LA KISS, the Arena Football League team that played home games at the Honda Center in Anaheim, proved to be a winner in its first season.
In attendance anyway.
In actual wins on the field? Not so much.
In last-minute fashion yet again, LA KISS managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, losing 72-65 to the San Antonio Talons on Saturday. The two had the worst records in the league going into the game, but in a twist worthy of a youth soccer league, LA KISS could have made the playoffs with a win. We assume participation ribbons are on the way.
But while a 3-14 record really stunk up the AFL, LA KISS at least held bragging rights to having the league's second-best attendance, averaging 10,930 fans for its first eight home games at the Honda Center. That was only bettered by the Tampa Bay Storm's 10,981 average.
Team President Schuyler Hoversten remained upbeat despite the poor performances on the field, calling it a "fantastic" inaugural season when "you look at what we've created in a very short period of time."
Hoversten explained to City News Service, "Creating an organization that was making as big of promises that we were making is tremendously difficult as well as staring a team too. The fact that we saw it all come to life with 12,000-plus fans for our home opener and that fact that we've got 8,000 season ticket holders is a testament to the great success on the business side of things."
He conceded the team finished "well below my expectations," something he blamed on player injuries and a resulting "continually turning over our roster." Now it'll be up to him, partners like recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, coaches and players to do all they can to match the attendance success with on-field success.
LA KISS, Hoversten said, will be "looking at everything" to improve its season two record, noting that the franchise will now have more time to acquire players.