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Guarantee is an Expectation for Guy


Guarantee is an Expectation for Guy

By Andy Lopusnak,

March 15, 2008


Two-point-two million dollars is more money than the Arizona Rattlers will pay for their entire roster this season, but if the team fails to reach the playoffs for a second-straight season that’s how much the Rattlers will be giving back to each and everyone of their season ticket holders. That’s a lot of pressure for anyone taking over a team that was 4-12, lost its mega-star quarterback to free agency and had new ownership.


Enter Kevin Guy, who spent the past two years in San Jose where he turned the SaberCats defensive unit into one of the best last season en route to an ArenaBowl title. He helped recruit 14 players on last year’s championship team as well as his replacement, Jeff Jarnigan. With the last three AFL Coach of the Year winners being defensive minded (Georgia’s Doug Plank in 2005, 2007 and Dallas’ Will McClay in 2006) and Guy’s production with the SaberCats, it was clear that Arizona found the perfect “Guy” to lead the Rattlers back to their glory years.


From 1992-2004, the Arizona Rattlers were among the league’s elite. The team had won two ArenaBowl championships in the 1990s and lost in three more from 2002-04, but had fallen on hard times ever since first head coach Danny White left the Phoenix sun for the Salt Lake Valley after the 2004 season. Last year, the once mighty Rattlers slithered to a measly 4-12 record. Guy is the third Arizona head coach in the last four seasons.


When asked if the guarantee added any extra pressure to his first year as an AFL head coach, Guy nonchalantly said “no, not really.”


Everyone is talking about the guarantee, but I haven’t given it too much thought because I plan and expect to be in the playoffs, so it isn’t something I think about every day. When I put my name on the job that was enough pressure itself! No one is more critical of me than me.”


Tonight, Guy returns to San Jose for the first time since he helped the SaberCats to an ArenaBowl XXI victory last summer and jokingly said he would have stayed in California but “the taxes were killing me.”


Guy has a daunting task tonight his former team. The Rattlers are attempting to be just the third team in AFL history to beat the defending champions on the night they unveiled the championship banner. However, Guy is no stranger to ruining the celebration. In 2001 when Guy was the defensive coordinator of the Florida Bobcats shook up the Jungle when the Predators dropped their second championship banner. The other loss in league annuals by a defending champ on their home opener was the 1994 when the ArenaBowl VII champion Tampa Bay Storm lost the Charlotte Rage.


“We can only control what we can do on offense, defense and special teams. We must focus on us and doing our best and we’ll have success. San Jose’s a great team. I have a lot of friends there and I’m glad we get to play them the night they drop the banner.”


Guy will receive his championship ring during his trip to Silicon Valley. “I know the players want to see (the ring), but I’m not a flashy guy and won’t be flaunting it around. My goal is to get another one and bring the ArenaBowl trophy to Phoenix.”


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