Arizona Rattlers


Arizona Rattlers

AFL team
name =Arizona Rattlers
color1 =#0cb
color2 =#000
logo =ArizonaRattlers.pngconference =American
division =Western
founded =1992
arena =US Airways Center
location =Phoenix, Arizona
dance_team =Sidewinders
coach =Kevin Guy
wild card titles =9:
1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008
division titles =5:
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004
conference titles =none
ArenaBowl championships =2:
1994, 1997
owner =Robert Hernreich
uniform =
The Arizona Rattlers are an Arena Football League team, based in Phoenix, Arizona, that began play as a 1992 expansion team.

History

The team began play in 1992. They play their home games in the US Airways Center, which they share with the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association. The Rattlers are one of the AFL's leading franchises and are currently one of the Arena Football teams with the longest tenure in one city, surpassed only by two other long running teams, the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators. Their unique, copper-colored helmets and rattlesnake logo make their merchandise some of the AFL's most popular. They were coached by former Dallas Cowboys and Arizona State University star Danny White, which lent considerable credibility to the team over the years. The Rattlers currently compete in the Western Division of the American Conference.

The Rattlers were ArenaBowl champions in 1994 and 1997. They also have the distinction of being the only club to lose three consecutive ArenaBowls, in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The Rattlers released Coach White after losing the championship to their rivals, the San Jose SaberCats, in 2004. On August 5, 2004, the Rattlers introduced former San Jose SaberCats and New York Dragons coach Todd Shell as the second head coach in franchise history. Shell later resigned on September 1, 2005 following his arrest for possession of cocaine. General Manger Gene Nudo was named his replacement on September 15. Head Athletic Trainer Matt Anderson, currently in his 16th season with the team, is the only original Rattler employee still working for the franchise since it was founded.

On June 19, 2007 the Rattlers announced that Gene Nudo would not be returning as the head coach for the 2008 season, but will still be in an administrative position. Kevin Guy became the new head coach. In September 2007, long-time Quarterback Sherdrick Bonner decided to leave Arizona for the quarterback position in Chicago that was vacated by the release of Matt D'Orazio. Jeff Smoker became the new quarterback. On October 31, 2007, the Rattlers make a risky financial move by famously guaranteeing to season ticket holders that the Rattlers would make the playoffs or they would get their money back. On May 31, they made good on their $2.2 million guarantee with a win over the Orlando Predators.

Rattlers' Highlights

* On Sunday, August 4, 2002, in Round 2 of the AFL Playoffs, the Rattlers hosted the Carolina Cobras for the right to go to the semifinals. Having just overcoming a 19-point deficit, Arizona led late 54-52. However, Carolina retook the lead with Quarterback John Fitzgerald completing a 16-yard TD pass to WR/LB Cory Fleming with only 9 seconds left. On one final play, Quarterback Sherdrick Bonner would throw the game-winning 32-yard TD pass off the net and into the hands of WR/DB Chris Horn. The win advanced the Rattlers to the semifinals, where they would eventually advance to ArenaBowl XVI. On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown, this is at #4. [ [http://www.arenafootball.com/mediaPlayer/video.dbml?DB_MENU_ID=&SPSID=38064&SPID=3172&DB_OEM_ID=3500&CLIP_ID=31384&CLIP_FILE_ID=35422&CONTENT_TYPE=ONDEMAND http://www.arenafootball.com/mediaPlayer/video.dbml?DB_MENU_ID=&SPSID=38064&SPID=3172&DB_OEM_ID=3500&CLIP_ID=31384&CLIP_FILE_ID=35422&CONTENT_TYPE=ONDEMAND] ]

* On Saturday, April 28, 2007, despite losing on the road 67-45 to the [New York Dragons, Sherdrick Bonner joined Clint Dolezel and Andy Kelly as the only quarterbacks to throw 800 career touchdowns. [ [http://www.arenafan.com/news/?page=pressrel&article=7468 http://www.arenafan.com/news/?page=pressrel&article=7468] ]

eason-by-season

-
1992 || 4 || 6 || 0 || 2nd Western || --
-
1993 || 7 || 5 || 0 || 2nd AC || Won Week 1 (Charlotte)
Lost Semifinals (Detroit)
-
1994 || 8 || 4 || 0 || 2nd AC || Won Week 1 (Charlotte)
Won Semifinals (Albany)
Won ArenaBowl VIII (Orlando)
-
1995 || 7 || 5 || 0 || 2nd AC Western || Lost Week 1 (Iowa)
-
1996 || 11 || 3 || 0 || 1st AC Western || Won Week 1 (Orlando)
Lost Semifinals (Tampa Bay)
-
1997 || 12 || 2 || 0 || 1st AC Western || Won Week 1 (Milwaukee)
Won Semifinals (Tampa Bay)
Won ArenaBowl XI (Iowa)
-
1998 || 10 || 4 || 0 || 1st AC Western || Won Week 1 (Houston)
Lost Semifinals (Orlando)
-
1999 || 10 || 4 || 0 || 1st AC Western || Won Week 1 (Nashville)
Lost Semifinals (Albany)
-
2000 || 12 || 2 || 0 || 2nd AC Western || Won Week 1 (Buffalo)
Won Quarterfinals (Albany)
Lost Semifinals (Orlando)
-
2001 || 8 || 6 || 0 || 2nd AC Western || Won Week 1 (Detroit)
Lost Quarterfinals (San Jose)
-
2002 || 11 || 3 || 0 || 2nd AC Western || Won Quarterfinals (Carolina)
Won Semifinals (Chicago)
Lost ArenaBowl XVI (San Jose)
-
2003 || 10 || 6 || 0 || 3rd AC Western || Won Week 1 (Las Vegas)
Won Quarterfinals (Los Angeles)
Won Semifinals (San Jose)
Lost ArenaBowl XVII (Tampa Bay)
-
2004 || 11 || 5 || 0 || 1st AC Western || Won Week 1 (Los Angeles)
Won Semifinals (Colorado)
Lost ArenaBowl XVIII (San Jose)
-
2005 || 7 || 9 || 0 || 4th AC Western || --
-
2006 || 8 || 8 || 0 || 2nd AC Western || Won Week 1 (Utah)
Lost Divisional (San Jose)
-
2007 || 4 || 12 || 0 || 4th AC Western || --
-
2008 || 8 || 8 || 0 || 2nd AC Western || Lost Wild Card (Grand Rapids)
-!Totals || 169 || 104 || 0
colspan="2"| (including playoffs)

Head coaches

* 1992 - 2004: Danny White, 121-55
* 2005: Todd Shell, 7-9
* 2006 - 2007: Gene Nudo 13-21
* 2008 - present: Kevin Guy

Notable players/recruits (current and former)

* Sherdrick Bonner
* Siaha Burley
* Hunkie Cooper
* Donnie Davis
* Cecil Doggette
* Aaron Garcia
* Atnaf DeShawn Harris
* Evan Hlavacek
* Chris Horn
* Paul Justin
* Calvin Schexnayder
* Cedric Walker
* Mark Tucker
* Randy Gatewood
* Michael "Bo" Kelly
* Wendall Gaines
* Bob McMillen

Retired Numbers

14 Hunkie Cooper WR/LB - May 6, 2005
17 Randy Gatewood WR/DB - May 9, 2008

AFL Hall of Famers

* Danny White

Notes

External links

* [http://www.azrattlers.com/ Official Website]
* [http://www.arenafan.com/teams/?page=clubhouse&team=21 Arizona Rattlers at ArenaFan.com]
* [http://www.rattlerreport.com Rattler Report]
* [http://www.azcentral.com/sports/azetc/ Rattlers coverage from The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com]


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