It has been a magical season in year one for the Massachusetts Pirates in the National Arena League as they begin their playoff run this Saturday at the DCU Center at 7 pm. The Pirates are the top seed and face fourth seeded Columbus. The road to the championship runs through Worcester and for quarterback Sean Brackett it won be much of a drive as he’ll get to commute. Brackett lives in Boston and it only takes about an hour to go from home to the DCU Center.
Brackett, who grew up in Brooklyn, Connecticut, recently sat down with Pirates broadcaster Mick Moninghoff who asked the signal caller about his special summer in New England.
MM: What has it been like playing at home?
SB: There’s nothing like it. I’ve got 50 to 60 kids from Fitzgerald Elementary School in Waltham, the school where I teach, who come to see me play. That’s a shout-out to the Panther Pride. I teach PE. I’m the classic gym teacher. All my friends and family from my home back in Connecticut can see me play too so it’s a dream come true right now.
MM: What age group do you teach?
SB: It’s K-5 so I’ve got little kids.
MM: What’s their favorite game to play in gym?
SB: Kickball. Anytime I just roll the ball out there they know what’s going on; “Kickball Mr. Brackett.” I’m having a blast teaching them. I kind of just fell into it.
Brackett played his college football in the Ivy League at Columbia where he was an All-Ivy first team selection in 2010 when he threw for just over 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns. The four year starter was also All-Ivy Honorable Mention in 2011.
MM: I thought at Columbia you were going into investment banking?
SB: A lot of my teammates have gone into the financial district in New York. They’ve gone on to Wall Street, but I decided to go the PE route. I am thankful I got my degree, it has helped me out a lot and I was able to get my position getting my bachelor’s degree from a prestigious university.
MM: Where did you go to high school?
SB: Griswold High School in Connecticut. Go Wolverines baby.
MM: Who was your rival?
SB: The Plainfield Panthers.
MM: How did you do against them?
SB: 4-0, never lost to them. My last high school pass was with .5 seconds left. It was a Hail Mary on Thanksgiving Day to beat the Plainfield Panthers and my girlfriend, Kayla Robitaille, is from Plainfield so that’s another win so I think I’m 5-0.
MM: You stole her away?
SB: I definitely stole her away so I’ll consider that 5-0.
After college he took a year off as he tried to land with an NFL team as an undrafted free agent.
SB: I thought I was going to get a workout with the Falcons. I was invited to mini-camp but that didn’t work out. I went the Canadian Football League circuit and was on the negotiation list for a while, but was not signed. It was a full year that I didn’t play and then I got a call from Aaron Garcia from the Las Vegas Outlaws. He called me out of the blue. I sent my highlight tape and that gave me the opportunity to play in the Arena Football League and the rest is history.
His stops in the AFL were in Las Vegas, Jacksonville and Washington, but the toughest loss he suffered may have been in China as his Qingdao Clipper lost the China Bowl to the Beijing Lions as Patrick Clark kicked a field goal with no time on the clock to win the China Arena Football League title.
SB: Every time I see him kick I have flashbacks. I want the record to show that he missed the first one.
Clark benefited from an illegal corner blitz and he made the second attempt to beat Qingdao 35-34.
SB: The Beijing victory in the China Bowl should have an asterisk next to it because of that, but Pat’s a great kicker. He’s in D.C. now and I wish nothing but the best for him, but I wish he would have missed the second one too.
Now Brackett has become one of the top quarterbacks in the NAL leading the league in several categories playing with a first year franchise.
MM: What is it like playing with the Pirates?
SB: Obviously I’m blessed to have this opportunity to be able to play at home. It is a lot of driving and time management, but my time at Columbia taught me well that time management is key. It’s easier in the summer but when I was working I would drive an hour to work, try to watch some film, get a workout in after work, go to meetings, drive an hour to Worcester, practice, drive an hour home and do it all over the next day. It’s a lot of time management but I’m loving it. I don’t think I’ve really “worked” a day this year so I’m not complaining at all.
MM: What is the celling for this team?
SB: We do take it week by week and play by play but even in the pre-season when we got these great players together we were going for a championship, so we are right on course right now. We had a couple of ups and downs but we’re in a good position and we control our own destiny. We have to go out every week, win every game and the rest will take care of itself.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call Kara Mancini at 508-929-0125 or email email@example.com. Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.