PHILADELPHIA has earned its reputation for having some of the most ruthless fans in sports. Hey, J.D., watch out for that Duracell.
In the arena league, though, that dishonor seems to belong to the Spokane franchise. The Shock has been around in the AFL only since 2010, but apparently a trip there is like wearing a Cowboys jersey in the old 700 level for a Monday nighter in December.
"I've never been to Seattle [for a Seahawks game], but I would compare it to that in the outdoor game," said Soul coach Clint Dolezel, offering an alternative. "Their fans are unbelievably ridiculous in the comments they make to you. They pull no punches. They're going to say everything unimaginable to you, no matter how inappropriate. It'll be a packed arena, and it will be unreal. I can't express enough to these guys how crazy it will be."
The Soul plays at Spokane tomorrow (10 p.m., ESPN3), and are 0-2 out there all-time. They were to leave at 8 o'clock this morning, lay over in Denver for an hour or so and get to the eastern Washington town around 1 p.m. Pacific time. Yuck.
"That's on our guys to prepare for that," quarterback Dan Raudabaugh said. "Get a long rest, hydrate - because being on a plane can make you a little sore. But we hit the weight room this week and are physically ready."
The Soul already had an adventure in its Week 1 victory at Orlando when kicker Carlos Martinez was injured early on. They signed Tommy Frevert to take his place.
"Losing the kicker after his first kick? Really?" Dolezel said yesterday, still exasperated. "If I never have to go through that again, it would be great."
Who: Soul (1-0) at Spokane (0-1)
When: Saturday, 10 p.m.
Where: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena (14,000).
On the Web: ESPN3, Soul.ArenaFootball.com/AllAccess
About the Soul: Started the season 1-0 for the first time since 2012 ... Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh passed for 422 yards and eight touchdowns last week to earn the league's offensive player of the week. He's now at 404 career TD passes, passing current Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden for 14th all-time.
About the Shock: Lost to Arizona last week and also lost starting quarterback Carson Coffman for a month to a knee injury. His sub, Jarrett Brown, was the QB at West Virginia between Pat White and Geno Smith.
Up next: The Soul will host Jacksonville in the home opener on Sunday, April 12.