While the NFL goes into mothballs and Lucas Oil arena in Indianapolis gets swept out after the Super Bowl, Tim's Toyota Center is prepping for its professional football season.
March will steal into Prescott Valley on the notorious cleats of the Arizona Outlaws with their inaugural American Indoor Football League game.
The Outlaws represent Prescott Valley's third attempt to establish professional indoor (arena) football. The brand new owners of the brand new team in the brand new league are confident they have the right formula. They already are a half dozen steps ahead of the second try because the six homes games are prepaid at Tim's Toyota Center, according to TTC general manager Gary Spiker.
Outlaw co-owner and head coach Terry Foster said tryouts in Prescott Valley in December and Tucson in January "went very well."
That swells the training camp roster to 31 players who've traveled from their homes in Florida, Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico, California and Arizona.
"My recruiting style is, I deal with a lot of agents for guys tying to go to the next level or get back to that level, and I talk to college coaches of guys who need a little more tutelage to get to the NFL," Foster said.
They all hit the practice field in Tucson this week, then travel to Ontario, Calif., for a scrimmage Feb. 25.
By opening day, March 1, Foster must trim the roster to 25 players.
"We will carry 20 on each of our game rosters," he noted.
One of those hopefuls is Glendon Lee Brown, a Chino Valley High graduate.
The two from U. of A. are quarterback Jaime Cota and running back Kevin Morris. The other players from the Tucson tryout are defensive lineman James Stanfield, California's Gavilan College, and Cedric Johnwell, a wide receiver out of Cortez High School and lately the Phoenix Raiders of semi-pro AZFL.
Foster rattled off more names to illustrate the caliber of athletes he's recruited.
Virginia State University alum Jaa Valentine played stints in the IFL and UIFL as a defensive back. Marty Graham was a receiver with the Arizona Rattlers. Tony Norman is a veteran defensive back out of Western New Mexico University. St. Louis native Chris Whitaker played linebacker for Iowa State.
"We're really excited about becoming a member of the community and getting our players out into the community," Foster said.
Home game schedule (all games at 7 p.m. except Sunday, March 25): Thursday, March 1 and Friday, May 25 vs. Sin City Black Jacks; Thursday, March 8 and Sunday, March 25 vs. Ontario Warriors (Sunday is 3 p.m.); Friday, March 16 and Monday, May 14 vs. California Eagles.