaming itself silly.

Touchdowns ballooned the score to 58-52 in an overtime loss to the Philadelphia Soul on Friday night in the Power's first game of their expansion season in the Arena Football League.

All those points (110), all those touchdowns (15 by both teams) and all those pass plays (75, or 79 percent of the time), and it still wasn't the highest-scoring AFL game of the night.

"That's a relatively low-scoring game," Power coach Chris Siegfried said.

Maybe the most unusual sight of all arose after the game, when the Power, honoring a longtime AFL tradition, returned to the field to meet fans and sign autographs.

Siegfried was casual and amiable only moments after suffering a disappointing defeat in which his team lost a 27-14 second-quarter lead, rallied to send the game into overtime and lost on a sudden-death interception return.

Throughout, Siegfried stood on the field in the midst of the frenzy, calling plays, yelling at officials, bouncing on the soles of his feet to celebrate a score and helping keep order. He knows he has a young team, so the loss didn't hurt as bad as it would have under different circumstances.

"A lot of guys turned from rookies to veterans," Siegfried said. "We just have to learn from our mistakes. We self-inflicted the bad things and have to grow from that."

Fans were treated to a potpourri of indoor football special circumstances, including a rally-killing interception ó one of three thrown by Power quarterback Bernard Morris ó that Soul defensive back Tanner Varner played off the wall in the end zone. In Arena Football, every pass and kick is in play until it hits the turf.

Varner also was involved in an interesting play in which he caught Power wide receiver Eddie Thompson in midair, kept him off his feet and dumped him into the Soul bench.

Siegfried was animated before officials called a personal foul, but later, he didn't blame Varner for what was assailed as a dirty hit by Consol fans, who hooted passionately.

Under previous AFL rules, that wouldn't have been a good catch because Varner didn't allow Thompson to get his feet down. Varner, a former Academic All-American from Ottumwa, Iowa, apologized after Siegfried explained the rule was changed for the safety of the players.

"He's not a dirty player," Siegfried said. "He's a classy player."

The crowd of 13,904 ó about 3,000 above what Power officials hope to draw all season ó was boisterous on many occasions, even hollering "Rooooo," when the team got near the goal line for fullback Josh Rue, a Gateway High School and Duquesne University graduate who broke two tackles while scoring on a 2-yard run. Chants of "De-fense, de-fense" and "Let's go, Power" rose from the seats through the night.

"They seemed to be really into it," Siegfried said. "They were loud when they needed to be, and they saw a lot of crazy things happen."

Added team president Peter Hill: "We knew we had an exciting product. The fans just had to see it."

Siegfried was pleased with much of what he saw, including nine catches for 111 yards and a touchdown by Aliquippa graduate Mike Washington and three pass breakups by defensive back Royce Adams.

The Power lost, however, because it scored only one touchdown in its last five possessions.

"You really want to be able to score touchdowns 90 percent of the time to be a dominant team," Siegfried said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1GXfEHVKW (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/powers/s_727187.html#ixzz1GXfEHVKW)

03-14-2011, 09:34 AM
Was Callahan Bright active? I get the feeling the Steelers are evaluating him through this process. Maybe we will have two sets of brother going into camp....If there is one!

03-14-2011, 09:50 AM
With elite pro football franchises like the Passion, Colts, and Steelers still residing in the burgh I just don't see how there's still much of a football market left for the Power to make themselves relevant.

03-14-2011, 10:22 AM
Jerome Mathis plays for the Power?

anger 82&95
03-14-2011, 11:28 AM
I watched a good bit of the game too. I enjoyed having the opportunity to root for another Pittsburgh team. I wonder if they could beat the Pirates? :D

Stillers still rule though!

It would depend on the sportÖ If the pirates were required to wield a bat and glove in the vain attempt to manipulate a baseball, then the football team wins.

03-20-2011, 03:40 PM
Boom - Winning, duh!

the Power get their first victory... :tt2

Law has Power-ful debut

Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2011
Andrew Chiappazzi

PITTSBURGH - It took an extra week, but Josh Lay finally made his debut with the Pittsburgh Power on Saturday night.
In front of a host of family and friends, Lay started at defensive back, had seven tackles, an interception, and several key deflections as the Power snagged its first win in team history by beating the Iowa Barnstormers 58-28 at the Consol Energy Center.

The Aliquippa and Pitt grad single-handedly kept Iowa out of the end zone during one drive in the fourth quarter. With Iowa at the Power 8-yard line and Pittsburgh hoping to protect a 41-21 lead, Lay batted down a pass intended for Todd Blythe on second down and nearly picked off Brad Banks' pass to Larry Beavers on third down.
Fellow defensive back Carlos Campbell finished off the series by knocking down a pass on fourth down.
"It's a man-to-man concept for me. I played it at Pitt and in the pros," Lay said. "Guard your man; either you get scored on or you get an interception."

Lay's performance came a week after fellow Aliquippa native Michael Washington led the Power with nine catches for 111 yards and a touchdown in the opener against Philadelphia. Washington caught a late touchdown pass Saturday and finished with two receptions for 24 yards.

"I told him when he scored to do the Hawaii dance but he wouldn't do it," Lay said with a laugh.
"You have to play faster," Power quarterback Kevin McCabe said of his speedy receivers. "On turf, man, Mike Washington, that's why they call him ĎJoystick.' He's special."

McCabe, a California (Pa.) graduate, threw three second-half touchdowns for the Power after taking over for starter Bernard Morris. Morris has a muscle strain in his throwing shoulder and he re-aggravated it in the first half.
"We have two good quarterbacks," coach Chris Siegfried said. "I thought Kevin did a great job in the second half, protected the football real well, and played his rear end off."

As for Law, the former sixth-round NFL draft pick spent time with New Orleans and St. Louis following his career at Pitt, and he ended up in the United Football League in 2009 before giving the Arena League a try. But his debut indoors had to wait until a sore hamstring healed.

"It was a little different. I've probably played in every league," Lay said. "I got used to it after the first half."
Lay may be new to the Arena League, but he provides a veteran presence for the expansion team. Siegfried is simply hoping that he doesn't lose Lay to the NFL.

"Josh Lay is a special defensive back," Siegfried said. "Selfishly, I'd like to have him for as long as I'm coaching here. But I feel he still has NFL talent, and it's just a matter of keeping him healthy, getting him in better shape, and letting him go to work."

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/high_ ... 2bc8b.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/high_school/football/law-has-power-ful-debut/article_7a7cc920-52a9-11e0-a9f3-00127992bc8b.html)


03-21-2011, 07:33 PM
I took Mrs. Starlifter to the second game against the Iowa Barnstormers. BTW - they have the coolest helmet in ALL of football.

sat in the end zone 2 rows up from the sparks dancers. 35 bucks a seat. figure with parking and food set me back 130 bucks. game was good, fast moving and moderately exciting. it's funny that the HC is on the field with the team behind the offense telling the QB the play. the game is very fast and my one complaint is due to the small size of the field - every play is rapid fire. I really love the slow developing plays in the NFL that you can see unfold such as the 80 yard bomb. not possible here. quick slants, very little running. of course this is based off my one and only game. overall, good experience.

at the end of the day I figured I better start learning what the steelers replacement players names are....... :D :D

03-24-2011, 05:02 PM
Power coach copes with wife's imprisonment

Thursday, March 24, 2011

While Chris Siegfried remains in Pittsburgh coaching the Power of the Arena Football League, his wife has been in jail for the past six weeks on drug charges in Polk County, Fla.

Tammi Siegfried, 35, of Windermere, Fla., owner of a tobacco store chain called Low Ball Louie's, was arrested Feb. 9 by the Polk County Sheriff's Office on nine counts each of delivery of drug paraphernalia and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Six of her employees also were arrested.

That arrest followed another on Nov. 16 in which Tammi Siegfried was charged was with delivery of drug paraphernalia, possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver, and possession and sale of an imitation controlled substance. She is being held without bond in the Polk County Jail and awaits a status hearing April 29, said Polk County Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood.

Chris Siegfried has not been charged and is not connected to the investigation, Wood said.

Chris Siegfried on Wednesday had no comment, calling it "a personal, private matter." He is caring for the couple's son and daughter, ages 11 and 9, respectively, who are "doing fine."

Siegfried said outside factors do not affect how he does his job.

"I am paid to be the coach of the Pittsburgh Power, and there is nothing that is going to mentally, emotionally, physically affect what I do," he said. "This is my job, and I am good at my job. My family life is personal, and it is going to stay that way."

He added, "My wife is more beautiful now than I have ever seen her. I love her more than I ever have. She is an incredible woman."

Power co-owner Matt Shaner said Chris Siegfried has the team's full support.

"It's pretty painful for him," Shaner said. "It is certainly hard on our football team.

"Coach Siegfried hasn't been charged with any crime. We look at this as a personal family matter. He will remain our coach. We support him. It is something he is dealing with with his wife."

The charges against Tammi Siegfried are third-degree felonies, according to affidavits. Some of the November charges stem from what the sheriff's office described as the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana products known as K2 and Spice.

After that arrest, Tammi Siegfried posted a $6,000 bond after spending one day in jail.

Her attorney, David Parry of Tampa, Fla., did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The arrests of Tammi Siegfried and six of her employees stem from a crackdown by the Polk County Sheriff's Office on the sale and distribution of K2.

Sheriff Grady Judd announced Oct. 26 that his office and the Haines City, Fla., police department were working with the Florida State Attorney's Office and the 10th Judicial Court to prosecute those selling or possessing K2.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that so-called "fake marijuana" last year spurred 1,170 calls to centers nationwide after 2,882 in 2010.

Edward P. Krenzelok, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, said the use of synthetic marijuana can produce "more profound and unpredictable effects than (chemicals) found in natural marijuana.

"There is more of a psychoactive component and its use is often associated with erratic behavior. We have had a few, but not many cases reported to the Pittsburgh Poison Center."

Read more: Power coach copes with wife's imprisonment - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1HXrXSoZq (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_728909.html#ixzz1HXrXSoZq)

03-24-2011, 05:51 PM
This is the first I've heard of K2 or Spice. They should try getting athletic sponsors, starting with Kellen Winslow and David Beckham. :wink: