2017 Arena Football League season

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2017 Arena Football League season
Arena Football League 30 seasons logo.jpg
LeagueArena Football League
SportArena football
DurationApril 7, 2017 – August 5, 2017
Regular season
Season championsPhiladelphia Soul
Season MVPRandy Hippeard, TAM
League postseason
#1 vs #4 championsPhiladelphia Soul
  #1 vs #4 runners-upBaltimore Brigade
#2 vs #3 championsTampa Bay Storm
  #2 vs #3 runners-upCleveland Gladiators
ArenaBowl XXX
ChampionsPhiladelphia Soul
  Runners-upTampa Bay Storm
Finals MVPDarius 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. 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]

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[edit]

Teams[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

2017 Arena Football League standings
Team Overall Points Records
W L PCT PF PA Home Away GB STK
(1)Philadelphia Soul 13 1 .929 817 590 7–0 6–1 W3
(2)Tampa Bay Storm 10 4 .714 710 662 6–1 4–3 3.0 L1
(3)Cleveland Gladiators 5 9 .357 696 715 3–4 2–5 8.0 W1
(4)Baltimore Brigade 4 10 .286 620 749 3–4 1–6 9.0 L4
Washington Valor 3 11 .214 565 692 2–5 1–6 10.0 W1

(#) - playoff position secured

Playoffs[edit]

Semifinals ArenaBowl XXX
      
1 Philadelphia 69
4 Baltimore 54
1 Philadelphia 44
2 Tampa Bay 40
2 Tampa Bay 73
3 Cleveland 59

Semifinals[edit]

All times listed are in EDT.

Date Kickoff Away Score Home Game site Recap
August 12 4:00 p.m. Baltimore Brigade 54–69 Philadelphia Soul Wells Fargo Center [17]
August 14 7:00 p.m. Cleveland Gladiators 59–73 Tampa Bay Storm Amalie Arena [18]

ArenaBowl XXX[edit]

Date Kickoff Away Score Home Game site Recap
August 26 7:00 p.m. Tampa Bay Storm 40–44 Philadelphia Soul Wells Fargo Center [19]

Awards[edit]

Players of the week[edit]

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

Week Offensive
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[edit]

Offense
Position First team Second 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
Position First team Second 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
Position First team Second team
Kicker Adrian Trevino, Philadelphia Pat Clarke, Baltimore
Special teams Kendrick Ings, Tampa Bay Brandon Thompkins, Baltimore

Source:[38]

Attendances[edit]

Team Home average
Washington Valor 11,041
Cleveland Gladiators 10,173
Philadelphia Soul 9,680
Tampa Bay Storm 9,668
Baltimore Brigade 5,679
Overall average 9,248

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Arena Football League Announces 2017 Schedule". arenafootball.com. January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "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, 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.
  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.
  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. 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.
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  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. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  39. ^ "2017 Arena Football League Attendance Chart". arenafan.com. Retrieved July 18, 2017.