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Raudabaugh mistakes don't mar entrance into 500 club

Dan Ryan
Sunday July 19, 2015

Even if the fourth quarter had gone well, there wouldn’t be any champagne popping in the Philadelphia Soul locker room for Dan Raudabaugh’s 500th touchdown pass Saturday night.

The Soul punted away [Yeah, I used punted in an arena football story. Gotta break some ground.] a road win as Jacksonville used a couple of Greg Reid picks – one for a TD - to take a 74-67 victory and keep the remainder of the season somewhat meaningful for everyone in the American Conference except for New Orleans.

Raudabaugh became the 11th member of the 500 TD club with a second quarter score to Ryan McDaniel. The tweets went out. Yay. The history lesson comes later.

Philly had the two-score lead and was managing the scorefest you’d expect when him and Tommy Grady – the league’s two best QBs not named Davila – are on the field. Then it went south the final eight minutes.

Raudabaugh’s greatest trait as a starter is that he’s able to overcome his mistakes. That first pick was more Reid showing why he should at least be on an NFL training camp roster. The second brought all the the mistakes the Soul made that don’t make the breakdown  – the missed PATs and field goals, the touchdowns that SHOULD have been scored, the blown assignment – that gave Jacksonville a chance to win this thing.

“That’s arena football – you can’t make a mistake, especially on the road, and you can’t let them have momentum,” said Soul coach Clint Dolezel afterwards. “Things add up.”

“I put us in a bad position,” admitted Raudabaugh, who I have to give to credit for one of the most cordial interviews after blowing a two-touchdown lead. “We gave them the extra opportunity.”

Now, let’s put touchdown #500 in perspective.

The all-time leader? Aaron Garcia with eight million (1,336 actually). Davilla and his three rings are somewhere in the 640s. Grady’s in the 590s.

You know Jay Gruden – THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME AND DON’T ARGUE WITH ME BECAUSE YOU KNOW I’M RIGHT --  only had 398 touchdown passes in his legendary career? But he had four rings and now is coaching the Washington Redskins and being parodied on South Park. That’s right – Gruden. GOAT.

Kurt Warner? 183 touchdown passes. 0-2 in the Arena Bowl. Super Bowl ring, though. Just sayin’.

The slightly more popular outdoor version? Two have broken the 500 plateau – Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. They’re decent.

You could do the math – 18 game season, 5-6 TD a game. Stay healthy. Have a great line and receivers – of course, Raudabaugh praised both – and have Dolezal as a mentor, this was never a question, or that big a deal.

“It’s what we do,” Dolezel said about the historical stats. “

You look back at something like this. When I was playing, it was like a halfway point for me [Dolezel’s second all-time with 931.]  “I’m still learning this game,” Raudabaugh said. “It is pretty cool to get 500, and it goes to the line and receivers making plays.”

“Dan’s a great quarterback and getting better and better each year,” Grady said. “It’s always tough to play him because you know you’re going to have put up some points.”

Dan Ryan has been involved with all forms of arena football since 1988, including writing for ArenaFan when Joe Kauffman and Tim Capper aren’t killing his columns because they don’t get his jokes or perspective. His day job is at Bethune-Cookman University, which has produced both an NFL Hall of Famer (Larry Little) and an Arena Football Hall of Famer (Stevie Thomas) and his hobby is tracking how many f-bombs Adam Markowitz drops in the chat room on game nights.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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