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Is it still realistic for AFL players to make it to the NFL?
That's why Kurt Warner's ascension from Iowa Barnstormer to a Super Bowl winning quarterback with the St. Louis Rams was so unlikely. The retired passer Adidas Energy Boost Gold Foil is one of 20 former AFL players who made the jump to the NFL in the past 24 years.
"You can play well and get scored on four times," McIntosh said. "You just keep it moving, next play, whether it's one more quarter or three more quarters."
The positions McIntosh and Anderson play safety and backside corner are the most humbling in the pass friendly AFL.
"I imagine putting myself in the worst possible situation and coming out of it by making Adidas Nmd Human Race Grey
Next door, Markihe Anderson, a Dunbar High graduate and McIntosh's Storm teammate, has his own routine. The 23 year old gets up early and watches game tape with breakfast. After lunch, he alternates time in the Jacuzzi and pool.
Six hours before the Tampa Bay Storm's Arena Football League game against the Orlando Predators on June 17, McIntosh was still in bed. The 24 year old former Lehigh Senior High School defensive back visualized that evening's action running step for step with receivers, knocking away passes, undercutting routes.
So while a defensive back has to have the physical skills to cover one on one, he also has to have the mental chops to deal with surrendering touchdowns.
"There's no hard feelings, no bittnerness," Anderson said. "We were both here for the same reason to help our team win games, get on the field and get to the next level."
McIntosh and Anderson each make $400 per game, the norm for most AFL players (the Storm play 18 regular season games this year). Each team does have three "franchise" players, who are paid $1,000 per game.
When the AFL began 24 years ago, officials didn't start it so top players would move onto the NFL.
"It was a place for guys to get another opportunity to play, and a ton of guys wanted to play," AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz said.
To make the Storm this season, Anderson won a roster battle with Wondy Pierre Louis, a Lely High graduate and his former teammate at the University of Florida.
Pursuing the NFL dream while playing in the AFL means sacrificing, skimping Adidas Harden Vol 2
"Realistic is not a word I'd use," said Charles Davis, an analyst for the NFL Network. "The number is so small. But is the dream still alive? It's alive."
Teams regularly score as many as 70 points in a game with top receivers catching five or six touchdowns and quarterbacks throwing eight or nine.
Theirs is not the path most eventual NFL players take. McIntosh and Anderson have been through NFL mini camps and gotten looks in the Canadian and United football leagues. They've also each been cut by other AFL teams.
He too visualizes the upcoming game.
difference in making a play and not making a play."
"That's one play I didn't visualize," he said. "That's more a case of running to the play, running to the ball. An old teammate once told me, 'Game play can be measured, but determination can't.' What we do on our own can make the Adidas High Tops All White
"We basically know what each other is capable of," Anderson said. "There's no need to drop your head because we encourage each other. There's a great feeling when I look out and I see him out there next to me. We're both from Fort Myers. Now, together, we can beat up on the opponent instead of beating up on each other."
While some Storm players have day jobs, these two don't. Getting to the NFL is a shared goal, even if it takes years.
In addition, players' rent and utilities are paid for by the team and they receive meal stipends that help lower food expenses.
TAMPA Before grasping his NFL dream, Erick McIntosh must imagine it first.
Defensive backs also have their moments. In the Storm's 46 44 win over Orlando on June 17, McIntosh returned an interception for a touchdown when he corraled a carom off the wall and weaved his way into the end zone.
a play," said Anderson, a starting defensive back alongside McIntosh.
Area CBs take long route to NFL
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