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as seen on phillyBurbs.com

Here's to football
Bless my Soul, Philly has a new team to root for.

"Did your team win?" the grocery clerk asked when I remarked that the sale on frozen appetizers seemed perfectly timed for the Super Bowl.

That's when I pulled back my jacket to reveal the Eagles logo on my sweater.

"Oh," she replied.

Nothing else needed to be said.

One week later, on the first football-less Sunday in what seems like forever, and I'm still wearing this sweater.

I need help. Serious help.

Thankfully, my brother called last week to see if I was interested in buying tickets to see the new Philly Soul play this year.

"Hell, yeah," I told him.

My ex-partner in Wilkes-Barre does some Web work for the Arena Football League 2 (the lower tier of the league in smaller markets) team there and says it's a real hoot to watch in person.

It may lack the talent of the NFL, the TV contract of the late XFL or even the prestige of the CFL, but at least it's football. Gritty sandlot semi-professional football close to home.

So, while the rest of the world looks forward to seeing Tom Brady and the Patriots square off against Jake Delhomme (How do you pronounce his name?) and the Panthers on Sunday, I'm looking forward to Wednesday.

That's when Jon Bon Jovi's Soul hosts it's first media day and if I can, I'd like to go down to the Wachovia Center and meet the players and coaches.

The Soul quietly kicked off their season last week with a closed scrimmage against the San Jose SaberCats, the team's Web site says. A press release highlights some of the plays run, but says, "as is club policy during the preseason, the official score was not recorded."

After pressing the flesh for two hours, the fledgling football team is set to face the New York Dragons in another closed scrimmage.

Kick off for the Soul's first real game before a paying home crowd is set for Feb. 8th at 3 p.m. against the New Orleans Voodoo.

It may not be the Eagles in Houston battling in the Super Bowl, but at least it's Philly football in February. Something the promises of Andy Reid and Joe Banner have yet to deliver.


Last week's column ("Broken wings, broken dreams") on the Eagles' loss yielded this response from Michael Reeve:

"Keep the faith!  Only a handful of sports fans nationwide feel like you do about your sports teams! We'll get 'em next year."

And vice versa, Michael.

Dave Ralis' Pave The Grass column appears on Mondays. You can send him an e-mail at  or call him at 215-269-5051. To read his previous columns, click here.

Jan. 26, 2004