Lorenzen became headlining-talk fodder for national sports shows from Jim Rome to Sportsnation to Around the Horn to Scott Van Pelt. They were talking about our home arena football team at The Bank of Kentucky Center on NKU's campus. It was a marketing home run, whether it was intentional or not.
Whatever the initial plan was, it worked. Fast forward to today and River Monsters owner, Jill Chitwood, was admittedly frustrated. "It's not been a good day," said Chitwood.
The team lost Lorenzen to a season ending injury two weeks ago and even though the team won following his broken tibia, moving the team to 2-1 behind the leadership of former Highlands Quarterback, Kyle James, Chitwood fired coach Brian Schmidt this week.
"My time was fun. I love the players, they are awesome, said Lorenzen. "Ownership is a mess. With the publicity the league and team were getting two weeks ago, they did not capitalize on any of it. It's was embarrassing for our team to play in front of 1,200 people when every city in America was talking about us."
It's not clear, after talking to Chitwood, where Lorenzen fit in with the team after the injury. "Last week (after his surgery on his broken tibia) he was watching the game from the stands and I had no idea he was even there," said Chitwood. "I have no issue with him returning to the sidelines and wearing a headset if that's what he wants to do, but I haven't talked to him in a week. It was my understanding that he couldn't put any weight on that leg for at least 8 weeks, which would rule him out for the year."
Lorenzen was placed on injured reserve for the year after breaking his leg, meaning he could not play for the remainder of the games left of the schedule. According to CIFL rules, if a player is not on a roster for two weeks, he is released and becomes a free agent. Lorenzen served as the team's General Manager in 2010. He resigned that position midway through the year and turned in an MVP year for the River Monsters, when the team went 10-3 after Chitwood put together that first team in 7 weeks.
As for the River Monsters this year and likely the future?
"I'm done playing indoor," said Lorenzen. "The injury had a lot to do with it but I'm tired of being burned by ownership. For once I would like to play football and not have to worry about pay, field conditions, equipment, all the crap that we have to. Guess it just isn't meant to happen."
Chitwood did not agree with that assessment. "I'm not sure where that is coming from. I had one of the best fields in the league. I had the best trainers (Beacon Orthopaedic). We had new helmets, new jerseys, water and Gatorade. Our shoulder pads were used, but I tried my best to make this good for the players so they wouldn't have to want more. Was the field as good as it was in 2011? No. But it was still one of the best in the league."
A press release on Head Coach Brian Schmidt's firing will be available later today.
"I've known Brian since 2009. We met yesterday and hugged at the end of it," said Chitwood. "It wasn't just one thing that led to us letting him go. We were just not seeing eye to eye on a lot of different things."