Albany Empire fans show support after chaotic week

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The Albany Empire hosted its first game with its new coaching staff and players after a week filled with chaos. Owner Antonio Brown was booed by fans in the beginning of the game.

Tom Menas, who was fired as head coach 10 days before the season started, was reinstated on Wednesday. That move came just days after interim head coach Damon Ware was let go.

New fans and longtime fans are taking notice.

“Despite everything that’s going on, I’m still rooting for my team,” fan Kyle Kovlensky said.

“I love the drama. This is good for the city. Antonio Brown’s in Albany, New York. It’s Entertainment. Is that not fun? It’s fun. Remember last year? It wasn’t fun. I mean, we won the championship but A.B. is here,” a fan named Buff said.

The team just barely lost their first game with a new quarterback, offensive coordinator and a new-ish head coach.

Roland Rivers is replacing Sam Castronova, who went with Ware to the Orlando Predators.

Brown fired Ware, who was the team’s offensive coordinator before becoming interim head coach, after an issue regarding late paychecks to the team.

Saturday was Rivers’ first game with the team. He’d never played arena football before.

“Some of the stuff is outside noise and coach Tom Menas is a great guy. Antonio Brown called me up. Let me know the situation. He just wants guys that want to come in. Want to compete. Want to be here. I’m proud of our efforts here,” Rivers said.

No matter what, fans say they will still show up for their team. “Show the team support. They need it. I mean, I came here ever since they started, and I won’t stop. I’ll always support them,” fan Josh Campbell said.