The Utah Catzz will bid farewell to their inaugural season on the road Saturday night when they face the Madison Mad Dogs.
For a time this summer, the Catzz had harbored hopes of extending their season by qualifying for the Professional Indoor Football League playoffs, but Utah's postseason fate was decided even before last weekend's 42-12 blowout defeat at Honolulu.The Colorado Wildcats franchise, which pulled the plug on its operations in late June, was resurrected in mid-July when it was purchased by Denver businessman Tom Schafer. Colorado's re-emergence knocked the Catzz and Honolulu Hurricanes out of playoff contention as the Wildcats' 8-4 record puts them in a third-place tie with Green Bay.
Utah's humbling loss followed a two-week break, during which they had a bye and a game forfeited by the defunct Texas franchise. The Catzz, 5-7, share the league cellar with Honolulu going into their 8 p.m. meeting with Madison (9-4).
The PIFL's top four teams, including league leader Louisiana (12-1), will begin the playoffs Aug. 8. The winners will advance to the championship game to be held in Baton Rouge, La., at the Pete Maravich Center on the campus of Louisiana State University.
League officials, meanwhile, are relieved that they will be able to play the remainder of the season without the threat of legal action hanging over their heads. The Arena Football League, which has been in existence for 14 years, withdrew its Motion for Preliminary Injunction in a lawsuit in federal court in Chicago last week.
In February, the AFL sued the PIFL for allegedly infringing on its trademarks, copyright and patent. The PIFL denied the allegations, and the AFL in turn filed an injunction. The day after the PIFL filed a response to the lawsuit, which included evidence refuting the allegations, the AFL backed off its threat.