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Spokane Empire

Shock travel to Anaheim to play flashy, punchless L.A. Kiss

Sun., May 4, 2014, midnight

The field is silver. There’s a guitar pick with the L.A. Kiss logo at midfield. There are dancers in steel cages suspended above the uprights.

This won’t be a typical Arena Football League environment for the Spokane Shock, who visit the Kiss today at 4 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

The L.A. franchise is owned by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock band Kiss. Stanley designed the team’s helmets, a mix of chrome and flames, and unique uniforms. AMC has plans for a 10-episode “docuseries” on the team’s first season that will air this summer.

“I’m going to be mic’d up the whole game, which will be different,” Shock coach Andy Olson said. “I don’t mind when (quarterback) Erik (Meyer) is mic’d up, but it is what it is. It’s exposure and it’s good for the league.”

Olson said he’ll mention the non-football stuff to his players.

“We’ll try not to pay attention to it and try not to get involved in ‘The Show,’ ” he said.

On the field, L.A. (2-4) has struggled to score points – an AFL-worst 37 per game – but has drawn at least 10,500 for each of three home games. The defense, led by ex-Shock linebacker Beau Bell, is second in points allowed (43.3).

Veteran quarterback J.J. Raterink’s passer rating of 78.9 fails to crack the top 10 in the 14-team league. Raterink and Tampa Bay’s Randy Hippeard each have tossed a league-high 11 interceptions. Donovan Morgan (46 receptions) and former Spokane receiver Markee White (44) are Raterink’s top two targets.

L.A. has dropped three straight games, scoring just 12 points against Iowa and averaging 24.7 during the losing streak.

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