Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1991-92 Birmingham Bandits

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Birmingham BanditsContinental Basketball Association (1991-1992)

Born: May 1, 1991 – The Pensacola Tornados relocate to Birmingham, AL.
Died: May 28, 1992 – The Bandits relocate to Rochester, MN.

Arena: Bill Harris State Fair Arena

Team Colors:

Owner: Tom McMillan


The Birmingham Bandits reside in our One-Year Wonder file of doomed minor league basketball teams.

Alabama businessman Tom McMillan and his wife Jane acquired the Pensacola Tornados franchise in the Continental Basketball Association in June 1989.  The Tornados routinely dwelled near the bottom of the CBA box office rankings, so McMillan and wife moved the team to Birmingham in the spring of 1991.  The team fared even worse in Alabama, finishing dead last in attendance in the 17-team league during the 1991-92 winter season.

On the court, the Bandits were reasonably competitive.  The team finished the regular season 25-31, which was good enough to sneak into the 1992 CBA playoffs. The Bandits were eliminated by the Quad City Thunder in the quarterfinal round in March 1992.  By this time, McMillan was actively seeking to unload the team to anyone who might take it.

McMillan announced a deal to sell the team to Rochester, Minnesota interests in May 1992.  As originally announced, McMillan would hold onto a token stake in the team, which would henceforth be known as the Rochester Renegade. However, his new investors quickly backed away, leaving the Alabaman in control of the money losing club yet again.  McMillan finally managed to get out of the CBA in 1994, selling the former Tornados/Bandits/Renegade franchise to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania man who promptly capsized it within the space of nine months.



Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs




1979-1988 St. Louis Steamers

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Carl Rose St. Louis SteamersMajor Indoor Soccer League (1979-1988)

Born: July 31, 1979 – MISL expansion franchise.
Died: June 22, 1988 – The MISL terminates the Steamers franchise.

Arena: The Checkerdome / St. Louis Arena

Team Colors:



Text body





==St. Louis Steamers Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other


1980-81 12/6/1980 @ Hartford Hellions W 3-2 Program
1980-81 3/29/1981 vs. New York Arrows L 6-5 Program


1981-82 3/19/1982 @ Buffalo Stallions L 6-2 Program


1982-83 1/24/1983 @ Los Angeles Lazers  W 8-3 Program
1982-83 3/30/1983 @ Los Angeles Lazers  L 7-5 Program


1983-84 1/6/1984 @ Cleveland Force W 5-2 Program
1983-84 1/21/1984 @ Los Angeles Lazers  W 4-3 Program
1983-84 2/25/1984 @ Los Angeles Lazers  L 8-2 Program
1983-84 4/16/1984 @ Los Angeles Lazers ?? Program


1984-85 12/19/1984 @ Los Angeles Lazers  L 9-4 Program
1984-85 1/11/1985 @ Los Angeles Lazers  L 7-5 Program


1985-86 10/26/1985 @ Chicago Sting W 5-3 Program
1985-86 12/3/1985 @ Wichita Wings L 4-3 Program Video
1985-86 12/6/1985 vs. Wichita Wings ?? Program
1985-86 1/9/1986 @ Los Angeles Lazers  L 4-2 Program
1985-86 2/11/1986 @ Wichita Wings W 4-2 Program
1985-86 3/4/1986 @ Los Angeles Lazers  W 9-6 Program
1985-86 3/13/1986 @ Dallas Sidekicks L 7-1 Program
1985-86 3/27/1986 @ Los Angeles Lazers  W 7-5 Program


1986-87 1/16/1987 @ Los Angeles Lazers  L 4-1 Program
1986-87 3/17/1987 @ Los Angeles Lazers  L 6-2 Program
1986-87 4/30/1987 @ Los Angeles Lazers  W 3-2 Program


1987-88 11/20/1987 @ Chicago Sting L 6-5 (OT) Program
1987-88 1/3/1988 @ Los Angeles Lazers ?? Program
1987-88 1/24/1988 @ Los Angeles Lazers L 3-2 Program
1987-88 4/6/1988 @ Los Angeles Lazers L 6-5 (OT) Program
1987-88 4/16/1988 @ Chicago Sting W 4-3 (OT) Program


==In Memoriam==

Steamers goalkeeper Slobo Ilijevski (1980-1988) died of a ruptured aorta during an amateur soccer game on July 14, 2008. He was 58 years old.

Ian Anderson (Steamers ’82-’83) passed away November 5, 2008 at age 54 in Scotland.



1984-85 St. Louis Steamers promo video:


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



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 Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
2001-02 1/27/2002 @ Calgary Roughnecks  W 12-7 Program




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



2001-02 Albany Attack Final Team Statistics



National Lacrosse League Media Guides

National Lacrosse League Programs


1966-1968 Columbus Comets

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Joe Roberts Columbus CometsNorth American Basketball League (1966-1968)

Born: 1966
Died: 1968

Arena: ?

Team Colors:

Owner: Louis A. Mitchell, et al.


The Columbus (OH) Comets were a minor league pro basketball team that played two seasons in the Midwestern-based North American Basketball League (1964-1968).

The Comets featured several top former Ohio State stars, including Gary Bradds and Mel Nowell.  Bradds was a two-time All-America center at OSU and the Associated Press college Player of the Year for 1964. The Baltimore Bullets made Bradds the #3 overall selection in the 1964 NBA draft, but he spent much of the mid-1960’s bouncing around the NABL, which had bus league stops in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.  The Comets sold Bradds’ contract to the Oakland Oaks of the new American Basketball Association in 1967 and he went on to play several seasons in the ABA. Mel Nowell was a veteran of Ohio State’s 1960 NCAA championship team and also later played in the ABA.

The Comets played a short scheduled of just 21 games in 1966-67 and 18 games in 1967-68.  Both the Comets and the NABL folded quietly after the 1967-68 season.

Please let us know if you know where the Comets played in Columbus, or if you have more information on this team.


Written by andycrossley

May 5th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

1990-1992 Saskatchewan Storm


Saskatchewan StormWorld Basketball League (1990-1992)

Born: 1990 – WBL expansion franchise.
Died: August 1, 1992 – The WBL folds in midseason.

Arena: Saskatchewan Place (7,865)

Team Colors: Purple & Gold

Owners: World Basketball League & ?


The Saskatchewan Storm were a minor league basketball team that competed in the World Basketball League from 1990 until the league’s midseason demise in 1992.  The WBL played an exciting, fast-breaking style of ball, thanks to a rule that limited eligibility to player 6′ 5″ and under (later raised to 6′ 7″ in the league’s final season.)

The WBL had a handful of clubs scattered thousands of miles apart across North America.  The league was organized as a sort of modified single-entity structure, with a group of Youngstown, Ohio businessmen serving as general partners and owning 60% of most franchises. But the heart of the league was in Canada, where teams like the Storm, the Calgary 88’s and the Winnipeg Thunder drew strong crowds.  Saskatchewan led the WBL in attendance in 1990 with an announced average of 4,193 fans per game.

During the Storm’s third season in 1992, the WBL began to experience severe distress. With the centralized general partnership structure, even those franchises with partial local ownership relied on the Ohio league office to fund a significant portion of local expenses. Suddenly the flow of money stopped. The league ran up six figure debts to the Canadian franchises.  League founder and front man Mickey Monus was nowhere to be found. The WBL abruptly shuttered its two Florida franchises a few weeks into the season in June 1992. At the league All-Star Game in July, league officials handed a check for $48,000 to the host Hamilton Skyhawks. It bounced.

Eventually it came out that Mickey Monus funded the WBL for years with funds embezzled from the Youngstown-based Phar-Mor discount pharmacy chain.  In addition, many of the WBL’s sponsors and advertisers were Phar-Mor suppliers whose arms were twisted to support Monus’ basketball hobby. With Monus on the run and about to be incarcerated, the WBL collapsed like the proverbial house of cards.  The league folded in midseason on August 1, 1992.  The night before, the Saskatchewan Storm were stranded in Dayton, Ohio when no one could come up with the money to fly them home from what turned out to be their final game.

The WBL’s relatively successful Canadian franchises banded together to start a new Canada-only league in 1993 called the National Basketball League. Saskatoon had a franchise in the NBL, but with new ownership and a new identity – the “Saskatoon Slam” – to distance themselves from the scorched earth left behind by the WBL. The NBL lasted a year-and-a-half before closing down midway through the 1994 season.


==Saskatchewan Storm Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other


1992 6/16/1992 @ Calgary 88's L 120-114 Program



Saskatchewan Storm vs. Calgary 88’s at the Saddledome in Calgary. Summer 1991.


==Downloads & Links==

2012 interview with former WBL Director of Public Relations Jimmy Oldham

Justia case summary: United States of America vs. Michael I. Monus



World Basketball League Media Guides

World Basketball League Programs



Written by andycrossley

May 4th, 2015 at 1:06 am