In the history of arena football, there is no name more synonymous to success in Albany, New York, than Eddie Brown.

Brown, or "Touchdown" Eddie Brown as he was known during his career, played every snap of his AFL career for the same team: the Albany Firebirds. Even when the team moved from the Capital Region out to Indiana, Brown remained with them, retiring after the 2003 season.

Eddie Brown during his playing career (YouTube / Alejandro Wick)
Eddie Brown during his playing career (YouTube / Alejandro Wick)
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Brown was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2011, and continues to hold largely unbreakable records within indoor football leagues. Simply put, he was as dominant as any player has ever been in indoor football.

Not only that, but he has a son, who has carried on his legacy on the gridiron in the National Football League. Back in 2018, Touchdown Brown and his son, Antonio, descended upon the Capital Region, to rule the Times Union Center as a duo one more time.

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On August 11, 2019, the Albany Empire readied themselves for battle against the Philadelphia Soul, as ArenaBowl XXXII kicked off at the Times Union Center. The Empire and Soul had both come off of dominating efforts in the semifinals, scoring 123 and 117 points, respectively. The Empire came in with a 10-2 regular season record as the No. 1 seed, while Philadelphia was 7-5, and held the No. 3 seed.

Led by eventual game MVP Tommy Grady, the Empire would come from down 14-7, and dominate during the final three quarters en route to a 45-27 win.

Eddie Brown emerging from the limousine (YouTube / Two Buttons Deep)
Eddie Brown emerging from the limousine (YouTube / Two Buttons Deep)
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That would end up being the final game of the original run of the Empire. The first game, which happened two years prior, would see the team add a different kind of banner to the rafters. On April 14, 2008, a stretch limousine navigated its way onto the turf at the TU, and parked right in the center. Out of the limo popped Touchdown Eddie Brown, much to the delight of the raucous crowd. Alongside Eddie, stepped his son, Antonio, and the duo stood at the center of the turf and basked in the roar of the crowd.

After a conversation over the loudspeaker with our own Rodger Wyland, Brown's No. 17 was retired by the franchise, and unveiled in the rafters of the arena.

Eddie Brown with Rodger Wyland (YouTube / Two Buttons Deep)
Eddie Brown with Rodger Wyland (YouTube / Two Buttons Deep)
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The duo would remain at the game, sign autographs and take pictures with adoring fans around the arena, and watched as the new era of football in Albany got underway.

Fast forward roughly 14 months, and the Albany Empire would take down the Soul to win the ArenaBowl. It was a great moment within the history of sports in Albany, culminating a two-year run in the Capital Region that began with Eddie and Antonio Brown calling the city home.

Thanks to the great folks at Two Buttons Deep for the video of Brown's return. To see their full recap, check out the video below.

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