Soul a little sick of Rattlers

Posted: August 16, 2013

ARIZONA ACTUALLY was carrying heavier baggage last year than the Soul are enduring now. The Rattlers lost the 2011 championship to Jacksonville on a touchdown pass at the buzzer. But they went into last year's game with a determination even Soul players noticed.

"When Arizona came into New Orleans, they were locked in and ready to play," defensive back Rayshaun Kizer said. "I feel like that's us this year. I feel like we're going to Orlando on a business trip. We're going to be ready."

Arizona, seven-point favorites this year, compounded the Soul's misery by beating Philadelphia twice more this season. So that's three times in a row. Is anybody sick of the Rattlers yet?

"We all are," Soul coach Clint Dolezel said half-kiddingly. "It's like the Yankees when they were winning all those championships. Everybody hates them but, you know what, you've got to go take it from them. They're not going to just give it to you. They're good for a reason."

Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh is the key for Philadelphia. He was nearly flawless during a midseason run when the Soul really started to click, but was sacked three times in last week's win over Jacksonville and also tossed a pair of interceptions.

"We're fortunate to be playing for another championship," said the 26-year-old out of Miami (Ohio). "Last year, it kind of got away from us. It slipped through our fingers. We didn't play our best ball. Me, especially. I had three interceptions in the first half . . . And that taste - that feeling - stuck with us all offseason and we used it as motivation to get to this spot."

Carvalho snubbed

The Soul's Brennen Carvalho was named the center on the first-team All-Arena squad, yet Arizona center Billy Eisenhardt was named the league's offensive lineman of the year.

"He got robbed of that award," Soul general manager Tom Goodhines said. "A clear-cut example of Carvalho's [value] was the San Antonio game. When he came in, the bleeding stopped."

Carvalho was injured and did not start the season-finale against San Antonio. Melik Brown tried to step in, but was overmatched by all-league nose guard Tim McGill. Carvalho eventually entered the game and the Soul made a comeback that fell short.

KISS: Arena rockers

The rock band KISS is behind a new Arena Football League franchise that will play in Los Angeles beginning next season, the Daily News has learned from a league source.

An announcement will come this afternoon.

The league also hopes to reach an agreement for a franchise in Brooklyn with an undisclosed ownership group by the start of next season. Presumably, that team would be placed in the same division as the Soul, who is in desperate need of a geographical rival. Currently, Philadelphia shares the East Division with Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

A team also is expected to be placed in Portland, which would be a natural rival for the West Division's Spokane Shock.

KISS will play a concert tomorrow night in Orlando in advance of Saturday's ArenaBowl between the Soul and Arizona. Rock superstar Jon Bon Jovi was one of the founders of the Soul, but he got out of the arena football business after a lockout canceled the 2009 AFL season.

On Twitter: @EdBarkowitz

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