Beating your opponents by an average score of 50-10 should be good news to a football team. But for Bob Gingras, owner and head coach of the Madison Mustangs, it's reason to worry.
"We're kind of leaving the league behind," says Gingras, a Madison attorney. "It's a serious concern."
The Mustangs own the best record in the Ironman Football League and are ranked fourth nationally by coaches of semi-pro teams. Their narrowest margin of victory this season came in a 31-7 win over the Roscoe (Ill.) Rush on June 20. In the last two weeks, they've registered humiliations of 66-0 over the Fond du Lac Crusaders and 70-0 over the Milwaukee Venom.
Gingras and his staff have clearly built a buzz saw, but after a while the blowouts start to seem a little unfair.
"The alternative is to switch leagues," says Gingras. "But the problem with a better league is that you're looking at full-weekend travel, which is a lot more expensive and takes a lot more time."
The Mustangs, the Ironman League's de-fending champs, are building a solid fan base. Home games are broadcast on 100.5 FM, and pre-game parties at Middleton's Club Tavern feature interviews with the players. Gingras estimates home crowds at 700-800, compared to 400 last year.
Gingras is hopeful that the Muskego Hitmen, the Mustangs' archrivals and owners of the league's second-best record at 5-2, will give the Mustangs a game when they come to Middleton's Breitenbach Stadium on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Madison Mallards: 13-8 second half (first in Northwoods League's South Division, a game ahead of Waterloo) after falling 0-6 to Wisconsin (7/23); sweeping Waterloo 4-1 & 9-7 (7/25-26); and splitting with Battle Creek 7-8 & 6-4 (7/27-28). Next: 7/30 vs. LaCrosse, 7 pm, Warner Park Duck Pond; 7/31-8/1 at Waterloo; 8/3-4 at St. Cloud; 8/5-6 at Rochester.
Milwaukee Brewers: 49-51 (4th in the NL Central, 4.5 games back) after dropping two of three to Atlanta 4-9, 4-0 & 2-10 (7/24-26) and losing two straight to the lowly Washington Nati(o)nals, 6-14 & 3-8 (7/27-28). Next: 7/30 vs. Washington 1 pm, Milwaukee's Miller Park (FSN); 7/31 at San Diego, Fri & Sat 9 pm, Sun 3 pm (all on FSN); 8/3-5 at L.A. Dodgers, all at 9 pm (all on FSN).