The Maine Mammoths Bring A New Kind Of Excitement To Portland
Saturday night history was made in Portland as the Maine Mammoths opened their inaugural season at the Cross Insurance Arena. The sport of arena football is new to Maine and having only seen it on television or online I really didn't know what to expect. I knew NAL rules were a little different from the NFL and that's about it.
I walked in to a packed lobby with excited fans ready to see what this was all about. The Cross Insurance Arena had that familiar smell of popcorn floating through the air and a buzz of excitement and curiosity.
The first time you see a football field where ice should be and field goal posts where safety nets usually are you quickly realize you've never seen anything like this in Portland.
I grabbed a beer and a hot dog and found my seat. The visiting team, the Carolina Cobras were warming up on the field. In between running some practice plays a Cobras player was having some fun tossing the ball around with some fans.
Soon the players went back to their locker rooms to get ready for kick off. After a few more minutes the Mammoths Cheerleaders were introduced followed by the visiting Carolina Cobras. Then the arena went dark, the crowd got loud and the Maine Mammoths took the field.
The interaction between the players and fans continued throughout the entire game with quick high fives and some friendly trash talking.
In fact sometimes the players need to count on the fans to cushion their landing when they fly over the boards!
And there is no shortage of excitement for the fans! If a football goes into the stands, which a lot of them do, and you catch it you can exchange it for a different ball autographed by the Mammoths. The guy behind me was lucky enough to catch one.
The game is fast paced and action packed with huge plays, big tackles and even bigger touchdowns!
The Cobras ended up winning the game but I had so much fun it didn't even bother this Mammoths fan.
The next home game for the Mammoths is Saturday, May 5th.