PHILADELPHIA, PA – April 11, 2016. Final score Jacksonville 59 – Soul 41. That was 742 days ago, and it’s the last time the Soul lost a home game. A few days later, on April 17, the Soul took down the Portland Steel in a home game at the Wells Fargo Center and the winning feeling has continued ever since. This Saturday, the Soul go for 20 home victories in a row when they take on the Washington Valor at the Wells Fargo Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.
It’s been more than two calendar years since Soul fans in Philadelphia have had to leave their home arena disappointed. For a roster and coaching staff that appreciate the impact that fans have on an Arena Football game, it is important to deliver victories in front of the home crowd.
“We place a lot of emphasis on defending our own backyard,” said Soul General Manager, Assistant Head Coach, and former Soul Player, Phil Bogle. “Philly is the best sports city in the country, and our fans give us a huge home-field advantage, so it’s important to us that we give them their monies worth every time we’re out there.”
Along the way there have been milestones, last second victories, and dominant performances. Several players on the current roster have been here throughout the entire streak, including QB Dan Raudabaugh, WR Darius “Money” Reynolds, WR Shaun Kauleniamoku, LB Joe Goosby, DB Dwayne Hollis, DB James Romain, DB LaRico Stevenson and OL Wayne Tribue, himself a former Temple Owl. That consistency, and a commitment to excellence, are what most folks around the organization credit for the continued success.
“It is hard to win in professional sports, and all these guys do is win,” said Philadelphia Soul Majority Owner and former Philadelphia Eagle, Ron Jaworski. “This is a very special group of not only players, but people.”
In fact, it would seem as though the “winning streak bug” has become a bit contagious here in Philadelphia, now affectionally referred to as the City of Champions. Since the beginning of the Soul’s streak in 2016, several of the Philadelphia sports teams have enjoyed impressive winning streaks of their own. Most recently, the Sixers were winners of 19 straight, including 11 at home, and the Eagles, en-route to winning Super Bowl 52, won 7 straight at home and let’s face it, that Week 17 game against the Cowboys shouldn’t really count as a loss! And of course, let’s not forget the current hot streak for the Phillies, who have started off 9-1 at home this season, their best start at home since 1964!
Add to all of this the Super Bowl victory, another National Championship from Villanova and two ArenaBowl titles for the Soul, and you can understand why opposing teams are not exactly thrilled when they have to visit Philadelphia. Philly fans are proud, they’re energized, and they demonstrate what a true home-field advantage can do for its teams. We’ll see if the Soul can deliver once again on Saturday night.