Arizona puts money where mouth is when it comes to playoffs

PHOENIX -- How confident are the Arizona Rattlers that they'll make the playoffs in 2008? They are offering a money-back guarantee to their season-ticket holders: A trip to the playoffs or a full refund, no strings attached.

"We are putting millions of dollars on the line," said Rattlers managing partner Brett Bouchy. "However, we have full confidence in our new coaching staff, and look forward to returning to the playoffs in 2008."

The campaign, unveiled Tuesday, is unique in the fact that there are no caveats, clauses or fine print. If the Rattlers do not make the playoffs, fans will be refunded 100 percent of the cost of their season tickets by the team -- period.

"It's great that the ownership has that kind of confidence in us," said first-year head coach Kevin Guy. "The guarantee is another sign of our commitment to excellence, and getting this organization headed in the right direction. It should be a very exciting year to be a Rattler fan."

The Rattlers were 4-12 last season and missed the playoffs. They also lost QB Sherdrick Bonner, who's No. 8 on the AFL's 20 greatest players of all-time and passed for 83 TDs to just 13 INTs last year, in free agency to Chicago this offseason. But Arizona added QB Lang Campbell in the league's dispersal draft. Campbell spent one season in Austin, taking over as starter halfway through the year and completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 2,279 yards and 41 touchdowns in eight starts with a 111.78 quarterback rating.

The Rattlers also re-signed OL/DL Wendall Gaines and added OL/DL Eric Thomas, FB/LB Chris Robinson and K Jason Witczak.

"We went into free agency with the idea that we wanted to bring in some players with experience," Guy said. "We feel like we've done that. These players have all been battle-tested, and will provide a great nucleus for this team in 2008 and beyond."