Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1972-1975 New Jersey Brewers

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New Jersey Brewers SoccerAmerican Soccer League (1972-1975)

Born: 1972 – ASL expansion franchise
Folded: Postseason 1975

Stadium: St. Joseph’s Field

Team Colors:

Owner:

ASL Championships: None

 

Lower division American pro soccer club that operated for four seasons during the early 1970’s. Little information survives about this club into the digital age. Newspaper accounts of the era suggest that the Brewers played out of Newark, but the 1974 Brewers program we were able to dig up (above right) suggest the club played at least some of their matches in Toms River on the Jersey Shore.

The Brewers were sponsored by Schaefer Brewing Company and known as the New Jersey Schaefer Brewers during their inaugural season in 1972. From 1973 until 1975 they went by the shorter “Brewers” moniker. The team folded following the 1975 season. The ASL replaced the Brewers with the New Jersey Americans franchise for the 1976 season.

 

Links

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

November 2nd, 2016 at 7:12 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

1973-1974 Connecticut Wildcats

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Connecticut WildcatsAmerican Soccer League (1973-1974)

Born: November 1972 – ASL expansion franchise
Died: Postseason 1974

Stadium: Dillon Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Paul Ingram

ASL Championships: None

 

The Connecticut Wildcats were the first of several pro soccer clubs to set up shop at Hartford’s Dillon Stadium during the mid-1970’s. The club formed in November 1972 as an expansion franchise in the 2nd Division American Soccer League.

Paul Ingram, a former All-American soccer player at UConn, founded the Wildcats and served as General Manager. Fielding a team of mostly American players, the Wildcats put up an 8-3-3 record in their debut season. The club was solid at the box office too. The ‘Cats drew 4,200 fans for their inaugural game in the spring of 1973. 10,000 more showed up for the season finale at Dillon Stadium against the Boston Astros. The ASL named Paul Ingram its Executive-of-the-Year for the 1973 season.

Benny Brewster led the team in scoring in 1973 with 10 goals and 4 assists. The Wildcats best-known player, in retrospect, was the young goalkeeper Tony DiCicco. DiCicco went on to become one of the greatest coaches in the women’s game, leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to Olympic gold in 1996 and the World Cup in 1999.

As the Wildcats second season approached in the winter of 1974, Ingram asked for a renegotiation of the team’s rental agreement at Dillon Stadium. He stated the team’s rental rate and lack of revenue sharing on concessions were among the worst deals in the American Soccer League and that the team might need to relocate to Springfield, Massachusetts.  In the event, the Wildcats did end up returning to Dillon in 1974, but it proved to be the club’s final campaign.

The Wildcats were replaced on the ASL’s 1975 schedule by a new Hartford-based club, the Connecticut Yankees (1975-1978). Hartford also got a 1st division expansion club in 1975 with the formation of the Hartford Bicentennials (1975-1976) of the North American Soccer League.

Connecticut Wildcats founder Paul Ingram was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in January 2004.

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

October 24th, 2016 at 1:06 pm

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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1982-83 Virginia Raiders

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1982-83 Virginia Raiders ProgramAtlantic Coast Hockey League (1982-1983)

Born: 1982 – Re-branded from Salem Raiders
Folded: August 1983

Arena: Salem-Roanoke County Civic Center

Team Colors:

Owner: Henry Brabham

ACHL Championships: None

 

The Virginia Raiders were a lower-tier minor league hockey club out of Salem, Virginia. The franchise was formerly known as the Salem Raiders (1980-1982). They played just one season under the Virginia Raiders name before folding.

The Raiders finished 4th in the 6-team Atlantic Coast Hockey League with a 20-36-9 record during the winter of 1982-83. The eventual champion Carolina Thunderbirds swept the Raiders out of the playoffs in the first round.

Minor league journeyman Dave MacQueen led the Raiders in scoring with 42 goals and 36 assists during the 1982-83 campaign.

Henry Brabham, an oilman who owned several mid-Atlantic minor league hockey franchises during the 1980’s and 1990’s, operated the Raiders during their final season in Salem. He folded the Raiders in August 1983, citing $100,000 in losses during the 1982-83 season. Several months later, however, he purchased the ACHL’s struggling Nashville South Stars club and moved the franchise in mid-season back to the Salem Civic Center, renaming them the Virginia Lancers.

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Written by Drew Crossley

October 9th, 2016 at 8:54 pm