Here Come the “Cityboys”

They have been playing sandlot football in the Bronx a long time. And for the many ballplayers who have put on the helmets and pads it has been an extension of competing on fields in the Bronx and elsewhere. Perhaps someone will give them another look for opportunity or it is strictly done for enjoyment and satisfaction.

Regardless of who they are, and where they come from sandlot football or semi-pro is one of the oldest ways to keep the juices flowing. The players and coaches don’t get paid and the rosters are comprised of players who pay to play in their leagues.

it works that way in the Bronx and it has been that way for years. Pelham Bay Park, up and down the tri-state area, and on any Sunday afternoon you see them going from one goal line to another, and much different from baseball there are no scouts to offer an opportunity at the big time. Yes, this has become a yearly routine and there is always room for more.

Frank Burns continues to enjoy that atmosphere and being a part of semi-pro football. The 58 -year old Bronx native and self contractor, who grew up playing football in the Bronx, is in the beginning stages of organizing the “Cityboys” a team that will play in the Major League Football League, (MLF), with a home field to be determined.

Venues up at Rose Hill on the campus of Fordham University,the Merchant Marine Academy over in Fort Schuyler and the new fields on Randall’s Island are under consideration to host home games if that can be arranged.

If those venues are not available, and because they play to extend their love for the sport, Pelham Bay Park or even the fields over at Van Cortlandt Park could be home for the new team in town.

“We intend to be with the ballplayers,” said Burns Monday night. “Our mission is to provide players with a no nonsense place to play ball. We want family, not drama.”

The drama issue that Burns mentions is simple: Be on the same page and the fun and enjoyment will continue. He has two other coaches who are veteran players that have played and coached football in the Bronx and with other semi pro teams. They have all devised a way of assuring that this new team will play the game fair, and that means money raised and fees will be used properly for uniforms, insurance, officials, and other necessary expenses.

Burns who played nearly 30 years as a quarterback, corner and free safety, and with the Bronx Crusaders and Jersey Rams says, “The game is about the same.” In other words, as will be with the “Cityboys” the roster will be diverse with players from all backgrounds ranging from ages 18-50 years old.

And don’t rule out a female looking to be a “Cityboy” because the game is open to all. More meetings are scheduled in the next few weeks in order to have a start date in the league that begins in mid August.

For more information about the “Cityboys” contact Frank Burns: Burns or [email protected]

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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