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Spokane Shock

Shock to play in AF1 inaugural game

Shock owner Brady Nelson said Arizona could become Spokane's biggest rival (Photo: SWX) Shock owner Brady Nelson said Arizona could become Spokane's biggest rival (Photo: SWX)

Arizona shaping up to be Spokane's biggest rival

SPOKANE, Wash. - New teams.  New rivalries.  Same old monster truck rally-meets-football atmosphere at the Spokane Arena.  The Spokane Shock released their schedule this week for their inaugural season in the AF1.

The first thing fans will notice is the absence of former rivals like the Tri-Cities Fever and others who have moved on to the Indoor Football League (IFL) instead of the new AF1.  Other than that, it's pretty normal - except for the fact that Spokane will be competing against the likes of Arizona, Chicago and Cleveland just to name a few.

The Shock's first game is Fri., April 2 against Milwaukee in Spokane.  It's the first game of the season for anyone in the new league and the only game that night.  The rest of the league opens one day later on Saturday.

"It's an honor to be the the first game and kind of showcase Spokane to the league and all the fans around the country.  It's gonna be cool," said the team's owner Brady Nelson.

The Shock's schedule could work out to their advantage early on the season.  The team will spend three out of the first five weeks at home, including a bye in Week 4.  After opening against Milwaukee, they play at Utah and then return home to play Bossier-Shreveport. After the bye the Shock will host Cleveland and then hit the road to play Arizona.

Spokane will end the regular season at Jacksonville on July 30.

"It's always been important for us to start fast," said Nelson.  "We like our odds at home, so three out of four to start the season at home - that's great.  We feel really comfortable with that.  Plus, it's nice to be in the Arena when the weather is crummy."

The AF1 season runs through July 31, followed by the playoffs and a title game at a date and place to be determined.

Perhaps most interesting about this year's schedule is that Spokane will face seven teams they've never seen before at home.  And the one team the Shock has faced in its af2 days - Tulsa - will likely be completely different than they were last year.

"For a home schedule - Milwaukee, Utah, Arizona, Chicago,  Jacksonville, Orlando - we've got so many big teams we're playing.  It's exciting. To pick which ones will be big right now, definitely our division rivals the Arizona Rattlers and the Utah team, it's gonna be pretty exciting."

And about those Rattlers in Phoenix.  Nelson said they could become Spokane's biggest rivals.  He said recruiters have done their best to steal players away and make Spokane look less than attractive.

"They've done their best to make Spokane look 'not good' to potential recruits... to us and to our players," said Nelson. "I think internally we see them as a pretty big rival and someone who definitely wants to be the big king on the block, but we're not gonna back down.  Just because they've been a team for 15 or 20 years - we think we're going to be the best team this year."

Who will be better - Spokane or Arizona - will be settled this spring on the turf.  They play for the first time May 7 in Phoenix. The second game between the two teams will be in Week 14 - July 2 at Spokane Arena.

2010 Spokane Shock Schedule
Date Opponent Time (PT)
April 2 Milwaukee 7:00 p.m.
April 9 at Utah 6:05 p.m.
April 17 Bossier-Shreveport 7:00 p.m.
April 23 Bye  
May 1 Cleveland 7:00 p.m.
May 7 at Arizona 7:30 p.m.
May 16 at Oklahoma City 12:05 p.m.
May 22 Utah 7:00 p.m.
May 29 Jacksonville 7:00 p.m.
June 4 Bye  
June 12 at Orlando 4:30 p.m.
June 18 Tulsa 7:00 p.m.
June 26 at Milwaukee 5:00 p.m.
July 2 Arizona 7:00 p.m.
July 10 at Cleveland TBD
July 17 at Iowa 5:05 p.m.
July 23 Chicago 7:00 p.m.
July 30 at Jacksonville 4:35 p.m.
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