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1991-1992 New Orleans Night

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Arena Football League (1991-1992)

Born: March 18, 1991 – AFL expansion franchise.
Died: October 1992 – The Night cease operations.

Arena: Louisiana Superdome (13,900)

Team Colors: Midnight Blue, Sunset Orange, Moonlight White

Owners:

  • 1991: Arena Football League
  • 1992: Mike McBath, et al.

 

The New Orleans Night was a short-lived franchise during the early years of the original Arena Football League (1987-2008).  The Night formed as an owner-less expansion team in March 1991 and were operated during their first season by the building management of the Louisiana Superdome.  In July 1991, Orlando-area businessman and former NFL defensive end put together a group to buy the Night for $500,000.  McBath already was a part owner of the league’s very popular Orlando Predators franchise, but he was unable to replicate that success in the Big Easy and the Night folded after a winless 1992 campaign.

The Night were 4-6 in the first season in 1991 under former Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Eddie Khayat.  The team’s most notable player was former Mississippi Valley State quarterback Willie Totten.  Totten was Jerry Rice’s college quarterback and shattered numerous Division 1-AA passing records in tandem with the legendary receiver.  Totten split time at quarterback with former LSU signal caller Mickey Guidry in 1991.

After Mike McBath bought the team, former Tulane Head Coach Vince Gibson replaced Eddie Khayat for the 1992 season.  The Night went 0-10 under Gibson, with Mickey Guidry taking most of the snaps at quarterback.  The Night’s final appearance was a 62-8 humiliation on the road against McBath’s other team, the Orlando Predators, on July 31, 1992.  McBath and his partners handed the keys to the franchise back to the league office in October 1992 and the Night was quietly euthanized when no other buys came forward.

Even among Arena Football diehards, the New Orleans Night are on obscure and forgotten franchise.  To the extent they are remembered at all, it is usually for sporting garish Zubaz stripes on their uniforms as part of a 1991 promotional campaign with the flash-in-the-pan apparel manufacturer.

The Night cheerleading squad was known as “The Rhythm of the Night”.

Arena Football returned to New Orleans in 2004 with the arrival of the New Orleans Voodoo, owned by Saints owner Tom Benson.

 

==YouTube==

The Night host the Dallas Texans at the Superdome. July 5, 1991.

 

 

==Night Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other
1991 6/22/1991 vs. Denver Dynamite  L 54-44 Program
1991 7/5/1991 vs. Dallas Texans W 39-37 Program Video
1991 7/19/1991 @ Orlando Predators L 44-29 Program
1992 6/20/1992 @ Arizona Rattlers L 23-15 Program

 

==In Memoriam==

Former Night Head Coach Vince Gibson passed away on January 10, 2012 from Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Gibson was 78.

 

==Links==

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

New Orleans Night All-Time Results & Statistics on ArenaFan.com

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Written by andycrossley

November 2nd, 2013 at 2:04 pm

July 23, 1992 – Sacramento Attack vs. Dallas Texans

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Sacramento Attack vs. Dallas Texans
July 23, 1992
ARCO Arena
Attendance: 8,226

Arena Football League Programs

 

This is not a post about the Sacramento Attack (who played only five home games at ARCO Arena before folding) or their opponents on this night in July 1992, the Dallas Texans.   This is a post about Zubaz.

I won’t write too extensively here about the stunning rise and rapid fall of zebra-striped workout gear.  If you were at least 12 years old at the dawn of the Nineties, you remember.  Besides, Ethan Trex at Mental Floss has already written the definitive history (must read).  I plucked this program out of the FWiL files because the cover offers the best Zubaz money shot I’ve seen from this psychedelic moment in Arena Football history.

You see, the inventors of Zubaz – a couple of bodybuilding Minnesota gym owners named Dan Stock and Bob Truax – struck a sponsorship with the Arena Football League that seems to have lasted from 1991 to 1992.  Some – but not all – of the league’s teams agreed to incorporate Zubaz into their game uniforms.  The participating clubs in 1991 included the Albany Firebirds, the Denver Dynamite, the New Orleans Night and the Orlando Predators, most of whom added a Zubaz strip in their respective team colors to their sleeves and shoulders, along with vertical piping on their uniform pants.   But nobody – and I mean nobody – rocked the Zubaz liked the Tampa Bay Storm.  The Storm were the only team to use Zubaz stripes as the base design for their uniform pants.   The full glory/horror of the 1991 Storm unis is on display on the cover of this ARENABALL game program, showing the purple/blue/white striped Tampans in action against fellow Zubaz perpetrators the New Orleans Night.

Very little archival video of the early days of the Arena Football League lives on the interwebs today, but I did find this grainy, apparently home-made loop of 1991 league highlights, which can be viewed as an unintended symphonic ode to Zubaz.  Enjoy.

And yes, the Zubaz jerseys do have a certain cache among obsessive collectors.  The guys at Classic Stuff offer a pair of circa 1991 Orlando Predators home & road Zubaz-tinged jerseys on sale for $250.00 each:

Arnold Campbell.  1991 Orlando Predators home jersey.

Durwood Roquemore.  NFL & USFL vet. 1991 Orlando Predators home jersey.