Former sportscaster and fellow defunct pro sports enthusiast Kenn Tomasch joins host Tim Hanlon to dig deep into the two-season saga of the Indiana (née Indianapolis) Twisters of the Continental Indoor Soccer League – the mid-90s summertime indoor soccer circuit hatched by a collective of team and arena owners from the NBA and NHL to keep their facilities humming during their respective “off”-seasons. CISL franchises controlled by entities outside the big-league fraternity were also part of the mix (accounting for half of the eventual 18 teams during the league’s five-year run from 1993-97) – including the tumultuously tenuous Twisters, who cycled through two separate ownership groups as well as a temporary spell of league receivership during its brief 21-month existence.
As the radio “Voice of the Twisters,” Tomasch was there for all of it, including:
- A rousing home debut on June 21, 1996 at Indianapolis’ Market Square Arena that saw the club drop an entertaining 7-6 overtime decision to the Washington Warthogs;
- Dwindling announced home-game crowds of barely 2,000+ just months later;
- Co-owner Rodney Goins ceding his role as president mid-season to become an active player on the Twisters roster – debuting as US pro sports’ first-ever player-owner on August 23, 1996;
- Becoming “wards of the league” two weeks later when Goins and his co-owner brother suspend operations – and team radio broadcasts;
- New ownership, team name, logo, colors – and a surprising second-place regular season finish in 1997;
- Losing home-field playoff advantage due to a scheduling conflict, and ultimately an early exit from a potential title run; AND
- The abrupt folding of the venerable San Diego Sockers just days before the 1997 season that foreshadowed the CISL’s demise later in the year.