Orlando Apollos
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Orlando Apollos
Orlando Apollos
Established 2018
Folded 2019
Played in Spectrum Stadium
in Orlando, Florida
Orlando Apollos logo
League/conference affiliations
Alliance of American Football (2019)
  • Eastern Conference (2019)
Team colorsNavy blue, dark orange & bright orange
              
Personnel
PresidentMichael P. Waddell
General managerTim Ruskell
Head coachSteve Spurrier
Team history
  • Orlando Apollos (2019)
Championships
League championships (0)
Conference championships (0)
Division championships (0)
Home arena(s)

The Orlando Apollos were a professional American football franchise based in Orlando, Florida, and one of the eight members of the Alliance of American Football (AAF), which began play in February 2019. The team played its home games at Spectrum Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Florida. They were coached by Heisman Trophy winner and former college and National Football League (NFL) head coach Steve Spurrier. NFL front office veteran Tim Ruskell was the general manager and longtime college athletics executive Michael P. Waddell was the team president.

The team's name was inspired by the Greek god Apollo, and his and Florida's connections to the Sun, while the team's colors of orange and navy were tributes to Florida's sunshine and the Apollo program, respectively. The team's helmets depicted Apollo, who commonly pictured as an archer, shooting a bow-and-arrow.[1]

On April 2, 2019, the league's football operations were reportedly suspended,[2][3] and on April 4 the league allowed players to leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams.[4] The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 17, 2019.[5]

History

On April 7, 2018, Orlando was announced as the first Alliance team along with its coach, Steve Spurrier.[6] On September 20, the league announced four inaugural eastern franchises' names and logos including the Orlando Apollos.[1] On December 4, 2018, the team and iHeart Media announced its broadcasting arrangements.[7]

The final 52-man roster was set on January 30, 2019.[8] The team's first game was at home, Spectrum Stadium, against the Atlanta Legends on February 9, 2019, where they won 40-6.[9]

On February 20, 2019, the league announced that due to Florida worker's compensation laws, the Apollos had moved its practices to Camden County High School in Kingsland, Georgia, with players being housed at hotels in Jacksonville, Florida, and commuting to home games in Orlando. The AAF was unable to secure a league-wide insurance plan prior to the start of the season, and while the state of Georgia will arrange worker's compensation insurance for any business, including professional sports where the majority of practices are held in the state, Florida does not classify professional athletes as employees.[10]

The Apollos began play on February 9, winning their first game in blowout fashion, defeating the Atlanta Legends at Spectrum Stadium, 40-6. They would follow the opening win up with another high-scoring effort on the road, defeating the San Antonio Commanders, 37-29. They would win their first five games, and were the AAF's last undefeated team in the inaugural season before losing to the Arizona Hotshots on March 16, 22-17. However, they bounced back the next week by beating the Atlanta Legends, 36-6, to become the first team in the inaugural season to qualify for the playoffs.[11]

After the league's suspension of football operations, head coach Spurrier, by virtue of the team's league-leading record, stated, "we've got to be the champs, right?"[12]FanDuel Sportsbook declared the Apollos "honorary champions", while paying out futures bets placed on all AAF teams.[13]

Personnel

Staff

Allocation pool

The team's assigned area, which designates player rights, includes the following:[14]

Final roster

2019 season

2019 Orlando Apollos season
Head coachSteve Spurrier
General managerTim Ruskell
Home fieldSpectrum Stadium
Results
Record7-1
League place1st, Eastern Conference

Final standings

2019 Alliance of American Football standings
Eastern Conference
Club PCT CONF PF PA DIFF SOS SOV STK
(x) - Orlando Apollos 7-1 .875 5-0 236 136 100 .406 .375 W2
(x) - Birmingham Iron 5-3 .625 3-2 165 133 32 .406 .300 W1
(e) - Memphis Express 2-6 .250 1-4 152 194 -42 .578 .500 L1
(e) - Atlanta Legends 2-6 .250 1-4 88 213 -125 .609 .438 L3
Western Conference
Club PCT CONF PF PA DIFF SOS SOV STK
San Antonio Commanders 5-3 .625 3-2 158 154 4 .516 .450 L1
Arizona Hotshots 5-3 .625 3-2 186 144 42 .469 .500 W3
San Diego Fleet 3-5 .375 2-3 158 161 -3 .469 .417 L3
Salt Lake Stallions 3-5 .375 2-3 135 143 -8 .547 .417 W1
(x)-clinched playoff berth; (e)-eliminated from playoff contention

Schedule

Preseason

Week Day Date Opponent Results Location
Score Record
- Sunday January 27 at San Diego Fleet W 31-28 Alamodome

Regular season

All times Eastern

Week Day Date Kickoff TV Opponent Results Location Attendance
Score Record
1 Saturday February 9 8:00 p.m. CBS Atlanta Legends W 40-6 1-0 Spectrum Stadium 20,191
2 Sunday February 17 4:00 p.m. CBSSN at San Antonio Commanders W 37-29 2-0 Alamodome 29,176
3 Saturday February 23 8:00 p.m. NFLN Memphis Express W 21-17 3-0 Spectrum Stadium 20,394
4 Saturday March 2 8:00 p.m. NFLNdagger at Salt Lake Stallions W 20-11 4-0 Rice-Eccles Stadium 9,302
5 Saturday March 9 2:00 p.m. TNTdagger at Birmingham Iron W 31-14 5-0 Legion Field 13,310
6 Saturday March 16 8:00 p.m. NFLN Arizona Hotshots L 17-22 5-1 Spectrum Stadium 18,358
7 Saturday March 23 2:00 p.m. TNTdagger at Atlanta Legends W 36-6 6-1 Georgia State Stadium 11,416
8 Saturday March 30 2:00 p.m. TNTdagger at Memphis Express W 34-31 7-1 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 12,417
9 Saturday April 6 8:00 p.m. NFLN San Diego Fleet Not played Spectrum Stadium  
10 Sunday April 14 3:30 p.m. CBSSN Birmingham Iron Spectrum Stadium

dagger Changed from original time and/or network.[15][16]
Source:[17]

Postseason

Round Day Date Kickoff TV Opponent Results Location Attendance
Score Record
Semi Sunday April 21 Birmingham Iron Not played Spectrum Stadium  

Game summaries

Week 1: Atlanta

In a light rain, the Orlando Apollos hosted the Atlanta Legends in the first week of the Alliance of American Football. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert threw for 227 yards and two touchdown passes, and caught a touchdown pass. The Apollos dominated the game on both offense and defense. The Orlando defense compiled three sacks, and three interceptions. Terence Garvin had two of the interceptions, the second was returned 5 yards for a touchdown.[19]

Week 2: at San Antonio

With the score tied 29-29 midway through the fourth quarter, Apollos linebacker Keith Reaser intercepted Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside. Reaser returned the ball 39 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Orlando beat San Antonio by the score of 37-29 to improve to 2-0 on the season.[21]

Week 3: Memphis

A defensive battle in the first half, Orlando led Memphis 9-0 at halftime. The Apollos stretched their lead to 15-6 after a 37-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Gilbert to Rannell Hall on a 4th down & 8. Gilbert later ran for a 21-yard touchdown off a run-pass option play to go up 21-9. Though Memphis cut the lead to 21-17, Orlando put the game away with a clock-burning drive all the way to the Memphis 1 yard line. Gilbert took a knee to end the game, and Orlando improved to 3-0.[23]

Week 4: at Salt Lake

On a snowy night in Salt Lake City, Orlando beat the Stallions 20-11 to remain unbeaten. After taking a 6-3 lead at halftime, the Apollos scored two touchdowns in the second half to secure the victory. In the third quarter, quarterback Garrett Gilbert threw a 20-yard touchdown to Donteeya Dye Jr. followed by a 2-point conversion pass from running back D'Ernest Johnson to Sean Price. In the fourth quarter, running back Akeem Hunt scored a 2-yard touchdown run.[25]

Week 5: at Birmingham

Going into the game, Orlando had the best offense in the league, while Birmingham had the best defense. The Apollos, however, beat the Iron handily to improve to 5-0. Orlando put up 468 yards of offense, sacked Birmingham five times, and Keith Reaser made an interception return for a touchdown, his second of the season.[27]

Week 6: Arizona

Orlando suffered their first loss of the season against the Arizona Hotshots. Trailing 22-17 with 55 second remaining, the Apollos fielded a punt, and took over at their own 18 yard line. With no timeouts left, Garrett Gilbert threw a 48-yard pass to a wide open Sean Price. At the Hotshots 34 yard line, Gilbert spiked the ball to stop the clock. He then threw a 26-yard completion to Jalin Marshall to the 8 yard line with less than 10 seconds left in regulation. But as the team was scrambling to line up and spike the ball, the Apollos were penalized for a false start. A ten-second runoff was administered, and the game clock expired.[29]

Week 7: at Atlanta

Garrett Gilbert threw for 217 yards and one touchdown pass as Orlando routed Atlanta by the score of 36-6. With the win, the Apollos improved to 6-1 and became the first team to clinch a playoff berth.[31]

Week 8: at Memphis

Trailing 31-22 with 5 minutes remaining in regulation, Orlando rallied to beat Memphis by the score of 34-31. Garrett Gilbert threw an 18-yard touchdown to Charles Johnson with 4:49 left to trim the score to 31-28. On the ensuing drive, Memphis fumbled away the snap on a punt, giving Orlando the ball inside the 30 yard line. A few plays later, controversy erupted when Express coach Mike Singletary ran out on the field protesting what appeared to be a delay of game that was not called against the Apollos.[33] Singletary received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and the Apollos punched the ball in with a 1 yard touchdown run by De'Veon Smith for the game-winning score. Johnny Manziel started at quarterback for the Express, but left the game in the first quarter after a head injury.[34]

Media

Apollos' games were broadcast on iHeartRadio's Real Radio 104.1 FM with the Apollos' weekly radio show heard Thursdays on WYGM and WJRR HD-2 channel, while a weekday program was heard on a group of thirteen area radio stations.[7] The Apollos also had a weekly TV show every Wednesday night at 11 p.m. on Cox's TV 27. The program, APOLLOS FOOTBALL with Steve Spurrier, allowed fans to get a deeper look at the team, with player features, behind-the-scenes access, and detailed analysis following each game.[35]

References

  1. ^ a b "Central Florida's newly named football team -- the Orlando Apollos -- is ready to blast off on a sun-filled, fun-filled journey". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Kercheval, Ben (April 2, 2019). "AAF operations suspended, league's future in doubt after eight games of first season". cbssports.com. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "AAF to immediately suspend operations". ESPN. April 2, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Nick (April 4, 2019). "AAF star Keith Reaser becomes first player to sign NFL deal after league shutdown". USA Today. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ "AAF files for bankruptcy, officially closes down", USA Today, AP, April 17, 2019, retrieved 2019
  6. ^ Steimle, Kevin; Breech, John (April 7, 2018). "Steve Spurrier announced as first coach and Orlando first host city for Alliance of American Football". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ a b Lundine, Susan (December 4, 2018). "Orlando Apollos pro football team snags radio deal with iHeart Media". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ "Orlando Apollos set final roster". Alliance of American Football. January 30, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Alliance of American Football schedule released for Arizona Hotshots, other 7 teams". AZ Central. USA Today Network. October 16, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Bianchi, Mike (February 20, 2019). "Orlando Apollos will start practicing in Georgia because of Florida workers' compensation laws". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ Florio, Mike (March 24, 2019). "Orlando Apollos clinch AAF playoff berth". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ Regan, Brett (April 3, 2019). "AAF Champs? There's Another Orlando Team Claiming a Football Title". fanbuzz.com. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ Fawkes, Ben (April 4, 2019). "FanDuel to pay out all AAF futures bets for $10K". ESPN. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ Inabinett, Mark (July 12, 2018). "Alabama, Auburn players to go on Birmingham AAF team's assignment list". AL.com. Alabama Media Group. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Florio, Mike (February 25, 2019). "AAF does its first-ever scheduling flex". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "TNT to exclusively televise two additional AAF games". AAF.com. March 6, 2019. Archived from the original on March 7, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "2019 Orlando Apollos Schedule". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ Filipe, Cameron (February 9, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 1, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ Alexander, Tom (February 10, 2019). "Orlando Apollos Dominate Atlanta Legends 40-6 in Inaugural Game, Scored Five Touchdowns". SpaceCoastDaily.com. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ Filipe, Cameron (February 13, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 2, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ Gordon, Grant (February 17, 2019). "Gilbert, Orlando Apollos rally past Commanders in AAF action". NFL.com. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ Filipe, Cameron (February 22, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 3, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ Dunlap, Keith (February 23, 2019). "Apollos move to 3-0 with 21-17 win over Memphis". CkickOrlando.com. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ Filipe, Cameron (February 27, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 4, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ Balzer, Howard (March 3, 2019). "Orlando Apollos Remain Undefeated After Overcoming Snowy Conditions In Salt Lake City". SpaceCoastDaily.com. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ Filipe, Cameron (March 9, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 5, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ "Apollos defense sets tone in win over Iron". Ocala Star Banner. March 9, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  28. ^ Filipe, Cameron (March 14, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 6, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ Alexander, Tom (March 17, 2019). "Orlando Falls to the Arizona Hotshots 22-17 For Apollos' First Loss of Season". SpaceCoastDaily.com. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ Filipe, Cameron (March 21, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 7, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019.
  31. ^ Gordon, Grant (March 23, 2019). "Apollos rebound with rout, clinch postseason berth". NFL.com. Retrieved 2019.
  32. ^ Filipe, Cameron (March 28, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 8, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019.
  33. ^ Giannotto, Mark (March 30, 2019). "Johnny Manziel, Mike Singletary and Steve Spurrier give us the wackiest AAF game yet". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2019.
  34. ^ Maya, Adam (March 30, 2019). "Apollos rally late past Express; Johnny Manziel injured". NFL.com. Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^ Boyce, Christopher (8 February 2019). "Orlando Apollos season kicks off this weekend; WRDQ TV 27 to broadcast 4 games for 2019". WFTV.

Further reading


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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