ARENABOWL 32 WEEKEND SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
Courtesy: AFL Communications
Awards Ceremony to be held Saturday
Philadelphia, Pa. (August 6, 2019) – The Arena Football League today announced the schedule for the ArenaBowl 32 weekend, to be held in Albany, NY. The weekend will kick off with an awards ceremony on Saturday, August 10 at 5pm, held at Times Union Center. The ArenaBowl 32 championship game between the #1 seed Albany Empire (10-2) and the #3 seed Philadelphia Soul (7-5) is on Sunday, August 11, at 8pm ET, and be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
The awards ceremony on August 10 will recognize all of the individual award winners for the 2019 season. All award winners will be in attendance. Commissioner Randall Boe, Chair of the Executive Committee Ron Jaworski, along with head coaches Rob Keefe (Albany Empire) and Clint Dolezel (Philadelphia Soul) will speak as part of the ceremony’s introduction.
Following the ceremony, the following will be made available for one-on-one media sessions: all players and coaches from both teams, Commissioner Randall Boe, President John Adams, Chair of the Executive Committee Ron Jaworski, and other personnel. The ceremony will be held on the field at Times Union center, and emceed by Jon Meterparel.
“Touchdown Eddie Brown”
Highlighting the championship game is legendary former Albany Firebirds WR, Eddie Brown, who will serve as honorary captain for the game, just ten days shy of the 20-year anniversary of the Firebirds’ ArenaBowl XIII championship (August 21, 1999). The victory came in Times Union Center, where the game will be played on Sunday.
Brown finished with 950 career receptions, 12,736 receiving yards and 303 touchdowns over 10 years in the Arena Football League (1994-2003). In ArenaBowl XIII, Mr. Brown set two ArenaBowl records with 12 receptions for 185 yards, and tied the record with four touchdown receptions. He also had a team-high 18 yards on four rushing attempts. Brown won MVP of the Game for his outstanding performance.
ArenaBowl 32: The Teams
The 32nd ArenaBowl will be played between the Albany Empire and the Philadelphia Soul at 8pm ET on Sunday, August 11. The Empire led the aggregate scores in the playoffs, outscoring their opponent (Baltimore Brigade) 123-47. The Soul outscored their playoff opponent (Washington Valor) 117-74. In the current structure, the highest-seeded team to advance beyond the playoffs hosts the ArenaBowl, which was the Albany Empire who secured the #1 seed entering playoffs.
The Albany Empire finished with a League-best 10-2, winning five of six at home. Veteran QB Tommy Grady led their team all season, finishing the season leading the League in passing PCT (68.6), yards (3097), touchdowns (68) and rating (125.5). The Philadelphia Soul finished third in the League with a 7-5 record, going 3-3 on the road, and went 1-2 against the Empire this season. This will be the Soul’s sixth appearance in the championship game, and its third in the last four years.
The teams first met on May 11 in Week 3, when the Empire defeated the Soul, 57-48 in Philadelphia. The Soul saw their sole victory of the 3-game season series on June 29 in Week 10, defeating the Empire 54-43 in Philadelphia. The Soul traveled to Albany for the final week of the regular season on July 20, when the Empire made a statement in its 72-27 season finale.
The Soul had 19 touchdowns against the Empire all season (17 passing, 2 rushing), while the Empire had 23 total touchdowns against the Soul (19 passing, 4 rushing). The #1 ranked offense on the Empire averages 51.7 points per game, and the #3 ranked offense on the Philadelphia Soul average 43.6 points per game. Looking at the defense, the Empire ranked first in sacks against, only allowed two sacks against all season, one of which came from the Soul.. The Soul ranked second in sacks against, only allowed four. The Empire defense completed 13 sacks on the season, while the Soul completed 12, ranking second and third most in the League, respectively.
ArenaBowl 32: Further Details
Jon Meterparel and Sed Bonner will be on the call for the game, broadcast nationally on ESPN2. The following will serve as the officiating crew: Riley Johnson (R), Rick Lowe (U), Marc Bovos (HL), Matt Kukar (LJ) & Michael Griffith (BJ).
A block party will begin at 3:00pm ET on Sunday before the ArenaBowl, which takes place on South Pearl Street in front of the arena. Food and beverage vendors will be present, and Albany Empire merchandise will be available for sale.