|ABOUT ERIC THUROW
Hello my name is Eric Thurow. I first became aware of the Arena Football League back in 1998 when I saw a game on The National Network (TNN). I can’t remember which teams were playing, but I did at first thought it was weird that football was being played in the summer and in sporting arenas. I also felt that it was going to be simply a niche sport and would never last that long.
After a year going by, I had noticed that the AFL had announced expansion and came into my home city of San Jose. So I thought I would try to go to a couple of games via a contest a local television had and try to win a pair of tickets. So after finally being able to attend a couple of the home games for the San Jose SaberCats, I fell in love with the game. I immediately made contact with the ticket sales to make my first ever season ticket purchase on any professional sports league for the ensuing 2000 Arena Football League season. My first season as a STH I sat in row 8 in the lower level at the then named Compaq Center at San Jose, which was physically the fifth row from the front row. However my seat would improve to the front row, as it became available for the very next season. With that said, I had been a front row STH since 2001, and have not missed a single home game since becoming a season ticket holder in 2000.
Back in 2004, I was invited by some of the died hards to go to a local restaurant where they have been meeting up regularly to watch the SaberCats road games. I guess this was the joining of a fan club that at which time did not have an official designation nor name. In 2005 that would change. Long time SaberCats fan Ty Whitman had decided to officially create a recognized fan club, San Jose’s 9th Man. Another long time SaberCats fan Frantz Mercier helped out by creating the logo. However as the 2005 season went along, some personal and scheduling issues came to the forefront for Ty as he could no longer able to run the fan club as he had wanted. So, as I had been helping him out, he asked if I could take over full time to run the club. At which time I became the man behind San Jose’s 9th Man. and I ran the fan club until the very last game of the San Jose SaberCats, ArenaBowl XXVIII in Stockton, CA against the Jacksonville Sharks. As this game would lead to the last game ever played by the San Jose SaberCats as the ownership group would cease operations.
Together with my love for my home team, San Jose SaberCats, and more importantly the Arena Football League, I actually first came up with the idea for 9th Man Nation back in 2011. So I went to register the domain 9thManNation.net and claim the branding on social media sites of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube immediately. But I waited until early in 2016 to officially announce the launching of it and began creating content beginning with podcasting with my co-host Tom Jones. Our goal through the Inside the Nation Podcast and eventually Inside the Nation TV via 9thManNation.tv on YouTube, is to hold conversations with fans, players, coaches, and league officials (including the commissioner) sharing experiences being involved with the Arena Football League, plus we will be expanding our content to soon talk about game recaps, previewing the next week’s set of games and do both offensive and defensive plays of the week. Tom and I look to provide the purest of true fan exposure for our game we love and bring it the forefront of football conversation.
I run the 9th Man Nation social media channels. So be sure to follow/add/like to keep up to date on 9th Man Nation and the Arena Football League.
|ABOUT ERIC WILLIAMSON
Hello my name is Eric Williamson. I first became aware of the Arena Football League because then quarterback of the Iowa Barnstormers, Kurt Warner. By the way he had become my favorite quarterback in the AFL. It wasn’t until 2004 that the Arena Football League fully caught my eyes, as the Philadelphia Soul were announced as a expansion team in my home town.
I have always been into football, especially as a huge Eagles fan. I even played some later on in high school. So when the Soul were announced I was quite excited. I attended my first game ever and it was the Soul hosting the Dallas Desperados with a my friend for his birthday. By attending this game, I was instantly sold on the sport from that very moment.
One of my greatest memories was back in 2008 and ArenaBowl XXII. The Philadelphia Soul were playing in their first ArenaBowl game against the powerhouse San Jose SaberCats. I strongly remember the Soul’s victory, and how Tony Graziani (the starting QB) was supposed to lead the team to the championship. However, during late in the season, Graziani suffered an injury that would make way for backup QB Matt D’Orazio to lead the Soul to a victory over the SaberCats and be named the game’s MVP.
Due to the league shutting things down in 2009 in order to restructure their business model, I unfortunately became less interested in arena football and with the lack of coverage (which tends to be normal in the AFL), I had no idea that the Soul did eventually make a return to operating again in 2012. This announcement was made at halftime of ArenaBowl XXIV in Phoenix in 2011, alongside the return by both the San Jose SaberCats and the Kansas City Brigade (who changed their name to the Command).
After both of their appearances in ArenaBowls XXV and XXVI (falling short both times to the Arizona Rattlers), the Philadelphia Soul began to gain my attention and I watched as many games as I possibly could.
It wasn’t until the 2017 season that I returned to the Wells Fargo Center(the Soul’s home arena) to attend a game in person. The Soul were also the defending ArenaBowl champions after defeating the Arizona Rattlers in ArenaBowl XXIX in Glendale, AZ.
For the 2018 Arena Football League season, I attended the Soul’s home opener against the Baltimore Brigade and fell back in love the experience. This falling back in love with the Philadelphia Soul and the Arena Football League has since given me the desire to want to not only watch the Soul’s games, but to cover the Soul’s home games for this 2019 season. This is when on Facebook, I saw a posting by 9th Man Nation that they were in need of local staff writers to cover the teams. The end result is now a reality. I look to not only cover the Philadelphia Soul and bring more awareness to not only the Soul organization and the Arena Football League as a whole during the regular season, but to cover the team through another ArenaBowl victory.
If you have any questions on the Philadelphia Soul and/or the Arena Football League, please do not hesitate in reaching out to me, my email form is below. Below you can also find my presence on social media and I will be making an appearance on Inside the Nation from time to time reporting on the Soul.
I cover the Philadelphia Soul for 9th Man Nation. So be sure to follow/add/like to keep up to date on 9th Man Nation and the Arena Football League.
My information is coming soon.
My 9th Man Nation social channels are coming soon.
My e-mail contact form is coming soon.