Died: Postseason 2002 – The Fire Dogs cease operations
Arena: Mississippi Coast Coliseum
The Mississippi Fire Dogs were an obscure indoor football outfit that played four seasons in the Gulf Coast city of Biloxi from 1999 through 2002. Starting in the late 1990’s, a rash of low-budget knockoffs of the pioneering Arena Football League sprang up around the country. These leagues – often derisively referred to as “ankle biters” by diehard AFL fans – typically set up shop in small Midwestern and Southern cities with underutilized civic centers. And they typically didn’t last very long.
In this sense, the Fire Dogs were a pretty typical ankle-biter entry. The franchise started out in 1999 in the Indoor Professional Football League (1999-2001), which featured teams in the Deep South and Pacific Northwest. After two seasons, the Fire Dogs ditched the struggling IPFL for the equally anonymous National Indoor Football League (2001-2007).
There were a couple of intriguing names associated with the Fire Dogs. During the team’s first two seasons in the IPFL, the General Manager, Head Coach and starting quarterback was former NFL quarterback John Fourcade.
The other “celebrity” associated with the Fire Dogs was Irving Favre, father of Green Bay Packers All-Pro quarterback Brett Favre. The elder Favre was a minority owner in the club. He also succeeded Fourcade as Head Coach when the franchise jumped to the National Indoor Football League in 2001.
The Fire Dogs won two league titles during their short life-span, conquering the IPFL (under Fourcade) in 2000 and the NIFL (under Favre) in 2001. The team went out of business following the 2002 season.