That means their scheduled home game against Louisville on Saturday night will not happen – but there will be a game. A most unusual game, in fact.
Instead of playing a regular American Indoor Football League contest, the Ironmen will play an exhibition of sorts against a local team that plays a different sport.
The Ironmen, who play eight-man indoor football, will square off against the Muskegon Mustangs, a semipro team that plays traditional outdoor, 11-man football. Kickoff is slated for 7:15 p.m. at L.C. Walker Arena.
The game will be played by arena rules, with an 8-on-8 format on a 50-yard field.
The matchup occurred after the Ironmen learned on Thursday that the Louisville team, which joined the AIFL midway through the season to replace a Chicago team that never materialized, would not be coming to Muskegon due to a lack of players.
Ironmen General Manager/Coach Nate Smith said he spent hours on the phone, trying to find a replacement opponent for Saturday’s game, but had no luck. Then the Mustangs indicated that they would be willing to play.
“(Louisville) cancelled because they didn’t have enough players,” Smith said. “They apparently played last week that way, and nobody told us that, so we were kind of blindsided.
“I reached out to every team I could think of. I literally tried everything. I contacted teams in Florida and Nebraska, and offered to pay transportation costs. We got very little help from the league.”
Smith acknowledged that the Mustangs have never competed in arena football “as an organization, but they have a number of players who have played indoor.”
The Ironmen are currently 3-1 overall on the season and 2-1 in the AIFL. They have won all three of their games in blowout fashion – 95-0 over the Illinois Renegades, and 68-6 and 37-6 over the Indianapolis Enforcers.
Earlier this season the Ironmen were forced to cancel a scheduled road game against the Chicago Aztecs, because the team was no longer in operation.