Arizona Rattlers History
In my previous article I gave you some information on Arena Football and the hometown Arizona Rattlers. This time I want to tell you more about the beginning of the Arizona Rattlers. The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team. Only the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators have a longer tenure than the Rattlers. The first head coach was former Arizona State standout and Dallas Cowboy QB Danny White. Other previous head coaches include Gene Nudo and Todd Shell and the current coach is Kevin Guy. The Rattlers have won six division titles and have played in five Arena-Bowl Championship games, winning championships in 1994 and 1997. The Rattlers were named by Jan Curry-Dillingham of Phoenix. More than 5,000 entries were submitted. ”Arizona Rattlers” appeared on over 200 entries. Curry-Dillingham received two season tickets for life as the grand prize winner. The following players have had their jersey numbers retired. #13 Sherdrick Bonner QB; #14 Hunkie Cooper WR/LB; and #17 Randy Gatewood WR/DB. Here is some Arizona Rattlers history courtesy of
On May 30, 1992 – The Rattlers make their official AFL debut, losing on the road to the Albany Firebirds, 62-35. Roy Hurd scores the first Rattler touchdown on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Steve Belles.
June 13, 1992 – The Rattlers make their home debut, defeating the Sacramento Attack, 51-36, before a sellout crowd of 15,505 in the America West Arena. The game is the first sporting event in the arena, and the first victory in Rattlers’ history.
July 25, 1992 – The Rattlers close out their home schedule by becoming the first team in AFL history to sell-out its entire home schedule. The Rattlers defeat the San Antonio Force, 54-31.
April 23, 1993 – Former Phoenix Cardinal running back Stump Mitchell and former Arizona State quarterback Paul Justin are signed.
July 30, 1993: The Rattlers finish their second season 7-5 and earn their first-ever berth into the AFL Playoffs.
August 8, 1993: Win first-ever playoff game, at home, over the Charlotte Rage, 56-49. Marks the twelfth consecutive sell-out in the America West Arena, and the only AFL team to sell-out every home game for the second straight season.
August 13, 1993: The Rattlers sweep league awards. Bryan Colangelo earns Executive of the Year, Danny White earns Coach of the Year, and Hunkie Cooper takes Most Valuable Player honors.
August 12, 1994: The Rattlers earn a home playoff game and the fourth seed after a wacky final second win over the Las Vegas Sting. Zeph Lee recovers an errant Luis Zendejas field goal in the end zone to win 51-46.
August 18, 1994: Rattlers win second first round home playoff game in a row over the Charlotte Rage, 52-24.
August 27, 1994: Rattlers get revenge for a regular season loss, defeating the Albany Firebirds, 40-33, to earn the franchise’s first ever trip to the ArenaBowl. September 2, 1994: The Rattlers stun the Orlando Predators, 36-31, in ArenaBowl VIII to capture the franchise’s and the state’s first world championship.
Again, if you are looking for an exciting activity for the whole family; go witness the Arizona Rattlers in action. You will definitely enjoy yourself. Once you are bitten by this Rattler, you’ll want more and more! I know I did. Call 602.514 TDTD (8383) or visit Arizonarattlers.com for a schedule. Tickets start at just $11.00. The Arizona Rattlers play home games at US Airways Arena. The Rattlers next 2 games are at home. Saturday May 5th VS their rival the San Jose Sabercats and Saturday May 12th VS the Chicago Rush. Both games start at 7:00PM AZ Time. I hope to see you at an upcoming Arizona Rattlers game.