Hello my name is Eric Thurow. I first became aware of the Arena Football League back in 1998 when I saw a game on The National Network (TNN). I can’t remember which teams were playing, but I did at first thought it was weird that football was being played in the summer and in sporting arenas. I also felt that it was going to be simply a niche sport and would never last that long.

After a year going by, I had noticed that the AFL had announced expansion and came into my home city of San Jose. So I thought I would try to go to a couple of games via a contest a local television had on winning a pair of tickets. So after finally being able to attend our the home games for the San Jose SaberCats, I fell in love with the game. I immediately made contact with the ticket sales to make my first ever season ticket purchase on any professional sports league for the ensuing 2000 Arena Football League season. My first season as a STH I sat in row 8 in the lower level at the then named Compaq Center at San Jose, which was physically the fifth row from the front row. However my seat would improve to the front row, as it became available for the very next season. With that said, I have been a front row STH since 2001, and have not missed a single home game since becoming a season ticket holder in 2000.

Back in 2004, I was invited by some of the died hards to go to a local restaurant where they have been meeting up regularly to watch the SaberCats road games. I guess this was the joining of a fan club that at which time did not have an official designation nor name. In 2005 that would change. Long time SaberCats fan Ty Whitman had decided to officially create a recognized fan club, San Jose’s 9th Man. Another long time SaberCats fan Frantz Mercier helped out by creating the logo. However as the 2005 season went along, some personal and scheduling issues came to the forefront for Ty as he could no longer run the fan club as he had wanted. So, as I had been helping him out, he asked if I could take over full time to run the club. At which time I became the man behind San Jose’s 9th Man. I still run the fan club to this day today.

Together with my love for my home team, San Jose SaberCats, and more importantly the Arena Football League, I actually first came up with the idea for 9th Man Nation back in 2011. So I went to register the domain 9thManNation.net and claim the branding on social media sites of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube immediately. But I waited until this year to officially announce the launching of it and began creating content beginning with the podcasting with my co-host Tom Jones. Our goal through the Nation Podcast and eventually Nation TV (YouTube, Vimeo, & Vessel), is to hold conversations with fans, players, coaches, and league officials (including the commissioner) sharing experiences being involved with the Arena Football League, plus we will be expanding our content to soon talk about game recaps, previewing the next week’s set of games and do both offensive and defensive plays of the week. Tom and I look to provide the purest of true fan exposure for our game we love and bring it the forefront of football conversation.