KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City metro has some of the best football fans in the world — and for many, the off season is a struggle. But, in the downtime, there’s another team in town.
They run, hit and they practice just as hard as NFL players. And in some cases, maybe harder.
“What you give the game, you get from the game. That’s what I be telling these guys, you might not be making a lot of money but if you look at it like that, you’re not going to get your maximum output,” Alphonso Hodge said.
And if any of these guys want to “sniff” the NFL, they listen to teammate Alphonso Hodge. He was drafted and played for the Chiefs, then the New York Jets.
Just a few years in, injuries and family led to retirement. But thanks to the Champions Professional Indoor Football League, Hodge can still play.
“Love of the game, my competitiveness, I’m able to still do the things I need to do, able to wake up with my kids, able to still go to my kids lunch whenever I need too,” Hodge said.
Hodge said he has no dreams of getting back into the NFL, but his presence on the field could help someone else.
“Word travels around this league. ‘Oh, this guy played in the NFL.’Everybody tries to give me their best shot.”
The game is the main reason they’re here, but a small part of each of the players is also here to entertain.
“You could be in the stands, you’ll catch a ball, you’ll catch, you might catch a player, a player might land in your lap.”
You will likely see it all at the game — young guys trying to realize a dream, and the older ones, just living the dream.
“This game is so fun. That’s what all my family asks, you’re like 31 years old. I’m having fun… I feel like a kid out here.”
The league is made up of ten teams. In addition to the Renegades, there are teams in Salina, Topeka, Sedalia and Wichita.