2017 Arena Football League season

Last updated
2017 Arena Football League season
Arena Football League 30 seasons logo.jpg
League Arena Football League
Sport Arena football
DurationApril 7, 2017 – August 5, 2017
Regular season
Season champions Philadelphia Soul
Season MVP Randy Hippeard, TAM
League postseason
#1 vs #4 champions Philadelphia Soul
  #1 vs #4 runners-up Baltimore Brigade
#2 vs #3 champions Tampa Bay Storm
  #2 vs #3 runners-up Cleveland Gladiators
ArenaBowl XXX
Champions Philadelphia Soul
  Runners-up Tampa Bay Storm
Finals MVP Darius Prince, PHI
AFL seasons

The 2017 Arena Football League season was the 30th season in the history of the Arena Football League (AFL). Prior to the start of the season, the league contracted to five teams. Due to this, for the first time since 1991, the league was not divided into conferences or divisions. The 14-game regular season began on April 7, 2017, when the two new teams, the Baltimore Brigade and the Washington Valor, faced off in the Verizon Center, and ended on August 5, 2017, when the Tampa Bay Storm lost against the Philadelphia Soul. [1] [2]

Contents

ArenaBowl XXX was held on August 26, 2017, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, as the Soul repeated as champs by beating the Storm by a score of 44–40.

League business

Teams

On February 10, 2016, The Washington Post and radio station WTOP-FM first broke the story that Monumental Sports & Entertainment (Ted Leonsis, chairman) were "close to a deal" to bring a new expansion franchise to the Verizon Center. [3] [4] On March 10, 2016, AFL commissioner Scott Butera announced that the deal was finalized and that the new Washington, D.C., team would begin play in 2017. [5] On July 14, 2016, the team name was revealed as the Washington Valor. [6] There was also talk for franchises to return to San Antonio and St. Louis as well as a potential new team for Sacramento. [7] However, when the 2017 schedule was announced, there was no mention of any San Antonio, St. Louis, or Sacramento teams.

On October 12, 2016, the Orlando Predators announced they had left the league due to the reduced number of teams and other pending disagreements with the league. [8] Hours later, the Jacksonville Sharks also announced they would be leaving the AFL and later joined the National Arena League. [9] The next day, it was reported that the Arizona Rattlers were in the planning stages to also leave the AFL for the Indoor Football League for 2017. In the same report, it was stated the Los Angeles Kiss and Portland Steel had apparently folded after both teams failed to return calls or respond to inquiries into 2017 season ticket purchases. [10] Later on October 13, the league held a teleconference with the remaining team owners and issued a statement the next morning declaring that the league would continue in the long-term, although the league did not expressly commit to playing in 2017 at that time. [11]

On October 14, the AFL held a dispersal draft with the five remaining teams selecting players from the Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Portland rosters. [12] The Rattlers then officially left the AFL for the IFL on October 17, leaving the AFL with four teams. They were the sixth AFL team to leave for the IFL since the 2010 relaunch. [13] On November 14, the AFL announced that it had granted a second franchise to Washington Valor owner Ted Leonsis to be based out of Baltimore for the 2017 season [14] bringing the league up to five teams. On January 25, after the announcement of the schedule, MSE announced that the team would be called the Baltimore Brigade. [15]

Schedule and playoff changes

On January 5, 2017, the schedule was announced. The five teams played 14 games through 18 weeks, with four bye weeks for each team and no divisions. [1] [2] Each team played each other three or four times throughout the season. The postseason saw a structure change, with four teams advancing. The top seed hosted the fourth seed and the second seed hosted the third seed in a semifinal round, each match for a spot in ArenaBowl XXX on August 26. [16]

Regular season standings

2017 Arena Football League standings
TeamOverallPointsRecords
WLPCTPFPAHomeAwayGBSTK
(1) Philadelphia Soul 131.9298175907–06–1W3
(2) Tampa Bay Storm 104.7147106626–14–33.0L1
(3) Cleveland Gladiators 59.3576967153–42–58.0W1
(4) Baltimore Brigade 410.2866207493–41–69.0L4
Washington Valor 311.2145656922–51–610.0W1

(#) - playoff position secured

Playoffs

Semifinals ArenaBowl XXX
      
1Philadelphia69
4 Baltimore 54
1Philadelphia44
2 Tampa Bay 40
2Tampa Bay73
3 Cleveland 59

Semifinals

All times listed are in EDT.

DateKickoffAwayScoreHomeGame siteRecap
August 124:00 p.m.Baltimore Brigade54–69Philadelphia Soul Wells Fargo Center [17]
August 147:00 p.m.Cleveland Gladiators59–73Tampa Bay Storm Amalie Arena [18]

ArenaBowl XXX

DateKickoffAwayScoreHomeGame siteRecap
August 267:00 p.m.Tampa Bay Storm40–44Philadelphia Soul Wells Fargo Center [19]

Awards

Players of the week

The following were named the top performers during the 2017 season:

WeekOffensive
Player of the Week
Defensive
Player of the Week
1 [20] Mike Washington
(Valor)
Caesar Rayford
(Storm)
2 [21] Darius Reynolds
(Soul)
Dexter Davis Jr.
(Brigade)
3 [22] Randy Hippeard
(Storm)
Alvin Ray Jackson
(Storm)
4 [23] Ryan McDaniel
(Soul)
Dwayne Hollis
(Soul)
5 [24] Randy Hippeard
(Storm)
Paul Stephens
(Storm)
6 [25] Joe Hills
(Storm)
Sean Daniels
(Soul)
7 [26] Joe Hills
(Storm)
Joe Goosby
(Soul)
8 [27] Shane Carden
(Brigade)
Josh Victorian
(Brigade)
9 [28] Arvell Nelson
(Gladiators)
Rayshaun Kizer
(Gladiators)
10 [29] Dan Raudabaugh
(Soul)
LaRoche Jackson
(Storm)
11 [30] Darius Reynolds
(Soul)
Kenny Veal
(Gladiators)
12 [31] Shaun Kauleinamoku
(Soul)
Kent Richardson
(Soul)
13 [32] Kendrick Ings
(Storm)
Tracy Belton
(Valor)
14 [33] Shane Carden
(Brigade)
Varmah Sonie
(Brigade)
15 [34] Dan Raudabaugh
(Soul)
James Romain
(Soul)
16 [35] T. T. Toliver
(Valor)
Alvin Ray Jackson
(Storm)
17 [36] Mykel Benson
(Soul)
Derrick Summers
(Gladiators)
18 [37] Darius Reynolds
(Soul)
Robert Hayes
(Brigade)

All-Arena team

Offense
PositionFirst teamSecond team
Quarterback Randy Hippeard, Tampa Bay Dan Raudabaugh, Philadelphia
Fullback Mykel Benson, Philadelphia Jeramie Richardson, Cleveland
Wide receiver Joe Hills, Tampa Bay
Darius Reynolds, Philadelphia
Kendrick Ings, Tampa Bay
Quentin Sims, Cleveland
Shaun Kauleinamoku, Philadelphia
Michael Preston, Cleveland
Center Raymond McNeil, Tampa Bay Kody Afusia, Baltimore
Offensive lineman Wayne Tribue, Philadelphia
Anthony Parker, Washington
Dionte Savage, Washington
Aslam Sterling, Cleveland
Defense
PositionFirst teamSecond team
Defensive end Khreem Smith, Baltimore
Sean Daniels, Philadelphia
Nick Seither, Cleveland
Robert Hayes, Baltimore
Defensive tackle Justin Lawrence, Philadelphia Willie McGinnis, Cleveland
Middle linebacker Beau Bell, Philadelphia Derrick Summers, Cleveland
Jack linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson, Tampa Bay Joe Goosby, Philadelphia
Defensive back Tracy Belton, Washington
Dwayne Hollis, Philadelphia
James Romain, Philadelphia
Frederick Obi, Cleveland
Varmah Sonie, Baltimore
Josh Victorian, Baltimore
Special teams
PositionFirst teamSecond team
Kicker Adrian Trevino, Philadelphia Pat Clarke, Baltimore
Special teams Kendrick Ings, Tampa Bay Brandon Thompkins, Baltimore

Source: [38]

Attendances

TeamHome average
Washington Valor11,041
Cleveland Gladiators10,173
Philadelphia Soul9,680
Tampa Bay Storm9,668
Baltimore Brigade5,679
Overall average9,248

Related Research Articles

Arena Football League Professional indoor American football league

The Arena Football League (AFL) was a professional indoor American football league in the United States. It was founded in 1987, making it the third longest-running professional football league in North America after the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the National Football League (NFL) until the AFL closed in 2019. The AFL played a proprietary code known as arena football, a form of indoor American football played on a 66-by-28 yard field, with rules encouraging offensive performance, resulting in a faster-paced and higher-scoring game. The sport was invented in the early 1980s and patented by Jim Foster, a former executive of the United States Football League (USFL) and the NFL.

The Arizona Rattlers are a professional indoor American football team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are currently members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and were the third oldest active franchise in the AFL until their departure in 2016. They play their home games Gila River Arena while their former primary home, Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix undergoes renovations. The Rattlers are led by head coach Kevin Guy. Since the team's establishment in 1992, the Rattlers have won ten division titles and have played in nine ArenaBowl Championship games, winning championships in 1994, 1997, 2012, 2013, 2014. The Rattlers also won the 2017 United Bowl in their first season in the IFL.

The Spokane Shock are a professional indoor American football team based in Spokane, Washington, playing their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The team was initially a member of arenafootball2 (af2), the Shock won division titles in all four seasons and ArenaCups in 2006 and 2009 before they joined the Arena Football League (AFL) in its 2010 relaunch. The team advanced to the playoffs three times after joining the AFL, winning ArenaBowl XXIII in their first season, making them the only arena football franchise to win both the ArenaCup and the ArenaBowl.

Clint Dolezel

Clint Dolezel is an American football coach and former professional arena football player in the Arena Football League (AFL). He was named the inaugural head coach of the Frisco Fighters in the Indoor Football League before the 2020 season.

Beau Bell (American football) American football linebacker

James Beaumont "Beau" Bell is a former American football linebacker. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at UNLV. Bell was also a member of the Omaha Nighthawks, Las Vegas Locomotives, Spokane Shock, BC Lions, Los Angeles Kiss and Philadelphia Soul.

Nick Davila is an arena football quarterback who is currently a free agent. A three-time AFL champion, and three-time MVP, he also played for the Arizona Rattlers from 2010 to 2016. Davila is of Mexican American descent. He is nicknamed the "Latin Laser". In 2017, he was the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for the Rattlers of the Indoor Football League (IFL), who went on to win the 2017 United Bowl.

Wayne Tribue

Wayne Luis Tribue is an American football guard who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Temple. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos in 2012.

Joe Goosby

Joseph Goosby, Jr. is a professional American football linebacker who is currently a free agent. In college, he played for Tulane University.

CBS Arena Football is a TV program from CBS Sports that broadcast Arena Football League games beginning in 2013. As part of a two-year agreement, the CBS Sports Network aired nineteen regular season games and two playoff games. When CBS aired ArenaBowl XXVI, it marked the first time since 2008 that the league's finale aired on network television. As of 2019, CBS Sports no longer airs Arena Football League games.

The 2015 Arena Football League season was the 28th season in the history of the league. The regular season began on March 27, 2015 and ended on August 8, 2015.

The 2016 Arena Football League season was the 29th season in the history of the Arena Football League. Prior to the start of the season, the league contracted to eight teams. The 16-game regular season then began on April 1, 2016 and ended on August 1, 2016. The league, however, kept its eight-team playoff format, which meant that every club qualified for the postseason.

The Washington Valor were a professional arena football team based in Washington, D.C. that played in the Arena Football League (AFL) from 2017 to 2019. The team's home arena was the Capital One Arena. The Valor were owned by Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which also owns the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Washington Mystics of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL), Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G League and fellow AFL team the Baltimore Brigade.

The Baltimore Brigade was a professional arena football team based in Baltimore, Maryland, that played in the Arena Football League (AFL) from 2017 to 2019. The team's home arena was the Royal Farms Arena. The franchise was owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which also owned the Washington Valor of the AFL, as well as the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Washington Mystics of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), and Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Chris Duvalt American football wide receiver

Darian Christopher Duvalt is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He played college football at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and attended Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland, Florida. He has also been a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Orlando Predators, New Orleans VooDoo, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Philadelphia Soul and Florida Tarpons.

Dwayne Hollis

Dwayne Hollis is an arena football defensive back who is currently a free agent. He played college football at North Carolina Wesleyan College and attended Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia. He has also been a member of the Helsinki Roosters, Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, Trenton Freedom, Shanghai Skywalkers, and Atlanta Legends.

Sean Daniels American football defensive end

Sean Daniels is an American football defensive end who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Temple University and attended Highland Regional High School in Blackwood, New Jersey. He has also been a member of the Iowa Barnstormers, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Green Bay Blizzard.

James Romain

James Romain is an American football defensive back who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Delaware State University and attended Far Rockaway High School in New York City.

Keith Newell (American football)

Keith Newell is an American football offensive lineman who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Delaware State University and attended Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey. He has also been a member of the Trenton Freedom, Pittsburgh Power and FXFL Blacktips.

ArenaBowl XXXI was the championship game of the 2018 Arena Football League season. The game was broadcast on CBS Sports Network, AFLNow and Twitter. It featured the fourth-seeded Washington Valor and the second-seeded Baltimore Brigade at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. It was the first ArenaBowl championship for both teams as they were expansion teams in the previous season. Both teams were owned by Ted Leonsis, giving him his second league championship in six weeks following his Washington Capitals team's victory in the NHL's 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. The title sponsor for the game was Bud Light.

Washington, D.C. originally had one of the 1987 AFL charter teams called the Washington Commandos. The team played its home games during its first season at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland in 1987. The Commandos did not play in 1988, but returned as the Maryland Commandos the following season. The team moved to Virginia in 1990, again as the Washington Commandos and played at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. The team was folded after the 1990 season. Later, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder tried to launch an expansion team called the Washington Warriors, but could not get the trademarks and was eventually abandoned.

References

  1. 1 2 "Arena Football League Announces 2017 Schedule". arenafootball.com. January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  2. 1 2 "2017 Arena Football League Schedule". afldigital.com. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  3. Ted Leonsis close to securing Arena Football League team to play at Verizon Center, Jonathan O'Connell and Dan Steinberg, Washington Post, February 10, 2016
  4. Ted Leonsis to announce D.C. is getting an Arena Football League team, Scott Allen, The Washington Post, March 10, 2016
  5. AFL Lands New Team in Nation's Capital Archived 2016-03-13 at the Wayback Machine , ArenaFootball.com, March 10, 2016
  6. "Washington Valor Announced As Team Name". arenafootball.com. July 14, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-07-18. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  7. "ESPN analyst, Philadelphia Soul owner Ron Jaworski talks arena football, makes Super Bowl 50 prediction". The Trentonian.
  8. "The Orlando Predators have chosen to suspend team operations". Orlando Predators. October 12, 2016. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016.
  9. "SHARKS MOVING TO RIVAL LEAGUE". Jacksonville Sharks. October 12, 2016.
  10. "Source: Rattlers Leaving AFL to Join Spokane in IFL". KHQ-TV. October 13, 2016.
  11. "As Washington franchise prepares to join, Arena League's future uncertain". The Washington Post . October 14, 2016.
  12. "AFL Holds Dispersal Draft". AFL. October 14, 2016. Archived from the original on October 15, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  13. "IFL Announces Addition of Arizona Rattlers". IFL. October 17, 2016.
  14. "Monumental Sports & Entertainment Acquires AFL Team to Play in Baltimore". Monumental Sports & Entertainment. November 14, 2016. Archived from the original on July 23, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  15. "Baltimore Brigade Announced as AFL Title Name". ArenaFootball.com. January 25, 2017.
  16. "AFL Postseason Procedures". arenafootball.com. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  17. "Philadelphia Soul Advance to ArenaBowl XXX". arenafootball.com. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  18. "Tampa Bay Defeats Cleveland, 73-59, Heads To ArenaBowl XXX". arenafootball.com. August 14, 2017. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  19. "Soul Snare Second Straight Foster Trophy in ArenaBowl XXX". arenafootball.com. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  20. "AFL Awards Week 1 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. April 11, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  21. "AFL Awards Week 2 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. April 18, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  22. "AFL Awards Week 3 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. April 25, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  23. "AFL Awards Week 4 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. May 2, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  24. "AFL Awards Week 5 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. May 9, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  25. "AFL Awards Week 6 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. May 16, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  26. "AFL Awards Week 7 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. May 23, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  27. "AFL Awards Week 8 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. May 30, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  28. "AFL Awards Week 9 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  29. "AFL Awards Week 10 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. June 14, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  30. "AFL Awards Week 11 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. June 21, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  31. "AFL Awards Week 12 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. June 28, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  32. "AFL Awards Week 13 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  33. "AFL Awards Week 14 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. July 11, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  34. "AFL Awards Week 15 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  35. "AFL Awards Week 16 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. July 25, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  36. "AFL Awards Week 17 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. August 2, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  37. "AFL Awards Week 18 Players of the Week". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  38. "AFL Announces All-Arena First and Second Teams". AFL. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  39. "2017 Arena Football League Attendance Chart". arenafan.com. Retrieved July 18, 2017.