Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Arena Football League’ Category

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 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

1992 Sacramento Attack

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Sacramento Attack LogoArena Football League (1992)

Founded: May 5, 1992
Folded: Early 1993

Arena: ARCO Arena

Team Colors:

Owner/Operator: Jim Thomas, et al. (Lease team from Arena Football League)

Arena Bowl Championships: None

 

The Sacramento Attack were a hastily assembled Arena Football League squad that lasted just a single season in the California state capital in 1992. In fact, the Attack played just opened the gates of ARCO Arena in Sacramento during their brief existence.

The franchise had a convoluted back story.  The team was first announced in early March 1992 as an expansion franchise called the L.A. Wings that was supposed to play in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.  The original ownership group, headed by Jim Hartman, wanted to play in Denver and acquired the contract righst to most of the players from the Denver Dynamite, a rudderless AFL franchise that had lost its ownership group. For reasons never fully explained, Hartman’s group was either dissuaded or prevented from playing in Denver and thus the L.A. Wings were born. Hartman hired former Cal star quarterback Joe Kapp, who led the Minnesota Vikings to a berth in Super Bowl IV, as the Wings’ head coach.

One month later the Hartman was out and the Wings were done in L.A. With the start of the 1992 season just three weeks away, the Arena Football League scrambled to find a home for the team.  In early May 1992, the ownership of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings agreed to operate the team on a leased basis at ARCO Arena. Kapp came along for the move, as did many of the former Denver Dynamite players still on the team’s roster. The team name was changed to Sacramento Attack.

The Attack backed in the Arena League playoffs with a 4-6 record.  The team lost in the first round to the eventual champions, the Detroit Drive, on August 7th, 1992.  That was the last appearance of the Sacramento Attack, just 92 days after the team was formed. Sacramento Kings management declined to renew their lease arrangement with the Arena Football League in 1993, choosing to cast their lot with indoor soccer instead to fill summer dates at ARCO Arena.

 

Sacramento Attack Programs 1992

 

 

==YouTube==

Brief clip of the Sacramento Attack on the road at the Arizona Rattlers on June 13, 1992.

 

==Links==

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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