Born: May 1990 – The St. Louis Gamblers relocate to Oklahoma City.
Stadium: Robert Kalsu Stadium (5,500)
Owner: Ed Watkins
The Oklahoma City Twisters were a one-year entry in the Minor League Football System (1989-1990), an ambitious if rather ramshackle attempt to form a nationwide feeder league for the NFL. Twisters owner Ed Watkins was one of the league’s founders.
The Twisters hired former Detroit Lions head coach (1985-1988) Darryl Rogers as Head Coach and General Manager. (Rogers would leave midway through the 1990 season). Rogers used his connections to put together an intriguing roster for what amounted to a semi-pro football team. Former Oklahoma State and Detroit Lions quarterback Rusty Hilger started the Twisters’ first game before returning to the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks. Defensive lineman Ben Rudolph played five seasons with the New York Jets from 1981 to 1986. Former OU running back Rod Pegues, a backfield mate of Herschel Walker with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, was in camp with Twisters, although it’s not cleared if he made the team.
The Twisters finished their only season with a 7-2 record. The Minor League Football System folded up shop following the 1990 season.
The Twisters played their home games at Robert Kalsu Stadium in Del City. The 5,500-seat high school field was named in honor of Oklahoma City native Bob Kalsu, who died in action in South Vietnam in 1970. Kalsu, who played one season with the Buffalo Bills in 1968, was one of two NFL/AFL to perish in the Vietnam War.