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The Eastern Indoor Football League (EIFL) was an indoor American football league that comprised teams located in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Play under the auspices of the league began in 2007 amongst four new teams: the 3 Rivers Rats (a traveling team), Mahoning Valley HitMen, Mid American Buzzards, and Northeast Ohio Panthers. The Lake Erie Steelheads, a fifth team, was to play one exhibition game between the 2007 regular season and playoffs. The league originally announced six franchises, but the Baltimore Blackbirds, Bay Shore Brawlers, and Pittsburgh Ironmen left the league before the start of its first season.

The EIFL was unique among current indoor football leagues in that it had sanctioned the use of a white football, manufactured by Thaddea, which makes it easier to see in the artificial lighting conditions. The football had a gold stripe longways around the ball. The IPFL was the only other indoor football league to use an all-white football. The AIFA currently uses a red, white and blue colored football.

It was reported that the Bay Shore Brawlers decided to not join the EIFL after taking a look at the ThunderDome, home of the HitMen and site of the EIFL "showcase weekend", held October 28-29, 2006. [1] The team applied for the American Indoor Football Association, but was turned down, and so they are taking a year off before they search for another league. Also, only a handful of players from the Mid American Buzzards showed up for the event.

The Baltimore Blackbirds joined the American Indoor Football Association for 2007.

Later on, the Mid-American Buzzards, Northeast Ohio Panthers, and the 3 Rivers Rats announced their departure from the league, leaving the Hitmen as the only remaining team.

2007 Season and Problems Edit

The 2007 season started with a pre-season game on January 27, 2007. The regular season started the next weekend, on Saturday February 3, 2007.

On Sunday, February 11, 2007, one player on the Mid-American Buzzards was seriously injured in a game. Only after this, the person, and everybody involved with the league and people following the league found out there was no insurance for the players, despite Jim Terry claiming the league had insurance earlier. [2] The insurance company, however, covered the player's expenses.

On Friday, February 16, 2007, the game for that night was cancelled when the building the game was supposed to play at was padlocked due to a lack of liability insurance. The game the next night was played. However, the building owner has started eviction notices on the league and Jim Terry. [3] [4]

The game scheduled for Saturday, February 24 was not played amid local media reports that the EIFL had folded.

On February 25, the Warren Tribune-Chronicle reported that the league was down to two teams as the Mid-American Buzzards and Northeast Ohio Panthers had departed over the lack of insurance. Jim Terry, who owned the EIFL and the Mahoning Valley Hitmen, and served as the league's commissioner, indicated that the Hitmen might become a barnstorming team. [5] Later on it was reported that the 3 Rivers Rats left the league as well. [6]

Since then, no league games has been played although the league had access to the building they play in until the end of the season. Jim Terry had made an offer of $10,000 on a game for any indoor team to play against the Hitmen, but nobody took the offer, even though Jim Terry claimed otherwise. [7] This league is officially defunct. The Mahoning Valley Hitmen were declared league champions by virtue of having the best record at the time of the league folding.

Final Standings Edit

Team Wins Losses
Mahoning Valley Hitmen 2 0
Northeast Ohio Panthers 1 1
Mid American Buzzards 0 1
3 Rivers Rats 0 1

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