Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Arena Football’ Category

2004-2008 Columbus Destroyers

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Matt Nagy Columbus DestroyersArena Football League (2004-2008)

Born: September 25, 2003 – The Buffalo Destroyers relocate to Columbus, OH.
Died: August 2009 – The Arena Football League ceases operations.

Arena: Nationwide Arena (17,078)

Team Colors:

Owners: John McConnell, Jim Renacci, Steve Germain & Joey Galloway

 

 

The Columbus Destroyers were a popular attraction in college football-mad Columbus despite the fact that this Arena Football League squad was routinely terrible.  The team never posted a winning record in five seasons.  But in 2007, the Destroyers squeaked into the playoffs with a 7-9 mark and then went on an unlikely run.  They went on the road to beat the 15-1 Dallas Desperadoes in the quarterfinals and then knocked off the 14-2 Georgia Force in the semis to reach Arena Bowl XXI in New Orleans.

NFL wide receiver and former Ohio State star Joey Galloway owned a small piece of the Destroyers.  Co-owner John McConnell also controlled the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.  McConnell died at age 84 in April 2008 midway through the Destroyers’ final season.

 

 

==Columbus Destroyers Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other

2005

2005 4/16/2005  @ New Orleans Voodoo  L 64-28 Program
2005 5/15/2005 @ Philadelphia Soul W 55-52 Program

2007

2007 7/29/2007 San Jose Sabercats L 55-33 Program

2008

2008 6/21/2008 @ Cleveland Gladiators L 47-35 Program

 

==In Memoriam==

Destroyers owner John McConnell died of cancer in April 2008.  He was 84. USA Today obituary.

 

==Links==

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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2003-2008 Colorado Crush

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Damian Harrell Colorado CrushArena Football League (2003)

Born: June 19, 2002 – Arena Football expansion franchise.
Died: 
August 2009 – The Arena Football League ceases operations.

Arena: Pepsi Center (17,210)

Team Colors: Navy Blue, Burnt Orange & Gold

Owners: Pat Bowlen, John ElwayStan Kroenke

 

The Colorado Crush were an Arena Football team that played at the Pepsi Center in Denver from 2003 until the dissolution and bankruptcy of the original Arena Football League following the 2008 season.  The team was backed by major league investors Pat Bowlen (Denver Broncos owner) and Stan Kroenke (Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets owner), with ex-Broncos QB John Elway as co-owner and franchise front man.

After a grim 2-14 expansion season in 2003, the Crush turned the corner with the hiring of Head Coach Mike Dailey in 2004.  The Crush made the playoffs in four of the next five seasons under Dailey’s direction, winning Arena Bowl XIX 51-48 over the Georgia Force at the end of the 2005 season.

Offensive Specialist Damian Harrell, formerly of Florida State, played for the Crush from 2003 through 2007 and was named the league’s Offensive Player-of-the-Year in 2005 and 2006.

 

==Colorado Crush Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other

2005

2005 5/8/2005 @ New Orleans Voodoo  W 63-57 Program

2008

2008 3/22/2008 @ Chicago Rush L 70-35 Program
2008 5/24/2008 @ San Jose Sabercats L 59-42 Program

 

==Links==

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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2000-2002 Roanoke Steam

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Roanoke Steam ProgramArena Football 2 (2000-2002)

Born: 1999 – AF2 founding franchise.
Died: 2002 – The Steam cease operations.

Arena: Roanoke Civic Center (8,674)

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

The Roanoke Steam were a minor league Arena Football team that competed in Arena Football 2 for three seasons in the early 2000’s.  The team shared ownership and resources with the Roanoke Express hockey team of the East Coast Hockey League.

Indoor football never caught on in Roanoke.  The Steam finished last in the league in attendance in 2000 (3,374 per game) and again in 2001 (2,575 avg.).  Midway through the Steam’s third and final season in 2002, the ownership group declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May 2002.  The Steam muddled through the rest of the season under league stewardship and then was quietly euthanized in July 2002.

The team was never a factor on the field either, failing to make the AF2 playoffs in all three seasons of operation.

 

==Roanoke Steam Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
2000 5/20/2000  @ Norfolk Nighthawks  L 59-39 Program Game Notes
2000 5/27/2002 vs. Charleston Swamp Foxes W 71-61 Program

 

==Links==

Arena Football 2 Media Guides

Arena Football 2 Programs

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2001-2004 Wichita Stealth

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Wichita Stealth Pocket ScheduleArena Football 2 (2001-2004)

Born: 2001 – AF2 expansion franchise.
Died: 2004 – The Stealth cease operations.

Arena: Kansas Coliseum (9,686)

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

The Wichita Stealth were an indoor football team that played in Arena Football 2, the small-market minor league for the Arena Football League, in the early 2000’s.  During the franchise’s first two seasons, the club was operated on a management contact by the DeVos family of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The DeVos’ owned the Orlando Magic of the NBA, several Midwestern minor league hockey teams and the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League.

Shortly before the Stealth’s third season in 2003, the Devos’ sold the team to a local buyer in Wichita named David Key.  Key was a novice sports investor who owned a rapidly growing facilities management business called Premier Maintenance Management.  Less than a year after purchasing the Stealth, Key ran into a string of legal and financial troubles.  Late in the 2004 season, Key handed the franchise back to the league and the Stealth finished out the season as wards of the league office.  Postseason efforts to find a new buyer were hampered by uncertain over the availability of the Kansas Coliseum for the 2005 season and franchise quietly closed it doors.

Arena Football 2 went out of business after the 2009 season.

 

==Links==

Arena Football 2 Media Guides

Arena Football 2 Programs

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Written by andycrossley

January 24th, 2015 at 8:16 pm

2001-2002 New Jersey Gladiators

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Arena Football League (2001-2002)New Jersey Gladiators

Born: 2001 – The New Jersey Red Dogs are re-branded as the Gladiators.
Died: December 20, 2002 – The Gladiators relocate to Las Vegas, NV.

Arena: Continental Airlines Arena (19,040)

Team Colors: Black, Red & Gray

Owner: Jim Ferraro

 

A pretty much forgotten Arena Football League entry that briefly made its home at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford at the turn of the century.  The franchise was actually formed back in 1997 as the New Jersey Red Dogs, who took their name and logo from a title sponsorship with Miller Brewing’s briefly prominent Red Dog beer brand.

By the end of the 2000 season, the Red Dogs’ original ownership group (which included former Giants Carl Banks, Jim Burt, Harry Carson and Joe Morris) was ready to move on and the team passed into the hands of Miami attorney Jim Ferraro.  The beer sponsorship seemingly ended at this time as well, since Ferraro quickly re-branded the team as the “Gladiators” for the 2001 season.

The new-look Gladiators got off to a grim start when only 3,542 showed up for the first home game of the 2001 season, a listless 52-21 loss to the Carolina Cobras.  The team finished the 2001 season in last place with a 2-12 record and average attendance of 3,312, which was barely a third of the Arena Football League average of 9,188.

New head coach Frank Haege led a turn around on the carpet in 2002 (9-5 record and a playoff appearance). But the team’s improved play failed to translate at the box office and the Gladiators bolted town for Las Vegas in December 2002.

Ex-New York Jets quarterback Glenn Foley signed with the Gladiators in 2002 but failed to best journeyman minor leaguer Jay McDonagh for the starting job and spent the season on the bench.

 

==Links==

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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