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Colorado and Chicago clash as Arena Football League's 20th season kicks off

January 25, 2006 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) News Release

NEW YORK - The AFL on NBC kicks off its fourth season on Sunday, January 29, with three regional games at 3 p.m. ET.

The defending ArenaBowl champion Colorado Crush and co-owner JOHN ELWAY begin their title defense by hosting the Chicago Rush and co-owner MIKE DITKA in a re-match of last years American Conference Final on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. Former Coach of the Year and ArenaBowl XIII and XIX championship head coach MIKE DAILEY led the Crush to the ArenaBowl championship last season. The Crush were led by the play of OS DAMIAN HARRELL (122 receptions, 1,486 YDS and 41 TDs) and QB JOHN DUTTON (4,143 YDS, 89 TDs and 14 INTs).

Philadelphia's new head coach BRET MUNSEY hopes QB TONY GRAZIANI (4,262 YDS, 90 TDs and 15 INTs) can lead the Soul to the playoffs this year. The Soul begin their season by hosting the Tampa Bay Storm, Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. The Storm are coached by AFL Hall of Famer TIM MARCUM. QB SHANE STAFFORD (4,522 YDS, 83 TDs and 14 INTs) leads the AFL's most storied franchise as he throws to a now healthy FREDDIE SOLOMON (66 receptions, 849 YDS and 16 TDs).

The defending Western Division champion Los Angeles Avengers look to make their fifth consecutive playoff appearance in 2006, led by offensive mastermind head coach ED HODGKISS. Hodgkiss returns leading WR KEVIN INGRAM (88 receptions, 1,052 YDS and 23 TDs) but will be breaking in new QB BRIAN MANN as the Los Angeles Avengers host the Arizona Rattlers this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

The Drive to ArenaBowl XX Las Vegas begins with all 18 teams seeing action in Week 1 of the Arena Football League's 20th regular-season schedule.

The 2006 season begins with the Austin Wranglers hosting the Las Vegas Gladiators at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday, January 27, and culminates with the NBC broadcast of ArenaBowl XX Las Vegas on Sunday, June 11.

AFL Hall of Famer and former head coach of the Arizona Rattlers DANNY WHITE takes control as the head coach of the expansion Utah Blaze as they travel to San Jose to take on the SaberCats on Saturday night. The AFL's newest franchise, the Kansas City Brigade, led by QB ANDY KELLY, kick off their season against the Dallas Desperados on Sunday.

This week's games include: Las Vegas at Austin (FSN Southwest, FSN West) on Friday; Orlando at Georgia (CCS), Nashville at New York (UPN 30, AFL NET) and Utah at San Jose (FSN Utah, FSN Bay Area) on Saturday; Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (NBC), Arizona at Los Angeles (NBC), Chicago at Colorado (NBC), Kansas City at Dallas (WB Kansas City/Metro), and Grand Rapids at Columbus on Sunday.

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from January 25, 2006

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