|Date||July 27, 2008|
|Arena||New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana|
|MVP||Matt D'Orazio, QB, Philadelphia|
|Offensive Player of the Game||Chris Jackson, WR, Philadelphia|
|Defensive Player of the Game||Gabe Nyenhuis, DL, Philadelphia|
|Ironman of the Game||Mike Brown, WR/DB, Philadelphia|
|Winning Coach||Bret Munsey|
|Losing Coach||Darren Arbet|
|Announcers||Bob Wischusen, Ray Bentley, Stan Verrett and Marcellus Wiley|
ArenaBowl XXII was played on July 27, 2008 at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana (the host of ArenaBowl XXI). It was the 22nd and final championship game in the history of the original Arena Football League. This was the fourth neutral site ArenaBowl in AFL history and the second ArenaBowl in the state of Louisiana. It was the last ArenaBowl before the AFL's economic suspension, until 2010 when the AFL was reformed, continuing on with ArenaBowl XXIII.
The game was played between the American Conference Champions San Jose SaberCats, who were making their fourth, and second consecutive, appearance in the title game (they have won in all of their previous trips), against the National Conference Champions Philadelphia Soul, who were making their first appearance in the franchise's history in the ArenaBowl.
|1||March 1||Orlando Predators||Home||W 77-56|
|2||March 9||Chicago Rush||Away||W 60-49|
|3||March 16||New York Dragons||Home||W 63-42|
|4||March 20||Los Angeles Avengers||Away||W 71-34|
|5||March 29||Tampa Bay Storm||Home||W 59-51|
|6||April 5||Utah Blaze||Home||W 64-56|
|7||April 12||San Jose SaberCats||Away||W 58-57|
|8||April 21||Columbus Destroyers||Away||W 76-55|
|9||April 28||Dallas Desperados||Home||W 57-28|
|10||May 2||Cleveland Gladiators||Away||L 55-67|
|11||May 12||Georgia Force||Away||L 62-63|
|12||May 17||Columbus Destroyers||Home||W 51-43|
|13||May 22||Kansas City Brigade||Home||L 47-54|
|15||June 7||Dallas Desperados||Away||W 71-64|
|16||June 14||Cleveland Gladiators||Home||W 62-61|
|17||June 22||New York Dragons||Away||W 59-30|
The Soul, along with division rival Dallas, were undefeated at week 9. They preceded to beat them in that week, however when travelling to Cleveland for the following game, they lost their first game of the season. They continued to sputter, dropping two of their last three, however these ultimately were their only three losses on the season. They were the top seed in their conference, clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs until the actual ArenaBowl.
San Jose SaberCatsEdit
|1||March 3||Chicago Rush||Away||L 47-70|
|2||March 10||Grand Rapids Rampage||Away||W 66-58|
|3||March 15||Arizona Rattlers||Home||W 63-43|
|4||March 22||Dallas Desperados||Home||L 56-59|
|5||March 29||Kansas City Brigade||Away||W 44-36|
|6||April 5||New Orleans VooDoo||Away||L 43-72|
|7||April 12||Philadelphia Soul||Home||L 57-58|
|8||April 18||Utah Blaze||Away||W 61-40|
|9||April 26||Los Angeles Avengers||Home||W 70-42|
|10||May 3||Orlando Predators||Away||L 35-61|
|11||May 9||Arizona Rattlers||Away||W 63-42|
|12||May 17||Utah Blaze||Home||W 74-64|
|13||May 24||Colorado Crush||Home||W 59-42|
|14||May 31||Los Angeles Avengers||Away||W 66-56|
|16||June 14||Tampa Bay Storm||Home||W 73-70|
|17||June 21||Georgia Force||Home||W 68-62|
The SaberCats finished the season with a record of 11-5, yet, unlike the Soul, were not undefeated for one week of the season, due to their loss in week one to the Chicago Rush. However after losing four of their first seven games, and five out of their first ten, they continued on to finish with six consecutive wins to have a total of eleven during the season. They finished well enough to have the second best record in the conference, and best in their division. They were the number two seed in the playoffs.
One odd fact noted throughout the playoffs was that both lowest seeded teams making the playoffs won in the first round.
In the playoffs, the Soul first beat the sixth-seeded New York Dragons 48-49 in the Divisional round of the tournament on a controversial call. The Soul appeared to have scored the game-winning touchdown as time expires. The play was reviewed, and even though the replays seemed to indicate a knee down before the ball crossed the goal line, the score was confirmed and the Soul won the game. In the Eastern Conference Championship they proceeded to beat the fourth-seeded Cleveland Gladiators by a score of 35-70.
The SaberCats had a similar playoff schedule. They also had a first-round bye but unlike the Soul, failed to gain home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They beat the fifth-seeded Colorado Crush (51-64) in the Divisional round and the sixth-seeded Grand Rapids Rampage (55-81), who previously beat top-seeded Chicago Rush, in the Western Conference Championship.
Philadelphia defeated San Jose 59-56, and Soul quarterback Matt D'Orazio was named the Mitsubishi Motors ArenaBowl XXII MVP.