The Soul won its second consecutive Arena Bowl on Sunday, and today the city of Philadelphia held a celebration for the champs. Sure, the Soul won a league that currently includes just five teams. But who cares! Part-owner Cosmo DeNicola said at today’s rally that Philadelphia is now “Titletown U.S.A.”—the Soul have won three titles in eight seasons—and I don’t see any evidence to the contrary.
A few hundred fans and bored office workers gathered in the City Hall courtyard for Philadelphia Soul Day, and they got a show. The team’s Blues Brothers-esque mascot was there. The team’s 13(!) owners were there. The mayor couldn’t make it, so we booed him.
And Soul defensive back LaRico Stevenson instantly became my favorite player when he got on the microphone and said: “For the fans who didn’t get a chance to come watch the game: If y’all meet me in the back, I got VHSes—no DVDs—on sale for $7.99. Seven-ninety-nine. Also, I got a discount for y’all for a dollar-fifty at Golden Corral if you want to meet me in the back.”
But the primary highlight of the day was a typically incredible speech from Soul majority owner and Philadelphia-area golf course owner and pitchman Ron Jaworski, who was simply hot about the team’s television ratings for Arena Bowl XXX on Saturday.
You helped us win another world championship. And our viewing audience on the game televised locally here in Philadelphia had more viewers than the National Football League game that we were up against. More viewers in Philadelphia watched the Soul than an NFL football game. So don’t tell me people don’t care about the Philadelphia Soul! They care! And these guys win! And they win for you!
And we will continue to win, build our fanbase, bring back championships for you because you deserve it. The City of Philadelphia deserves it. Once again, we will get it done for you!
That NFL game on Saturday, incidentally, was the lowest-rated NFL game since 2004. Go Soul!