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Founded in 1992, an arena football team of Phoenix, Arizona , the Arizona Rattlers is the member of the National Conference, representing the western division. The team is owned by Ron Shurts with legendary Hall of Famer, Kevin Guy as the head coach. US Airways Center serves as the team home ground where the players wear copper, teal and black colored uniforms. The Rattlers have won division titles on 5 separate occasions and the prestigious AFL championship, twice. They are one of the leading teams in the AFL, having the third longest tenure in one city, followed by Orlando Predators and Tampa Bay Storm.
So what is American football and the difference between AFL and the National Football League (NFL)? The American Football essentially involves two teams of eleven players each, competing to win by moving the ball forward into the opposition’s end zone. The ball is moved forward either by throwing it to a fellow player or by running with it. Points are scored when a player crosses the opponent’s end zone, while either carrying the ball, catching a pass, kicking the ball, or by stopping or tackling the opposite side’s player carrying the ball.
The AFL plays arena football which is played inside an arena, smaller than a NFL stadium. This makes the game faster and high-scoring than its NFL counterpart; AFL is more exciting, in short. The AFL was started in 1981 by James F. Foster, Jr. , who himself was a former executive with the NFL. The Arena Football League games are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, a Chicago based sports consulting company.
The Arizona Rattlers is also called an expansion team which means that it started off afresh in 1992. Usually, a particular team relocates to a particular city and adopts its name. However, the Arizona Rattlers were formed and did not come about as a result of relocation. As mentioned above, the team plays its home games at a state of the art stadium, the US Airways Center. Situated in downtown Phoenix, it opened its gates in 1992 and was built with a hefty cost of $90 million. It is owned by the City of Phoenix and can seat up to 15,505 viewers. The arena used to be called America West Arena and presently hosts home games of the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The arena has state of the art facilities like a glass pavilion, which is fully air-conditioned, keeping visitors cool from the infamous Arizona heat, while they wait in line to buy tickets.
The coaching staff of the team consists of Kevin Guy , head coach; Siaha Burley , wide receivers coach; Omarr Smith , defensive coordinator and Kani Kauahi , assistant head coach. One of their former head coaches was Danny White , who was formerly with the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona State University and who led the Arizona Rattlers to ArenaBowl championships. He was also named AFL Coach of the Year in 1993. In addition, Todd Shell and Gene Nudo were their head coaches, as well.
The Arizona Rattlers have players from other famous NFL teams like Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver, Rod Windsor and San Francisco 49ers’ kicker, Fabrizio Scaccia . Some of the most famous former Arizona Rattlers are: Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Horn , New Orleans Saints lineman Mark Tucker , Miami Dolphins wide receiver Randy Gatewood , San Diego Chargers defensive specialist Cecille Doggette and Arizona Cardinal quarterback Sherdrick Bonner.The years, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2004 were the golden period of the Arizona Rattlers. During these years, the team either won the AFL championships (twice) or won the division titles (5 times). 1997 was that one year during which the team won both the prestigious titles.
In the words of the team’s owner “Downtown Phoenix continues to grow and the Rattlers will be an integral part of the affordable, family-fun entertainment that the Suns and the Mercury are providing the local community.” So you too be part of this family-fun and affordable entertainment by buying Arizona Rattlers Tickets now!
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