Inside The Arizona Rattlers Locker Room
On the field, the Arizona Rattlers are the Copper State's most successful sports franchise. Last season they finished with a 13-5 record and won a third Arena Bowl, and this season the Rattlers have dominated Western Conference, claiming the number one seed in this year's playoffs.
Despite all their achievements on the gridiron, the Rattlers are much more than just a football team.
It's not uncommon for sports teams to have a little locker room strife, but the Rattlers don't have those issues. In fact, this arena team is extremely close. The Rattlers' players seem to genuinely love playing ball and being around each other.
As the team gears up for another run toward the Arena Bowl, a few players and coaches talked with Jackalope Ranch about how they stay busy (and entertained) off the field. The Rattlers will play the Spokane Shock at US Airways Center August 10 in the National Conference Championship game.
And these guys don't stop hanging out once everyone leaves the locker room. Quarterback Nick Davila, who is having an MVP-caliber year, says his team is big on bonding.
"We get along great and hang out a ton," he says. "Usually, it's a group thing and we're really big into barbecuing. There's always a barbecue going on, and a lot of us have kids so we try and get them involved, too."
As the average player's weight on the team is around 250 pounds it's not surprising that a lot of team activities involve food.
Defensive end Cliff Dukes says, "We'll go out together and do some fun stuff. Everyone loves buffets. With so many big guys on the team buffets are one of our favorite things to do. We can just eat and eat."
Though these guys love food, being in their 20s and 30s, they also like to go around and experience some of the nightlife the Valley has to offer.
"Sometimes we'll go out after a game," Dukes says. "Maybe we'll hit up a few clubs in Scottsdale or an after-party. Majerle's is always a fun place to go. And usually it's the veterans dragging everyone all around town."