AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz said Tuesday that a late-season flap over National Conference seeding and a questionable tiebreaker was much ado about nothing.
Kurz took issue with Shock owner Brady Nelson's contention that he was never informed Arizona had clinched the division title. The commissioner said he was misquoted in an Arizona Republic article when he reportedly said, "Ask me that question after Saturday's game" in response to whether Arizona had locked up the top seed prior to the regular-season finale.
Nelson didn't back down Tuesday, but he said it's possible he missed an AFL email regarding a ruling on a tiebreaker. Richard Obert of the Arizona Republic said Kurz was quoted accurately. Kurz acknowledged that the tiebreaker in question -- record vs. common opponents -- probably isn't clear enough.
Here's my article from today's S-R.
Kurz also addressed some of the reasons why Chicago wasn't allowed to host the first-round game against Spokane. More on that below.
"There were a multitude of reasons," Kurz said of permitting Spokane to host the playoff game. "I think most people know we want to present the best games we can and crowds were not what we anticipated with the difficulty of the owernship issues in Chicago."
Kurz explained that a playoff bonus pool for the players is generated by playoff tickets sold.
"One, Spokane asked for it (hosting rights) and two, we knew attendance would be very good so hence the player bonus pool would be increased," Kurz said. "And we've done this before, we've moved games around. I would have preferred it be in Chicago but the sun and the moon and stars weren't aligned."
As for the complaint some teams have had that Spokane was able to play on Thursday and have a couple extra days of recovery time before its second-round matchup, Kurz said he would have preferred the game be played on a Sunday. "I'm told (the Arena) was availalbe on Sunday," he said. "They went and got the arena when it was available and did a tremendous job of hosting. They did a wonderful job with a short turnaround."
Spokane drew nearly 7,000 for the Rush game. Chicago played its last three "home" games to Rockford, Ill., with announced attendance figures below 4,000. Arizona entertained San Jose on Sunday in its playoff opener.