Louisville Fire

Years of Existence: 2001-2008
Venue: Freedom Hall (Louisville, KY)
2001 -
2004 Quarterfinal appearance
2005 Championship game appearance
2006 - Playoff appearance
2007 - Quarterfinal appearance
2008 -
Lifetime Record: 64-73
Home: 38-26
Away: 26-46
Playoffs: 5-4
Average Attendance: 8,348

The Louisville Fire is another remarkable franchise in the AF2. Despite all the losing, the fan base is enormous, the team drawing some of the largest crowds in league history. After three seasons, the team had only won 13 games. In 2004, the Fire had their first winning season(9-7) and qualified for the playoffs. They won their first playoff game against Quad City, 53-48, but lost in their quarter final game at Tulsa by a touchdown 49-42. In 2005, the Fire had another winning season, going 11-5 and taking second place in the Eastern Division. The quarterback, Matt Sauk passed for a regular season record 99 touchdowns en route to another postseason appearance. The Fire's home arena was in use for a possible home date, so the Fire played three straight playoff games on the road. Louisville beat Macon with a stunning comeback (35 points in the fourth quarter to win by a point). Matt Sauk set another record the following week, passing for ten touchdowns against the repeat-hopeful Florida Firecats. The Fire earned an ArenaCup berth with their 70-40 drubbing of Florida. The favor was returned in the Cup game, as the teams was extinguished by the Memphis Xplorers, 63-41. This time, Matt Sauk set the record for most interceptions in a Championship game: four. The Fire's 2006 season was somewhat similar to 2005. After going 2-4, the team peaked just before the end of the regular season, winning seven of eight. However, in their last two games against Florida and Green Bay, the Fire had fourth quarter chokes. Leading 53-30 at Green Bay with 14:30 to go in the game, the Fire lost, 54-53. Instead of getting a division crown and a first round bye, the Fire ended up as the #6 seed in the playoffs. Another fourth quarter meltdown at Memphis gave the Xplorers an 83-61 victory. The Fire were led by Matt Sauk for just three games, before he moved up to the Philadelphia Soul. Joel Steele ended up winning the starting job and the Fire ended the regular season with a 9-7 record. Only two wins came against teams with winning records. The Fire bussed 40 hours to Spokane to play the Shock, unable to get a flight on such short notice. However, Louisville romped the Shock, 62-35. The next week, the Fire traveled to Green Bay. The teams split their regular season series and the Blizzard used a 17-7 second half to put out the fire, 37-27. In 2008, the Fire looked ready to make a fifth consecutive playoff appearance. However, a 6-3 start became an 8-8 season and the team lost a tiebreaker to Quad City for the eighth seed in the postseason. The Fire produced two 1,000 yard receivers in Ricard Lenhart and Lonnell Dewalt. Four of the last five losses of the season came by a combined sixteen points. The Fire folded following their eighth season.