The Arizona Rattlers played their best game of the season last week in defeating playoff hopeful Chicago.
Now, they play rival San Jose tonight in Arizona’s home finale — and still, nothing is at stake.
That’s what happens when you stumble to a 5-9 record, which is where the Rattlers stand with two games left.
"It has really put a bad taste in my mouth," coach Todd Shell said. "You are finishing up the season but you are almost wishing it was (already) next year.
"Normally this has always been a game for all the marbles. But it is still San Jose. It’s a rivalry, we don’t like them, they don’t like us and there are no ifs, ands or buts."
The SaberCats, who last played at America West Arena when they beat the Rattlers in the 2004 Arena-Bowl, whipped Arizona, 48-27, earlier this season in San Jose.
The Rattlers could cripple the SaberCats’ playoff hopes with a win today. That may be the best motivation, especially with the possibility swirling that the Rattlers might fold if a new owner isn’t found in the offseason.
"We just have to shove it in the back(ground)," receiver Randy Gatewood said. "We always get motivated for San Jose and they always get motivated for us.
"Once this season is complete 100 percent, then we’ll start worrying about the offseason and whether or not we’ll have jobs around here next year."
EXTRA POINT: Spooner Physical Therapy will be conducting the 50/50 Raffle tonight, with the proceeds going to Bailey Brenner, the daughter of kicker Anthony Brenner. Bailey suffers from a neurological disorder causing frequent seizures. Spooner will also be taking donations at the table for Bailey.
SaberCats at Rattlers
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: America West Arena
Radio: ESPN (860 AM)