A Sunday afternoon tweet from a follower brought back some old memories of simpler times for Anthony Armstrong:
That linebacker-looking player is Armstrong from his season in the Intense Football League with the Odessa Roughnecks.
Armstrong explained the uniform malfunctions as just part of the IFL experience.
“See, what happened was, I was one of the last to get my pads, and they only had so many small ones,” he said. ”So I had to wear these big ones. They were like, bouncing around, and the jersey was too big, and it was pretty ragamuffin.”
He stole the words right out of my mouth.
“They got some pads from a high school and they let me get some of those,” he said of his solution. “Then I started fixing my jersey and making it smaller. I taped it down and I cut the bottom off, so I made it look better, but at the beginning it was crap.”
Armstrong remembers that he’s not far removed from his time in the IFL, and later the Arena Football League. He still keeps in contact with his coach from the Roughnecks, Chris Williams.
“When I get word of stuff, I still kinda see what they’re doing, how the teams are doing,” he said with a smile. ”They’re still doing good down there, they’re still doing well.”
Coming from a small school (West Texas A&M) and then rising through the minor leagues of football, Armstrong was pretty used to being his own equipment manager.
“Really it started in Arena, where at first it was like, ‘I don’t have to put my bag on the bus?’ And they were like, ‘No, we got it.’ So I was like, ‘Oh, alright. I can get used to that,’” he said. ”Over here, they pack it for you and they got it all fixed up for you. I was so used to putting stuff on the bus myself, all three of my own jerseys.”
Regardless of where he sees himself fitting into the Redskins roster, he looks back on his journey that got him here with a lot of fondness.
“It was a big change, but I appreciate it all the same,” he said. ”Sometimes the simpler times were, y’know, very fun and beneficial.”
Tags: anthony armstrong, arena football league, intense football league, washington redskins
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