ArenaBowl XXIX:  Strange Place and Time


The Arena Football League has had a strange season with teams folding or reshuffled before the start of the season and the league deciding to include all eight teams in the playoffs.  It should be no surprise that the championship game has a couple of quirks as well.

The Arizona Rattlers will host the Philadelphia Soul on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.   The game will be played at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

ESPN, which has broadcast rights to the game, dictated the time and day for the ArenaBowl.   The scheduling demand meant that the Rattlers can’t play at their home arena because the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team is playing at Talking Stick Arena.  The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. because ESPN is broadcasting the California vs. Hawaii college football game at 7 p.m.

As for the game, both teams are entering the ArenaBowl with 15-3 records.  The Rattlers beat Portland (84-40) and Cleveland (82-41) while the Soul disposed of Tampa Bay (63-41) and Jacksonville (55-50) to play for the title.  The Rattlers are looking to win their sixth title while the Soul are searching for their second.  The Soul won it in 2008 but came up short in the 2012 and 2013 title games (both to Arizona).

The game will feature the two top quarterbacks in the league.  Arizona quarterback Nick Davila led the league with 111 touchdown passes while Philadelphia quarterback Dan Raudabaugh was second with 101.

In a game not known for defense, the Rattlers are first in the league with 29 sacks while the Soul are the leaders in picks with 25 interceptions.

The Rattlers are 7-1 all-time against the Soul with Philadelphia winning earlier in the season 65-58.  The Rattlers evened the season series a month later winning 80-63 at home.

MILTON’S ARENABOWL PICK:   Arizona 72, Philadelphia 65

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