Orlando Predators

Bernard Morris morphing into Arena Football League Ironman

ORLANDO, Fla. – Bernard Morris is evolving into a throwback for the Arena Football League’s Orlando Predators.

In a league that once placed value on “Ironman” football – players who excelled offensively and defensively – the Jones High School product is willing to line up anywhere on the field.

The starting quarterback in Orlando last season, Morris won’t be behind center Saturday when the Predators (3-2) host the Cleveland Gladiators (3-2) at Amway Center at 7 p.m.

The Preds lost 56-46 at Cleveland in the American Conference title game in August, the outcome ultimately decided when Morris fumbled for the second time as Orlando trailed by nine points with nearly a minute left. It was his third-straight conference final loss after spending the previous two seasons with the Jacksonville Sharks.

(Click here to read revised story on Bernard Morris at Orlando Sentinel)

Morris will contribute in different ways in the rematch as former Tampa Bay Storm quarterback Randy Hippeard gets the starting nod again for the sixth time this season.

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Adam Markowitz of ArenaFan talks Orlando Predators & bright future of Arena Football League

Adam Markowitz of ArenaFan joined me Saturday to talk about the resurgence of the Orlando Predators and Arena Football League, which recently opened its 28th season of operation with teams in 12 different cities.

Markowitz talked about the AFL record the Preds set on Friday on the road at Jacksonville and how former starting quarterback Bernard Morris played a key part. He also talked about how owner David Siegel has helped to revive the franchise in Orlando and how the AFL has plans in place to help the league continue to grow in the coming years.

( – Click here to listen to Adam Markowitz of ArenaFan on Carnahan Chronicles – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Super Bowl Sunday trouble, new football league, angry high school soccer dad and National Signing Day hype

I found myself caught up in a couple of crazy circumstances a week ago and decided to share those stories on the show this past Saturday.

For starters, my carelessness while running late to a Super Bowl party resulted in banging up the car of Mike Bianchi, columnist at the Orlando Sentinel and host of AM 740 The Game’s “Open Mike,” while in the parking lot at Ker’s WingHouse. We capped the opening segment by also talking about a new football league forming in 2016 that’s looking to bring yet another minor league team to Orlando next spring.

Then on Friday, while on assignment to cover a prep soccer game at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, I was nearly attacked by an angry Warriors dad in the press box. We finished the show talking about that wild encounter while giving props to the local high school state tournament teams and touching on the disturbing hype that surrounds National Signing Day on a yearly basis.

Enjoy.

Carnahan Coverage: Linebacker Withney Simon still awaiting first scholarship offer

ORLANDO, Fla. – He’s done all that’s been asked of him yet Orlando Jones High School’s Withney Simon, the No. 2-rated linebacker in Central Florida, is unsure of his football future.

I caught up with Simon following the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl earlier this month at the Florida Citrus Bowl and asked him about his college options. He said that although he’s got the grades to qualify for football at the next level, he’s a bit surprised at how little interest he’s garnered from college programs.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s feature on Withney Simon for Orlando Sentinel – )

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Arena Football League is Dead to Me

Congrats goes out to the Arizona Rattlers for wrapping up an ArenaBowl three-peat on Saturday while simultaneously crushing the hearts of 18,404 rabid, title-hungry sports fans in Cleveland. In the first ArenaBowl I ever paid attention to (while at a laundromat in 2002, of all places) the Rattlers were badly beaten 52-14 by the rival San Jose SaberCats.

On Saturday, Arizona ravaged the Gladiators to the tune of 72-32 to claim their third ArenaBowl title in a row. It’s the fourth consecutive appearance in the ArenaBowl for the Rattlers since the AFL relaunched in 2010.

It’s partially why I’m pleading for someone (anyone!) to please save the Arena Football League.

Never mind the constant chatter alleging the abuse of the paltry salary structure by teams with kickbacks to players, or that an owner once told me he’d fix games so home teams won every time if he could. Forget about all of that, I’m just concerned with two particular tweaks that would help make the league feel a little more legit again.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Random Topics from Around Sports World & Start of 2014 College Football Season

On Saturday I chatted with Chris Vazquez about a number of topics from around the world of sports before touching on the opening of the upcoming college football season this week.

Among the topics to start the show were the high school football Kickoff Classics, Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 of preseason, the ArenaBowl between Cleveland Gladiators and Arizona Rattlers, Greg Carr of the Orlando Predators, and the Orlando City Soccer Club visiting Richmond Kickers in a key matchup.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris touch on a variety of sports on Saturday’s show – )

The college football season is slated to get underway this week with the UCF Knights, Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles in action Saturday. We discussed the new four-team playoff, the chances of FSU going unbeaten, and student-athletes getting caught cheating and whether they should be compensated for the money they help generate for universities.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris discuss the upcoming college football season – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Herkie Walls Remembers Former Orlando Predators Coach Perry Moss

It was a sad week in the world of the Arena Football League (and nearly every other football league imaginable across the globe, for that matter) as the game lost one of its great minds in coach Perry Moss, who passed away peacefully under the care of Hospice on Thursday at the age of 88.

When word got out about the final days of Coach Moss more than a week ago, touching tributes were written by Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel and Adam Markowitz at ArenaFan.

On Saturday I was joined on AM 740 The Game by Herkie Walls, who played for Moss while with the Orlando Predators in the 1990s, to talk about the impact the coach had on his life. Walls also touched on the state of the AFL and the recent success of the Preds as they enter Sunday’s conference championship game against the Cleveland Gladiators at 3 p.m.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Herkie Walls talk about Perry Moss and the AFL – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando Predators Advance Past Pittsburgh Power in AFL Playoffs

Four teams remain in the Arena Football League’s postseason.

Over the weekend the San Jose SaberCats and Arizona Rattlers advanced in the National Conference while the Cleveland Gladiators and Orlando Predators moved on in the American Conference. Winners of those matchups this weekend advance to the ArenaBowl on Aug. 23.

On Sunday the Predators held off a late rally by the Pittsburgh Power to reach the conference title game with a 56-48 win. Preds quarterback Bernard Morris passed for 221 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 44 yards and four more scores. Former Florida State wide receiver Greg Carr finished with 97 yards receiving and four TDs on 10 catches.

( – Click here to read my story on Predators vs. Power for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Bernard Morris Returns Home to Lead Orlando Predators to Playoffs

When Bernard Morris finished out his prep career in Orlando as a three-sport athlete at Jones High School he moved on to play quarterback against his hometown teams both while in college and the Arena Football League.

Morris finally made his return home this season and has helped lead the Orlando Predators to their first division title since 2006 and a home playoff game Sunday at 2 p.m. against the Pittsburgh Power. He joined the show on Saturday to talk about a number of topics, including what it’s been like playing for first-year Predators coach Rob Keefe.

( – Click here to listen to J.C’s interview with Preds QB Bernard Morris – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: MLS Talk; Unbeaten Orlando City; Playoff-Bound Orlando Predators

The July 26, 2014 edition of Carnahan Chronicles closed out with a caller asking some interesting questions about Major League Soccer. I was then joined by producer Chris Vazquez to debate whether the Orlando City Soccer Club could and should finish the USL PRO regular season unbeaten before talking a bit about the final regular season game for the playoff-bound Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. A special shoutout to former Orlando Magic player Jameer Nelson was also in order as he recently signed a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, putting the final nail in the coffin of the Dwight Howard-era.

( – Click here to listen to the final segment Carnahan Chronicles from July 26, 2014 – )

Also, earlier in the week I followed up on a developing story regarding Orlando City and their pursuit of Brazilian player Robinho for Major League Soccer. ( – Click here to read the story at MLSSoccer.com – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Pittsburgh Beats Orlando on Final Play

I’ve kept up with the Arena Football League ever since attending my first game during the 2001 season. I would soon go on to work for one of its teams on multiple occasions and later cover the league in some form or another, all while remaining a fan that genuinely enjoyed the sport.

I can’t say I feel that way about the AFL today. Maybe one day I’ll write more about why I’ve lost faith for those who don’t know how far the league has fallen since its relaunch in 2010.

But I must admit that on Saturday, when I made it out to my first game of the 2014 season while on duty for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in Orlando, I was lucky enough to cover a nail-biter that came down to the final play of the game. It was one of those classic AFL finishes.

(– Click here to read my recap of Pittsburgh at Orlando for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review –)

It almost made me forget how shady the people running the league have been in recent years and how terrible they’ve treated players during that time. At least for a few hours. Good luck, AFL.