Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘National Lacrosse League 1998’ Category

2010 Orlando Titans

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Orlando TitansNational Lacrosse League (2010)

Born: August 11, 2009 – The New York Titans relocate to Orlando.
Folded: August 2010.

Arena: Amway Arena (13,680)

Team Colors: Navy & Orange

Owner: Gary Rosenbach

 

The Orlando Titans were brief visitors to the Central Florida pro sports scene, managing only a single season at Amway Arena in the winter of 2010.  The franchise was founded by hedge fund manager Gary Rosenbach as the New York Titans in 2006 and spent three seasons in New York and New Jersey before shifting to Orlando in August 2009.

The Titans were a successful club on the carpet.  The club made it to the National Lacrosse League championship game in 2009 during its final season in New York.  In Orlando, the Titans won the East Division with an 11-5 record and advanced to the Champions Cup semi-finals, where they lost to the Toronto Rock. Casey Powell was named the NLL’s 2010 Most Valuable Player and Matt Vinc earned 2010 Goaltender-of-the-Year honors.

Off the field, the franchise bled red ink in both New York and Orlando.  Rosenbach bought the expansion rights for $3M in 2006 at the peak of the National Lacrosse Leauge’s franchise valuation bubble.  Shortly before the Titans shifted from New York to Orlando in the summer of 2009, Rosenbach resigned from Galleon Group, the $7B hedge fund that he co-founded in 1997.  In October of that year, Galleon exploded in spectacular fashion when Rosenbach’s former partner and co-founder Raj Rajaratnam was arrested and charged with insider trading violations, along with several other Galleon traders. Rajaratnam was eventually sentenced to 11 years in prison in one of the rare Wall Street criminal prosecutions of the Great Recession era.  Rosenbach was never charged.

Shortly after the 2010 season ended, Rosenbach either withdrew or substantially reduced his support for the Titans, throwing the team’s future into question.  In August 2010, the NLL confirmed that the Titans would sit out the 2011 season in an attempt to re-organize financially.  Rosenbach formally put the team up for sale for $1.4M a week later, which was less than half what he paid for the expansion rights four years earlier. There were no takers and the Titans were effectively out of business at that point.

 

==Links==

National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs

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2000-2003 Albany Attack

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Albany AttackNational Lacrosse League (2000-2003)

Born: May 21, 1999 – NLL expansion franchise.
Moved: June 9, 2003 – Relocated to San Jose, CA.

Arena: Pepsi Arena

Team Colors: Navy, Grey, White & Aqua

Owners:

 

The Albany Attack were a pro box lacrosse team that competed in the National Lacrosse League in the early 2000’s.  The Attack debuted at Albany’s Pepsi Center on January 14, 2000 with a 21-19 victory over the Pittsburgh Crossefire in front of an announced crowd of 8,044.  Crowds declined steadily from there, however, and Albany consistently placed at or near the bottom of NLL attendance rankings during the Attack’s four season run.

The team was usually mediocre, finishing .500 or below in three out of four seasons.  But the exception was a big exception. In 2002, the Attack posted the best regular season record in the NLL at 14-2.  After besting in the Rochester Knighthawks in the semi-final match, the Attack hosted the 2002 NLL Championship Game on April 13, 2002. A raucous crowd of 9,289 (see video below) turned out at the Pepsi Center to see the Attack lose a 13-12 thriller to the Toronto Rock.  Goaltender Rob Blasdell was named the league Goalie of the Year for 2002, while Attack head coach Bob McMahon took home league coaching honors.

The excitement around the Attack’s 2002 breakthrough season failed to carry over to the team’s fourth campaign in 2003.  The Attack reverted to an 8-8 team that missed the playoffs.  Attendance remained bleak as Albany 2003 average of 3,689 per contest ranked 11th among the NLL’s 12 franchises.

In June 2003, club owner Herb Chorbajian sold the franchise to a group of California and Toronto investors who moved the team to San Jose, California where it became known as the San Jose Stealth.  After several subsequent ownership changes and relocations, the franchise remains active in 2015 as the Vancouver Stealth.

 

==Albany Attack Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

2001-02

2001-02 1/27/2002 @ Calgary Roughnecks  W 12-7 Program

 

 

==YouTube==

Highlights of the 2002 NLL Championship Game between the Attack and the Toronto Rock at the Pepsi Center. April 13, 2002.

 

==Downloads==

2001-02 Albany Attack Final Team Statistics

 

==Links==

National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs

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2000-2003 Columbus Landsharks

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2000-01 Columbus Landsharks Media GuideNational Lacrosse League (2000-2003)

Born: 2000 – NLL expansion franchise.
Moved:
August 28, 2003 (Arizona Sting)

Arena: Nationwide Arena

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

The Columbus Landsharks were a toothless entry in the indoor National Lacrosse League, playing three seasons of box lacrosse at Nationwide Arena from 2000 to 2003.  The club was originally owned by John Livsey, the former Commissioner of the NLL.  But Livsey bailed quickly after the Landsharks tanked at the box office (6,559 attendance in 2000-01, compared to league average of 8,117) and on the carpet (3-11 record) in their inaugural season.  Livsey sold off the club to new owners in Montreal.  The original Landsharks franchise became the Montreal Express, who lasted just one further season in Quebec before folding in 2002.

Meanwhile, the owners of the NLL’s New York Saints franchise stepped in to form a new expansion club in Columbus that adopted the Landsharks name and history (such as it was).  The out-of-state owners stewarded the Landsharks through two more desultory seasons before giving up in August 2003, when the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the Arizona Sting.

The Landsharks’ three-year record was 16-30 and they never made the playoffs.

 

==Columbus Landsharks Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
2001-02 12/14/2001 @ Calgary Roughnecks L 20-13 Program

 

==Links==

National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs

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February 5, 2010 Washington Stealth vs. Minnesota Swarm

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Washington Stealth vs. Minnesota Swarm
February 5, 2010
Comcast Arena (Everett, WA)
Attendance: 3,526

National Lacrosse League Programs

 

Obscure game program here from the defunct Washington Stealth (2010-2013) of the indoor National Lacrosse League.  The Stealth were kind of a weird fit in the NLL, playing in the decidedly minor league city of Everett, Washington while most of their opponents played in big city NBA and NHL arenas.

But the Stealth were really good in 2010, the franchise’s first season in the Pacific Northwest after a failed run in San Jose.  Coming into this February 5th match against the visiting Minnesota Swarm, they were undefeated at 5-0 and in control of the NLL’s West Division.   That’s former Johns Hopkins star Paul Rabil on the cover of the match program.  Rabil is one of the greatest players in the sport of lacrosse today, a two-time MVP of the summertime outdoor Major League Lacrosse and a perennial winter All-Star selection in box lacrosse for the NLL.  On this night though, Rabil was notable mainly for getting a game misconduct penalty in the third period.

The Stealth held off the last place Swarm 12-9 and improved to 6-0.  The rest of the regular season was a rougher ride.  Washington went just 6-5 the rest of the way, but still won the West Division.  They hit the on switch again for the playoffs and went undefeated in the postseason, defeating the Toronto Rock for the 2010 NLL Champions Cup on May 15, 2010

 

==YouTube==

 

==Links==

Washington Stealth Home Page

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Written by AC

February 8th, 2014 at 12:46 am

March 21, 1987 – Baltimore Thunder vs. Washington Wave

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Baltimore Thunder vs. Washington Wave
Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League Championship Game
March 21, 1987
The Capital Centre
Indoor Lacrosse Programs 1987-Present
12 pages

 

This was a great find from a collector in Maryland.  A championship game program from the debut season of the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League back in 1987.

The Eagle league was the second attempt to start a professional box lacrosse circuit in the United States.  The National Lacrosse League (1974-1975) played during the summers in sweat box hockey arenas for two summers in the mid-1970’s before folding.  Eagle league founders Russ Cline and Chris Fritz were promoters by trade: hard rock concerts, monster truck shows and tractor pulls.  Big arena events with blue collar appeal.  Box lacrosse was no different.  As Sports Illustrated’s Franz Lidz put it in a feature on this 1987 championship game, Cline and Fritz marketed box lacrosse to “fans of ice hockey, pro wrestling and Rambo.”

All four of the league’s franchises advanced to the playoff series after the Eagle League’s modest six-game inaugural season.  According to Lidz, Cline & Fritz were so sure that either the regular season champion New Jersey Saints (4-2) or the Philadelphia Wings (3-3) would advance to the championship, that they booked the Philadelphia Spectrum to host the title game in mid-March.  When the league’s two weakest teams, the Baltimore Thunder (2-4) and Washington Wave (2-4) both advanced to the final by upset, the promoters pushed back the championship by a week and hurried to book the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland where they Wave played their home games.

An announced crowd of 7,019 turned out for the title match on Saturday, March 21, 1987.  The Capital Centre didn’t own its own lacrosse carpet, so the game was played on a second-hand indoor soccer carpet purchased from the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.  The carpet still bore the logo of the defunct Pittsburgh Spirit of the Major Indoor Soccer League.  Baltimore prevailed 11-10 in a close match, packed with crowd pleasing hard hits.

The Eagle League still exists today, after a couple of name changes.  The league was known as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1988 until 1997.  The league adopted its current brand name – the National Lacrosse League – in 1998.  In the early years, Cline & Fritz owned the league and all of its franchises.  In the 1990’s, the league moved to a franchise model.  Expansion fees rose as high as $3.0 million per franchise in 2006-2008, although the league’s speculative bubble in franchises fees has since deflated.

The Washington Wave lasted for three season, folding at the end of 1989.  The Thunder hung onto until 1999.

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