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For the music genre, see Philadelphia soul.
Philadelphia Soul
Philadelphia Soul
Conference National
Division Eastern
Year founded 2004
Home arena Saturn Field at Wachovia Center &
Wachovia Spectrum (alt.)
City, State Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Head Coach Bret Munsey
ArenaBowl championships 1:
2008
Conference titles 1:
2008
Division titles 1:
2008
Wild Card berths 2:
2006, 2007
Owner(s) (Majority owners)
Jon Bon Jovi,
Craig Spencer
(Minority owners)
Richie Sambora,
Ron "Jaws" Jaworski,
Leo Carlin, Jr.
Current status
Current uniform
AFL-Uniform-Current PHI.PNG

The Philadelphia Soul were a professional arena football team in the Arena Football League. They began play in 2004 as an expansion team. The team played in the Eastern Division of the National Conference. They won their first ArenaBowl in 2008, defeating the San Jose SaberCats 59-56 in ArenaBowl XXII. The Soul won 13 games and lost 3 in the 2008 regular season, as well as winning three playoff games, including ArenaBowl XXII, and are the final AFL champions. They were coached by Bret Munsey. The team folded along with the league in 2009.

Contents

History

The team was owned by co-majority owners Jon Bon Jovi and Craig Spencer along with minority owners Richie Sambora, Ron "Jaws" Jaworski (former QB of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles) and Leo Carlin, Jr. The Soul began play in February of 2004, and played its home games at the Wachovia Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. When there was a scheduling conflict with the NBA or NHL, games were played at the Wachovia Spectrum—the former home of the Flyers and 76ers and the current home of the Philadelphia Phantoms AHL hockey team and the Philadelphia KiXX MISL soccer franchise. The Soul played in the Eastern Division of the National Conference of the AFL. The name "Soul" refered to the Philadelphia soul music genre, as the team was owned in part by musician Jon Bon Jovi. The official mascot of the Soul was the Blues Brother-like "Soul Man".[1]

In 2005, the Soul began the season by beating the Austin Wranglers 66-35. However, after five games, the Soul had two wins and three losses, which led to the firing of head coach Michael Trigg.

Critics say that the Soul erred that off-season when they made Tony Graziani the highest-paid player in Arena League history. The move left them with little money under the salary cap to improve their defense, and as a result, they were not in competition for the playoffs. The elimination came even after NBC scheduled 14 games of the Soul to be shown on national or regional television.

In 2006, the Soul began 2-0. They went 2-0 against division rival Dallas Desperados (who finished a league best 13-3), and finished the season at 9-7 and earned their first playoff berth through the wild card. In their wild card playoff game, the Soul defeated the Austin Wranglers in Austin, 52-35. The score was 21-21 at halftime, but the #5 seed Soul outscored the #4 Wranglers 21-7 in the third quarter and ran away with the game. The Soul lost their Divisional Round Playoff game 31-27 to the Orlando Predators in the infamous "round of golf", so-called because viewers missed much of the 1st quarter of that game and another AFL game being broadcasted simultaneously due to a PGA Golf tournament that was televised on NBC.

The Soul started 4-0 in 2007 before losing to the Georgia Force, 57-49. Afterwards, they lost on a Monday night contest to their division rival, the Dallas Desperados, 51-41. In the game, Tony Graziani left the game early with a separated left shoulder from a sack by OL/DL Rickie Simpkins. He would miss the next four weeks, all losses, dropping the team to 4-6. Graziani returned in week 12 against the New Orleans VooDoo and led the team to its highest scoring output in its short franchise history, winning 78-34. In a Week 16 "win-and-in" matchup with the Columbus Destroyers, Graziani led the Soul down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Charles Pauley with seven seconds left, giving the Soul a 56-53 win and their second trip to the playoffs in their four-year history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Orlando Predators 41-26, then traveled to Atlanta to take on the Georgia Force in the Divisional Round, but lost 65-39.

In 2008, the Soul signed WR Chris Jackson in the off-season. He was united with a former teammate in Tony Graziani. In the offseason the Soul were picked by many as the favorite to win the championship. However after another good start, once again Graziani was injured. He was replaced by Matt D'Orazio. Unlike previous years, in 2008 the Soul backup was able to keep the team going. He played well enough that when Graziani was healthy once more, the coaching staff decided to allow D'Orazio to keep the starting job. The Soul finished the 2008 season with a 13-3 record and earned a first-round bye. In the divisional round the Soul defeated the New York Dragons. In the conference finals the Soul were able to defeat the Cleveland Gladiators to earn their first berth to the Arena Bowl. They then won their first ArenaBowl on Sunday, July 27, 2008 in a 59-56 win over the San Jose SaberCats in ArenaBowl XXII.

The team folded along with the rest of the Arena Football League in 2009.

Franchise highlights

One of the Philadelphia Soul's endzones.
  • On Sunday, February 13, 2005, in a Week Three home game against the Nashville Kats, quarterback Tony Graziani would throw for six touchdowns. One of those touchdown's came on a third quarter play from their own five-yard line. Graziani got the snap, tripped over his own fullback's foot, and threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to OS Steve Smith off his own knee. The Soul would go on to win the game. It appeared in The Best Damn Sports Show Period's Top 50 Spectacular Plays.[2]
  • On Saturday, April 24, 2004, the Soul was trailing to the New York Dragons by a point with 1.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Soul had the ball at their own two-yard line. Ken Hinsley kicked a field goal from the back of the endzone which just barely made it over the crossbar as the buzzer went off, winning the game for the Soul 60-58.
  • Since its inception, the Philadelphia Soul has been deeply involved in the community. In 2006, The Philadelphia Soul Foundation was formed to further the organization's commitment to the Philadelphia area. Former President Bill Clinton joined Soul majority owner Jon Bon Jovi on stage to announce a project that would rehab 15 townhouses in North Philadelphia. Scheduled to open in November 2007, the homes will also be eco-friendly, not only saving money for its new tenants, but improving the environment as well.
  • On Saturday, July 12, 2008, the Philadelphia Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators 70-35 in the AFL National Conference Title game, earning their first ever ArenaBowl berth in Arena Bowl XXII.
  • On Sunday, July 27, 2008, the Philadelphia Soul defeated the San Jose SaberCats in Arenabowl XXII, 59-56, capturing their first Arena Bowl championship.

Season-by-season

Coaches


Head coach Tenure Regular season
record (W-L)
Post season
record (W-L)
Most recent coaching staff Notes
Michael Trigg 2004 - 2005 7-14[3] 0-0[3]
James Fuller 2005 4-7[4] 0-0[4]
Bret Munsey 2006 - 2008 30-18[5] 5-2[5] Assis. Head
Coach: Jerry Odom
OC: Connell Maynor
DL Coach / Head Player
Personnel: Mickey Mays
1x ArenaBowl winning
coach (XXII)

Front office staff

  • Jon Bon Jovi - Founder, Majority Owner, and Co-Chairman of the Board
  • Craig A. Spencer - Majority Owner and Co-Chairman of the Board
  • Richie Sambora - Member of the Ownership Group
  • Leo Carlin, Jr. - Member of the Ownership Group
  • Ron "Jaws" Jaworski - Team President

References

External links

Preceded by
San Jose SaberCats
2007
Arena Bowl Champions
Philadelphia Soul

2008
Succeeded by
Last champion; Arena Football League folded in 2009

Simple English

The Philadelphia Soul is a American football team in the Arena Football League. The team plays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are not to be confused with the Philadelphia Eagles. They are owned by Jon Bon Jovi and Ron Jaworski, a former player for the Philadelphia Eagles. They won the Arena Bowl in 2008.








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