Major Steps Forward

Southern California Football Alliance

By Craig Robbins

May 2, 2013 – The PDFA, the original CFA, LCFL West, UDFL, PAC West, UFAL, WWFL, no this is not an episode of the very popular game show Wheel of Fortune, with all the different vowels and consonants, it’s the acronyms of the many different leagues that have been associated with minor league football. Of all the different leagues, the LCFL (now LCFL West) has been the longest running league and most recognize entity since 2006. Over the years, players and minor league football aficionados have harped about making Southern California one massive league.

Rumor has it, the reason that one league has not happened in Southern California is due to the fact that league department heads are wrestling with the amount of power one may have over another. “Quite frankly, it’s greed,” retired Defensive Back and former Westcoast Shark Ontario Lacey said. League official “A” runs one league a particular way, where he/she makes a substantial amount of the decisions, and members of its respective league feel the job is done adequately. League official B has an up-start operation, things are moving in the right direction, with the ceiling being extremely high for the aforementioned league. A tug-of-war-like mentality seems to be the big issue with regards to making one league rise to the surface – too many chiefs, not enough Indians. National City Bears quarterback Michael Clark, II feels that since there’s no official governing body within Southern California minor league football, it’s pretty much a free-for-all for teams to pop-up and leave whenever they want to.

Recently, the Southern California minor league football spectrum has shifted in the direction of unifying and becoming one large entity, with the creation of the Southern California Football Alliance (SCFA). The SCFA is made up of the LCFL West (Labelle Community Football League West), CFAC (California Football Alliance Central) and the UFAL (United Football Alliance League) as sub divisions within the alliance. Members of the alliance, also known as the umbrella, will play inter-league games with the subdivisions involved and also play during the postseason, insuring that minor league football has a definitive Southern California champion (first time since ’07, Foothill Firehawks).

Unity sounds great, but unifying Southern California football can not be of the essence if all leagues within the region are not involved, or at least given the opportunity to be involved. Here’s the twist: The CFA (California Football Alliance) was denied admission to join the SCFA for reasons such as not having the minimum number of teams at the time (10 teams), having teams within their league forfeit games the previous season, and also having too many expansion, or un-proven, teams. The verdict seemed somewhat odd, particularly the portion of not having enough teams. The CFA currently has 9 teams (Hollywood Stars, National City Bears, SoCal Smash, California Dolphins, Riverside Outlaws, High Desert Chiefs, Santa Clarita Stampede, Vegas Trojans, and California Dragons), and the irony with regard to the number of teams is due to the fact that both the CFAC and UFAL (whom are within the alliance) have 9 teams combined, yet, the CFA is perceived as a non-viable league due to it’s lacking numbers. The two leagues act as their own entity but have agreed to play a collaborative schedule, which is perceived as one league. It’s interesting that an obvious loophole within the system has one group in, and another group questioning why.

Round Table
It’s been speculated that the National City Bears, 2012 CFA Champions, are the primary source responsible for the league’s denial. Originally, the CFA and LCFL West were slated to play in, what would be, a Southern California championship game, following both leagues respective championships. As the season went on, commissioners from the three major leagues within Southern California (LCFL West, Tony Reid, UFAL, Dwayne Radden, and CFA, Cornelius Harrell,), created a scenario which would involve the champions of the UFAL – the highest ranked team would get the eventual bye, leaving the two remaining to duke-it-out, in an attempt to advance to the next stage and possibly win. As the NC Bears won its championship, they were slated to face the, now, California Raiders before potentially moving on and facing the king of the hill, Inglewood Blackhawks. As we know the game between the Bears and the Raiders did not happen, and the Raiders eventually went on to play the Blackhaws in, what would eventually be deemed, a national championship game (based on both team’s ranking).

The unspecified reasons for the Bears not playing in the game vs. the Raiders left a sour taste in the mouths of minor league fans and the individuals in charge whom help create the platform for these weekend warriors to continue with doing something they love – play football. When creating the SCFA, the objective was clear – unify minor league football and not involve the NC Bears…and any team whom will continue to associate with them. Opting not to play in the Southern California championship playoff bracket has many involved skeptical of doing business with the Bears’ organization, viewing their actions as a “bad business” move, effecting potential business in the future. members, Sean Scales (NC Bears) and Craigston Robbins (Hollywood Stars) have been very vocal about this new alliance, which leaves their respective teams on the outside looking in, and how it’s wrong to have several of California’s top teams not involved. “No one is perfect, and you cannot preach unity if you’re refusing to allow everyone to be involved,” Craigston Robbins said. “It would suck to play your entire season, win out, but know there are other teams you could have potentially played to validate yourself.” Both the Hollywood Stars and NC Bears faced off in the 2012 CFA championship, with the Bears pulling off an eleven-point victory, the leagues first coronation since 2005 (last year of operation).

Happy fans
Week six of the “semi pro webshow” brought about some heavy debate on this particular topic, which resulted in two dignitary-like figureheads within Southern California minor league football to agree to come on the show (Tony Reid and Juwan Hurd, founder of original CFA and Owner of SoCal Smash), talk things out, with the intent to come up with a solution in appropriately unifying Southern California, live on air.

The special Wednesday edition of the show was a huge success, with members of the show addressing their issues along with the two very special guests. “We could possibly position ourselves to be looked at as a viable level to advance to the professional level,” Tony Reid (owner, Inglewood Blackhawks/Commissioner, LCFL West) said. The squeaky tire seems to be getting the most attention, that heads from all the respective leagues have agreed to join the show for a special Sunday edition of the semi pro webshow, the LCFL West, CFAC, UFAL, CFA, and even the PCFC, whom is often viewed as an inferior league, to address this particular issue and potential come up with a remedy. “‘We are looking out for the players best interest’ had been a response that has been thrown around freely, with very little, if no support at all, to back that statement up. By agreeing to meet, with the intention of unifying this for everyone, is proof that these owners finally are putting the wants and desires of players before their own,” Sean Scales said.

The agreement to a meeting of such, and to have it broadcasted online, is paramount for this particular brand of football. Be sure to tune in on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 7:30pm to watch history in the making for minor league football.

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