Sunday, June 11, 2006

Arena League Championship game Sunday at 3pm, Orlando vs Chicago

I realize some of you maybe wondering, why on earth are you writing about the Arena League Championship game? Well the reason isn't because I'm a big fan of players wishing to be in the NFL or the fact that it's the only football being played, nope, it's because one of the Lowcountry's very own is playing in this game. Berkley county product and Macedonia High grad, Joe Hamilton, is playing for the Orlando Predators. He's not only playing for them but leading them into this game as their starting QB.

In case you're from another state and not familiar with his name, let me give you some info on him. After a stellar career at Macedonia High he went to Georgia Tech where he led the Yellow Jackets to 3 straight bowl games and finished his career as the ACC leader in total offense and finished 2nd to Ron Dayne for the Heisman Trophy. He was taken in the 7th round of the 2000 Draft by Tampa Bay. He would remain with the team as they won the SuperBowl in 2002 though he didn't play due to an injury. He was released the next year and had no interest from other NFL teams so he signed with the Orlando Predators of the AFL. Orlando's coach is Jay Gruden, the brother of Tampa Bay coach John Gruden. After one very successful season there he was signed to the Indianapolis Colts to backup Manning but was subsiquently released after three games and again signed with Orlando. Does he sound somewhat familiar to you now?

Well to make a long story short, which maybe too late now, he has a chance to be the only quarterback to win both a SuperBowl and Arena League Championship. So far through his 3 year AFL career he has thrown for 9,823 yards, including a career high of 3,670 this year, 181 TDs with only 35 ints.

From the tiny town of Alvin, SC to the big city of Orlando, Joe Hamilton has become a star. He even has a billboard with his picture on it. In Orlando, the Predators are the biggest sports attraction, even over the NBA Magic. They draw an avg of 13,ooo people to home games with twice as many season ticket holders as the Magic. Thus he has become one of Orlando's most recognizable faces.

So come Sunday at 3pm, turn your tv dials to NBC to see the local product on the biggest stage of his career. Good luck Joe and keep representing the lowcountry well.


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