By KATIE WITTMAN
08/23/2012 5:02 PM
The average life span of a Major League baseball lasts just seven pitches.
Due to the high propensity to catch a foul ball, home run or even just a scuffed ball tossed into the stands, baseball fans know exactly where they want to sit: close enough to snag a ball.
Arena Football fans are no different and, given the nature of the game, the opportunities to catch a football are quite high.
Much like baseball, Arena Football provides numerous chances to come away with a souvenir. Errant throws, long or off-target kicks, or even just overzealous fan activity makes hauling in a game ball easier than one might imagine.
In an average game, no less than 20 footballs will find their way into the stands. Given the fact that around 90 plays are run each game, that means a fan comes away with a football once every 4.5 plays!
AFL teams are required to bring 36 balls to each game. Teams may bring additional balls as well, depending on how many they typically lose during a normal game. Not all teams are equal in this respect. For example, in one game this season, the Tampa Bay Storm only lost 17 footballs to the stands. However, in another game, Spokane Shock fans had 52 chances to bring home their own 25th Anniversary football.
The Philadelphia Soul lost approximately 30 balls per game in the 2012 regular season, but ended up losing a total of 45 in the American Conference championship game. Missed throws, tipped passes and wayward kicks can all account for fan souvenirs, and even the League’s most accurate of quarterbacks end up completing passing to fans instead of receivers. Rob Yoegel is one of the lucky Soul fans to have registered a reception.