The Orlando Predators opened their 19th season in the Arena Football League in 2010/ Coached by Pat O’Hara, Orlando played the home games at Amway Arena and successfully cinched a play-off seed at the end of the season. The team finished fourth overall in the season with a final record of eight wins and eight losses. During the first playoff game, the Predators beat the Jacksonville Sharks with a score of 73-69. The next game was against Tampa Bay, where the Predators faced their rival team for the third time in the season. However, this is where their journey ended and they lost the game with a score of 62-63.
The predators did not play their opening game during the first week of the season. Instead, they faced the Battle Wings in week two. Losing the first three games of the season was disheartening for fans, but the Predators turned things around on May 7 with a win against the Dallas Vigilantes. They went on to win three straight games before facing their rival team for the first time in the season. By the 9th game in the season, the Predators were 3-4.
The second half of the season was not as exciting. The team managed to pull out a few wins at home, but fell short when playing Chicago, Cleveland and Milwaukee. Devoted fans continued to support the team through the low points of the season and were rewarded with a final season win over the Tampa Bay Storm. The only thing that would have made the season better was if that final win occurred on their home field.
Coming out of the regular season with an 8-8 record placed the team in the play-offs. Winning the first game was a milestone, but the team did not have the stamina to go all the way. They dropped the second playoff game to Tampa and closed the season.
Though Arena Football is not as popular as the NFL, people are still finding cheap flights to Orlando to take in the action of the Predators. The team has some die-hard fans that have been supporting them for the past 19 years.
The highlight of the season actually occurred in the playoff game against Tampa when TT Toliver caught seven touchdowns, setting a team record. While this was something to celebrate, the highlight came to a screeching halt when the team lost the game by a single point. Without the win, the record-breaking catches will probably go unnoticed in future seasons.
This final game for the Predators was in fact the most exciting, coming to a nail biting end. When a game is only separated by a few points, every second counts. The Predator fans were on their feet during the final minutes of the game, only to go home with their heads hung after suffering a narrow loss to the rival team.
Throughout the season, the team struggled to find momentum and this affected their post-season play. Dropping a key game to a rival team makes for great news headlines, but it was devastating to fans.