Columbus Fire Win Big For “Big Mike”

by Brad Finnearty

The Columbus Fire has a tradition of being one of the most winning teams in any league they play in. Their first year in the Gridiron Development Football League was supposed to be last year, since there was no season last year their debut was moved to 2021. This week’s 43-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Saints meant a lot to the Fire. The win was not only their first home game of the season, it was also dedicated to the memory of their teammate who passed last year.
Michael (Big Mike) Cross was a beloved player on the team and is missed by the team. Before the game, the team retired his number during a ceremony dedicated to him. Mike passed away in October 2020 after having heart complications due to a tear in one of the main arteries in his heart.

Dedication to “big” Mike Cross before the start of the game.

He was a player with the Fire dating since 2010. He played in all championship games and basically single handily won the 2019 championship for us by having a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery within the red zone that set up a TD that helped them win the National Championship game.

In 2017 he had the game-winning goal-line tackle that secured a Fire victory for their 1st ever PAFL championship. That victory led the team to back-to-back PAFL championships in 2018 and back-to-back national championships in 2018 and 2019. Mike was well known across the United States outside of football for being security for major recording artists. He leaves behind one son and two twin girls.(Read More)