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1985 Arizona Outlaws

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Arizona Outlaws Media GuideUnited States Football League (1985)

Born: December 1984 – The Arizona Wranglers merge with the Oklahoma Outlaws.
Died: August 1986 – The USFL ceases operations.

Stadium: Sun Devil Stadium

Team Colors:

Owners: William Tatham, Sr. & William Tatham, Jr.

 

The Arizona Outlaws were a pro football team that competed in the third and final season of the United States Football League in the spring of 1985.  The team emerged from the merger of the USFL’s Arizona Wranglers and Oklahoma Outlaws franchise in December 1984.

The Wranglers were a top-flight squad, coached by future Hall of Famer George Allen, and had appeared in the USFL Championship Game in 1984. But team owner Dr. Ted Diethrich, a Phoenix heart surgeon, had lost millions on the club and went looking for someone to take the team off his hands.  He found his partners in William Tatham Sr. and his son, William Jr.  The Tathams owned the Oklahoma Outlaws and they had suffered a nearly immediate case of buyer’s remorse after choosing Tulsa’s Skelly Stadium to host their expansion franchise in 1984.  The stadium was inadequate, it rained nearly every time the team played at home in 1984, and the Outlaws lost their final ten games to finish 6-12.  The Tathams would control 75% of the new club while Diethrich stepped back into quiet anonymity as a minority shareholder

Kit Lathrop Arizona OutlawsThe net effect of the merger was to combine the Wranglers’ stout defense of NFL veterans, built up by Allen over the past two years, with Oklahoma’s management and offensive skill players.  The Tathams also made the dubious decision to re-brand the team as the “Arizona Outlaws”, eradicating two years of marketplace investment in the Wranglers identity.

Allen had already resigned his post prior to the merger.  The Tathams appointed former Arizona State head coach Frank Kush to coach the team in 1985.  Three of the Wranglers key offensive threats from 1984 departed the team: quarterback Greg Landry returned to the NFL.  Top running back Tim Spencer departed for the USFL’s Memphis Showboats.  And wideout Trumaine Johnson, one of the most dangerous weapons in the league, would sit out the entire 1985 season in a contract dispute.

What the Tathams brought with them from Tulsa wasn’t a whole lot.  The main asset among the ex-Oklahomans was former Tampa Bay Buccaneers first round draft pick Doug Williams, who capably replaced Landry at quarterback.  Al Williams, another Oklahoma holdover, posted a 1,000-yard season, making up for some of Trumaine Johnson’s lost production.

After a promising 4-2 start, the Outlaws went into a tailspin and missed the playoffs with a 8-10 record.  Attendance took a big plunge to 17,877 per game, down from over 25,000 for the 1984 Wranglers. Nevertheless, the Tathams and the Outlaws were on board for the USFL’s planned move to a fall season in 1986.  Those plans came to naught when the USFL’s massive anti-trust suit against the National Football League fizzled out in a $3.00 “victory” the summer of the 1986, leaving the USFL owners with no will or funds to continue.  The Outlaws folded along with the rest of this very fun league in August 1986.

In early 1988, St. Louis Cardinals (NFL) owner Bill Bidwill moved his club to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, former home of the Outlaws.  When the move occurred, the terms of an unusual agreement between the defunct Outlaws and Arizona State University came to light.  All fans who put $125 down towards 1986 Outlaws season tickets were offered the right of first refusal on NFL season tickets if and when the USFL folded and an NFL team came to Tempe instead.  The agreement was good for up to two years from the date that the USFL ceased operations, which meant the contract was still binding when Bidwill and the Cardinals arrived in early 1988.  The former Outlaws season ticket holders now controlled nearly 12,000 prime loge season tickets.  Further, Outlaws officials had horse-traded with the tickets, transferring the rights to various people in lieu of payments and salaries.  By the time the deal was revealed, Bill Tatham Jr. personally controlled the rights to 1,728 prime season tickets for the city’s new NFL franchise.  The revelation caused an uproar in Phoenix.  Tatham was investigated by the university on allegations of ticket scalping and the resulting bad publicity over the handling of ticket sales (and the Cardinals league-high pricing) helped cement negative perceptions of the Bidwills in Arizona for years to come.

 

==Slideshow==

  • Arizona Outlaws Pennant
  • 85topps-dwilliams
  • 85topps-katolin
  • 85topps-klong
  • 85topps-klathrop
  • 85topps-dtipton
  • 85topps-blaird
  • 85topps-klorch

 

==Arizona Outlaws Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other

1985

1985 2/24/1985 vs. Portland Breakers W 9-7 Program
1985 3/3/1985 @ San Antonio Gunslingers L 16-14 Ticket
1985 3/11/1985 vs. Jacksonville Bulls W 41-21
1985 3/16/1985 @ Tampa Bay Bandits L 23-13 Program
1985 3/23/1985 vs. Los Angeles Express W 27-13 Program
1985 3/30/1985 vs. New Jersey Generals W 31-13 Program
1985 4/8/1985 @ Denver Gold L 28-7 Program
1985 4/14/1985 vs. Orlando Renegades L 24-19 Program
1985 4/21/1985 vs. Houston Gamblers L 33-17 Program
1985 4/27/1985 @ Oakland Invaders  L 27-11 Program Video
1985 5/5/1985 @ Baltimore Stars L 24-19 Program
1985 5/12/1985 vs. Denver Gold L 42-28 Program
1985 5/19/1985 @ Portland Breakers W 30-21 Program
1985 5/26/1985 @ Houston Gamblers L 41-20 Program
1985 6/1/1985 vs. San Antonio Gunslingers W 13-3 Program
1985 6/8/1985 vs. Oakland Invaders W 28-21
1985 6/15/1985 @ Los Angeles Express W 21-10
1985 6/22/1985 @ Memphis Showboats L 38-28

 

==Links==

USFL Media Guides

USFL Game Programs

###

Written by andycrossley

February 8th, 2015 at 8:02 pm

1983-1985 Oakland Invaders

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Oakland InvadersUnited States Football League (1983-1985)

Born: May 11, 1982 – USFL founding franchise.
Died: Postseason 1985 – The Invaders cease operations.

Stadium: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

 

 

==Oakland Invaders Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other

1983

1983 4/3/1983 @ Los Angeles Express L 10-7 Program
1983 4/16/1983 vs. Philadelphia Stars L 17-7 Program
1983 6/13/1983 vs. Denver Gold W 16-10 Program Video
1983 7/10/1983 @ Michigan Panthers  L 37-21 Program

1984

1984 5/13/1984 vs. Arizona Wranglers W 14-3 Program
1984 6/15/1984 @ Los Angeles Express L 24-19 Program

1985

1985 2/24/1985 vs. Denver Gold W 31-10 Program Game Notes
1985 3/4/1985 vs. Baltimore Stars T 17-17 Game Notes
1985 3/10/1985 vs. Houston Gamblers L 42-7 Program Game Notes
1985 3/17/1985 vs. Jacksonville Bulls W 42-36 Program Game Notes
1985 3/31/1985 @ Los Angeles Express W 30-6 Program
1985 4/6/1985 @ Portland Breakers L 30-17 Program
1985 4/13/1985 @ Birmingham Stallions L 20-17 Program
1985 4/22/1985 vs. San Antonio Gunslingers W 27-20 Program
1985 4/27/1985 vs. Arizona Outlaws W 27-11 Program
1985 5/5/1985 @ Orlando Renegades W 21-7 Program
1985 5/11/1985 vs. Los Angeles Express W 27-6 Program Game Notes
1985 5/18/1985 @ San Antonio Gunslingers W 24-21 Program
1985 6/2/1985 vs. Portland Breakers W 38-20 Program
1985 6/30/1985 vs. Tampa Bay Bandits W 30-27 Program Video
1985 7/14/1985 Baltimore Stars L 28-24 Program Video

 

==Key Players==

  • Anthony Carter
  • Bobby Hebert

 

==YouTube==

The last USFL game.  Invaders vs. Baltimore Stars in the 1985 USFL Championship Game, July 14, 1985.

 

==In Memoriam==

Defensive end Larry Bethea, who played briefly for Oakland in 1985, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 24, 1987 at age 30.

Offensive lineman Chris Riehm (Invaders ’84) passed away in March 2012 at age 50.

Safety John Arnaud died of lung cancer at age 51 on November 10, 2012.

 

==Downloads==

1-4-1984 Oakland Invaders Territorial Draft Selections Press Release

April 1984 Oakland Invaders “Gold Helmet Club” Newsletter

 

==Links==

USFL Media Guides

USFL Game Programs

###

1983-1985 Los Angeles Express

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Steve Young Los Angeles ExpressUnited States Football League (1983-1985)

Born: May 11, 1982 – USFL founding franchise.
Died: 1985 – The Express cease operations.

Stadiums:

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

 

 

==Los Angeles Express Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other

1983

1983 3/6/1983 vs. New Jersey Generals W 20-15 Program
1983 4/3/1983 vs. Oakland Invaders W 10-7 Program

1984

1984 4/1/1984 vs. New Jersey Generals L 26-10 Program
1984 5/13/1984 @ Philadelphia Stars  L 18-14 Program Video
1984 6/15/1984 vs. Oakland Invaders W 24-19 Program

1985

1985 3/10/1985 @ New Jersey Generals L 35-24 Program
1985 3/23/1985 @ Arizona Outlaws L 27-13 Program
1985 3/31/1985 vs. Oakland Invaders L 30-6 Program
1985 5/4/1985 vs. Tampa Bay Bandits L 24-14 Program Video
1985 5/11/1985 @ Oakland Invaders L 27-6 Program

 

==Key Players==

  • Steve Young
  • Gary Zimmerman

 

==YouTube==

Los Angeles Express debut game at the L.A. Coliseum. March 6, 1983.

==In Memoriam==

Defensive back David Croudip (Express ’83) died of a cocaine overdose on October 10, 1988 at age 30.  He was a member of the Atlanta Falcons at the time. (New York Times article)

Ex-USC and L.A. Express wide receiver Kevin Williams (’83) died in a freight train crash near Los Angeles while working as a brakeman on February 1, 1996.  Williams was 38.

Founding co- owner Bill Daniels died on March 7, 2000.  The cable TV pioneer was 79 years old.

Express General Manager Don Klosterman (’84-’85) died of a heart attack on June 7, 2000 at age 70.

Former USC and L.A. Express defensive lineman Rich Dimler passed away September 30, 2000 of pancreatitis at age 44.

Linebacker Carlton Rose (Express ’85) died of a stroke on March 26, 2006.  Rose was 44.

Linebacker Eric Scoggins (USC ’80, Express ’83) died of amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on January 10, 2009 at the age of 49.

 

==Links==

USFL Media Guides

USFL Game Programs

###

1983-1984 Philadelphia Stars

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Philadelphia Stars USFLUnited States Football League (1983-1984)

Born: May 11, 1982 – USFL founding franchise.
Died: October 1984 – The Stars relocate to Baltimore, MD.

Stadiums:

Team Colors:

Owner: Myles Tannenbaum

 

 

 

==Philadelphia Stars Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
3/6/1983 @ Denver Gold W 13-7 Program Video
4/16/1983 @ Oakland Invaders W 17-7 Program
5/29/1983 @ Boston Breakers  L 21-17 Video
7/9/1983 vs. Chicago Blitz W 44-38 (OT) Program Video
7/17/1983 Michigan Panthers L 24-22 Program Video
4/1/1984 vs. Tampa Bay Bandits W 38-24 Program Video
4/15/1984 vs. Chicago Blitz W 41-7 Program
5/13/1984 vs. Los Angeles Express W 18-14 Program Video
6/30/1984 vs. New Jersey Generals W 28-7 Video
7/7/1984 vs. Birmingham Stallions W 20-10 Program
7/15/1985 Arizona Wranglers W 23-3 Program Video

 

==Key Players==

 

==YouTube==

1983 USFL Championship Game on ABC Sports.  Michigan Panthers vs. Philadelphia Stars at Denver, Co. July 17, 1983…

1984 Inside The USFL feature on the Stars’ remarkable track record…

==In Memoriam==

Former Stars linebacker Sam Mills passed away April 18, 2005 at age 45 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Stars founder and owner Myles Tannenbaum died on August 31, 2012 at the age of 82 years old.

 

==Links==

United States Football League Media Guides

United States Football League Programs

##

 

1983-1984 Michigan Panthers

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Michigan PanthersUnited States Football League (1983-1984)

Born: May 11, 1982 – USFL founding franchise.
Died: November 20, 1984 – The Panthers merge with the Oakland Invaders.

Stadium: Pontiac Silverdome

Team Colors: Royal Plum, Champagne Silver, Light Blue & White

Owners: A. Alfred Taubman, Max Fisher and Peter Spivak

 

The Michigan Panthers were a very strong pro football entry in the United States Football League.  A popular springtime alternative to the Lions for Detroit gridiron fans, the team was soon pushed out of business by the USFL’s decision to abandon its spring schedule in favor of head-to-head competition with the NFL in the fall.

During the league’s first season in the spring of 1983, the Panthers were one of the top-spending teams in the USFL.   and put together a blend of NFL veterans and talented rookies.  The offense, in particular, relied on a trio of rookie skill position players – unheralded Cajun quarterback Bobby Hebert out of Northwestern State (Louisiana), running back Ken Lacy from the University of Tulsa, and star wideout Anthony Carter of Michigan, who would have been a top NFL draft pick in 1983 had the Panthers not lured him away from the senior circuit.

The defense was keyed by NFL washout John Corker, who would terrorize the USFL in 1983 with 28.5 sacks from his outside linebacker position, and rookie safety David Greenwood out of Wisconsin (who doubled as the Panthers’ punter).

David Greenwood USFLThe Panthers got off to a weak 1-4 start before catching fire midway through the season.  They won 11 of their final 13 to finish the 1983 season with a 12-6 record.  As the wins mounted, fans began to take notice.  When the Panthers hosted the Western Conference championship playoff game against the Oakland Invaders at the Silverdome on July 10th, 1983, a USFL record 60,237 fans showed up.

The following week, the Panthers travelled to Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado for the first USFL Championship Game against the Philadelphia Stars.  The Panthers won the game 24-22 with the decisive play coming on a 4th quarter touchdown pass from Hebert to Carter.

The script flipped for the Panthers during the 1984 USFL season.  Michigan got off to a hot start, racing out to a 6-0 record through the first third of the schedule.  But in Week Six against the San Antonio Gunslingers, Anthony Carter broke his arm and was lost for the remainder of the season.  The team went into a prolonged funk, losing eight of their next ten before rallying to win their final two games and sneak into the playoffs with a 10-8 record.

On June 30th, 1984 the Panthers played the Los Angeles Expressquarterbacked by future Hall-of-Famer Steve Young, in a first round playoff contest.  The quarterfinal game turned into an epic battle, although fewer than 8,000 fans were on hand to watch it at the Coliseum.  The Express finally triumphed 27-21 in the third overtime period, on a long touchdown run by future Detroit Lion Mel Gray.  At three overtimes, the game remains the longest pro football game in history.

It was also the last game ever played by the Panthers.  At the end of the 1984 season, USFL owners voted to shift to a fall season in 1986.  The Panthers were against the move, not wishing to compete head-to-head with the NFL’s Detroit Lions.  The business model shift set off a wave of relocations and mergers among the USFL franchises located in NFL markets.  In the fall of 1984, the Panthers merged with the Oakland Invaders.  Most of the top Panthers players, with the exception of John Corker, moved to Oakland for the USFL’s final spring season in 1985.

The Invaders, led by Hebert, Carter and other Michigan holdovers, returned to the USFL championship game in 1985.  There they met the Baltimore Stars in what was to some degree a rematch of the 1983 USFL title game against the then-Philadelphia Stars.  (The Stars were another relocation born out of the USFL’s planned switch to the fall).  This time the Stars came out on top with a 28-24 victory at Giants Stadium on July 14, 1985.  This was the final game in USFL history, as the league folded before staging its planned fall season in 1986.

 

==Michigan Panthers Games on Fun While It Lasted==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
4/4/1983 vs. Denver Gold L 29-21 Program
5/1/1983 @ Boston Breakers W 28-24  Program Video
5/16/1983 vs. New Jersey Generals W 31-24 Video
5/23/1983 vs. Birmingham Stallions L 23-20 Program Video
7/3/1983 vs. Arizona Wranglers W 33-7 Program Video
7/10/1983 vs. Oakland Invaders W 37-21 Program
7/17/1983 Philadelphia Stars W 24-22 Program Video
2/27/1984 vs. Chicago Blitz W 20-18 Video
3/3/1984 vs. Pittsburgh Maulers W 27-24 Video
3/26/1984 @ Houston Gamblers W 52-34 Video
4/23/1984 vs. Tampa Bay Bandits L 20-7 Video
4/29/1984 @ New Jersey Generals L 31-21 Video
5/20/1984 @ Los Angeles Express L 24-17 Video
5/27/1984 vs. Philadelphia Stars L 31-13 Video
6/30/1984 @ Los Angeles Express L 27-21 (3 OT) Video

 

==Key Players==

  • Anthony Carter
  • John Corker
  • Bobby Hebert

 

==YouTube==

The Panthers defeat the Philadelphia Stars in the first USFL championship game.  July 17th, 1983.

 

==In Memoriam==

Defensive end Larry Bethea, who had 11 sacks for the Panthers in 1984, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 24, 1987 at age 30.

Defensive lineman Phil Dokes, a 1977 NFL 1st round pick who played for the Panthers in 1983, passed away on December 7th, 1989 at age 34.

Panthers offensive guard Tyrone McGriff died of a heart attack on December 9th, 2000 at age 42.

Former Panthers Head Coach Jim Stanley died of melanoma at age 76 on January 12, 2012.

Safety John Arnaud died of lung cancer at age 51 on November 10, 2012.

 

==Downloads==

1983 David Greenwood USFL Standard Player Contract

 

==Links==

USFL Media Guides

USFL Game Programs

###

Written by andycrossley

June 1st, 2014 at 1:43 pm