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1998: Jan-Mar | Apr-Jun | July-Sept | Oct-Dec
1997: Apr-June | July-Sept | Oct-Dec
04/13/97 - Practice opens for the Storm at the fields of Tampa Preparatory School. Not even five minutes in, former Storm FB/LB/OL/DL Ivan Caesar attacks coach Tim Marcum, trying to pry his 1996 championship ring from his finger. Marcum's glasses are broken, but he holds on to the ring. Caesar was traded in March to Portland for future considerations.
04/14/97 - Former New York Giants kicker Bjorn Nittmo, the only kicker in Storm camp, leaves to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
04/20/97 - Tampa Bay falls to Iowa at the Hall of Fame Classic in Des Moines 48-27. Iowa took a 28-20 halftime lead, but took control of the game by scoring off interception and fumble returns. Box Score
04/21/97 - Tampa Bay places WR/DB Jason Phillips and OL/DL Willie Wyatt on the refused to report list.
04/23/97 - Lineman Sylvester Bembery breaks a hand in practice; he will miss at least the first two games of the regular season.
04/25/97 - Tampa Bay loses its second preseason game, 51-34 to Orlando in front of 3,328 at the Lakeland Center. The Predators grab a 24-0 second quarter lead and cruise to the victory. The Storm score three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make it close. This is the third straight year that Orlando has defeated Tampa Bay in preseason. After the game, receiver Lonnie Turner announced his retirement from football. Turner, 36, caught 43 passes for 576 yards and nine touchdowns in 1996.
04/28/97 - Storm receive kicker Terry Belden as the "future considerations" in their March trade of Ivan Caesar to the Portland Forest Dragons....Storm place WR/DB Alvoid Mays on the refused to report list....Storm cuts down to 24 players, waiving WR J.R. Reed, OL/DL Henry Brown, QB Cole Cayce, WR/DB Earle Davis, kicker Reed Haley and FB Robert Jackson....WR Stacey Simmons placed on suspended list.
05/01/97 - Storm waive WR/DB Barry Dillard and OL/DL James Suiter; activate OL/DL Willie Wyatt...Kicker Terry Belden, acquired from Portland for future considerations, arrives in town.
05/02/97 - Claiming that he is still under contract with the Canadian Football League, the AFL suspends Johnnie Harris until further notice. Players are not allowed to be under contract to more than one league at a time; the league believes Harris to be under contract to the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, in spite of the fact that the team voluntarily let him go. Harris joined the Storm on June 12 of last year and stayed with the team through the ArenaBowl before joining the Argos. He started on Toronto's Grey Cup-winning club.
05/03/97 - Defensive specialist Johnnie Harris clears waivers in the Canadian Football League and is cleared by the league to play in that night's game at Arizona. Storm follows with a 42-30 win over the Rattlers. Game Coverage
05/07/97 - Storm fans are encouraged to arrive early for Saturday night's game against the Florida Bobcats at the Ice Palace. The game will be the first in the new building, and the Storm has a pyrotechnic pre-game show planned. The show will begin at around 7 p.m., over a half hour before the scheduled 7:40 p.m. kickoff. The show will be a celebration of the team's new home, as well as last year's championship.
05/08/97 - Even football players and coaches have heroes. The Storm announced a program honoring "champions in the local community," according to coach and general manager Tim Marcum. "We at the Tampa Bay Storm will recognize a local hero as honorary captain for each of our home games this year," Marcum said Justin Whaley was the first hero introduced by Marcum---he will be the honorary captain for the game against Orlando on May 17. A different person will be recognized by the Storm at halftime of each game. Extended Story
05/10/97 - The Storm christened the Ice Palace with a less-than-resounding 38-19 win over the Florida Bobcats. Stevie Thomas was named game MVP thanks to his 11-catch, 145-yard performance. Tampa Bay never trailed in raising their record to 2-0 on the young season. Game Coverage
05/14/97 - The Storm claimed veteran WR/DB Anthony Howard off of waivers from the Florida Bobcats. Howard becomes the only player on the Tampa Bay roster to have played in the team's first-ever game, a 51-38 loss to Orlando on June 1, 1991. Howard caught 67 passes for 878 yards and 16 touchdowns before being traded to the Charlotte Rage for FB/LB Les Barley on June 1, 1993. "You're always looking for a two-way guy," coach Tim Marcum said, hoping that Howard will be the answer.
05/17/97 - Orlando held the Storm to a franchise low 17 points as they gave Tampa Bay its worst home defeat ever. The Preds took a 27-3 second quarter lead and cruised to a 43-17 win. Game Coverage
05/23/97 - The Storm defeated the Nashville Kats 42-26 on Friday night to move to 3-1 on the season. Peter Tom Willis threw for 246 yards and four touchdowns as the Storm outscored the Kats 21-3 in the second quarter to take a commanding 21-10 lead into halftime. The Kats could draw no closer than eight points afterward as Tampa Bay's defense took control, holding Andy Kelly, the league's most proficient passer, to 207 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Kats also scored belo w 42 points for the first time in team history. Game Coverage
05/28/97 - The Storm signs WR/DB Demasio Green to the roster. To make room, OL/DL Lynn Rowland is placed on injured reserve. He will miss four to six weeks with an ankle injury suffered at Nashville.
05/30/97 - Tampa Bay loses its second straight home game, 52-41 to the Milwaukee Mustangs in front of in front of a franchise low crowd of 9,888 at the Ice Palace. Game Coverage
06/02/97 - OL/DL Wilky Bazile is activated from the exempt list as he joins the storm roster after a stint with the Scottish Claymores in the World League. To make room, Tampa Bay waives WR/DB Anthony Howard.
06/06/97 - The Tampa Bay Storm announced a schedule change reguarding two Friday night games in July. The games against Anaheim (July 11) and Iowa (July 18) have each been pushed back a day to Saturday nights, July 12 and July 19, respectively. The Storm also signed OL/DL Michael Thornton.
06/07/97 - Albany blitzed past the Storm, 53-31, in front of 9,384 at Pepsi Arena in Albany tonight. The Storm never led, but the main story was the loss of Peter Tom Willis, who left the game on the last play of the first quarter with bruised ribs. Dan White took his first professional snaps and threw for three touchdowns, but he also tossed an interception and was a party in two bungled center snap exchanges. Eddie Brown caught ten passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Firebirds. Game Coverage
06/11/97 - A source within the team said that the Storm waived kicker Terry Belden today and signed free agent Rich Fall. Fall, who flew in from his New Jersey home last night, was with the Amsterdam Admirals of the World League in their training camp three months ago and also spent time in the CFL Toronto Argonauts' preseason camp last summer. Fall had an impressive workout at Storm practice today, with booming kickoffs and goal-line place kicks that consistently cleared the length of the Tampa Prep practice field...QB Peter Tom Willis did not practice for the third straight day. However, he should be able to at least throw passes by Thursday's practice and may play in Saturday's game against New Jersey, coach Tim Marcum said. In Willis' stead, Tony Squitieri worked out for Tampa Bay at quarterback in Wednesday's practice...DS Tracy Sanders returned to practice after missing the last two weeks due to job conflicts; he works as the executive director of a community recreation center in Bradenton...WR/DB Wayne Williams missed the last half of Wednesday's practice after injuring his knee.
06/14/97 - Tampa Bay was shut out in the second half for what is believed to be the first time in team history as the New Jersey Red Dogs scored 17 unanswered points to put the Storm away 44-28 in front of an announced crowd of 11,488 at the Ice Palace. Larry Ray Willis caught nine passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Red Dogs. Game Coverage
06/16/97 - Looking to shake the Storm into success, head coach/general manager Tim Marcum overhauled the line on Monday. Gone are lineman Kent Wells, Flint Fleming and Michael Kerr. Fleming, a nine-year Arena Football veteran, was traded to Arizona for OL/DL Jim Hoffman, a second-year AFL player who hasn't played in 1997 due to knee surgery but is now ready to go. Kerr was shipped off to Milwaukee for lineman David Wilkens. Wilkens has yet to play in 1997. Wells, who reported to camp around 60 pounds above his 290 pound playing weight, was placed on recallable waivers for the purpose of being traded. Wells, the AFL Lineman of the Year in 1996 and a two-time All-AFL first team selection, made very few plays this season, aside from repeated false start calls. He will be replaced on the roster by lineman Tony Woods, a three-year CFL veteran.
6/17/97 - Lineman Kent Wells was recalled from waivers as the Storm tried to work out a trade. New acquisition David Wilkins was placed on the exempt list; he's on the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. Fellow lineman Jim Hoffman was placed on the Refused to Report list as he remained in Arizona, saying that his knee had not yet healed from preseason surgery.
6/18/97 - The trading deadline passed at 5 p.m., and Tampa Bay was one of the teams making late moves. The Storm traded lineman Kent Wells to New York for OL/DL Roosevelt Nix. Also, the Storm acquired lineman Gary Reid for past consideration.
6/19/97 - Looking to bolster quarterback depth, the Storm signed former Detroit Drive QB Ron Adams. He last played in the AFL with the Drive in 1993 and has spent the last three years playing for a team in Milan, Italy.
6/21/97 - The Storm defeated the New York CityHawks 27-9 thanks to a stifling defensive effort that saw Tampa Bay hold New York to 34 points below their average. George LaFrance caught nine passes for 119 yards to pace the Storm attack as they snapped a three-game losing streak. Game Coverage
06/26/97 - After suffering with nagging injuries throughout the season, the Storm placed WR/DB Walter Sutton on injured reserve. His roster spot was filled by WR/DB Grantis Bell, who played for the Storm in 1995 but missed last season. He would have joined the team earlier this season but was delayed due to job commitments.
06/27/97 - It was a disastrous night in Orlando as Predator OS Mac Cody singlehandedly blitzed the Storm, scoring on a missed field goal return, kickoff return, run and a reception in leading the Preds to a resounding 54-30 win in front of a Predators-record crowd of 16,529 at the Orlando Arena. Cody's performance, along with a fierce pass rush and some questionable calls from the officiating team, saved Predator owner Will Meris from shelling out $50,000 worth of free pizzas to the fans that he offered to buy if his team lost.
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