It's an unusual year in the Valley when not one of its four so-called major sports franchises enjoys even modest success. But while neither the Suns, D-Backs, Coyotes, nor Cardinals (as usual) could muster more wins than losses in the past 12 months, the Arizona Rattlers made their case to reign supreme over the hearts and minds of Phoenix sports fans.
The Rattlers could have thrown in the towel back in April, when they were toiling away in the bottom of the Arena Football League standings at a dreadful 3-5 -- with one of the toughest schedules remaining of any AFL team. Instead, Hunkie Cooper (who broke 20,000 career all-purpose yards), Sherdrick Bonner and sackmaster Bryan Henderson led the Rattlers on a 10-game winning streak, achieving what was once impossible by claiming the division title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. And no, not even a third straight ArenaBowl loss could sour such a feat.
Readers' Choice: Arizona Diamondbacks