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World Football League Summary Page / 1974 and 1975 Seasons


Originally researched on March 19, 2001. Last updated on August 27, 2020.


30 helmets for 23 teams during the two year existence of the WFL, this helmet count includes the Portland Thunder pre-season version

For details, see Wikipedia

For uniforms, see Gridiron Uniform Database and Just Sports Stats

1974 Teams1975 Teams

Birmingham Americans

  • White helmet, "A" logo, red-blue-red stripes, gray facemask
  • Birmingham Vulcans

  • White helmet, "V" logo, red-blue-red stripes, blue facemask
  • Chicago Fire

  • Red helmet, flame logo, white-black-white stripes, gray facemask
  • Chicago Winds

  • White helmet, green "W" logo, green-white-green stripes, gray facemask
  • White helmet, green wavy "W" logo, green-white-green stripes, gray facemask

    1. For the second version of the 1975 Chicago Winds helmet, a low resolution photo seems to show the "script W" completely within the green oval. This is contrary to the printed Winds memorabilia such as game programs, pocket schedules, etc.
    reference link = National Champs Helmet Project / WFL section

  • Detroit Wheels

  • Yellow helmet, "d" logo, black-red-black stripes, yellow facemask
  • Yellow helmet, "d" logo, black-red-black stripes, gray facemask
  • Detroit - no team

    Florida Blazers

  • Navy helmet, blaze logo, red/orange-white-red/orange stripes, gray facemask
  • San Antonio Wings

  • White helmet, blue wings, no stripes, gray facemask
  • Houston Texans/Shreveport Steamer

  • Yellow helmet, h-Texas logo, white-green-white stripes, gray facemask
  • Yellow helmet, no logo, white-green-white stripes, gray facemask
  • Yellow helmet, green "S" logo, white-green-white stripes, gray facemask
  • Shreveport Steamer

  • Yellow helmet, green steamboat logo, white-green-white stripes, gray facemask
  • Jacksonville Sharks

  • Silver helmet, shark logo, blue-white-blue stripes, gray facemask
  • Jacksonville Express

  • Yellow helmet, train logo, dark orange-brown-dark orange stripes gray facemask
  • Memphis Southmen

  • White helmet, bear logo with white background, dark brown-orange-dark brown stripes, gray facemask
  • Memphis Southmen

  • White helmet, bear logo with orange background, dark brown-orange-dark brown stripes, gray facemask
  • NY Stars/Charlotte Stars/Charlotte Hornets

  • Black helmet, "NY star" logo, yellow-white-yellow stripes, gray facemask
  • Black helmet, "C star" logo, yellow-white-yellow stripes, gray facemask
  • Black helmet, white "C" logo, yellow-white-yellow stripes, gray facemask
  • Charlotte Hornets

  • Yellow helmet, bee logo, black-white-black stripes, gray facemask
  • Philadelphia Bell

  • Gold helmet, bell logo, white-blue-white stripes, gray facemask
  • Philadelphia Bell

  • Gold helmet, bell logo, white-blue-white stripes, blue facemask
  • Portland Storm

  • White helmet, steam logo, teal-blue-teal stripes, gray facemask
  • Portland Thunder

  • White helmet, thunderbolt logo, green-blue-green stripes, gray facemask (pre-season only)
  • White helmet, thunderbolt logo, green-white-blue-white-green stripes, gray facemask
  • Southern California Sun

  • White helmet, sun logo, dark pink-orange-dark pink stripes, gray facemask
  • Southern California Sun

  • White helmet, sun logo, dark pink-white-orange-white-dark pink stripes, gray facemask
  • The Hawaiians

  • Gold helmet, Hawaiian logo with white-tone skin, red/orange-brown-red/orange stripes, gray facemask
  • The Hawaiians

  • Gold helmet, Hawaiian logo with flesh-tone skin, red/orange-brown-red/orange stripes, gray facemask

  • 1974 Final Standings
    Eastern DivisionWLTPct.PFPA
    Florida Blazers *1460.700419280
    New York Stars / Charlotte Stars / Charlotte Hornets +10100.500467350
    Philadelphia Bell **9110.450493413
    Jacksonville Sharks #4100.286258358
    Central DivisionWLTPct.PFPA
    Memphis Southmen ***1730.850629365
    Birmingham Americans **1550.750500394
    Chicago Fire ~7130.350446602
    Detroit Wheels #1130.071209358
    Western DivisionWLTPct.PFPA
    Southern California Sun1370.650486441
    The Hawaiians **9110.450413422
    Portland Storm ^7121.368264426
    Houston Texans / Shreveport Steamer @7121.368240415

    * Was originally the Washington-Baltimore and Virginia Ambassadors.

    ** Wild Card qualifier for playoffs. The Philadelphia Bell, who finished one game behind the Hornets (and with a losing record) but had somewhat more robust finances, advanced as the second Eastern qualifier.

    *** The Memphis Southmen started out as the Toronto Northmen prior to the season's start.

    + Was originally Boston Bulls. Started season as the New York Stars. After the September 24th game, was the Charlotte Stars for one game after moving from New York to Charlotte, the October 3rd game at the Chicago Fire. Was Charlotte Hornets for the last six games of the season.

    # Operations suspended on Oct. 2 (after 14 games).

    ~ Operations suspended after 19 games (forfeited 20th game to Philadelphia Bell).

    @ Was originally the first Memphis franchise. Started the season as the Houston Texans. After the September 11th game, the Houston Texans were transferred to Shreveport on September 18, and were initially called "Louisiana" because no new nickname was given at the time and the "Texans" nickname was dropped. This page acknowledges the "Shreveport Steamer" for the September 19th game. They officially became the Shreveport Steamer on Sept 23, 1974.

    ^ When the World Football League was created in October 1973, the Storm was the original New York franchise. When the Boston Bulls merged with New York to become the New York Stars, the original New York entry's draft picks were eventually relegated to Portland.

    1974 League Notes:

  • Commissioner: Gary Davidson (1974), who earlier created the American Basketball Association and the World Hockey Association, became involved with football this season.
  • Franchises sold for $100,000 to $500,000.
  • Franchises in Toronto, Mexico City, Tokyo, and Rome were discussed but did not materialize.
  • The Detroit Wheels owners filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on September 24, the same day that the New York Stars were sold from Robert J. Schmertz to Upton Bell, who then moved the Stars south to Charlotte. For one game, they were called the Charlotte Stars, sporting Chicago Bears decals on their helmets, and for supreme irony, they played at Soldier Field, home of the Bears, against the Chicago Fire. They were eventually renamed to the Charlotte Hornets. The Detroit Wheels cancelled the last 6 of the 1974 season due to the original owners declaring bankruptcy and no other owner/investment group purchased the team.
  • The Philadelphia Story: The WFL's credibility suffered badly from the actions of the Philadelphia Bell. The team reported an attendance of 55,534 for its opening game against Portland and then announced 64,719 for its game against New York. Such NFL like figures were calculated to make the older league sit up and take notice. Unfortunately, they were also calculated out of smoke. A club official eventually admitted that the actual paid figures were 13,800 and 6,200. Any others in the stands were "freebies". From then on fans and media looked at any WFL attendance figures with suspicion and former "friendlies" turned wary. The francise shifts and failings that followed underlined the Philadelphia duplicity.
  • 1975 Final Standings
    Eastern DivisionWLTPct.PFPA
    Birmingham Vulcans +930.750257186
    Memphis Southmen * ^740.636254206
    Charlotte Hornets650.545225199
    Jacksonville Express #650.545227247
    Philadelphia Bell470.364195237
    Western DivisionWLTPct.PFPA
    Southern California Sun750.583354341
    San Antonio Wings * ~760.538364268
    Shreveport Steamer570.417276313
    Portland Thunder @470.364213239
    The Hawaiians470.364210281
    Chicago Winds **140.200 67125




    * First half winner.

    + Was originally the Birmingham Americans.

    ^ Changed nickname after season to Grizzlies in an attempt to enter the NFL.

    # Was originally the Jacksonville Sharks.

    ~ The Florida Blazers team moved to San Antonio and was renamed the San Antonio Wings.

    @ Was originally the Portland Storm.

    ** The Chicago Winds team folds after 5 games.











    1975 League Notes:

  • Commissioner: Christopher Hemmeter 1974-75
  • In spite of new big-name N.F.L. talent, the replacement of many of the original teams with new franchises, and a plan dedicating a percentage of total revenue to players' and coaches' salaries, the W.F.L. was not able to complete its projected 18-game schedule in a 20-week season.
  • The World Football League folds on October 22, 1975, just 12 games into the season.
  • No playoffs were held. It has become well known, probably due to "revisionist historians", that the league declared the Birmingham Vulcans as 1975 WFL Champions because they had the best record when the league ceased operations. However, no official records from "at the time" have been discovered.
  • No official MVP was named, but again the "revisionist historians" have declared Anthony Davis, Southern California Sun RB as the 1975 WFL MVP.
  • 1974 WFL Playoffs1975 WFL Playoffs
    1974 Divisional Playoffs1974 Semi-Finals
    1974 World Bowl
    1974 Semi-Finals1974 Divisional Playoffs
    November 21, 1974
    Philadelphia Bell 3
    at Florida Blazers 18
    Attendance: 9,712
    November 21, 1974
    The Hawaiians 32
    at So. Cal. Sun 14
    Attendance: 11,430
    November 29, 1974
    Florida Blazers 18
    at Mem. Southmen 15
    Attendance: 9,692
    November 27, 1975
    The Hawaiians 19
    at Bir. Americans 22
    Attendance: 15,379
    December 5, 1974
    Florida Blazers 21
    at Bir. Americans 22
    MVP: George Mira
    Birmingham, QB
    Attendance: 32,376
    1975 Quarterfinals1975 Semi-Finals
    1975 World Bowl
    1975 Semi-Finals1975 Quarterfinals
    December 20, 1975
    Team 3 00
    at Team 4 00
    Attendance: 00,000
    December 20, 1975
    Team 5 00
    at Team 6 00
    Attendance: 00,000
    December 27, 1975
    Winner 1 00
    at Team 1 00
    Attendance: 00,000
    December 27, 1975
    Winner 2 00
    at Team 2 00
    Attendance: 00,000
    January 4, 1976
    Winner 3 00
    at Winner 4 00
    MVP: Name
    Team, Position
    Attendance: 00,000


    1974 Teams

    1974 Birmingham Americans Game Results
    Regular SeasonOpponentResultAttendance
    July 10WednesdaySouthern California SunW11-753,231
    43,031 / 41,799
    July 17Wednesdayat New York StarsW32-2917,943
    July 24WednesdayMemphis SouthmenW58-3361,319
    54,413 / 40,367
    July 31Wednesdayat Detroit WheelsW21-1814,614
    August 7WednesdayDetroit WheelsW28-2256,453
    - / 33,993
    August 14WednesdayThe HawaiiansW 39-043,297
    August 21Wednesdayat Jacksonville SharksW15-1427,140
    August 29Thursdayat Chicago FireW22-844,732
    September 2MondayFlorida BlazersW8-736,529
    September 7SaturdayChicago FireW41-4054,872
    September 11Wednesdayat Memphis SouthmenL7-4630,675
    September 19 ^ThursdayShreveport SteamerW42-1433,619
    September 25Wednesdayat Portland StormL21-2614,273
    October 2Wednesdayat The HawaiiansL8-1412,039
    October 9WednesdayPortland StormW30-825,621
    October 16Wednesdayat Southern California SunL25-2925,247
    October 23Wednesdayat Shreveport SteamerL0-3124,617
    October 30 *WednesdayFlorida BlazersW26-1821,872
    November 6WednesdayPhiladelphia BellW26-2322,963
    November 13WednesdayShreveport SteamerW40-714,794
    Playoffs
    November 27WednesdaySemi-Final
    Hawaiians
    W22-1915,379
    December 5ThursdayWorld Bowl
    Florida Blazers
    W22-2132,376
    Notes:

    1. Attendance announced at the park, shown first, was inflated. Shown in italics: actual crowd/paid crowd

    2. * - originally scheduled to be played in Orlando

    3. ^ - first game for the "Steamer" franchise after announcing move to Shreveport, LA

    1974 Team Summary

    The most successful of the World Football League franchises, the Americans led the new league in attendance and won all 13 of their home games. Winning their first 10 games in a row, the team developed a reputation for come-from-behind victories and winning by narrow margins. The Americans finished the 1974 regular season at 15-5 and won the 1974 World Bowl by just one point.

    Financially unstable due to investor reluctance and lavish signing bonuses paid to lure National Football League (NFL) players to the new league, the team was folded after only one season. Most of the team's assets were seized to pay back taxes; failed lawsuits to recover the signing bonus money kept the team in the headlines long after the WFL was itself defunct. The Americans were replaced as the Birmingham WFL franchise for the 1975 season by a new team called the Birmingham Vulcans.

    1974 Birmingham Americans Team Facts
    Ownership headed by William (Bill) Putman & Carol Stallworth
    President Carol Stallworth
    General Manager Jack Gotta
    Head Coach Jack Gotta
    Stadium Legion Field (68,000)
    Colors Scarlet, White, Royal Blue

                  

    1974 Birmingham Americans Starting Lineup
    QB George Mira / Matthew Reed S Dick Lyons
    RB Paul Robinson S Randy Lee
    RB Charley Harraway CB Steve Williams
    TE Jim Bishop CB Cecil Leonard
    WR Alfred Jenkins LE Dick Trower
    WR Dennis Homan LT Clarence Washington
    C John Matlock RE Tiny Andrews
    LT Joe Wolfe RT Larry Estes
    LG Jim Kregel LLB Jim Teal
    RG Joe O'Connell MLB Warren Capone
    RT Rick Costa RLB Ross Brupbacher
    K Earl Sark P Rusty Jackson

    Americans Logo

    1974 Birmingham Americans Statistics

    Passing:
    Player Att Comp Comp % Yds Yds/Att TDs TD % Ints Int % Long Sacked Yds Lost Rating
    George Mira31315549.522487.2175.4154.8952120471.4
    Matthew Reed1887741.013457.2115.9115.98064261.1
    Denny Duron5240.0295.800.0120.01711020.0
    Totals50623446.236227.2285.5275.395 28256

    Rushing:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Paul Robinson1675993.631 2
    Jimmy Edwards995755.878 5
    Art Cantrelle1295194.028 6
    Charlie Harraway1384963.617 8
    Joe Profit843784.524 1
    Matthew Reed401764.422 3
    Carl Bartles391012.611 2
    Cannonball Butler7162.30
    George Mira13131.013 1
    Earl Sark11111.011 0
    Alfred Jenkins382.70
    Jim Bishop100.00
    Denny Duron4-5-1.2-2 0
    Totals72528874.078 28

    Receiving:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Dennis Homan6193015.273 8
    Alfred Jenkins60132622.195 12
    Paul Robinson2323710.330 2
    Art Cantrelle2022911.427 1
    Jim Bishop1722813.433 2
    Robert Brown1626616.634 0
    Ted Powell1420614.732 1
    Jimmy Edwards1112811.628 2
    Charlie Harraway7202.90
    Joe Profit2115.50
    Carl Bartles11515.015 0
    Steve Barrios11515.015 0
    Denny Duron11111.011 0
    Totals234362215.595 28

    Kicking:
    Player X/CA X/CM X/CP % FGA FGM FG % Pts.
    Earl Sark0001133
    Grant Guthrie00026
    Totals0001339

    Punting:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long
    Earl Sark102396538.962
    Totals102396538.962

    Punt Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Willie Smith2633112.781 1
    Alfred Jenkins302628.742 0
    Steve Williams8394.914 0
    Warren Capone12222.022 0
    Gerard Williams3165.312 0
    Butch Brezina111.00
    Totals696719.781 1

    Kickoff Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Jimmy Edwards3049216.480 0
    Charlie Reamon1547031.368 0
    Joe Profit1223219.329 0
    Cecil Leonard616727.835 0
    Willie Smith714320.423 0
    Drane Scrivener12828.028 0
    Gerard Williams12323.023 0
    Ron Foxx3217.012 0
    Mike Mullen11414.014 0
    Jim Teal11010.010 0
    Edgar Chandler188.00
    John Baker100.00
    Totals79160820.480 0

    Interceptions:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Gerard Williams410526.226.3 2
    Larry Willingham44912.216.3 0
    Warren Capone4389.59.5 1
    Ross Brupbacher4133.23.3 0
    Dicky Lyons35618.718.7 0
    Willie Smith25226.026 0
    Charlie Reamon23216.020 0
    Randy Lee22010.010 0
    Jim Teal2105.01
    Cecil Leonard221.00
    Steve Williams15050.050 0
    Ron Foxx12929.029 0
    Gary Champagne11818.018 0
    Steve Conley11111.011 0
    Mike Mullen11010.010 0
    Steve Manstedt144.00
    Chris Arnold100.00
    Bill Bryant1-5-5.0-5 0
    Totals3749413.450 4

    Total Scoring:
    Touchdowns Other Total
    Player Rush Rec Punt Kick MFG Int Fum Other FG X/C Single 2Pt Saf Points
    Alfred Jenkins0120000500089
    Dennis Homan080000200058
    Charlie Harraway800000100057
    Jimmy Edwards520000300052
    Art Cantrelle610000200051
    Earl Sark0000011000033
    Paul Robinson220000500033
    Matthew Reed300000100022
    Jim Bishop020000100015
    Gerard Williams000020000014
    Carl Bartles200000100015
    Willie Smith0010010000014
    Jim Teal00001000007
    Warren Capone00001000007
    Joe Profit10000000007
    George Mira10000000007
    Ted Powell01000020009
    Grant Guthrie00000200006
    Robert Brown00000040004
    Totals28281004011327000500

    1974 Birmingham Americans Roster
    NoPlayerPosHtWtAgeCollegeGPGS
    70John AndrewsRDT6-625023Morgan State
    32Chris ArnoldS6-220121Virginia State
    62John BakerLDE-RDE-DT6-526032Virginia Union; Norfolk State
    21Steve BarriosWR5-1118524Tulane1
    33Carl BartlesFB6-121226Lenoir-Rhyne
    72Eddie BiggsDT6-324524Appalachian State
    84Jim BishopTE6-222525Tennessee Tech
    61Butch BrezinaRDT6-225024Houston
    88Bob BrownTE6-322531Alcorn State
    73/71Buddy BrownLOT-LOG-ROG6-125524Alabama
    76/74Ross BrupbacherRLB-LLB6-321526Texas A&M19
    34Bill BryantLCB5-1119523Grambling State
    33Jim ButlerRB5-1019131Edward Waters
    22Art CantrelleFB6-020326Louisiana State
    55Warren CaponeMLB6-121823Louisiana State
    57Jay CaseyC-OG6-124523Auburn
    50Gary ChampagneSLB6-121222Louisiana State
    51/45Edgar ChandlerLB6-322728Georgia
    88Steve ConleyLB-TE6-222525Arizona Western JC; Kansas
    79Paul CostaROT6-425233Notre Dame
    62Gary CraneRDT6-423028Arkansas State
    Ron CurlDT6-225025Michigan State
    66Grant CvitanichRDT6-325224San Francisco State
    66Nate DorseyLDE6-424024Mississippi Valley State
    7Denny DuronQB-WR6-019522Louisiana Tech
    20Jimmy EdwardsHB5-918522Oklahoma; Louisiana-Monroe16
    67Phil EngleDT6-226524South Dakota State
    72Larry EstesRDE6-625028Alcorn State
    40Ron FoxxLLB6-322023Alabama A&M
    68Gary GennerichOG6-425623Clemson
    35Grant GuthrieK6-021026Florida State
    31Charley HarrawayFB6-222130San Jose State18
    21George HaynesCB6-218523Tulsa
    66Mel HolmesROG6-325124North Carolina A&T State
    25Dennis HomanWR6-118128Alabama
    23Charles HummingsWR6-117521Morris Brown
    80Alfred JenkinsWR5-1017222Morris Brown20
    60Jim KregelLOG-ROG6-225022Ohio State20
    32Randy LeeSS6-319523Tulane
    32Cecil LeonardLCB5-1116528Tuskegee
    35Dicky LyonsFS-SS6-019027Kentucky
    59Steve ManstedtLLB6-221823Nebraska10
    53John MatlockC6-425030Miami (Florida)
    10George MiraQB5-1119032Miami (Florida)18
    51Mike MullenMLB6-222024Oklahoma; Tulane
    67Joe O'DonnellROG6-224933Michigan
    85Jim OwingsTE-WR6-222023Georgia Tech
    82Ted PowellTE6-122022Ferrum JC; Ohio State
    5Joe ProfitHB6-021025Louisiana-Monroe
    45Charlie ReamonLCB5-1118525Maryland-Eastern Shore
    11Matthew ReedQB6-422523Grambling State19
    18Paul RobinsonRB6-019930Eastern Arizona JC; Arizona20
    9Earl SarkP-K6-219022New Mexico State200
    34Drane ScrivenerCB-S6-019023Cisco JC; Tulsa1
    68Al SitterleOG6-426522North Carolina State
    68John SkladanyRDE-DT6-425024Central Connecticut State
    42Willie SmithLCB-SS5-1118723Morris Brown
    70Bob TatarekDT6-426028Miami (Florida)
    58Jimmy TealLLB-RLB6-322524Purdue
    77Dick TrowerLDE-LDT6-325025Miami (Florida)
    58Mike TruaxLB6-221722Tulane3
    63Clarence WashingtonLDT6-326528Arkansas-Pine Bluff
    70Bill WidemanDE6-326523North Carolina A&T State
    30Gerard WilliamsRCB6-118422Langston9
    30Steve WilliamsRCB5-1117324Alabama
    28Larry WillinghamFS-SS-CB6-019826Auburn
    72/66Wimpy WintherC6-426027Mississippi
    68Jessie WolfRDT6-627022Prairie View A&M
    71Bob WolfeLOT-ROT6-526023Nebraska
    66James WrightOG6-125023Southern University

    1974 Chicago Fire Game Results
    Regular SeasonOpponentResultAttendance
    July 10WednesdayHouston TexansW17-042,000
    July 17WednesdayJacksonville SharksW25-2229,308
    July 24Wednesdayat Portland StormW29-2219,358
    July 28Sundayat The HawaiiansW53-2912,608
    August 7WednesdayFlorida BlazersL21-4631,193
    August 14WednesdayPhiladelphia BellW32-2927,607
    August 22Thursdayat Detroit WheelsW35-2310,300
    August 29ThursdayBirmingham AmericansL8-2244,732
    September 2Mondayat Southern California SunW32-2227,133
    September 7Saturdayat Birmingham AmericansL40-4154,872
    September 11WednesdaySouthern California SunL28-3124,837
    September 18WednesdayMemphis SouthmenL7-2526,678
    September 26Thursdayat Florida BlazersL0-2916,679
    October 3ThursdayCharlotte StarsL30-4122,354
    October 9WednesdayFlorida BlazersL17-4523,289
    October 16Wednesdayat Charlotte HornetsL0-2720,333
    October 23WednesdayThe HawaiiansL17-6020,203
    October 31Wednesdayat Philadelphia BellL31-3712,500
    November 7Thursdayat Memphis SouthmenL24-4914,085
    November 13Wednesday-- at Philadephia BellL0-2 (forfeit)cancelled
    Notes:

    1. Owner Tom Origer, fed up by the team's collapse (as well as bankrupt), refused to fly the club to Philadelphia for Chicago's final game, forfeiting the contest and giving the Fire a final record of 7-13. Soon after, the club disbanded.

    2. Tom Origer, once the most optimistic owner in the WFL, referred to the November 13th game with the Philadelphia Bell as "meaningless".

    1974 Team Summary

    Founded in late October 1973 by building magnate Thomas Origer, he was the first owner to purchase a WFL franchise, for around $400,000. Chicago was the first franchise to sign a player, wide receiver Jim Seymour, fullback Bill Booker, and the first to sign a "name" player, quarterback Virgil Carter. Carter played in Chicago for the NFL Chicago Bears as well as the Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers. Another notable Chicago Fire player was punter Chuck Ramsey, who would later go on to play with the New York Jets.

    The radio announcer for the Fire was former Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play man, Eddie Ducette. The public address announcers at Soldier Field were Eddie Ryan and Les Grobstein.

    1974 Chicago Fire Team Facts
    Original Owner Nick Mileti
    Owner Tom Origer
    General Manager Al Lange
    Head Coach Jim Spavital
    Stadium Soldier Field (55,000)
    Colors Red, Black

             

    1974 Chicago Fire Starting Lineup
    QB Virgil Carter * / Bill Cappleman / Bubba Wyche S Harry Howard
    RB Mark Kellar * / Leroy Kelly S Barry Ruffner * / Craig O'Sadnick
    RB Cyril Pinder CB Hal Phillips / Richardson
    TE Don Burchfield CB Joe Womack * / Walter Rhone
    WR James Scott * / Lonnie Crittenden LE Doug Troszak
    WR Jack Dolbin LT Ken Sanduk
    C Guy Murdock RT Chuck Bailey
    LG Glenn Hyde RE Mick Heinrich
    LT Dave Bradley LLB Ron Porter
    RG Steve Wright MLB Rudy Kuchenberg
    RT Mike Sikich RLB Tom Roussel * / Chuck Kogut
    K Chuck Ramsey * / Allan Watson P Chuck Ramsey * / Lon Crittenden
    * Virgil Carter was injured playing against Memphis and was lost for the season. He was replaced by Bill Cappleman and then by ex-Wheel Bubba Wyche.

    * Mark Kellar was lost for the season against Southern California and was replaced by ex-NFL great Leroy Kelly.

    * James Scott was also injured versus the Sun and replace by Lonnie Crittenden.

    * Chuck Ramsey was suspended and left the team. He was replaced by Allan Watson at K and Lon Crittenden at P.

    * Barry Ruffner was injured and replaced by Craig O'Sadnick.

    * Joe Womack was injured and replaced by Walter Rhone.

    * Tom Roussel and Chuck Kogut played at RLB.

    Fire Logo (8801 bytes)

    1974 Chicago Fire Statistics

    Passing:
    Player Att Comp Comp % Yds Yds/Att TDs TD % Ints Int % Long Sacked Yds Lost Rating
    Virgil Carter35819554.526297.3277.5164.5722622584.6
    Bill Cappelman1124439.36505.843.6119.854109331.3
    Bubba Wyche733649.34736.511.422.74364263.3
    Leo Hart371232.41764.812.712.74743446.7
    Chuck Ramsey2150.02211.000.000.0220089.6
    Maurie Daigneau10440.0222.200.0110.09008.3
    Jimmie Calip100.000.000.000.000039.6
    Joe Womack100.000.000.000.000039.6
    Totals59429249.239726.7335.6315.272 46394

    Rushing:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Cyril Pinder1799255.259 8
    Mark Kellar1897784.124 9
    Leroy Kelly773154.124 1
    Bob Wyatt652163.321 1
    Reggie Sanderson432024.737 0
    Virgil Carter27813.012 1
    Lonnie Crittenden34916.313 0
    Bill Cappelman8455.617 0
    Jimmie Calip11403.612 0
    Clayton Heath15291.90
    Jack Dolbin22613.019 0
    Bubba Wyche10222.23
    Bill Rudder891.10
    Maurie Daigneau242.00
    Billy Taylor122.00
    Joe Womack111.01
    James Scott1-1-1.0-1 0
    Mike Botts1-3-3.0-3 0
    Chuck Ramsey1-10-10.0-10 0
    Totals64427304.259 24

    Receiving:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Jack Dolbin5494217.472 7
    James Scott5275514.569 8
    Cyril Pinder292077.138 3
    Lonnie Crittenden2849817.854t2
    Mark Kellar2834212.250 6
    Don Burchfield1926814.143 1
    Jim Seymour1623814.940 4
    Bob Wyatt161519.429 1
    Jimmie Kennedy9596.614 0
    Leroy Kelly812816.032 0
    Reggie Sanderson6325.328 1
    Terry Phillips59318.623 0
    Bill Rudder55210.432 0
    Luther Palmer44812.023 0
    Glenn Damato4328.012 0
    Mike Reppond25025.00
    Clayton Heath22211.013 0
    Ron Thomas284.00
    Dick Brewer12222.022 0
    Jimmie Calip11919.019 0
    Willie Miller166.00
    Totals292397213.672 33

    Kicking:
    Player X/CA X/CM X/CP % FGA FGM FG % Pts.
    Allan Watson000515
    Chuck Ramsey00039
    Totals000824

    Punting:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long
    Chuck Ramsey71283139.961
    Lonnie Crittenden2069334.655
    Allan Watson515531.035
    Bill Cappelman414636.50
    Totals100382538.261

    Punt Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Harry Howard412065.022 0
    Joe Womack77711.050 0
    Reggie Sanderson14634.513 0
    Ron Thomas188.00
    Walter Rhone382.70
    Charlie Battle177.00
    Randy Richardson133.00
    Barry Ruffner100.00
    Totals693725.450 0

    Kickoff Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Walter Rhone2864523.090 1
    Charlie Reamon1533222.126 0
    Joe Womack923225.839 0
    Bob Wyatt712918.428 0
    Reggie Sanderson14856.130 0
    Herb Ivory37725.733 0
    Mike Reppond37424.727 0
    Harry Howard36421.326 0
    Jimmie Calip24723.523 0
    Ron Thomas24623.025 0
    Lonnie Crittenden23115.519 0
    Billy Taylor12626.026 0
    Terry Phillips22512.517 0
    Jack Dolbin12222.022 0
    Willie Miller11515.015 0
    Kevin Kiley11313.013 0
    Dick Evey133.00
    Totals95186619.690 1

    Interceptions:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Harry Howard7426.00
    Joe Womack68113.513.5 0
    Rudy Kuechenberg24623.023 0
    Tom Roussel2136.56.5 0
    Ralph Anderson13434.034 0
    Charlie Reamon13333.033 0
    Ron Porter133.00
    Terry Phillips111.00
    Randy Richardson100.00
    Totals2225311.534 0

    Total Scoring:
    Touchdowns Other Total
    Player Rush Rec Punt Kick MFG Int Fum Other FG X/C Single 2Pt Saf Points
    Mark Kellar9600003000108
    Cyril Pinder830000100078
    James Scott080000100057
    Jack Dolbin070000100050
    Jim Seymour040000000028
    Bubba Wyche300000000021
    Allan Watson000005000015
    Bob Wyatt110000200016
    Lonnie Crittenden020000000014
    Chuck Ramsey00000300009
    Joe Womack10000000007
    Reggie Sanderson01000000007
    Walter Rhone00010000007
    Leroy Kelly10000020009
    Don Burchfield01000000007
    Virgil Carter100000300010
    Jimmie Kennedy00000020002
    Clayton Heath00000010001
    Totals2433010000816000446

    1974 Chicago Fire Roster
    NoPlayerPosHtWtAgeCollegeGPGS
    20Ralph AndersonCB-S6-118025West Texas A&M
    49J.D. ArmstrongLB6-123524Fort Hays State
    75Chuck BaileyMG-RDT-LDE6-123528Michigan State
    Charlie BattleLB6-423721Colorado; Grambling State
    70Earl BelgraveOT6-425024Ohio State
    87/55Keith BestLB6-322024Kansas State
    52Mike BottsC-LOG-ROG6-320524Penn State
    64Dave BradleyLOG6-424527Penn State
    88Dick BrewerLOLB-LLB-RLB6-223523Trinity Valley CC; San Diego State
    44Jimmie Lee BrooksS5-1018025Eastern Kentucky
    83Don BurchfieldTE6-222725Ball State
    24Jimmie CalipRB5-1018524Southwestern Oklahoma State
    17Bill CapplemanQB6-321027Florida State65
    30Mike CarterRCB6-018722Western Michigan
    7Virgil CarterQB6-118529Brigham Young12
    84Lonnie CrittendenWR-P6-018523Hucthinson CC; Texas-El Paso
    12Maurie DaigneauQB6-119524Northwestern
    47Glenn DamatoWR5-1119022Indiana State
    22Jack DolbinWR5-1018026Wake Forest
    81Dick EveyLDT6-223833Tennessee
    89Jim GessfordTE6-323023Hastings
    79Dan GleasonDE6-324523Hillsdale
    72Dave HaleLDT-RDT6-825527Ottawa (Kansas)
    Leo HartQB6-420325Duke
    18Clayton HeathRB5-1119523Nassau CC; Wake Forest6
    87/71Mick HeinrichRDE6-523023Illinois
    Willie HolmanDE6-425029South Carolina State
    28Harry HowardFS-RCB6-018925Ohio State
    76Glenn HydeLOT6-325523Pittsburgh10
    44Herb IvoryCB6-017025Gavilan JC; Northridge State
    89Sherwin JarmonLB6-322026Nebraska
    60Al JenkinsROT6-224528Southern Illinois; Tulsa11
    31Mark KellarFB6-022522Northern Illinois11
    44Leroy KellyRB6-020032Morgan State
    86Jimmie KennedyTE6-523122Hiram; Colorado State4
    49Kevin KileyMLB6-221524Nassau CC; Wyoming
    48Chuck KogutROLB-LLB6-222022Illinois
    59Rudy KuechenbergMLB-RILB6-221731Indiana
    19Denny LantzCB6-118522Kansas
    66Dave MalheiroOG6-224827Miami (Ohio)
    81Mickey McCartyTE6-525528Texas Christian
    66Tom McCreightROT-OG6-225025Northwestern
    21Willie MillerWR5-1018024Tampa
    56Guy MurdockC6-224524Michigan19
    32Craig O'SadnickSS5-1119023Truman State
    80Luther PalmerTE6-222525Virginia Union
    10Peil PenningtonQB6-521024Massachusetts
    17Hal PhillipsLCB6-119024Michigan State
    Terry PhillipsWR6-317023Northeastern State
    46Cyril PinderRB6-222028Illinois
    86Rex PittsOT6-425528North Texas; Los Angeles State
    50Ron PorterRLB-LILB6-323229Idaho
    15Chuck RamseyP-K6-219422Wake Forest
    21Charlie ReamonRCB5-1118525Maryland-Eastern Shore
    84Tom RedmondWR6-018023Butler
    82Mike ReppondWR6-018023Arkansas
    27Walter RhoneSS-LCB6-018023Central Missouri
    72Andy RiceLDE-RDT6-326834Texas Southern
    19Randy RichardsonLCB5-1118024Southwestern Oklahoma State
    19Marv RobinsonRB5-819022Truman State
    53Tom RousselRLB-LLB6-323529Southern Mississippi
    29Bill RudderRB6-122522Tennessee
    32Barry RuffnerSS6-119026Indiana (Pennsylvania)
    24Reggie SandersonHB5-1020624Stanford
    74Ken SandukLDE-LDT6-425024Utah State
    42James ScottWR6-119222Trinity Valley CC118
    18Drane ScrivenerRCB6-019023Cisco JC; Tulsa
    85Jim SeymourWR6-421028Notre Dame
    61Mike SikichROG6-224325Northwestern
    25Todd SnyderWR6-218726Ohio University
    87Rob SpicerLB6-422723Indiana
    25Greg StemrickDB5-1117823Colorado State
    20Billy TaylorRB5-1020525Michigan
    Ron ThomasWR6-218523Mount San Antonio JC; San Diego State
    79Doug TroszakLDE6-325022Michigan
    29George UremovichRB6-119023Illinois
    21/30Allen WatsonK5-1016530Newport (Wales)
    72Wayne WhyeDT6-325024Maryland-Eastern Shore
    47Joe WomackFS-CB6-119026Louisiana State1111
    73Steve WrightROT6-625032Alabama
    35Bob WyattRB6-021525North Texas
    12Bubba WycheQB6-019028Tennessee42

    1974 Detroit Wheels Game Results
    Regular SeasonOpponentResultAttendance
    July 10Wednesdayat Memphis SouthmenL15-3430,122
    July 17WednesdayFlorida BlazersL14-1810,631
    July 21Sundayat The HawaiiansL16-3610,080
    July 31WednesdayBirmingham AmericansL18-2114,614
    August 7Wednesdayat Birmingham AmericansL22-2840,367
    August 14WednesdayMemphis SouthmenL7-3714,424
    August 22ThursdayChicago FireL23-3510,300
    August 28Wednesdayat Philadelphia BellL23-2715,100
    September 2 ^MondayPortland StormL7-185,101
    September 6FridaySouthern California SunL7-106,351
    September 11Wednesdayat Florida BlazersW15-149,003
    September 18Wednesdayat Southern California SunL24-2912,169
    September 24Tuesdayat New York StarsL7-374,220
    October 2 #Wednesdayat Shreveport SteamerL11-1422,012
    October 9Wednesdayat Chicago Firecancelled
    October 16WednesdayThe Hawaiianscancelled
    October 23Wednesdayat Shreveport Steamercancelled
    October 30Wednesdayat Jacksonville Sharkscancelled
    November 6WednesdayCharlotte Hornetscancelled
    November 13WednesdayPhiladelphia Bellcancelled
    Notes:

    1. ^ - Played at London, Ontario, Canada in Little Stadium

    2. # - originally scheduled to be played in Ypsilanti against the Houston Texans

    1974 Team Summary

    The Wheels were founded December 13, 1973 by ten investors, whose number eventually grew to 33, including singer Marvin Gaye, Motown Records vice-president Esther Edwards, and pizza maker (and future Red Wings and Tigers owner) Mike Ilitch. Problems began when they were unable to sign any of their draft picks, then they were not allowed to play at Tiger Stadium, home of the NFL Detroit Lions. The Silverdome hadn't been built yet, and the University of Michigan, home of cavernous Michigan Stadium, also said no. Finally, the Wheels signed a deal to play at Eastern Michigan University's Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, Michigan, 37 miles from downtown Detroit. The club even hired EMU's head coach, Dan Boisture, to helm the Wheels.

    Things weren't encouraging on the field, either. The Wheels had a decent quarterback in Bubba Wyche (brother of NFL quarterback and later coach Sam Wyche), but little in the way of protection (he was sacked eleven times in one game) or receivers. Only 10,631 people attended their first home game, and their final home game drew only 6,351 fans. One home game, against the Portland Storm, was moved to London, Ontario (the Storm owner was from London). The Wheels lost in front an announced crowd of 5,101.

    1974 Detroit Wheels Team Facts
    Owner A large group of investors headed by Louis R. Lee and Coleman Young
    President Louis R. Lee
    General Manager Everett "Sonny" Grandelius
    Head Coach Dan Boisture
    Stadium Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti (24,000)
    Colors Black, Red, Gold

                  

    1974 Detroit Wheels Starting Lineup
    QB Bubba Wyche S Rocky Long
    RB Sam Scarber S Terry Hoeppner
    RB Jesse Mims CB Dave Walker
    TE Mike McCarty CB Floyd Preister
    WR Terry Phillips LE Mike Walker
    WR Jon Henderson LT Renard Perkins
    C David Limebrook RT Carl Taibi
    LG Dennis Kemp RE Don Ratliff
    LT Wayne Wheeler LLB Mike Kuhn
    RG Bennett Edwards MLB Dick Blanchard
    RT Mike Wilson RLB Mike Taylor
    K Dave Livingston / Chuck Collins P Dave Livingston / Chuck Collins

    An interesting helmet color from a game program cover.

    Wheels Logo (15689 bytes)

    1974 Detroit Wheels Statistics

    Passing:
    Player Att Comp Comp % Yds Yds/Att TDs TD % Ints Int % Long Sacked Yds Lost Rating
    Bubba Wyche30415651.318696.1103.3196.2683836955.4
    Eric Guthrie21733.3793.814.829.52265221.8
    Bruce Shaw17741.2663.915.900.01695672.2
    Billy Sadler11100.03333.000.000.03300118.8
    Totals34317149.920476.0123.5216.168 53477

    Rushing:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Sam Scarber1386064.424 3
    Jesse Mims884174.764 2
    Billy Sadler1013213.224 1
    Bubba Wyche512655.227 8
    Jim Rathje28802.917 1
    Larry Radcliff19562.921 0
    Eric Guthrie4358.822 0
    Bruce Shaw6223.713 0
    Hubie Bryant11313.013 0
    Dale Livingston199.00
    Lee Fobbs860.80
    Eugene Teague133.00
    Terry Phillips310.310 0
    Totals44918344.164 15

    Receiving:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Jon Henderson3040613.549 3
    Sam Scarber292669.228 0
    Terry Phillips2027413.734 4
    Hubie Bryant1932817.3 2
    Billy Sadler181568.768 0
    Jesse Mims161096.817 0
    Mickey McCarty812916.134 0
    Charlie McKee69115.246 0
    John Embree46315.831 0
    Jim Rathje45313.241 2
    Joe Scales44611.516 0
    Lee Fobbs3237.715 0
    Dennis Macholz3196.30
    Terry Williams22613.024 0
    Sheldon Joppru2105.00
    Terry Hoeppner12222.022 0
    Bruce Cullen12020.020 1
    Clark Hoss166.00
    Totals171204712.068 12

    Kicking:
    Player X/CA X/CM X/CP % FGA FGM FG % Pts.
    Eric Guthrie00039
    Totals00039

    Punting:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long
    Chuck Collins38142837.653
    Eric Guthrie2998433.953
    Bubba Wyche415037.546
    Dale Livingston413233.040
    Totals75269435.953

    Punt Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Rocky Long2021710.856 0
    Billy Sadler171659.743 0
    Totals3738210.356 0

    Kickoff Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Billy Sadler3075125.062 0
    Rocky Long1440228.751 0
    Jesse Mims1124222.036 0
    Larry Radcliff58617.225 0
    Lee Fobbs36120.322 0
    Jim Rathje35117.022 0
    Charlie McKee24321.526 0
    Terry Hoeppner23417.022 0
    Jon Henderson12121.021 0
    Totals71169123.862 0

    Interceptions:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Terry Hoeppner56412.812.8 0
    Rocky Long33812.712.7 0
    Dave Walker200.00
    Dan Lintner200.00
    Mike Kuhn13232.032 0
    Michael Taylor13131.031 0
    George Haynes11414.014 0
    Charlie Battle199.00
    Renard Perkins177.00
    Reggie Holmes100.00
    Totals1819510.832 0

    Total Scoring:
    Touchdowns Other Total
    Player Rush Rec Punt Kick MFG Int Fum Other FG X/C Single 2Pt Saf Points
    Bubba Wyche800000000056
    Terry Phillips040000100029
    Sam Scarber300000100022
    Jim Rathje120000200023
    Jon Henderson030000000021
    Jesse Mims200000100015
    Hubie Bryant020000000014
    Eric Guthrie00000300009
    Bruce Cullen01000000007
    Billy Sadler100000500012
    Joe Scales00000010001
    Totals1512000000311000209

    1974 Detroit Wheels Roster
    NoPlayerPosHtWtAgeCollegeGPGS
    58Henry AdolfiMLB6-322024Amherst
    39Phil AllenRB6-221522Harvard
    64Charlie BattleLLB6-423721Colorado; Grambling State
    59Dick BlanchardLLB-MLB6-322525Tulsa
    55Sam BrittsMLB6-021524Missouri3
    2Hubie BryantWR5-1016828Minnesota
    14/11Chuck CollinsK-P6-017523Michigan State0
    75Jim CoodeLOT6-426023Michigan
    44Lewis CookCB5-1118028Arizona Western JC; Idaho State
    82/85Bruce CullenTE6-323027Illinois State
    63Norm DavisROG6-324729Grambling State
    61Bennett EdwardsLOT6-124025Eastern Michigan
    89John EmbreeLB6-420130none
    63Phil EngleDT-DE6-226524South Dakota State
    64Mark FergusonC-OG6-224523Western Carolina
    79Ron FernandesDE6-524823Eastern Michigan
    42Lee FobbsRB5-1119724Grambling State1
    30Clyde GlossonWR-RCB5-1117527Texas-El Paso
    32Garry GradyDB5-1118028Eastern Michigan
    12Eric GuthrieQB-K-P6-120027Boise State
    52Ted HandC6-225023Eastern Michigan
    36Nat HawkinsWR6-119024Nevada-Las Vegas
    75Charlie HayesOT6-427027Weber State
    47George HaynesCB6-218523Tulsa
    10Jon HendersonWR6-019830Colorado State
    38Terry HoeppnerWS6-220026Franklin
    44Reggie HolmesS-RCB6-119029Wisconsin-Stout
    80Clark HossTE6-823525Oregon State
    34Gary HudsonDB5-1118023Boston College
    86Eddie JohnsonRDE6-523022Southern Methodist
    82Sheldon JoppruTE6-423523North Dakota
    73Dennis KempROG6-225028Tulsa
    Mike KleinhenzLB6-223123Cincinnati
    57Mike KuhnLLB-RLB6-322025Kansas State
    74Andy KuppOG6-325025Idaho
    63John LevantiOG6-224022Illinois
    52Dave LimebrookC-OG6-223524Saddleback JC; San Diego State
    39Dan LintnerWS6-219023Indiana
    9Dale LivingstonK-P6-021029Eastern Michigan; Western Michigan10
    22Rocky LongSS5-1017524New Mexico
    Booth LustegK5-1119037Connecticut0
    80Dennis MacholzTE6-323023Michigan State
    Herb MarshallDB6-320425Cameron1
    54Rocky MartinMLB6-023327Colorado1
    88Mickey McCartyTE-K6-525528Texas Christian
    8Charlie McKeeWR6-319024Arizona
    33Jesse MimsRB5-1120326Laney JC; New Mexico State
    39Darrell MossburgWS5-1117524Eastern Michigan
    74Jim O'ConnorOG-OT6-426524Eastern Arizona JC; Arizona
    72Jessie ParksLDE6-425024Jackson State
    14Ken PengitoreQB5-1119422Clemson
    65Renard PerkinsLDT6-325022UC Riverside
    41Terry PhillipsWR6-317023Northeastern State
    20Floyd PriesterLCB-RCB6-119525Northeastern JC; Wyoming; Boston University
    84Tom RamseyLDT-RDE6-525024Northern Arizona
    23Larry RatcliffRB6-220026Eastern Michigan
    43Jim RathjeWR-FB6-021822Northern Michigan
    83Don RatliffRDE6-525024Maryland7
    74Bo RenfrowDT6-526025none
    60Dominic RiggioMLB6-022523Western Michigan
    32/36Billy SadlerRB5-1120525Texas Christian13
    72Dan SartinROG6-124528Mississippi
    85Joe ScalesTE6-221025Tennessee State3
    35Sam ScarberFB6-223225Northeastern JC; New Mexico14
    12Bruce ShawQB6-219022North Carolina State
    75John SkladanyDT6-425024Central Connecticut State
    Bennie SmithDB5-1118423Arizona Western JC; Brigham Young
    55Brian StengerLB6-423327Notre Dame
    76Carl TaibiRDT6-425524Colorado
    50Mike TaylorRLB6-123025Michigan14
    30Eugene TeagueRB6-019523Eastern Arizona JC; San Jose State
    83Gene TroschRDE6-727729Miami (Florida)
    42Dave WalkerLCB6-019525Utah
    77Mike WalkerLDE6-423525Tulane
    88Bob WallaceTE6-321129Texas-El Paso
    36/44Phil WebbDB6-320926Colorado State
    78Ted WheelerROT-OG6-324029West Texas A&M
    Bill WidemanDE6-326523North Carolina A&T State
    85Terry WilliamsTE6-322527Grambling State
    62Mike WilsonLOG-ROG6-124327Dayton
    53Wimpy WintherC6-426027Mississippi
    70James WrightLOG6-125023Southern University
    18Bubba WycheQB6-019028Tennessee12

    1974 Florida Blazers Game Results
    Regular SeasonOpponentResultAttendance
    July 10WednesdayThe HawaiiansW8-718,625
    July 17Wednesdayat Detroit WheelsW18-1410,631
    July 24WednesdayHouston TexansW15-315,729
    July 31Wednesdayat Houston TexansL6-716,268
    August 7Wednesdayat Chicago FireW46-2131,193
    August 14WednesdayJacksonville SharksW33-2623,890
    August 21WednesdayPortland StormW11-715,541
    August 28WednesdayMemphis SouthmenL18-2615,746
    September 2Mondayat Birmingham AmericansL7-836,529
    September 6Fridayat New York StarsW17-153,830
    September 11WednesdayDetroit WheelsL14-159,003
    September 18WednesdayPhiladelphia BellW24-2110,417
    September 26ThursdayChicago FireW29-016,679
    October 2Wednesdayat Philadelphia BellW30-77,150
    October 9Wednesdayat Chicago FireW45-1723,289
    October 16Wednesdayat Memphis SouthmenL15-2515,334
    October 23Wednesdayat Charlotte HornetsW15-1123,613
    October 30 *Wednesdayat Birmingham AmericansL18-2621,872
    November 7ThursdayPortland StormW23-011,676
    November 14Thursdayat Southern California SunW27-2428,213
    Playoffs
    November 21ThursdayDivisional
    Philadelphia Bell
    W18-39,712
    November 29FridaySemi-Final
    at Memphis Southmen
    W18-159,692
    December 5ThursdayWorld Bowl
    at Birmingham Americans
    L21-2232,376
    Notes:

    1. * - originally scheduled to be played in Orlando

    2. Jack Pardee is the only coach to helm a team in the NCAA/NFL/USFL/WFL/CFL.

    1974 Team Summary

    Before the 1974 season, the franchise originally planned to play in the Washington, D. C. area. E. Joseph Wheeler bought the rights to Washington. First he called the team the Washington Capitols, then briefly the Americans before finally naming the team the Washington Ambassadors. From the start, Wheeler had a tough time trying to obtain a lease at R.F.K. Stadium, home of the NFL's Washington Redskins. He investigated other nearby cities, including Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland, and Norfolk, Virginia. In mid-April 1974, Wheeler moved the club to Norfolk. He renamed the team the Virginia Ambassadors, before finally selling the franchise to Rommie Loudd, who moved them to Orlando to play in the Citrus Bowl as the Florida Blazers. They were World Bowl 1 runner-ups, the only championship game the WFL ever played.

    1974 Florida Blazers Team Facts
    Owner / President Rommie Loudd
    General Manager Rommie Loudd
    Head Coach Jack Pardee
    Stadium Tangerine Bowl (28,000)
    Colors Scarlet, White, Blue

                  

    1974 Florida Blazers Starting Lineup
    QB Bob Davis S Rickie Harris
    RB Tommy Reamon S Hicks
    RB Jim Strong CB Miller Farr
    TE Greg Latta CB Billy Hayes
    WR Matt Maslowski LE Louis Ross
    WR Hubie Bryant LT Paul Vellano
    C Tom Peiffer RE Mike McBath
    RG Rick Anthony RT John Ricca
    RT Rich Buzin LLB Eddie Sheats
    LT Mitch Johnson MLB Larry Ely
    LG Tim Brannon RLB Billy Hobbs
    K Dave Strock P Billy Hobbs

    1974 Florida Blazers Statistics

    Passing:
    Player Att Comp Comp % Yds Yds/Att TDs TD % Ints Int % Long Sacked Yds Lost Rating
    Bob Davis41422754.830797.4215.1235.6622722272.5
    Tommy Reamon4375.015238.0250.000.06000156.3
    Eric Crone10440.0343.400.0110.01621510.0
    Buddy Palazzo5360.0234.600.0120.0170031.7
    Matt Maslowski200.000.000.000.000039.6
    Totals43523754.532887.6235.3255.762 29237

    Rushing:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Tommy Reamon38615764.155 11
    Jim Strong1836833.715 4
    Dickie James733444.764 5
    A.D. Whitfield712022.829 1
    Bill Gatti451613.617 1
    Bob Davis28943.414 2
    Buddy Palazzo7182.615 1
    Eddie Richardson11616.016 0
    Greg Latta5142.812 0
    Bill Hobbs155.00
    Eric Crone420.50
    Cliff McClain111.00
    Matt Maslowski1-1-1.00
    Lonnie Crittenden2-1-0.50
    Hubie Bryant4-18-4.50
    Totals81230963.864 25

    Receiving:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Jim Strong474299.120 2
    Matt Maslowski4585018.960 7
    Greg Latta3981520.953 9
    Tommy Reamon383368.843 3
    Hubie Bryant2337916.562 1
    A.D. Whitfield151469.724 0
    John Hilton78311.920 0
    Bill Gatti77610.920 0
    Dickie James55410.820 0
    Eddie Richardson45714.224 0
    Richard Trapp3113.70
    Gary Collins23417.019 1
    Lonnie Crittenden11212.012 0
    Luther Palmer166.00
    Totals237328813.962 23

    Kicking:
    Player X/CA X/CM X/CP % FGA FGM FG % Pts.
    Les Perry000618
    Dave Strock000412
    Totals0001030

    Punting:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long
    Bill Hobbs56205336.765
    Dave Strock29115739.953
    Henry Brown1241034.255
    Gary Collins413734.243
    Totals101375737.265

    Punt Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Rod Foster2528011.286 1
    Rickie Harris281585.614 0
    Billy Walik13786.022 0
    Leonard Bryant8769.527 1
    Larry Willis23216.019 0
    Hubie Bryant166.00
    Luther Palmer155.00
    Bill Gatti155.00
    Dickie James242.00
    Tommy Reamon100.00
    Totals826447.986 2

    Kickoff Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Dickie James2053927.082 0
    Rod Foster1323718.227 0
    Tommy Reamon616828.042 0
    Bill Gatti57615.216 0
    Larry Willis46917.226 0
    A.D. Whitfield36120.322 0
    Les Perry12525.025 0
    Henry Brown11515.015 0
    Ron Maree11414.014 0
    Eddie Richardson11212.012 0
    Billy Walik11010.010 0
    John Ricca122.00
    Matt Maslowski100.00
    Totals58122821.282 0

    Interceptions:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Billie Hayes610517.517.5 0
    Miller Farr68614.314.3 0
    Eddie Sheats5418.28.2 1
    Bill Hobbs49724.224.3 1
    Rod Foster23115.515.5 0
    Larry Grantham22713.513.5 0
    Rickie Harris22110.510.5 0
    John Ricca17575.075 0
    Larry Ely13636.036 0
    Chuck Beatty100.00
    Totals3051917.375 2

    Total Scoring:
    Touchdowns Other Total
    Player Rush Rec Punt Kick MFG Int Fum Other FG X/C Single 2Pt Saf Points
    Tommy Reamon11300003000101
    Greg Latta090000400067
    Matt Maslowski070000400053
    Jim Strong420000300045
    Dickie James500000100036
    Les Perry000006000018
    Dave Strock000004000012
    Bob Davis200000000014
    Eddie Sheats00001000007
    Gary Collins01000000007
    Leonard Bryant00100000007
    Bill Hobbs00001000007
    Buddy Palazzo10000000007
    A.D. Whitfield10000000007
    Bill Gatti10000010008
    Rod Foster00100000007
    Hubie Bryant01000020009
    Louis Ross00000000012
    John Hilton00000030003
    Eddie Richardson00000010001
    Luther Palmer00000010001
    Totals25232002001023001419

    1974 Florida Blazers Roster
    NoPlayerPosHtWtAgeCollegeGPGS
    73Dick AmmanDE-DT6-524224Florida State8
    71Roger AndersonLDT6-526332Virginia Union
    61Rick AnthonyROG6-224423South Carolina
    44Chuck BeattyFS-SS6-220328North Texas20
    58Boice BestDT6-024523Texas A&M
    62Tim BrannanLOG6-124124Maryland2020
    23Henry BrownWR-P6-220627Missouri2
    42Hubie BryantWR5-1016828Minnesota
    22Leonard BryantCB6-018025Morris Brown
    77Rich BuzinROT6-425128Penn State
    78Ernie CallowayDT-DE6-624126Texas Southern
    86Gary CollinsWR-P6-421134Maryland3
    47Lonnie CrittendenWR6-018523Hucthinson CC; Texas-El Paso
    10Eric CroneQB6-319724Harvard
    12Bob DavisQB6-320529Virginia2020
    73Tommy DavisDE-DT6-025529Tennessee State
    59Larry ElyMLB6-123027Iowa20
    20Miller FarrLCB6-119031Wichita State
    39Rod FosterS6-020023Harvard
    35Bill GattiRB5-1021725Louisville
    60Larry GranthamRLB6-020436Mississippi
    46Rickie HarrisSS-FS6-018231East Los Angeles JC; Arizona
    15Billie HayesRCB6-117527Riverside CC; San Diego State20
    33W.K. HicksFS6-119132Texas Southern
    89John HiltonTE6-522232Richmond
    55Billy HobbsRLB-P6-022028Texas A&M
    40Dickie JamesRB6-219623Cincinnati
    64Mitch JohnsonLOT6-424932Los Angeles State; UCLA2020
    85Mike KaczmarekLB6-423523Southern Illinois12
    57Ted LachowiczC-OG6-123524Syracuse
    88Greg LattaTE6-322522Morgan State20
    74Ron MareeROT6-627525Purdue
    83Matt MaslowskiWR6-321025San Diego
    76Mike McBathRDT6-424928Penn State
    42Cliff McClainRB6-021527South Carolina State
    8Buddy PalazzoQB6-019923Southern Mississippi
    38Luther PalmerTE6-222525Virginia Union
    79Mel ParkerDE6-222823Ellsworth CC; Duke
    62Dan PeifferC6-325123Ellsworth CC; Southeast Missouri State2020
    36Les PerryK6-022826Concordia (Moorhead)0
    85Don RatliffLDE6-525024Maryland73
    21Tommy ReamonRB5-1019222Fort Scott CC; Missouri20
    82John RiccaRDE6-625222Duke
    80Eddie RichardsonWR6-319522Merritt JC; Howard10
    67Walt RockOT6-525233Maryland
    81Louis RossLDE6-624827South Carolina State17
    53Bob RushTE6-323323Boston College
    84Eddie SheatsLLB6-222423Hutchinson CC; Kansas20
    9Dave StrockP-K6-222026Virginia Tech90
    28Jim StrongRB6-120428Houston20
    42Richard TrappWR6-117528Florida32
    Cecil TurnerWR5-1017030Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo)
    72Paul VellanoLDT6-325022Maryland
    9Billy WalikWR5-1118027Villanova50
    25A.D. WhitfieldRB5-1020031North Texas
    24Clancy WilliamsCB6-219732Washington State
    70Del WilliamsOG6-225029Florida State
    33Larry WillisCB5-1117026Phoenix JC; Texas-El Paso
    63Billy YoestROG6-025123North Carolina State

    1974 Houston Texans / Shreveport Steamer Game Results
    Regular SeasonOpponentResultAttendance
    July 10Wednesdayat Chicago FireL0-1742,000
    July 17WednesdayPhiladelphia BellW11-026,227
    July 24Wednesdayat Florida BlazersL3-1515,729
    July 31WednesdayFlorida BlazersW7-616,268
    August 7Wednesdayat Portland StormT15-15 OT15,636
    August 15ThursdaySouthern California SunL7-1831,227
    August 21Wednesdayat New York StarsL10-4312,042
    August 28WednesdayNew York StarsW14-1110,126
    September 1Sundayat The HawaiiansL15-3310,248
    September 7Saturdayat Memphis SouthmenL0-4515,291
    September 11WednesdayThe HawaiiansL17-249,061
    September 19 ^Thursdayat Birmingham AmericansL14-4233,619
    September 25 * ^^WednesdayMemphis SouthmenL3-1721,357
    October 2 * #WednesdayDetroit WheelsW14-1122,012
    October 10Thursdayat Southern California SunL23-2524,223
    October 16Wednesdayat Philadelphia BellW30-25750
    October 23 *WednesdayBirmingham AmericansW31-024,617
    October 31 *ThursdayPortland StormL0-1420,402
    November 6 *WednesdayCharlotte HornetsW19-1410,697
    November 13 *WednesdayBirmingham AmericansL7-4014,794
    Notes:

    1. * - played at Shreveport, LA

    2. ^ - first game after announcing move to Shreveport, LA

    3. ^^ - first home game in Shreveport, LA

    4. # - originally scheduled to be played in Ypsilanti

    5. Many players were opposed to the move to Shreveport. Head Coach Jim Garrett was suspended on September 19, 1974 (conduct detrimental to the team) for actively urging players to not report to Shreveport. Henry Lee Parker, Director of Operations for the WFL, was assigned to serve as interim head coach in the game at the Birmingham Americans. Parker met with the team's coaching staff and said "the coaching itself will be handled by the six assistant coaches". link

    1974 Team Summary

    Larry King, of CNN fame, was one of their broadcasters.

    The Steamer showcased a number of veterans and a few rookies. Among them were ambidextrous quarterback and former University of Houston star D.C. Nobles and several American Football League veterans: quarterbacks Mike Taliaferro and Don Trull, fullback Jim Nance, wide receivers Don Maynard and Rick Eber, tight end Willie Frazier, linebacker Garland Boyette, defensive end Al Dotson, defensive backs Daryl Johnson, Richmond Flowers, Jr., John Mallory and Art McMahon, and rookie linebacker John Villapiano, brother of Oakland Raiders defender Phil Villapiano.

    1974 Houston Texans / Shreveport Steamer Team Facts
    Owner R. Steven (Steve) Arnold
    President R. Steven (Steve) Arnold
    General Manager Jim Garrett
    Head Coach Jim Garrett (3-7-1) / Henry Lee Parker (0-1) / Marshall Taylor (4-4) (former TN Tech star player)
    Houston Stadium Astrodome (55,000)
    Shreveport Stadium Louisiana State Fair Stadium
    Colors Green, Gold, White

                  

    1974 Houston Texans / Shreveport Steamer Starting Lineup
    QB Mike Taliaferro * / D.C. Nobles S Art McMahon
    RB Jim Nance S John Mallory
    RB Paul Gipson CB Pat Gibbs
    TE Willie Frazier CB Daryl Johnson
    WR Rick Eber LE Joe Robb
    WR John Odom LT Jim Kanicki
    C Bruce Walker RT Ron Rydalch
    LT Barry Holden RE Don Brumm
    LG Oliver Miller LLB Ed Mooney
    RG Nate Williams MLB Garland Boyette
    RT Rick Hines RLB Paul Price
    K Charlie Durkee P John Odom
    * Mike Taliaferro was released from the Texans when he refused to report to Shreveport and D.C. Nobles was named the starting quarterback of the Steamer.

    Texans Logo     Steamer Logo

    1974 Houston Texans / Shreveport Steamer Statistics

    Passing:
    Player Att Comp Comp % Yds Yds/Att TDs TD % Ints Int % Long Sacked Yds Lost Rating
    Dave Mays1748850.69975.752.952.94997065.7
    Mike Taliaferro1437451.78335.853.585.6461613957.8
    D.C. Nobles1225444.36605.443.3108.2631515638.3
    Don Trull311651.61173.800.026.51543533.9
    Harry Theofiledes17635.3321.900.015.91632219.5
    Warren McVea100.000.000.000.000039.6
    Mike Richardson100.000.000.000.000039.6
    Totals48923848.726395.4142.9265.363 47422

    Rushing:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Jim Nance30012404.127 8
    Paul Gipson1064063.820 2
    Mike Richardson983343.413 2
    Warren McVea702193.120 0
    D.C. Nobles431864.340 0
    Rocky Thompson441834.224 0
    Dave Mays211386.640 1
    Virgil Robinson311003.216 0
    Harry Blackney17543.20
    Sid Blanks11282.50
    Harry Theofiledes4215.216 0
    Mike Taliaferro7213.012 0
    Terry Cole20160.80
    Doug Winslow11313.013 1
    Johnny Odom166.00
    Bruce Jankowski144.00
    Rick Eber231.50
    Don Trull221.00
    Chuck Latourette1-10-10.0-10 0
    Willie Frazier1-19-19.0-19 0
    Totals78129453.840 14

    Receiving:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Rick Eber6677111.763 5
    Johnny Odom4254513.051 2
    Willie Frazier2426210.929 4
    Mike Richardson191588.319 0
    Donnie Davis1828015.630 0
    Jim Nance14846.023 0
    Paul Gipson10595.923 0
    Doug Winslow8678.415 2
    Bruce Jankowski515230.452 0
    Don Maynard56212.417 0
    Charley Frazier55911.824 0
    Warren McVea5448.819 1
    Rocky Thompson4389.514 0
    Virgil Robinson492.216 0
    Harry Blackney3206.711 0
    Sid Blanks393.011 0
    Paul Zaeske2126.00
    Terry Cole188.00
    Totals238263911.163 14

    Kicking:
    Player X/CA X/CM X/CP % FGA FGM FG % Pts.
    Charlie Durkee000721
    Totals000721

    Punting:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long
    Johnny Odom114431337.858
    Dave Mays1344534.247
    Chuck Latourette1243236.051
    Totals139519037.358

    Punt Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Doug Winslow1620712.922 0
    Billy Walik11988.9 0
    Mike Richardson14846.026 0
    John Mallory10444.417 0
    Garland Boyette11616.016 0
    Sid Blanks3165.30
    Pat Gibbs2136.50
    Joe Green3134.310 0
    Paul Gipson11212.012 0
    John Vignone2115.50
    Daryl Johnson166.00
    Chuck Latourette661.00
    Rocky Thompson351.70
    Bruce Jankowski221.00
    Jack Rizzo1-5-5.0-5 0
    Totals765286.926 0

    Kickoff Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Richmond Flowers1738522.636 0
    Rocky Thompson1429421.031 0
    Joe Green1321316.429 0
    Billy Walik914816.427 0
    Mike Richardson711316.127 0
    Terry Cole59719.425 0
    Virgil Robinson37625.335 0
    Donnie Davis44310.825 0
    Sid Blanks23316.524 0
    Jack Rizzo11515.015 0
    John Villapiano199.00
    Harry Blackney199.00
    Paul Gipson166.00
    Totals78144118.536 0

    Interceptions:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Pat Gibbs812615.815.8 0
    John Mallory59819.619.6 0
    Daryl Johnson46015.015 1
    Garland Boyette294.54.5 0
    Joe Green133.00
    Art McMahon133.00
    Richmond Flowers100.00
    Totals2229913.619.6 1

    Total Scoring:
    Touchdowns Other Total
    Player Rush Rec Punt Kick MFG Int Fum Other FG X/C Single 2Pt Saf Points
    Jim Nance800000100057
    Rick Eber050000000035
    Willie Frazier040000100029
    Charlie Durkee000007000021
    Doug Winslow120000100022
    Paul Gipson200000100015
    Johnny Odom020000100015
    Mike Richardson200000000014
    Warren McVea01000000007
    John Mallory000001000007
    Daryl Johnson00001000007
    Dave Mays10000000007
    D.C. Nobles00000030003
    Donnie Davis00000010001
    Totals141400010179000240

    1974 Houston Texans / Shreveport Steamer Roster
    NoPlayerPosHtWtAgeCollegeGPGS
    75Tom BaileyOT6-524934Alcorn State
    87John BakerDE6-526032Virginia Union; Norfolk State
    66Sonny BishopC-OG6-224335Riverside CC; Fresno State
    34Harry BlackneyFB6-020227Maryland; Wesley JC
    42Sid BlanksRB6-020634Texas A&M-Kingsville
    52Garland BoyetteMLB6-123734Grambling State
    89Chad BrownDE6-524527Texas A&M-Commerce
    86Don BrummRDE6-324333Purdue
    57Joe CarrollWLB6-122024Pittsburgh
    40Cornell ChampionRB5-1119029Trinidad State JC; UCLA
    32Terry ColeRB6-122029Indiana
    58Bob CreechSLB6-322825Texas Christian
    88Donnie DavisTE6-422034Southern University
    75Norm DavisLOG-OT6-324729Grambling State
    71Al DotsonRDT-DE6-425831Grambling State
    11Charlie DurkeeK5-1116530Oklahoma State0
    15Rick EberWR6-018129El Camino JC; Tulsa
    44Richmond FlowersSS6-018327Tennessee
    28Charlie FrazierWR6-017735Texas Southern
    83Willie FrazierTE6-423032Arkansas-Pine Bluff
    7Pat GibbsLCB-RCB5-1018824Lamar
    0Paul GipsonRB6-021028Houston
    71/79Rich GloverLDE6-124024Nebraska8
    54Bart GoforthC6-323524Rice
    33Joe GreenSS-FS5-1119526Bowling Green State
    77Charlie HayesOT-OG6-427027Weber State
    76Glen Ray HinesROT6-525831Arkansas
    78Sam HoldenROT-LOT-LOG6-325827Southern Illinois; Grambling State
    28Bruce JankowskiWR5-1118525Ohio State
    23Daryl JohnsonRCB-LCB5-1119028Morgan State
    72Willie JonesLDE6-226532Kansas State
    73Jim KanickiLDT-RDT6-427033Michigan State
    70Andy KuppLOG6-325025Idaho
    14Chuck LatouretteP-K-WR6-019029Rice
    29John MalloryFS6-018828West Virginia
    87John MatuszakDE6-829024Iowa Central JC; Missouri; Tampa1
    13Don MaynardWR6-018039Rice; Texas-El Paso
    12Dave MaysQB-P6-120425Texas Southern
    50Mike McConnellSLB6-122524Fullerton JC; Oregon73
    29Art McMahonSS5-1118828North Carolina State
    6Warren McVeaRB5-1018228Houston
    68Dave MiddendorfOG6-325829Washington State
    75Joe MillerLOT-LOG6-525822Villanova
    62Ed MooneyWLB6-223029Western Nebraska CC; Texas Tech
    35Jim NanceFB6-124132Syracuse20
    3D.C. NoblesQB6-217723Houston
    20Johnny OdomWR-P6-319525Texas Tech20
    74Willie ParkerLDT-LDE6-226629Arkansas-Pine Bluff
    68Bubba PenaOG6-225025Dean JC; Massachusetts
    66Rex PittsLOT6-425528North Texas; Los Angeles State
    59Kenny PriceSLB-WLB6-122024Iowa
    60Tom RegnerROG-LOG6-125530Notre Dame
    24Mike RichardsonFB5-1119628Southern Methodist
    Jack RizzoRB5-1020025Lehigh
    84Joe RobbLDE6-323837Texas Christian
    47Virgil RobinsonRB5-1119527Grambling State
    81Ron RydalchRDT6-425022Utah
    21Jim ShorterCB5-1118436Detroit Mercy
    70Don TalbertLOT-ROT6-524835Texas
    19Mike TaliaferroQB6-220533Illinois
    17Harry TheofiledesQB5-1018030Waynesburg
    45Durfey ThompsonMLB6-022823Prairie View A&M
    22Rocky ThompsonHB5-1120027Hartnell JC; West Texas A&M
    10Don TrullQB6-118933Baylor
    Dave UrieC6-524027Montana
    13John VignoneS6-019030Susquehanna
    41John VillapianoLB5-1120523Bowling Green State
    55Loyd WainscottLB6-123528Texas
    9Billy WalikWR5-1118027Villanova
    51Cleo WalkerC6-321926Louisville
    77Mike WalkerRDE6-423525Tulane
    Sammy WeirWR5-917033Arkansas State10
    77Bob WellsLOT6-427029Johnson C. Smith
    26Warren WellsWR6-119132Texas Southern
    25Dick WestmorelandCB6-119133North Carolina A&T State
    63Clyde WilliamsROG-LOG-LOT-rot6-225234Southern University
    21Doug WinslowWR5-1118123Drake
    64Billy YoestLOG-OT6-025123North Carolina State
    82Paul ZaeskeWR6-220029North Park

    1974 Jacksonville Sharks Game Results
    Regular SeasonOpponentResultAttendance
    July 11ThursdayNew York StarsW14-759,112
    July 17Wednesdayat Chicago FireL22-2529,308
    July 24WednesdaySouthern California SunL19-2246,780
    July 31Wednesdayat New York StarsL16-2415,648
    August 8ThursdayThe HawaiiansW21-1443,869
    August 14Wednesdayat Florida BlazersL26-3323,890
    August 21WednesdayBirmingham AmericansL14-1527,140
    August 25Sundayat The HawaiiansW14-810,099
    September 2MondayMemphis SouthmenL13-1622,169
    September 5ThursdayPhiladelphia BellW34-3017,851
    September 11Wednesdayat Philadelphia BellL22-41 (OT)N/A
    September 18WednesdayPortland StormL17-1916,041
    September 25Wednesdayat Southern California SunL7-5722,017
    October 2Wednesdayat Memphis SouthmenL19-4715,016
    October 9WednesdayFlorida Blazerscancelled
    October 16Wednesdayat Portland Stormcancelled
    October 23Wednesdayat Birmingham Americanscancelled
    October 30WednesdayDetroit Wheelscancelled
    November 6Wednesdayat Shreveport Steamercancelled
    November 13WednesdayChicago Firecancelled
    Notes:

    1. On September 11, 1974, The Sharks were outscored by the Bell 0-19 in overtime

    1974 Team Summary

    The Jacksonville Sharks were a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida. They competed for part of the 1974 season in the World Football League, a failed attempt to launch a major professional football league in the United States in competition with the National Football League. The team played seven home games at the Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville. The Sharks roster was a mixture of rookies such as Mike Townsend, Eddie McAshan and Reggie Oliver, and veterans like Ike Lassiter, John Stofa and Drew Buie. The Sharks front office claimed to have sold 18,000 season tickets, and the team drew 59,112 for the home opener against the New York Stars and 46,000 against the Southern California Sun. The club later admitted to giving away 44,000 tickets. Six weeks into the season owner Fran Monaco fired head coach Bud Asher, replacing him with Charlie Tate. Soon afterward the franchise fell into dire straits. The players, unpaid for several weeks, threatened not to fly to Anaheim to play the Sun. League Commissioner Gary Davidson paid them $65,000 in escrow and the players made the trip. In September the WFL removed owner Fran Monaco and the league took over the debt-ridden franchise on September 20. About three weeks later the league shut down the team.

    1974 Jacksonville Sharks Team Facts
    Owner Francis (Fran) Monaco
    General Manager Lewis Engelberg
    Head Coach Bud Asher (2-4) / Charlie Tate (2-6)
    Stadium Gator Bowl (72,000)
    Colors Black, Silver

             

    1974 Jacksonville Sharks Starting Lineup
    QB Reggie Oliver / Kay Stephenson * S Ron Coppenbarger
    RB Tommy Durrance S Mike Townsend
    RB Rick Lake CB Alvin Wyatt
    TE Dennis Hughes CB Jeff Davis
    WR Drew Buie LE Ike Lassiter
    WR Edgar Scott LT Ben Tatarek
    C Mike Creaney RE Art May
    RG Richard Cheek RT Russ Melby
    RT Eddie Foster LLB Fred Abbott
    LG Larry Gagner MLB Glen Gaspard
    LT Frank Cornish RLB Claude Simonton
    K Grant Guthrie P Duane Carroll

    1974 Jacksonville Sharks Statistics

    Passing:
    Player Att Comp Comp % Yds Yds/Att TDs TD % Ints Int % Long Sacked Yds Lost Rating
    Reggie Oliver19810151.014157.173.5126.1632419160.9
    Kay Stephenson1506946.08155.442.7117.335139941.4
    Eddie McAshan14535.7886.300.000.0231858.0
    John Stofa5240.0244.800.000.02422055.4
    Jeff Davis6116.7122.000.0116.712000.0
    Kim Hammond0000002150.0
    Grant Guthrie100.000.000.01100.00000.0
    Totals37417847.623546.3112.9256.763 42333

    Rushing:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Tommy Durrance2186583.018 5
    Ricky Lake913353.719 3
    Jeff Davis381483.928 0
    Al Haywood201115.630 2
    Reggie Oliver421072.516 3
    Wayne Jones28903.215 0
    Edgar Scott19743.914 0
    Ron Lamb33742.20
    Eddie McAshan11524.714 1
    Thomas Smith10212.10
    Tony Lomax166.00
    John Stofa144.00
    Kay Stephenson1430.20
    Bubba Thornton1-4-4.0-4 0
    Totals52716793.230 14

    Receiving:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Dennis Hughes3150816.463 2
    Drew Buie2840914.637 2
    Edgar Scott2746917.446 2
    Tom Whittier1829716.551 2
    Tommy Durrance121058.818 0
    Ricky Lake10757.515 0
    Jeff Davis9849.321 0
    Wayne Jones7618.719 0
    Ron Lamb7365.114 0
    Al Haywood7355.015 0
    Keith Krepfle68013.330 0
    Tony Lomax67312.216 1
    Bubba Thornton23417.020 1
    Mike Burnop23216.019 0
    Thomas Smith2115.50
    Carl Swierc12525.025 1
    Kerry Brown11515.015 0
    Mike Creaney177.00
    Reggie Oliver1-2-2.0-2 0
    Totals178235413.263 11

    Kicking:
    Player X/CA X/CM X/CP % FGA FGM FG % Pts.
    Grant Guthrie0001648
    Totals0001648

    Punting:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long
    Duane Carrell93381941.171
    Dennis Hughes14343.043
    Totals94386241.171

    Punt Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Alvin Wyatt331976.087 1
    Solomon Brannan14242.042 0
    Art May11515.015 0
    Carl Swierc2157.514 0
    John Osborne2157.514 0
    Totals392847.387 1

    Kickoff Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Alvin Wyatt2859621.372 0
    John Osborne2042121.057 0
    Bubba Thornton49523.827 0
    Ron Lamb46917.227 0
    Carl Swierc36822.723 0
    Solomon Brannan12525.025 0
    Edgar Scott12323.029 0
    Glenn Ellison11818.018 0
    Ricky Lake199.00
    Totals63132421.072 0

    Interceptions:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Alvin Wyatt581.61.6 0
    Mike Townsend4205.00
    Solomon Brannan23919.519.5 0
    Ron Coppenbarger2168.00
    Jerry Davis11212.012 0
    Glen Gaspard199.00
    Rich Thomann100.00
    Totals161046.519.5 0

    Total Scoring:
    Touchdowns Other Total
    Player Rush Rec Punt Kick MFG Int Fum Other FG X/C Single 2Pt Saf Points
    Grant Guthrie0000016000048
    Tommy Durrance500000300038
    Reggie Oliver300000100022
    Ricky Lake300000200023
    Edgar Scott020000000014
    Dennis Hughes020000100015
    Al Haywood200000100015
    Tom Whittier020000000014
    Drew Buie020000000014
    Tony Lomax01000000007
    Alvin Wyatt00100000007
    Eddie McAshan10000000007
    Ron Coppenbarger000001000007
    O.Z. White000001000007
    Carl Swierc01000000007
    Bubba Thornton01000000007
    Ike Lassiter00000000012
    Wayne Jones00000010001
    Keith Krepfle00000020002
    Thomas Smith00000010001
    Totals14111000021612001258

    1974 Jacksonville Sharks Roster
    NoPlayerPosHtWtAgeCollegeGPGS
    60Fred AbbottLLB6-322224Florida99
    Sam BakerOG6-424525Georgia
    34/31Solomon BrannanS6-118833Morris Brown
    Kerry BrownWR6-218523Princeton
    41Drew BuieWR6-218227Catawba
    Mike BurnopTE6-123523Virginia Tech
    72Bill BushongDT-DE6-325025Kentucky
    18Duane CarrellP-K5-1018525Florida State140
    67Richard CheekROG6-326626Auburn
    Stan CherryLB6-520024Morgan State
    23Ron CoppenbargerSS6-119523Kansas State9
    79Frank CornishLOT6-628530Grambling State
    64Mike CreaneyC-TE6-424523Notre Dame
    40/30Jeff DavisWR-RB-QB5-1120224Lees-McRae JC; Georgia; Mars Hill
    22/33Jerry DavisRCB5-1118223Morris Brown14
    71Jim DunawayDT6-427833Mississippi
    35Tommy DurranceRB6-020224Florida14
    53Glenn EllisonRLB6-121527Arkansas
    78Eddie FosterROT-OG6-625823Oklahoma
    79Larry GagnerLOG-ROT6-324031Florida14
    51/65Glen GaspardMLB6-122522Texas
    John GordonDE-DT6-626026New Mexico State; Hawaii
    14Grant GuthrieK6-021026Florida State140
    70Mike HaggertyOT6-424529Miami (Florida)
    9Kim HammondQB6-119030Florida State
    Alfred HaywoodHB5-1121526Bethune-Cookman3
    80Dennis HughesTE6-122026Georgia
    53Tom JohnsonC6-223524Tennessee
    32Wayne JonesRB5-1120023Mississippi State
    56Howard KindigC6-626033Moberly JC; Los Angeles State
    86Keith KrepfleTE6-322622Iowa State14
    37Ricky LakeRB6-122024Georgia
    44Ronnie LambRB6-222731South Carolina
    77Ike LassiterLDE6-527034St. Augustine's
    81Tony LomaxWR6-319024Laney JC; Washington State
    55Johnny MackLB6-122026Joplin JC; Wichita State; Central Missouri
    84Art MayRDE-DT6-324526Tuskegee
    88Ben MayesRDT-DE6-526529Drake
    Eddie McAshanQB6-220423Georgia Tech
    74Russ MelbyRDE-DT6-426029Weber State
    52Mike MullenLB6-222024Oklahoma; Tulane
    68Carleton OatsDE6-225232Florida A&M3
    12Reggie OliverQB6-218523Marshall
    26John OsborneCB5-1017022Bethune-Cookman
    Dennis PeteDB6-218025Laney JC; Colorado State; San Francisco State
    Gary PotempaLB6-123022Notre Dame
    6Edgar ScottRB-WR6-220025Bethune-Cookman
    54Claud SimontonLB6-122524Tennessee
    46Fletcher SmithDB6-218231Tennessee State
    Tom SmithRB6-121625Iowa; Miami (Florida)3
    10Kay StephensonQB6-120830Florida
    15John StofaQB6-321032Buffalo
    87Carl SwiercWR6-118023Rice
    76Bob TatarekLDT6-426028Miami (Florida)
    32Rich ThomannLB6-023024Notre Dame
    13Bubba ThorntonWR6-017527Navarro JC; Texas Christian
    42/29Mike TownsendFS6-320522Notre Dame14
    87Vern VanoyDE6-827026Kansas
    63Tom WalkerOT-OG6-324523Northern Colorado
    66O.Z. WhiteLOG6-224525California
    83Tom WhittierWR6-017028Texas Southern
    41Alvin WyattLCB5-918427Bethune-Cookman14

    1974 Memphis Southmen Game Results
    Regular SeasonOpponentResultAttendance
    July 10WednesdayDetroit WheelsW34-1530,122
    July 18ThursdayPortland StormW16-831,088
    July 24Wednesdayat Birmingham AmericansL33-5861,319
    August 1ThursdaySouthern California SunW25-1525,175
    August 7Wednesdayat Philadelphia BellL15-4612,396
    August 14Wednesdayat Detroit WheelsW37-714,424
    August 21WednesdayThe HawaiiansW60-825,123
    August 28Wednesdayat Florida BlazersW26-1815,746
    September 2Mondayat Jacksonville SharksW16-1322,169
    September 7SaturdayHouston TexansW45-015,291
    September 11WednesdayBirmingham AmericansW46-730,675
    September 18Wednesdayat Chicago FireW25-726,678
    September 25Wednesdayat Shreveport SteamerW17-321,357
    October 2WednesdayJacksonville SharksW47-1915,016
    October 9Wednesdayat Charlotte HornetsW27-2325,133
    October 16WednesdayFlorida BlazersW25-1515,334
    October 24Thursdayat Portland StormL25-2613,228
    October 30Wednesdayat The HawaiiansW33-3120,544
    November 7ThursdayChicago FireW49-2414,085
    November 13WednesdayCharlotte HornetsW28-2213,339
    Playoffs
    November 29FridaySemi-Final
    Florida Blazers
    L15-189,692
    Notes:

    1. Country Music superstar Charlie Rich sang the opening game national anthem. After Rich took his seat next to Elvis afterward, Presley commented, "That's a tough song to sing, ain't it"? Rich replied, "It ain't no Behind Closed Doors".

    1974 Team Summary

    The team was originally slated to be based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the nickname of the Northmen. However, when Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced that no U.S.-based professional football league would be allowed in Canada in competition with the Canadian Football League under the Canadian Football Act, a change in venue and nickname was announced. From the beginning, Memphians disliked the official nickname and the team was informally and perhaps better-known as the Memphis Grizzlies, which were not connected to the current National Basketball Association team of that name now based in Memphis, and itself relocated from Vancouver, British Columbia. This name appeared to come from the logo, which appeared to be a representation of a bear backed by the sun.

    The Southmen of 1974 found two durable running backs in J.J. Jennings and John Harvey. Its opener, against Detroit, drew 30,122. Of the most famous was Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n' Roll and a professed football nut. Elvis and many other Memphians watched the WFL club finish with the best record in the league, at 17-3. They lost in the semi-finals to a hungrier and poorer team in the Orlando-based Florida Blazers, 18-15.

    1974 Memphis Southmen Team Facts
    Owner John Basset Jr.
    General Manager Leo Cahill
    Head Coach John McVay
    Stadium Liberty Bowl (58,000)
    Colors Burnt Orange, Brown

             

    1974 Memphis Southmen Starting Lineup
    QB John Huarte S Seth Miller
    RB Willie Spencer S Dick Thornton
    RB JJ Jennings CB David Thomas
    TE Gary Shirk CB Emery Hicks
    WR Ed Marshall LE Tom Beckman
    WR Roger Wallace LT Festus Cotton
    C Ralph Hill RT John LeHup
    LT Walter Highsmith RE Bill Stevenson
    LG Charles Bray LLB Jake Burkhardt
    RT Ron Mikolajczyk MLB Bob Lally
    RG Justin Canale RLB Al Andrews
    K Bob Etter P Danny White

    1974 Southmen Logo

    1974 Memphis Southmen Statistics

    Passing:
    Player Att Comp Comp % Yds Yds/Att TDs TD % Ints Int % Long Sacked Yds Lost Rating
    John Huarte29615452.024168.2237.8165.4573029782.8
    Danny White1557951.011907.7127.795.85667878.2
    Jim Ettinger14750.01339.517.117.14521677.4
    John Harvey3266.76120.3133.300.04800149.3
    Totals46824251.738008.1377.9265.657 38391

    Rushing:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    J.J. Jennings32215244.721 11
    John Harvey1929454.949 6
    Willie Spencer1787884.430 15
    Paul Miles923253.519 3
    Danny White241034.315 0
    John Huarte21813.916 0
    Jim Ettinger33411.325 1
    Ed Marshall33311.040 0
    Bracy Bonham284.01
    Tony Schmid166.00
    Tim Beamer155.00
    Totals83938524.649 37

    Receiving:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Ed Marshall60115919.356 19
    J.J. Jennings464319.436 2
    Roger Wallace3767418.251 5
    Gary Shirk3467119.757 7
    John Harvey2127513.141 1
    Paul Miles151238.225 0
    Willie Spencer1113912.634 0
    Jack Ettinger716423.444 1
    Tim Beamer45213.018 0
    Dick Bumpas33612.018 0
    Gary Powell26532.534 2
    Bob Houmard199.00
    Billy Taylor122.00
    Totals242380015.757 37

    Kicking:
    Player X/CA X/CM X/CP % FGA FGM FG % Pts.
    Bob Etter0001236
    Totals0001236

    Punting:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long
    Danny White80327140.964
    Bobby Majors622337.247
    Totals86349440.664

    Punt Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Dave Thomas432245.270 0
    Roger Wallace261445.521 0
    Tim Beamer24221.032 0
    Bill Stevenson13131.031 0
    Emery Hicks11616.016 0
    Willie Lee Jones11515.015 0
    John Hughes144.00
    Bobby Majors2-5-2.5-1 0
    Totals774716.170 0

    Kickoff Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Tim Beamer2057328.682 1
    Dave Thomas1739723.437 0
    John Harvey1024724.733 0
    Willie Spencer48521.221 0
    J.J. Jennings48020.025 0
    Roger Wallace47619.031 0
    Paul Miles25829.036 0
    Bobby Majors55110.220 0
    Dave Boyd23316.520 0
    Mike Townsend11717.017 0
    Team155.00
    Gary Shirk100.00
    Totals71162222.882 1

    Interceptions:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Dave Thomas1016116.116.1 1
    Seth Miller915917.717.7 0
    Dick Thornton515631.231.2 1
    Sonny Hicks4143.53.5 0
    Bob Lally3186.00
    Jake Burkhardt3103.33.3 0
    Bobby Majors15555.055 1
    Bill Stevenson12323.023 0
    Tom Beckman11818.018 0
    Merl Code100.00
    Totals3861416.255 3

    Total Scoring:
    Touchdowns Other Total
    Player Rush Rec Punt Kick MFG Int Fum Other FG X/C Single 2Pt Saf Points
    Ed Marshall019000011000144
    Willie Spencer15000004000109
    J.J. Jennings1120000300094
    Gary Shirk070000800057
    John Harvey610000400053
    Bob Etter0000012000036
    Roger Wallace050000500040
    Paul Miles300000100022
    Gary Powell020000000014
    Tim Beamer0001010000014
    Jim Ettinger10000000007
    Bobby Majors00001000007
    Dick Thornton00001000007
    Dave Thomas00001000007
    Bracy Bonham10000000007
    Jack Ettinger01000000007
    Tom Beckman00000000012
    Dick Bumpas00000010001
    Brent Longwell00000010001
    Totals37370103011238001629

    1974 Memphis Southmen Roster
    NoPlayerPosHtWtAgeCollegeGPGS
    56Al AndrewsRLB6-321629New Mexico State
    76Sylvester BatesDT6-3268Grambling State
    22Tim BeamerWR5-1118526Illinois; Johnson C. Smith
    99Tom BeckmanLDE6-525024Michigan20
    50Tom BeutlerLB6-123228Toledo
    63Bracy BonhamOG-FB6-224224North Carolina Central
    81Steve BoorasDE6-425026Mesa CC
    2David BoydRCB6-116522Fisk
    58Charlie BrayLOG6-025529Pratt CC; Central Oklahoma20
    81Dick BumpasTE-LB6-222525Arkansas
    66Jake BurkhardtLLB6-020523Dayton
    73Justin CanaleROG6-224231Mississippi State
    41Merl CodeCB6-019526North Carolina A&T State
    77Fest CottonLDT6-325825Dayton
    54Wally DempseyLB6-123030Pierce JC; Washington State
    81Ben EllegoodDE6-423725Kutztown
    3Bob EtterK5-1115429Georgia0
    23Jack EttingerWR6-318524Arkansas
    14Jim EttingerQB6-319526Kansas
    91Mike GibbonsOT6-426223Southwestern Oklahoma State
    30John HarveyRB6-118524Texas-Arlington20
    47Emery HicksMLB6-023027Kansas
    20Sonny HicksRCB6-119223North Carolina A&T State
    61Wally HighsmithLOT6-423831Florida A&M
    63Ralph HillC6-124525Florida A&M
    88Bob HoumardTE6-323027Ohio University
    7John HuarteQB6-018831Notre Dame17
    John HughesDB6-119524Ohio State
    60Herman JacksonLB5-1022022Miami (Ohio)
    74John JacquotOG6-223523Bowling Green State
    36J.J. JenningsFB6-122022Rutgers20
    68Willie Lee JonesRLB6-122026Tampa
    64Tom KruyerOG-OT6-224525Indiana
    58Bob LallyMLB6-223022Cornell20
    67John LeHeupRDT6-225023South Carolina
    83Brent LongwellTE6-322523Nebraska
    44Bobby MajorsSS-P6-119325Tennessee
    89Ed MarshallWR6-520027Ranger JC; Cameron20
    62Ron MikolajczykROT6-328024Marshall; Tampa20
    25Paul MilesRB6-018822Bowling Green State
    40Seth MillerFS-SS6-420726Arizona State
    78Chris MorrisOT-OG6-325025Indiana
    17Gary PowellDB-WR6-018022Indiana
    90Cecil PryorLDE-RDE6-522727Michigan
    Tom RousselLB6-323529Southern Mississippi
    75Dan SartinDT6-124528Mississippi
    85Bill SchlegelTE6-121222Lehigh
    43Tony SchmidRB6-120022Ball State
    98Lucious SelmonDT-LB5-1123523Oklahoma
    87Gary ShirkTE6-122024Morehead State
    88Larry SmileyDE6-425024Texas Southern
    31Willie SpencerHB6-423521none16
    94Bill StevensonRD6-427024Drake
    42Billy TaylorRB5-1020525Michigan
    24David ThomasLCB5-1017523Texas Southern
    45Dick ThorntonWS-SS6-018535Northwestern
    52Charlie TiblomC6-224525Central Connecticut State
    Mike TownsendS6-320522Notre Dame1
    84Roger WallaceWR5-1118022Bowling Green State
    11Danny WhiteQB-P6-319522Arizona State

    1974 New York Stars / Charlotte Stars / Charlotte Hornets Game Results
    Regular SeasonOpponentResultAttendance
    July 11Thursdayat Jacksonville SharksL7-1459,112
    July 17WednesdayBirmingham AmericansL29-3217,943
    July 25Thursdayat Philadelphia BellW17-1564,719
    July 31WednesdayJacksonville SharksW24-1615,648
    August 7Wednesdayat Southern California SunW11-828,174
    August 14WednesdayPortland StormW38-1616,222
    August 21WednesdayHouston TexansW43-1012,042
    August 28Wednesdayat Houston TexansL11-1410,126
    September 2MondayPhiladelphia BellW24-166,132
    September 6FridayFlorida BlazersL15-173,830
    September 11Wednesdayat Portland StormW34-1513,339
    September 18Wednesdayat The HawaiiansL14-1712,169
    September 24TuesdayDetroit WheelsW37-74,220
    October 3 ^Thursdayat Chicago FireW41-3022,354
    October 9 * ^^WednesdayMemphis SouthmenL23-2725,133
    October 16 *WednesdayChicago FireW27-020,333
    October 23 *WednesdayFlorida BlazersL11-1523,613
    October 30 *WednesdaySouthern California SunL25-3419,436
    November 6Wednesdayat Shreveport SteamerL14-1910,697
    November 13Wednesdayat Memphis SouthmenL22-2813,339
    Notes:

    1. * - played at Charlotte, NC

    2. ^ - first game after announcing move to Charlotte, NC

    3. ^^ - first home game in Charlotte, NC

    1974 Team Summary

    The Charlotte Hornets franchise began in 1973 in Boston as the Boston Bulldogs, which was also the name of the relocated Pottsville Maroons, Boston's first professional football franchise. The name was shortened in October to Bulls. They were owned by Howard Baldwin, president and minority owner of the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association. Unlike most other WFL owners, he didn't have to pay a franchise fee because of his close ties to WFL founder and Commissioner Gary Davidson. He hired Vito "Babe" Parilli, who had been a back-up quarterback to Joe Namath in Super Bowl III, as head coach.

    Baldwin was unable to attract more investors. More seriously, he couldn't find a suitable place to play. Realizing he had no hope of putting together a viable product in Boston, Baldwin opted to merge with the WFL's as-yet-unnamed New York franchise on January 26, 1974. That team was owned by Whalers and Boston Celtics majority owner Bob Schmertz and three of his New York-based limited business partners; Henry Fujawski, John Lander and Steven Cohen who together made up the core of the Stars ownership and like Baldwin hadn't had to pay a franchise fee. The two teams had already worked together very closely in the draft. The merged team took the name New York Stars.

    Finding a home field for the fledgling team proved just as difficult as finding a name. Yankee Stadium was closed for renovation right after the Yankees finished the 1973 season in October; it would not reopen until 1976. Shea Stadium was fully booked as the Yankees shared the park with the Mets and the NFL's Jets. The Stars had only two other options in the city proper: Downing Stadium, a 22,000-seat facility built during the Depression as a WPA Project on Randall's Island near the East River, or Baker Field, the 32,000-seat wooden stadium that served as the home of Columbia University's teams. Apparently unable to come to terms with Columbia, Downing Stadium was ultimately chosen. The legendary Bob Sheppard, longtime voice of the New York Yankees, handled public address duties for the Stars.

    Parilli signed a number of former Super Bowl III Jets including wide receiver George Sauer, who was coming out of retirement after three years, and former All-Pro defensive men Gerry Philbin, as well as John Elliott.

    The WFL needed New York in order to have a presence in the largest U.S. media market. The Stars sold between 5,500 and 8,000 season tickets. After losing 14-7 at Jacksonville in front of a league high crowd of 59,112 at the Gator Bowl, the Stars' first home game against the Birmingham Americans attracted 17,943 New Yorkers. After leading 29-3 at halftime, the Stars were toppled by the efforts of Americans quarterback George Mira, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as Birmingham pulled out a 32-29 comeback win. The Stars finally won their first game as kicker Moses Lajterman kicked the winning field goal for a 17-15 win at Philadelphia. The Stars and Bell performed in front of the largest WFL crowd, with 64,179 on hand. It later came out that most of the tickets were sold at large discounts or were given away to make the league appear more successful than it was.

    New York then went on a tear, winning five in a row. Among the victims were the Jacksonville Sharks, Southern California Sun, Portland Storm, and Houston Texans. Coincidentally, the team's winning streak was stopped by those same Texans a week later, with a surprise addition to the Houston roster: John Matuszak. Matuszak had been AWOL from the NFL's Houston Oilers just 48 hours earlier. The Stars had mixed results in the next few weeks, winning over Portland again, but losing to Florida in the rain and The Hawaiians in the sun. To improve the roster, New York picked up several NFL players from the waiver wire. Among them were cornerback John Dockery, who played for Parilli with the New York Jets, and Don Highsmith, a running back released by Oakland who turned out to be a great addition to the Stars running attack. The Stars performed better on the field and were a nice alternative to the more expensive, yet losing, Giants and Jets.

    For all their on-field success, the Stars were dragged down by serious off-field financial problems. Like most WFL teams, they were badly undercapitalized. Their fiscal structure began to founder when Schmertz's construction company ran into trouble. He was also involved in a nasty divorce, as well as a legal dispute over his ownership of the Celtics.

    The Stars' biggest problem was Downing Stadium. Despite Schmertz pumping over $200,000 into renovations, it was completely inadequate even as a temporary facility. It was nearly inaccessible from most parts of the city, and it had not been well maintained in at least 20 years. The field was mostly sand and dirt. Amenities for fans, players and the press were virtually nonexistent. The toilets in the locker room frequently overflowed. During the home opener, the Stars' radio announcers had to sit on orange crates because there were no chairs in the press box; their Birmingham counterparts had to stand. Parking and lighting were both inadequate. It soon became obvious that Schmertz and Baldwin wouldn't have enough money to finish the season. With the Stars over a million dollars in debt and unable to afford to upgrade Downing Stadium to anything approaching professional standards, the WFL resigned itself to abandoning the nation's biggest market.

    September 24, 1974 was their final game at New York (the game was moved from Wednesday because of Yom Kippur). Ironically, that same day, the Detroit Wheels' 33 owners filed for bankruptcy. Called the "Bankrupt Bowl", the New York Stars blew out the destitute Detroit Wheels, 37-7.

    Charlotte Stars/Hornets
    While they were packing up for the next night's game against the Chicago Fire, Parilli announced the team was moving to Charlotte for the rest of the season as the Charlotte Stars. Part-owner Bob Keating told reporters that due to substandard playing conditions and poor attendance, the team simply could not go on in New York. However, the WFL planned to place a team in New York in 1976 once Yankee Stadium reopened.

    The league had found a buyer in former New England Patriots executive Upton Bell after Charlotte mayor John M. Belk helped engineer a deal that made the move feasible. Forced to find a new logo literally at the last minute, the equipment man simply stuck the Chicago Bears' "C" logo over the old New York logo. The Stars routed the Fire, 41-30. A few days later, they were renamed the Hornets. Shortly after they arrived in Charlotte, however, their uniforms were impounded due to an unpaid laundry bill from New York. The Hornets had to practice in shorts and t-shirts until Bell posted a bond for the equipment.

    The team's first home game at Charlotte was a rousing success. In the league's brief history, the Hornets sold out all 25,133 tickets, leaving some 5,000 out of luck. The visiting Memphis Southmen ruined their debut, winning 27-23. In spite of the loss, the new Charlotte club - which played at American Legion Memorial Stadium - did far better in ticket sales than in New York. In four games at Charlotte, the Hornets sold over 80,000 tickets compared to just 75,000 in seven games at Downing Stadium. Toward the end of the season, the Hornets struggled on the field, losing their last four games.

    Off the field, the financial situation was not much better. Bell was still scrambling to get more financing; a public offering hadn't attracted any investors. Although Charlotte finished second place with a 10-10 record, slow advance ticket sales left them without enough money to travel to Orlando for their first-round game against the Florida Blazers. Bell opted to suspend operations while he put together more financing. The Philadelphia Bell, who finished third with a 9-11 record, took the Hornets' place in the playoffs.

    1974 New York Stars / Charlotte Stars / Charlotte Hornets Team Facts
    New York Franchise Owner for 13 games Robert (Bob) Schmertz and Howard Baldwin
    Charlotte Franchise Owner Upton Bell
    General Manager Howard Baldwin
    Head Coach Babe Parilli
    New York Stadium Downing Stadium (27,000)
    Charlotte Stadium American Legion Memorial Stadium
    Colors Black, Yellow, Red

                  

    1974 New York Stars / Charlotte Stars / Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup
    QB Tom Sherman S Ike Thomas
    RB Don Highsmith / Bob Gladieux * S Jeff Woodcock
    RB Jim Ford CB Larry Shears
    TE Ray Parsons CB Steve Dennis
    WR Al Barnes LE Gerry Philbin
    WR George Sauer LT Carter Campbell
    C Bob Kuziel RE Greg Lens
    RG Larry Butler RT John Elliott
    RT Rick Sharp LLB Jimmy Sims
    LG Matt Herkenhoff MLB Marty Huff
    LT Len St. Jean RLB Bob Grant
    K Pete Rajecki P Robbie Reynolds

    Catch the Stars (19070 bytes)

    New York Stars Logo     Charlotte Stars Logo

    Charlotte Hornets Logo

    1974 New York Stars / Charlotte Stars / Charlotte Hornets Statistics

    Passing:
    Player Att Comp Comp % Yds Yds/Att TDs TD % Ints Int % Long Sacked Yds Lost Rating
    Tom Sherman36317247.423116.4154.1164.4632722163.5
    Gary Danielson542750.02935.411.900.03333672.5
    Brian Dowling381436.81403.712.6513.22721617.3
    Lee Bouggess100.000.000.000.000039.6
    Dave Richards100.000.000.000.000039.6
    Totals45721346.627446.0173.7214.663 32273

    Rushing:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Bob Gladieux1776903.930 6
    Don Highsmith1426864.832 13
    Ed White1004314.325 1
    James Ford1033833.736 3
    Tom Sherman973763.931 6
    Andy Huff742643.625 3
    Dave Richards511432.816 1
    Lee Bouggess491192.417 1
    Bob Hermanni46616.525 0
    Gary Danielson10515.118 3
    John King11413.70
    Brian Dowling6305.013 0
    Lewis Jolley133.00
    Dave Wooley1-1-1.00
    Al Barnes2-1-0.50
    Matt Williams2-2-1.00
    Bert Askson1-7-7.00
    Totals83132723.936 37

    Receiving:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    George Sauer3854714.434 3
    Al Young3442612.529 1
    Kreg Kapitan3339912.126 5
    Ray Parson2532513.032 2
    Don Highsmith191477.727 0
    Al Barnes1019019.063 1
    James Ford911212.419 0
    Bob Gladieux99911.029 1
    Bert Askson820725.945 4
    Tommy Spinks89511.916 0
    Ed White6213.522 0
    Dave Richards49423.540 0
    Lee Bouggess4205.00
    Andy Huff3227.317 0
    Bob Hermanni12020.020 0
    Lewis Jolley11414.014 0
    John Dockery166.00
    Totals213274412.963 17

    Kicking:
    Player X/CA X/CM X/CP % FGA FGM FG % Pts.
    Moses Lajterman000721
    Pete Rajecki000618
    Totals0001339

    Punting:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long
    Robby Reynolds110419538.154
    Totals110419538.154

    Punt Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Dave Richards421934.648 0
    Bob Hermanni9566.222 0
    Jeff Woodcock2-1-0.5-1 0
    Totals532484.748 0

    Kickoff Returns:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Ike Thomas2467128.071 0
    Dave Richards2861121.842 0
    Bob Gladieux710414.920 0
    Bob Hermanni58917.828 0
    James Ford47819.522 0
    Jeff Woodcock23618.020 0
    Tommy Spinks12323.023 0
    Andy Huff11717.017 0
    Totals72162922.671 0

    Interceptions:
    Player No. Yds Avg. Long TDs
    Jeff Woodcock813717.117.1 0
    Larry Shears712417.717.7 1
    Steve Dennis5193.83.8 0
    Jimmy Sims24221.021 1
    Art Reynolds24020.020 0
    Tom Chandler23819.019 0
    Lou Angelo284.00
    Gary Champagne11818.018 0
    Ike Thomas11616.016 0
    John Dockery100.00
    Marty Huff100.00
    Totals3244213.821 2

    Total Scoring:
    Touchdowns Other Total
    Player Rush Rec Punt Kick MFG Int Fum Other FG X/C Single 2Pt Saf Points
    Don Highsmith1300000100092
    Bob Gladieux610000400053
    Tom Sherman600000100043
    Kreg Kapitan050000100036
    Bert Askson040000200030
    Moses Lajterman000007000021
    George Sauer030000500026
    Andy Huff300000000021
    Gary Danielson300000000021
    Pete Rajecki000006000018
    James Ford300000400025
    Ray Parson020000300017
    Al Young010000500012
    Lee Bouggess10000000007
    Jimmy Sims00001000007
    Ike Thomas000001000007
    Larry Shears00001000007
    Dave Richards10000020009
    Al Barnes01000010008
    Ed White10000000007
    Totals37170002011329000467

    1974 New York Stars / Charlotte Stars / Charlotte Hornets Roster
    NoPlayerPosHtWtAgeCollegeGPGS
    37Lou AngeloSS6-018024North Carolina
    83Bert AsksonTE6-322929Texas Southern
    6Al BarnesWR6-117025New Mexico State
    26Charlie BostonLCB6-019022Western Illinois
    26Lee BouggessRB6-221026Louisville
    51Jere BrownRLB-LLB6-222022Villanova
    60Darrel BungeLOG6-225322Minnesota
    66Larry ButlerROG6-325022Appalachian State20
    78Carter CampbellLDT-RDE6-323427Treasure Valley JC; Weber State10
    59Dana CarpenterRLB-RDT5-1123523South Carolina
    58Gary ChampagneLB6-121222Louisiana State
    50Tom ChandlerRLB-LLB6-222424Minnesota
    8Gary DanielsonQB6-219523Purdue
    71Bill DeFlavioDT5-923024Massachusetts
    17Steve DennisRCB-FS6-316523Grambling State20
    29John DockeryRCB-WR6-018630Harvard
    10Brian DowlingQB6-220727Yale
    80John ElliottRDT6-424430Texas
    75Jerry EllisonRDE-LDE6-325024Ranger JC; North Texas16
    84Larry EstesRDE6-625028Alcorn State33
    28Jim FordRB6-020525Texas Southern
    35Bob GladieuxRB5-1119027Notre Dame12
    61Bob GrantRLB6-222528Wake Forest3
    82Cliff GreenfieldDE6-325022Morgan State
    64Dick HartLOG-ROG6-225131none
    70Matt HerkenhoffLOT6-425623Minnesota
    7Bob HermanniWR5-716023Montclair State
    32Don HighsmithRB6-020526Michigan State10
    28Terry HoeppnerFS6-220026Franklin
    30Andy HuffRB5-1121024Notre Dame
    54Marty HuffMLB6-223426Michigan
    86Joey JacksonRDT6-425525New Mexico State
    55Bill JanssenC6-424024Nebraska2
    44Lewis JolleyRB5-1121025North Carolina1
    25Kreg KapitanWR6-320325Minnesota State
    44John KingRB6-122522Minnesota10
    52Bob KuzielC6-525524Pittsburgh20
    5Moses LajtermanK-P5-917021Montclair State0
    69Greg LensRDE-LDT6-526129Trinity (Texas)
    58John MossMLB6-423324Pittsburgh
    85Ray ParsonTE6-425027McCook JC; Minnesota
    81Gerry PhilbinLDE6-224433Buffalo
    3Pete RajeckiK5-917025Georgia
    56Art ReynoldsMLB-RLB6-121522Tennessee
    15Robby ReynoldsP6-020522South Carolina200
    48Dave RichardsWR-RB5-1018524Wilson JC; Miami (Ohio)18
    63Ernie RichardsonLLB6-422024Jackson State
    67Len St. JeanLOG6-124433Northern Michigan
    9George SauerWR6-219931Texas
    74Steve SetzlerRDE6-425024St. John's (Minnesota)64
    77Dave ShafferOT6-425523Tennessee