Albany—20 years ago “Touchdown” Eddie Brown and the Albany Firebirds brought the Capital Region their first ever Arena Football League title. Tonight the Albany Empire will try to make it two, as their elite offense takes on the Philadelphia Soul in ArenaBowl 32.
Coach Rob Keefe of the Albany Empire said, “It’s about who’s going to embrace the moment. When you have 14 thousand people, standing room only, shoulder to shoulder you have to own that moment.”
And a crowd like that should be anticipated. Albany has received the home field advantage in ArenaBowl 32 not because they had the leagues best record at 10-2, but because their attendance almost double any other team at 60,319 for the season.
“This doesn’t work without the fans. It doesn’t work if people don’t come to the games. It doesn’t work if you don’t have great sponsors and this is a community where it works the best.” said Keefe.
The Empire’s defense will be key in today’s matchup. They posted better numbers at home this year including 37.3 points against per game. Albany also had a league best 13.5 plus minus at home when you include the offense which took home a myriad of first and second team arena selections as well as awards such as MVP, Offensive Player of the Year and Assistant Coach of the year.
Offensive Player of the Year Malachi Jones said, “We’ve just got to come out and play our game. We’ve been the best team all season and we’re very blessed to be in the situation that we’re in. So we’ve got to play fast, play hard, get stops on defense and score every time we’re on offense.”
ArenaBowl 32 will commence at 8pm and will be broadcasted from the Times Union Center on ESPN2.
“Enjoy the moment. Represent yourself, your family, your communities, and just ball out,” added area legend “Touchdown” Eddie Brown.