National Conference

Arena Football League is Dead to Me

Congrats goes out to the Arizona Rattlers for wrapping up an ArenaBowl three-peat on Saturday while simultaneously crushing the hearts of 18,404 rabid, title-hungry sports fans in Cleveland. In the first ArenaBowl I ever paid attention to (while at a laundromat in 2002, of all places) the Rattlers were badly beaten 52-14 by the rival San Jose SaberCats.

On Saturday, Arizona ravaged the Gladiators to the tune of 72-32 to claim their third ArenaBowl title in a row. It’s the fourth consecutive appearance in the ArenaBowl for the Rattlers since the AFL relaunched in 2010.

It’s partially why I’m pleading for someone (anyone!) to please save the Arena Football League.

Never mind the constant chatter alleging the abuse of the paltry salary structure by teams with kickbacks to players, or that an owner once told me he’d fix games so home teams won every time if he could. Forget about all of that, I’m just concerned with two particular tweaks that would help make the league feel a little more legit again.

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando Predators Advance Past Pittsburgh Power in AFL Playoffs

Four teams remain in the Arena Football League’s postseason.

Over the weekend the San Jose SaberCats and Arizona Rattlers advanced in the National Conference while the Cleveland Gladiators and Orlando Predators moved on in the American Conference. Winners of those matchups this weekend advance to the ArenaBowl on Aug. 23.

On Sunday the Predators held off a late rally by the Pittsburgh Power to reach the conference title game with a 56-48 win. Preds quarterback Bernard Morris passed for 221 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 44 yards and four more scores. Former Florida State wide receiver Greg Carr finished with 97 yards receiving and four TDs on 10 catches.

( – Click here to read my story on Predators vs. Power for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – )