Thunder QB is well-traveled as of late Apr 26, 2014 13:53:27 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Apr 26, 2014 13:53:27 GMT -8
As the Portland Thunder take the field on April 26 in Jacksonville, Floridans will see a familiar face. A very familiar face.
Just three weeks ago, Kyle Rowley was a Jacksonville Shark. Through a pair of trades, he is the new man at the helm for the Thunder. After spending 2013 with the Orlando Predators, Rowley signed with Jacksonville.
That is where it gets strange. On April 9, Rowley was traded by the Sharks to Orlando. Just five days later, he was traded to Portland for its leading receiver, Jeffrey Solomon. The trade reunited him with Thunder head coach Matthew Sauk, who was his offensive coordinator with the Spokane Shock. The duo led the Shock to the 2010 Arena Football League championship.
Sauk would go on to serve as head coach of the Utah Blaze before being named the Thunder's first head coach last October.
Rowley signed with the Pittsburgh Power in 2012, but never saw any game action. After being released by the Power, he re-signed with Spokane for the remainder of the season. He played just five games for Orlando before being released when they traded for AFL legend Aaron Garcia. That led to the beginnin of this season with Rowley in a Sharks' uniform.
It should be noted that this kind of player movement is very common by AFL standards. Additionally, prior to the 2010 season which paired Sauk and Rowley, the latter had played for multiple AFL and AF2 teams (similar to his coach during his own playing days.).
That leads us to April 26 when Rowley, reunited with his coach, will line up against one of his more recent teams at that team's stadium -- just a scant 17 days after being traded away from that team.
Not only did Rowley lead Spokane to the ArenaBowl XXIII title; he was also the most valuable player. He also was named offensive player of the game of the Arena Cup National Championship (AF2's equivalent of the ArenaBowl) in 2006 in Spokane.
Back in Jacksonville, wearing the visiting team's jersey, Rowley will look to lead the Thunder to their first ever franchise win. At least the surroundings will look familiar to him.