Friday, August 7, 2009

Rattlers of the AFL

The latest news is that the Arena Football League has suspended operations indefinitely, after having canceled the 2009 season back in December.

M.A.L. and I were fortunate enough to have attended several Arizona Rattlers games at America West Arena in Phoenix. The games were fun and high-scoring. And loud.

Memories of the music blasting; the t-shirts and towels being shot into the stands (fans scrambling for them); the rabid fans; the copper-colored helmets; seeing the players up-close; brutal hits -- players slamming into the walls on the sidelines; field goals sailing through the narrow uprights; the 50-yard indoor field; seeing guys who'd "almost" made it to the NFL, former college players, some former NFL players; the Rattlers' "Enforcer," "Spike," driving his bike onto the field before the start of games; the Rattlers' Sidewinders Dance Team...

It was great fun, and we miss 'em.

The Rattlers were coached for several years by former ASU Sun Devils and Dallas Cowboys QB Danny White. In 1992, they became the first Arena League team to sell out their entire home schedule. They made it to 5 AFL championship games in 11 years, winning it all in '94 and '97.

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