Former UK Quarterback Dusty Bonner decided he had had enough action on the field and it was time to seek a career. He had been the starting quarterback since their inception.
General manger Dusty Bonner is living proof that the cream rises to the top and that good people land on their feet. "I never envisioned this," Bonner said. "Prior to now, all I wanted to do was play football. The fact that I was with the franchise at the start and owner Lenny Vicki Lenniehouse, led me to do this."
How does this differ from playing? He said, "It's very similar. You've got to work hard, follow the rules and be on time. But it's different. I played football for a long time and felt very comfortable, I new what was going on and I new where the hits were coming from. In this business, it's kind of like being out on the field not knowing the plays and not knowing where the hits are coming from."
How did the mover and shakers ever decide that arena football would work in Lexington? Bonner gave then head coach Tony Franklin a lot of credit for him leading the team on the field. "I had just gotten cut by the Atlanta Falcons and Tony called and said why don't you come up here and play for me. He said it's a chance to come back to Lexington a place I wanted to come back to so I just jumped at the chance. As for as the original idea, I wasn't in on that. I just came to play."
Dusty said when he first came to Kentucky, he said to himself, what am I doing in Kentucky and when he left here, he said to himself, what he doing leaving Kentucky! This was a testament to the Bluegrass area.
"It's just a great place," He said. "It's kind of like a big city in the fact you've got plenty of things to do but it's still a small enough town that you can raise your kids and be in a nice environment.
"I love the horse industry. I would just soon as to be walking around on one of those horse farms as to be doing anything else. That's the essence of Kentucky. I don't know what I'm doing when I go to Keeneland. I just bet on the prettiest horse or something. Betting is nothing serious to me, I just go out and enjoy the ambiance."
Bonner said he's been playing since he was four years old and playing at this level, it's two reasons to play; 1) You can't get it out of you or; 2) You are trying to get to the next level. "And I think it was a little of both for me."
Speaking of playing that long, Bonner has never been know to have a serious injury meaning one that would caused him to miss a game. Simply amazing! Bonner said he has had his share of bumps and bruise, and maybe a couple of concussions. Playing on those hard surfaces in the arena league, he said that about every year, he would be beat up pretty good and would have injured bursar-sacks on his elbows.
Bonner gushed over the talent of Horseman receiver Chad Spencer, who originally signed with UK out Franklin Simpson High School in Franklin, Kentucky. "He's phenomenal! The guy is awesome. I don't think anybody can cover him and it doesn't matter if somebody is faster than him, stronger, bigger, smaller, Chad gets open. You very rarely see him drop a ball. He absolutely loves playing football. He's got tremendous ability and if things had worked out for him, he would have played a long time in the NFL. He's a football player, he knows how to play!"
Perhaps, another championship for the Horsemen, like in 2004?