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Parade celebrates Arizona Rattlers’ third straight AFL championship

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PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton helped the Arizona Rattlers celebrate their third straight Arena Football League championship Wednesday.

“The plan was never to repeat, never to three-peat,” said Kevin Guy, who coached the team to a 15-3 regular season record. “The plan was to win the championship every year.”

The Rattlers trounced the Cleveland Gators 72-32 in Saturday’s ArenaBowl, played in Cleveland.

Franchise majority owner Ron Shurts said he didn’t buy into the talk of destiny vs. dynasty that preceded the game.

“There wasn’t one time this year you heard three-peat or dynasty from my mouth,” he said. “It is now a three-peat and a dynasty.”

Scores of fans turned out for the celebration.

“It’s nice to see them finally getting the respect they deserve,” said Nancy Thomason of Phoenix.

The Rattlers’ margin of victory was the widest in AFL championship history. The team also claimed the second-highest total point score for ArenaBowl history.

Joining the party at US Airways Center, Stanton said the team’s success was a community effort.

“Having great fans helps you repeat, but you can’t do it without the best players in arena football,” he said.

Founded in 1992 with the league, the Rattlers have won five AFL championships and reached the ArenaBowl nine times.

Gov. Jan Brewer said the Rattlers give her bragging rights as she travels the country.

“They’ve brought pride, spirit, leadership and glory to our state,” she said.