If there’s one thing the AFL has common with other major sports leagues, it’s lockouts and disputes between player unions and team owners. Just before the season-opener, the Arena Football League players union declared a strike, and in retaliation, Pittsburgh Power owner Matt Shaner fired all his players during the pre-game meal at Olive Garden.

Before we move on — yes, at Olive Garden. The players were digging into their meals while they were being read to from a piece of paper from Shaner explaining their termination. Upset over the news (or over the quality of the food), the players stood up mid-statement and left the restaurant. What about all those never-ending pasta bowls?!? You can’t just walk out on unlimited Fettuccine Alfredo!

It was a similar story over for the Orlando Predators, the team the Power were supposed to play in Orlando that night. The Predators also fired all 24 of their players only to re-sign some of them just hours before kickoff. No word yet on the chain restaurant where they got their bad news. The game went on, but with only five regular players.

As for the players who stood by the union in their fight over per-game salaries, Shaner said the team had no obligation to pay for their travel back home. Eventually, the AFLPU president wound up renting a van for the stranded players for the 17 hour drive back to Pittsburgh. Maybe it’s a good thing they didn’t eat. Too many pit stops after one too many bowls of Alfredo.

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