San Antonio Talons
|San Antonio Talons|
Play in in Alamodome
in San Antonio, Texas
Black, blue, white
|Owner(s)||Arena Football League|
|Head coach||Lee Johnson|
League championships (2)
|Conference championships (2)
2003, 2007, 2010
Division championships (10)
|Playoff appearances (12)|
The San Antonio Talons are a professional arena football team based in San Antonio, Texas. They currently play in the Arena Football League (AFL). Their home arena is the Alamodome, following their relocation to San Antonio for the 2012 season.
The team was founded in 2000 as the Tulsa Talons of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a charter member of the AFL's defunct developmental league, af2. The Talons played in the af2 for ten seasons, and joined the Arena Football League in 2010 following its reorganization. After the 2011 season the team announced they would relocate to San Antonio. The Talons have won ArenaCup championships in 2003 and 2007, won eight af2 division championships, one AFL division championship, and made a total of eleven playoff appearances.
- 1 History
- 2 Rivalries
- 3 Logos
- 4 Notable players
- 5 Notable coaches
- 6 Season-by-season
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Talons began in 2000 in Tulsa, Oklahoma as the Tulsa Talons, a charter member of the now-defunct minor league of Arena football Arena Football 2, also known as af2. In 2009 the Talons moved from their original home field at Tulsa Convention Center to the new 18,041 seat arena called the BOK Center.
In terms of victories and championships, the Talons were a successful af2 franchise. The Talons had more wins than any other team in af2 history. The Talons were the first af2 franchise to reach 100 overall franchise victories. During the existence of the league, the Talons did not have a losing season and appeared in all ten af2 playoffs. Also, the Tulsa Talons won two af2 championships, known as the ArenaCup, in the last eight years of the league. The Talons are also the team with the longest streak of consecutive seasons in the AFL system.
Former Head Coach Mitch Allner is the only person in af2 history to win a championship as both player and head coach. In 2004 the Talons were sold to a group led by Henry Primeaux, the owners of automobile dealerships in Oklahoma, and Paul Ross, an investor. In 2009 three new owners were added to the group.
Transition to AFL
In 2010, some af2 teams joined with a handful of AFL teams which had remained in operation after the cancellation of the 2009 season formed a new league that was to be named AF1. The Talons moved from the af2 and joined the league, which became the highest level of indoor American football. However, the league soon decided to use the former Arena Football League name rather than AF1.
Move to San Antonio
On September 21, 2011, Talons chairman Paul Ross announced the team was moving to San Antonio due to less than desirable attendance and ticket sales. The team was purchased by a group led by California businessman Jason Lohe and the Talons were introduced to the city of San Antonio on September 27, 2011. Despite AFL tradition to adopt previous AFL team names and identities for new teams in previous markets, the Talons chose to keep their nickname and not adopt the identity of the long-defunct San Antonio Force, due in part to the preexistence of the Georgia Force (a similar issue forced the Pittsburgh Power to adopt its current name instead of the Gladiators). In March 2012, Lynd Sports LLC, became a partial owner of the Talons.  Just days later, Lohe was forced to return to California with family issues, and David Lynd became the principal owner of the franchise. The Talons then made a big play in free agency by signing veteran quarterback Aaron Garcia, who was fresh off of leading the Jacksonville Sharks to their first ever ArenaBowl victory.
In December 2013, Lynd was sued for breach of contract when his real estate company (Lynd Company) failed to follow through on a 1.7 million dollar purchase. On January 9, 2014, it was reported that the league had seized control of the franchise, and began immediately looking for new ownership.
San Jose Sabercats
The Talons-Sabercats feud did begin with a classic game, but for all the bad reasons. On February 26th 2012, the Talons and Sabercats met at the Alamodome for the first scrimmage in Talons history. In what as become known in the organization as “The Scrimmage”, with the game tied at 34 and only 34.2 seconds left, a mid-field brawl broke out. 5 players were ejected and tempers flared. Just as the Talons got the ball back for the winning field goal, San Jose coach Darren Arbet pulled his team into the locker room, ending the game in a 34–34 tie. Thus, the Talons-Sabercats rivalry was born.
The two teams would meet again in San Jose in April. The Sabercats demolished the Talons 76–53 and afterwords Talons coach Lee Johnson said “This is personal”. The Talons got mad, and so the next time they met, it was no contest, with the Talons winning 72–47 at the Alamodome. Near the end of the game, another brawl broke out, but there was no such repeat of “The Scrimmage”. This past offseason, tempers flared between the two teams. In November, Talons quarterback Aaron Garcia signed a 2 year deal with the Sabercats, after saying he would retire a Talon and lead the Talons to a championship. He is now referred to as the biggest traitor in San Antonio since Avery Johnson. Moments later, fans were seen burning no.8 Talons jerseys. If that wasn’t enough, San Jose also took former Talons wide receiver Jason Willis, as well as former Talons corner-back Kenneth Foementte. For payback, the Talons signed Sabercats defensive lineman and 2012 defensive lineman and player of the year, Joe Sykes. Ironiclly, the 2 teams would meet in the season opener at the Alamodome. The underdog Sabercats scored late and thanks to a goal-line stand, and 264 yards from Garcia, the Sabercats won 47–42. The 2 teams faced again in July 2013. San Jose jumped out of the gate early and blitzed San Antonio 62–35.
As of 2013, the Sabercats lead the all time series 3–1–1.
The San Antonio Talons-Utah Blaze rivalry carries over from the success of the 2 city’s, both are small market towns and are very successful in what they do. For years, the only rivalry between the two towns was the Spurs and the Jazz. Beginning in 1992, the San Antonio Force left town and Arena Football was not in San Antonio for 20 years. Utah did not have a team until 2006, but the Blaze were the team that started playing first. In September 2011, the Tulsa Talons left town and moved to San Antonio to become the San Antonio Talons. They signed quarterback Aaron Garcia and wide receiver Jomo Wilson. In a back and forth game at the Alamodome, the Talons knocked off Utah 54–48 in the first game in San Antonio Talons history. The Blaze struggled during the season, going 9–9 while the Talons went 14–4. The Talons also won another game against the Blaze that year 64–61. This made Blaze fans mad, and made them hate the Talons even more. In the 2012 Arena Football League Playoffs, the 16.5 point favorite Talons hosted the Blaze in the Divisional Playoffs. The Blaze needed a late goal line stand to pull off a stunning 35–34 upset win over the Talons at the Alamodome.
In the 2013 off season, things in this rivalry intensified. The Talons, having just lost Aaron Garcia to the arch-rival Sabercats, offered Blaze quarterback Tommy Grady a contract. But as usual, he refused, resigning with the Blaze. On June 3rd, 2013, the 4–5 Talons hosted the 4–5 Blaze in the first Monday Night Football game in Talons history. The Talons forced 5 turnovers and stopped the Blaze on a two point conversion to seal a 42–41 Talons victory. This turned out to be the final game in the rivalries history. On September 5th, 2013, the Utah Blaze announced they would not return to the Arena Football League, bringing the rivalry to an end.
In 4 all time meetings, the Talons won the series 3–1, with the Blaze holding a 1–0 lead in the playoffs.
Phoenicians can’t stand San Antonio, so when it was announced the Tulsa Talons would be moving from Oklahoma to San Antonio, a rivalry automatically was born. The Talons-Rattlers rivalry also carries over from an NBA grudge-match: Spurs-Suns. Like that rivalry, this one has also lived up to its billing. When the Talons began playing in the Alamodome, the Rattlers were the defending National Conference champions, coming off a heartbreaking loss in ArenaBowl XXIV. So it was no surprise the Talons would have to beat Arizona in order to win the National Conference. In their 1st meeting; in Phoenix, the Rattlers won 68–34, leading 26–7 at halftime. In week 18, the 13–3 Talons met the 12–4 Rattlers in a battle for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Talons rallied from 48–35 down at halftime to win 62–61.
But in the end, this meant nothing as the Talons lost in the 1st round to Utah, while Arizona upset Philadelphia in ArenaBowl XXV. In their 1st match-up of 2013; in Phoenix, the Rattlers killed the Talons 83–40. The 43 point loss was the worst in Talons franchise history and is the most points the Rattlers have ever scored at home. The Talons finished winning 9 of 14 since then. Anthoer factor to this rivalry is that in the 2012 showdown at the Alamodome, there seemed to be more Rattlers fans there then Talons fans, creating a Spurs-Lakers buzz in the dome. This was shown in their 2013 meeting in the Alamodome. The Rattlers went up 35–0 in the second quarter and held on to win 70–21 in front of more a more Rattler fan then Talon fan crowd at the Alamodome. As of 2013, the Rattlers lead the series 3–1.
San Antonio Talons roster
Refuse to report
Other league exempt
Rookies in italics
The following Talons players have been named to All-Arena Teams:
- FB Odie Armstrong
- WR Donovan Morgan
- DL Gabe Nyenhuis, Victor DeGrate, Tim McGill, Joe Sykes
- LB Steve Watson, Jamar Ransom (2)
- DB J. C. Neal, Fred Shaw
The following Talons players have been named to All-Ironman Teams:
- WR/KR Jeff Hughley
Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2013 Arena Football League season.
|San Antonio Talons staff|
- "Talons sold to group of local investors". www.oursports central.com. OurSport Central. March 23, 2004. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- Mike Brown (May 7, 2009). "Talons add owner, look to become af2's home". www.tulsaworld.com. Tulsa World. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Arena Football 1 to launch in 2010". www.espn.go.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. October 10, 2009. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- Charlie Hannema (September 21, 2011). "Tulsa Talons Moving To San Antonio". www.newson6.com. World Now. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- W. Scott Bailey (March 2, 2012). "Local real estate firm Lynd unveils sports-business unit". www.bizjournals.com. American City Business Journals. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- Richard Oliver (March 9, 2012). "With strike in place, new Talons team may play today". www.mysanantonio.com. The Hearst Corporation. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- Eric R. Ivie. "San Antonio Talons sign Aaron Garcia, Robert Quiroga". www.sports.yahoo.com. Yahoo!. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- Joe Conger (December 10, 2013). "SA Talons owner sued for breach of contract". www.kens5.com. KENS 5-TV, Inc. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- Patrick Danner (January 9, 2014). "Arena Football League takes over Talons". www.expressnews.com. The Hearst Corporation. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
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