In 2002 Mason Gordon pitched his idea of Slamball to TV producer, Mike Tollin, and Spike TV carried the sport that same year. And, in 2011, right here in Pueblo, Robert Brown had an idea for a sport that combined elements of football and rugby, was high-scoring like basketball, and celebrated the individual athlete like golf or tennis. After filing a patent on his sport, Mr. Brown founded The National Muckleball League.
So what exactly is Muckleball?
The answer to this question lies at the root of Mr. Brown’s inspiration for the sport. “I was watching the coverage of Lebron [James] when he was leaving Cleveland and everyone was saying he was selfish for leaving and trying to win a championship somewhere else. I thought, ‘why is that selfish?’ Why does a superb athlete like that have to suffer because his teammates aren’t good enough?”
Mr. Brown went on, “Then the lockout happened in football. I was like, ‘What am I gonna do without football?’ So I tried to watch rugby. I didn’t understand it at all, but when I saw the guy get tackled and then roll the ball between his legs, I thought, What if it was that one guy… against the world?” And Muckleball was born.
Currently, Muckleball is played on a football field – the CSU-Pueblo practice field to be exact. It consists of 15-20 players, each being their own individual team. Players attempt to score touchdowns – where they actually touch the ball to the ground like rugby – in narrowed end zones. Players can score by tackling, causing a fumble, carrying the ball, punting a field goal, and of course, completing touchdowns.
The scores accumulate quickly and the scoring officials have to be on their toes. “A powerful, aggressive tackler has a chance to win, without ever touching the ball to the end zone turf,” says Brown. “Scores can be as high as 50, 60, or even more. It’s exciting, fast-paced, and full-contact.”
The game play consists of three 20-minute periods, and each player is allotted personal timeouts, which, according to Brown, they will definitely use.
After Spring Training, the season will kick off in late July in the Thunderbowl.
Brown is currently recruiting players and officials for the first Spring Training camp. If you are an athlete between the ages of 18-35, with American football or Rugby skills, you can register Saturday March 3rd at the CSU-Pueblo practice field.
For more info contact: Robert Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
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