SaberCats Bring Back Winning Ways
By: Eric Thurow
San Jose's 9th Man
San Jose (March 12, 2011) - The 2011 Arena Football League began its season on Friday night. The main game taking place was between the defending ArenaBowl Champion Spokane Shock and the 3-time ArenaBowl Champion San Jose SaberCats (who've been on a 2-year hiatus). It was approximately 2 and a half years ago for when the SaberCats last took the field and was dealt a short hand at ArenaBowl XXII in New Orleans.
There was much anticipated chatter amongst both Shock fans and SaberCats fans once it was made official that the SaberCats were returning and that the Shock had won ArenaBowl XXIII.
The reunion of the SaberCats fans was in full reaction as people were reaquainting themselves outside of the Cats Lair awaiting while the doors were to open. Upon the opening of the arena's doors, fans were given a special t-shirt with the SaberCats logo and "The Cats Are Back" written on the back.
The SaberCats made their return official by starting the game with a bang. And not just from the fireworks that took place during the team's introduction. But opening the game with a 25-yd pass QB Mark Grieb to WR Rodney Wright for a quick touchdown. Then only after a couple of plays on defense, the SaberCats would pick off Spokane's QB Rowley, who whould end the night with 3 INTs.
Future AFL Hall of Famer QB Mark Grieb expected to be rusty for his first game, however this was far from the truth. Grieb continued right where he left off from the last game played, ArenaBowl XXII. He completed 21 of 25 passes for 222 yards and 6 TDs.
With a 48-27 lead at halftime, the SaberCats never looked back. The weak spots in the game for San Jose was one missed PAT and one kick off returned for a touchdown. Other than those two, San Jose was on point like they never were gone.
Up next for the San Jose SaberCats, hosting the returning Kansas City Command formerly the Brigade at the HP Pavilion at San Jose on Friday, March 18 at 7:30pm. While the defending ArenaBowl XXIII Champion Spokane Shock head home for their opener hosting the Cleveland Gladiators on Saturday, March 19 at 7:00pm.