20 Years Later, Albany Celebrates Another ArenaBowl Title
With more than 12,000 people filling the Times Union Center on Sunday night, the Albany Empire offense continued to click and the defense proved to be impenetrable by Arena Football League standards. Twenty years after Touchdown Eddie Brown and company captured the ArenaBowl in what was the Pepsi Arena, the Empire brought a championship back to downtown Albany. From the start of the second quarter to the final whistle, the second year franchise controlled the game and beat the Philadelphia Soul, 45-27.
In their four game winning streak going into ArenaBowl 32, the Empire defense held opponents to an average of 23 points per game while Tommy Grady and the offense steamrolled the competition. Rinse and repeat on Sunday against the Philadelphia Soul. Grady, the 2019 AFL MVP and first player in league history to win that award in consecutive seasons, threw five touchdown passes and was named the ArenaBowl MVP. At 34 years old, it's Grady's first championship.
The AFL is expected to announce the expansion of the league with at least two new teams next and perhaps as many as four. Multiple AFL veteran players on this Empire team won their first championship this season and now the recruiting process begins again for a team that will be looking to repeat as champs after fulfilling the "Unfinished Business" it chased in 2019.