Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Arena Football League’ Category

2006-2008 Kansas City Brigade

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Kansas City BrigadeArena Football League (2006-2008)

Born: October 3, 2005 – Arena Football League expansion franchise
Folded: August 2009

Arenas:

Team Colors:

Owners: 

Arena Bowl Championships: None

 

The Kansas City Brigade were the first of several attempts to establish the sport of Arena Football in Kansas City. Former Kansas City Chiefs star Neil Smith and his agent Tyler Prochnow were the team’s original investors.  They bought into the Arena Football League for a reported $16M – $18M in October 2005.  The duo’s expansion bid appeared stalled during the summer of 2005. But then Hurricane Katrina struck and devastated New Orleans. The AFL’s popular New Orleans Voodoo club would be unable to participate in the 2006 season as the city rebuilt. The disaster gave the AFL expansion committee new urgency to get a deal done with Prochnow and Smith. Kansas City was announced as the AFL’s 18th city in October 2005. The league stocked Kansas City’s roster with 15 refugee players from the homeless Voodoo franchise.

The club announced it’s name and logo a month later in November 2005. Going for a military theme, the team oddly misfired by pairing an Air Force-derived stealth bomber logo with a team name

Within a matter of months Prochnow brought local mortgage baron Chris Likens into the ownership group. Over the course of the next year, Likens would assume control of the franchise. Prochnow’s original group departed and Likens installed various relatives into what became effectively a family-run business.

Neil Smith’s former Chiefs teammate Kevin Porter was installed as Head Coach. The Brigade’s debut season in 2006 was brutal on the field. Voodoo holdover Andy Kelly struggled at quarterback and the Brigade shipped him out midseason. The position never solidified, contributing to a 3-13 last place finish. The team was a popular draw at Kemper Arena though. Announced attendance of 15,234 per game for eight home dates was third best in the 18-team AFL.

The 2007 season saw a dramatic turnaround. Porter returned for another season at the helm. The Brigade finished 10-6 and earned their first and only postseason appearance. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Colorado Crush. But the novelty of Arena Football appeared to wear thin in Kansas City. Attendance dipped 24% to 11,632 per game.

In 2008, the Brigade left Kemper Arena and moved into the brand new 17,000-seat Sprint Center. The team reverted to its expansion season form and lost its first six game en route to a 3-13 season.  The franchise earned a bit of national media attention late in the season by signing former Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Quincy Carter. Carter started the final three games of the season for the Brigade.

The Arena Football League collapsed suspended operations following the 2008 season and later filed for bankruptcy in August 2009. A low-budget spinoff of the league re-emerged in 2010 and gradually lured back a few of the original AFL’s former owners. The Likens family revived the Brigade in 2011 with a slight re-branding “Kansas City Command”). The Command played to paltry crowds at the Sprint Center for two more seasons before shutting down for good in 2012.

 

 

Kansas City Brigade Video

Short highlight reel from the Brigade’s 2006 debut season at Kemper Arena

 

Links

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

November 15th, 2017 at 12:28 am

2011-2012 Milwaukee Mustangs

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Arena Football League (2011-2012)

Born: January 27, 2011 – Re-branded from Milwaukee Iron
Folded: October 11, 2012

Arena: The Bradley Center

Team Colors:

Owners: Chris Rebholz, Todd Hansen & Dave Bahl

Arena Football League Championships: None

 

The Milwaukee Mustangs of 2011-2012 were a failed brand revival of Milwaukee’s popular Arena Football League franchise of the 1990’s.  The original Mustangs often drew capacity crowds to the Bradley Center in the mid-1990’s before building lease problems doomed the team in 2001.

The “new” Mustangs started play in 2009 as the Milwaukee Iron in AF2, a lower-budget version of Arena Football played primarily in minor league markets. That same year, the original major-market AFL filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. A new investment group led by the poorer AF2 owners purchased the AFL intellectual property rights from the bankruptcy court and re-organized the Arena Football League in 2010. AF2 went out of business in the process. The Iron joined the new AFL as a founding member in 2010. The franchise re-claimed the old “Mustangs” name prior to the AFL’s second season in 2010.

The re-branding failed miserably. The Mustangs announced 2011 attendance average of 3,953 for 9 dates at the Bradley Center was the worst figure in the 18-team Arena Football League. After a grim 5-13 season in 2012, the club effectively went out of business that October. The league tried to save face by spinning the Mustangs’ departure as an indefinite leave of absence. But in reality indoor football was dead in Milwaukee.

The Mustangs’ league membership was transferred to Oregon trucking magnate Terry Emmert in the fall of 2013. The former Mustangs franchise became the Portland Thunder for the 2014 season.

 

Milwaukee Mustangs Memorabilia

 

Links

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

December 28th, 2016 at 11:52 pm

2003-2007 Las Vegas Gladiators

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2004 Las Vegas Gladiators Media GuideArena Football League (2003-2007)

Born: December 20, 2002 – The New Jersey Gladiators relocate to Las Vegas
Moved: October 16, 2007 (Cleveland Gladiators)

Arenas:

Team Colors: Red and Black

Owner: Jim Ferraro

Arena Bowl Championships: None

 

The Las Vegas Gladiators were the second of three Arena Football League franchises to try to set up shop in Sin City. The Glads followed the Las Vegas Sting (1994-1995) and preceded the laughable Las Vegas Outlaws debacle (2015) headed by Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil.

The Gladiators traced their lineage back to the New Jersey Red Dogs franchise, founded in 1997. The team was originally named after Red Dog beer, then became the New Jersey Gladiators in 2001 after Miami attorney Jim Ferraro purchased the franchise. Ferraro, who made his fortune in asbestos litigation, moved the franchise to Vegas in late 2002.

In Vegas, the Gladiators played their first four seasons at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. Announced attendance held steady around 10,000 per game at the Thomas & Mack from 2003 through 2006. In 2007, the team made an ill-fated move to the Orleans Arena at the Orleans Hotel and Casino. Attendance cratered to 5,383 per game, which was by far the worst figure in the 19-team Arena Football League that season.

During the Glads final season in Las Vegas in 2007, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Shaun King handled most of the duties under center. King was the most famous football player to suit up for the Gladiators during their five season run in Nevada.

Ferraro moved the team to Cleveland in October 2007. The franchise plays on in Cleveland today and is now operated by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

 

Las Vegas Gladiators Memorabilia

 

Las Vegas Gladiators Video

Miscellaneous Gladiators promo roll from the mid-2000’s.

 

Links

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

November 2nd, 2016 at 2:47 am

1991-2016 Orlando Predators

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2005 Orlando Predators Media GuideArena Football League (1991-2016)

Born: February 7, 1991 – Arena Football League expansion franchise
Folded: October 12, 2016

Arenas:

Team Colors: Black & Red

Owners:

Arena Bowl Champions: 1998 & 2000

 

Text coming soon…

 

Orlando Predators Shop


Predators 3/4 Sleeve Logo T-Shirt

 

Orlando Predators Memorabilia

 

Orlando Predators Video

The final season. The Preds host long-time rivals the Tampa Bay Storm at Amway Center

 

In Memoriam

Preds Assistant Coach (’98-’01) and Head Coach (’02-’03) Fran Papasedero died in a single-car accident on June 19, 2003 at the age of 34.

Head coach Perry Moss (Preds ’91-’97) passed away August 7th, 2014 at the age of 88.

 

Downloads

2013 Orlando Predators Media Guide

2014 Orlando Predators Media Guide

2016 Orlando Predators Media Guide

2016 Orlando Predators Postseason Media Guide

 

Links

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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2014-2015 Portland Thunder

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Portland Thunder Arena FootballArena Football League (2014-2015)

Born: October 2, 2013 – Arena Football expansion team
Died: January 6, 2016

Arena: Moda Center (18,280)

Team Colors:

Owner: Terry Emmert

Arena Bowl Championships: None

 

The short-lived Portland Thunder franchise was the second go round for the Arena Football League in Portland, Oregon.  The Thunder followed on the heels of the Portland Forest Dragons, who played in the same Rose Garden/Moda Center arena from 1997 to 1999.

Team founder Terry Emmert is a heavy hauling & transportation baron from suburban Portland. In formal terms, Emmert purchased the franchise rights to the Milwaukee Mustangs, one of the AFL’s countless dormant/failed franchises, in October 2013. Effectively, the Thunder were simply an expansion team, as the Mustangs had been dark for more than a year and no longer possessed any player contracts (though Emmert did get Milwaukee’s old turf carpet). The Thunder also did not adopt the Mustangs’ franchise history. We’ve chosen to classify the Thunder as an expansion team on FWiL.

The Thunder fared poorly in competition, posting back-to-back 5-13 records in 2014 and 2015. Despite finishing last place in their division both years, the Thunder advanced to the postseason each summer thanks to the AFL’s absurb playoff system. They were eliminated in the first round both times.

The 2015 season proved disastrous for the Arena Football League. The league was forced to take over two insolvent clubs, the Las Vegas Outlaws and New Orleans Voodoo, during the season and folded both clubs one day after the regular season ended. (The Thunder were admitted to the 2015 AFL playoffs only because the bankrupt Outlaws couldn’t afford to keep going.) The league champion San Jose Sabercats and the Spokane Shock dropped out in the following months, reducing the league to eight franchises, its smallest membership since 1991.

In late December 2015, Thunder owner Terry Emmert gave a brief interview to The Portland Tribune where he indicated his team had not committed to participating in the 2016 season yet due to disagreements with the Arena Football League over player insurance and other topics.  Less than a week later, the AFL stepped in and seized the Portland franchise from Emmert, kicking the recalcitrant owner out of the league.

Since Emmert owned the trademarks to the Thunder name and logo, the league was forced to re-brand the franchise as the Portland Steel in February 2016. The Steel played one grim and rudderless season before the Arena Football League folded the franchise in October 2016.

 

==Portland Thunder Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other
2014
2014 4/5/2014 @ L.A. Kiss L 44-34 Program
2014 5/17/2014 @ San Jose Sabercats  L 64-27 Program

 

==YouTube==

2015 Portland Thunder Moda Center pump/intro video

 

May 16, 2015 full game vs L.A. Kiss at Moda Center

 

==Downloads==

2014 Portland Thunder Media Guide

 

==Links==

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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Written by AC

April 27th, 2016 at 7:09 pm

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