As we’ve mentioned on other pages, the original Nashville Kats team went down to Georgia. How did this occur, thoughwere they following the devil’s call? Hardly. Atlanta businessman Virgil Williams purchased the franchise for almost 10 million in December 2001. When the team’s owners couldn’t negotiate a lease with the Nashville Predators to remain in their arena, Williams moved the team to Georgia and applied the Georgia Force moniker. The actual name was chosen by Georgian Anthony Ward through a contest held by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.Williams ran the team for three years. The Force played its first season in 2002, housed in Philips Arena. The arena, which is located in downtown Atlanta, has historically been the home of the NBA Atlanta Hawks and the NHL Atlanta Thrashers. In 2003, the Force moved to the Arena at Gwinnett Center, located in Duluth, and stayed there for two seasons, making it to the playoffs in 2003. When Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank purchased the franchise in 2004, he announced that the team would return to Philips Arena, but the team moved back to the Gwinnett Center in 2008. If this all sounds confusing, consider that the Nashville Kats also played at a number of stadiums in Nashville, but they were mostly all different names for the current Bridgestone Arena.Unfortunately, when the Arena Football League canceled the 2009 season, the Georgia Force also disbanded. However, in 2011, the Alabama Vipers (originally the Tennessee Valley Vipers) will relocate to Georgia and take on the role of the original Force.Quick Facts:Coaches: Robert Lyles (2002); Marty Lowe (2002-2004); Bob Kronenberg (2004); Doug Plank (2005-2008)Mascot: G-Force (original): “a high-tech runner”; Blu (final): a cartoon monsterPlayers: Xavier Beitia, Troy Bergeron, Dialleo Burks, Nate Coggins, Markeith Cooper, Dan Curran, Kevan Gaines, Jason Gamble, Nelson Garner, Willie Gary, Adam Gibbs, Chris Greisen, Chris Jackson, Darryl Hammond, Derek Lee, Bruce McClure, Scottie Montgomery, Earthwind Moreland, Carl Morris, Dary Myricks, Matt Nagy, Jermaine Smith, Eric ZeierSeasons (W-L):2002: 6-82003: 8-82004: 7-92005: 11-52006: 8-82007: 14-22008: 10-6
November 18, 2010
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