Fear football continues despite departed manager
by Staff Writer
Chris Moshinskie resigned as general manager of the Lake Norman Fear in mid-March, citing philosophical differences in the semi-professional football team’s decision-making.
Moshinskie said his departure came following the Fear’s difficulties in obtaining sponsorship for the 2012 season and the team’s insistence on playing in the Gridiron Developmental Football League.
“I talked to the people at the GDFL, because I wanted to know who we’d play this year, where we’d play them and when we’d play them,” said Moshinskie, a 53-year-old former fund director for Make-a-Wish Foundation and Special Olympics in Long Island, N.Y.
But the schedule he received featured some teams that no longer were in business, Moshinskie said.
“It made it very difficult to try and land sponsors,” he said.
The Fear plays its games at Mooresville High School but recruits players throughout the Lake Norman area. To join the Fear, players must pay a $300 sign-up fee. Moshinskie said the price doubled after 2011 because all the team’s equipment went missing and the Fear had to buy new uniforms and pads.
Moshinskie initially joined the team as a public address announcer, but he expanded his efforts after identifying a need to better promote the Fear.
Things didn’t go as planned.
Moshinskie wanted the Fear to join a different league. He made contact with the Central Carolina Football League and the National Elite Football League, but owner Steve Taylor wanted the team to stick with the GDFL.
“They offered the best opportunity to have postseason play and an all-star game,” Taylor said. “We were charter members of the GDFL. The league has grown from 18 teams when it started, and now it’s the biggest in the nation.”
Moshinskie also had concerns about the imbalance between promoting the Fear cheerleaders and the team.
“We had over 80 guys show up for tryouts, and things seemed to be in the right direction,” Moshinskie said. “But I felt like there was a change and it was not working out the way I’d have liked.
“It seems the team is there to support the cheerleaders, and not the other way around. We sold cheerleader calendars last year, and it was a disaster.”
The Fear sold only 26 copies of the cheerleader calendars, but Moshinskie said prior to his departure, the team had organized a new calendar shoot to be done professionally.
Moshinskie’s exit left the Fear with one less volunteer, but Taylor said the Fear’s plans are full-speed ahead. The team is looking to line up sponsors.
“We’re a volunteer-based team, but we’re going to make it work,” Taylor said.
Left without a team for 2012, Moshinskie said his plans are to start his own semi-pro team, the Charlotte Fury.
“And we’re going to do it by putting the business part first, and then setting up the team,” said Moshinskie.
The Fury has opened discussions with prospective leagues and local schools to find a stadium for the 2013 season.
But don’t expect a rivalry between the Fear and the Fury, Moshinskie said.
“I don’t doubt that the Fear will play this season,” Moshinskie said. “But obviously, they need some help.”
The Fear is slated to open the season on June 2 against the Greenville (S.C.)Seminoles. Moshinskie’s absence won’t stop the team from competing in the GDFL this summer, Taylor said.
“We’ve got our schedule,” Taylor said. “We’re playing 10 regular season games, and we’ll be ready.”