After watch the Shock miss the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, some have asked whether majority owner Brady Nelson should give up and take the team to the smaller Indoor Football League. Not gonna happen.
Talking with SWX's Sam Adams last week in a sit-down interview, Nelson said he made the decision to move to the Arena Football League from the old af2, believing there wasn't going to be an af2 league. His prediction turned out to be correct, as the smaller league collapsed mere months later.
Now, even with smaller profits, Nelson said the move to a bigger league was worth it. The team now has stronger partners and plays with teams in stronger markets. The league is more stable, and he doesn't see any reason to change things up.
"This is a level we can compete in," said Nelson. "This is a level we can thrive in."
Nelson said the Shock were a couple of bounces away from being the second seed in the playoffs. And he's right. With 10 wins this year, if they were in the American Conference they would be in. As it turned out, they played in the West Division in the National Conference – the best division in the league.
"I don't think by any means we're getting outplayed or outcoached."
In the end, Nelson said keeping the Shock in the AFL is about giving the community something good in the long-term. That is an interesting thought, given his thought process when he started the team nearly a decade ago.
"When I started this in 2005, I actually didn't think past ‘let's just do this!'" he said. "So, it's been an incredible run so far. And once you've been this close to a team you can't just be a fan anymore – that's just not an option. There is a deeper connection to wins and losses and the fan base. It's been incredible. I'm happy doing this, I love it. And as long as the fans support us we'll be here."