Wlaf news

What A Day: Lee Roy Gankins by Brian Beutler & Crooked Media (04/15/22)

2022.04.16 14:50 kittehgoesmeow What A Day: Lee Roy Gankins by Brian Beutler & Crooked Media (04/15/22)

"It’s Groundhog Day. I feel like Bill Murray." - Volodymyr Zelensky, on pleading with allies for help

Vlad The Mad

Vladimir Putin’s criminal war against Ukraine may have led to serial episodes of humiliation for him this week, but don’t worry, he’s taking it all in stride.
If any part of Putin’s war is going well, it’s the one where he holds up a mirror to the American right.
Hopefully this week served as an added morale boost to Ukrainian citizens and their military, not just a source of national embarrassment for Russia’s government. But it’s always worth remembering who started this war, and that we don’t know what he’ll do if and when he’s truly cornered.

Look No Further Than Crooked Media

Check out a brand new episode of X-Ray Vision! This week, Jason and Rosie discuss some comics news, including a new Avengers series, the title casting in Disney+’s recently announced Percy Jackson series, recap episode three of Moon Knight, and more. Plus, the award winning author of Ammonite, Hild, and the upcoming novel Spear, Nicola Griffith, joins to discuss her process as a writer, conducting research on Arthurian England, and writing with, and about, disabilities. New episodes of X-Ray Vision drop every Friday wherever you get your podcasts.

Under The Radar

Thanks to the House January 6 committee, we’ve just learned more about how phony Constitutionalists in the GOP thought about Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election: First, it was awesome. Then, when the heat got too hot, they tried to beg Trump off—but still hoped he’d prevail. Finally, they pretended that they’d been men of principle the whole time. Newly unearthed correspondence between then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and two far-right Republicans—Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX)—exemplify the pattern. Shortly after Trump lost, Roy wrote to Meadows, “We need ammo. We need fraud examples. We need it this weekend." Lee also texted Meadows to express his “unequivocal support for you to exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy at your disposal,” to steal the election. Both lawmakers continued to offer encouragement and support for an attempted coup behind the scenes, pushing the White House to work with disgraced Kraken lawyer Sidney Powell, then with John Eastman, the notorious pro-coup lawyer who drew up the election-stealing plan Mike Pence ultimately refused to execute. Only after things got out of hand did Lee and Roy chastise the White House and vote to certify the election. "The President should never have spun up certain Americans to believe something that simply cannot be,” Roy said, very earnestly trying to find the guy who did this.

What Else?

New Omicron subvariants just dropped! 🥴
In related news, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has delayed the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for school children for a full school year, until July 2023.
The Biden administration will begin selling new oil- and gas-drilling leases on federal land for the first time in a century, but increase the royalty fees companies must pay to drill.
Disgraced former Democratic Party donor Ed Buck has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for luring two men back to his apartment and providing them with fatal doses of methamphetamine.
In less-accountable political parties, seven women, including a Republican state senator say prominent Nebraska Republican Charles Herbster groped them without consent—a firing offense in most professional capacities, but a ticket to GOP stardom.
Trump loyalists in the Ohio GOP are pulling out all the stops to convince the disgraced former one-term president not to endorse less-clearly-sincere fascist JD Vance for Senate. A real Let Them Fight situation in the Buckeye State.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) defended her job performance and rejected calls for her to step down after the San Francisco Chronicle exposed widespread concern among her colleagues that she shows symptoms of dementia and can’t adequately represent the interests of California. More like Dianne Defiant-stein, amirite? [Long, plaintive sob.]
Twitter’s board has intervened to discourage a potential hostile takeover by Elon Musk.
“I think our democracy is in trouble because, unfortunately, we have charlatans like our former president who doesn't, in my view, really care about democracy but only about power,” said George W. Bush-appointed federal judge Reggie Walton, honestly, while overseeing an insurrection case.
Ohio right-wingers canceled a children’s author who write books for kids susceptible to bullying, accusing him of “coming with an agenda to recruit kids to become gay.”
A Republican-dominated appeals-court panel ruled police officers can purposely inflict pain on (i.e., torture) improperly detained people (i.e., witnesses) in order to coerce them into coughing up information (i.e. evidence that should be inadmissible in court).
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Alleged GOP Coke Orgies) is, politically speaking, going broke, haha.
President Biden won’t be traveling to Ukraine if his aides have anything to say about it, and may be forgiving student debt before the election, his press secretary said on America’s News Podcast™ (Live Edition).

Be Smarter

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX), last seen shipping migrants across the country so they could be political props for Fox News, appears to have confessed to violating the Constitution and the law by disrupting international commerce and engaging in trade negotiations with Mexico. But though this is the kind of textbook illegality that the feds are well-suited to intervene against—as well as a bad-faith scheme to exacerbate inflation for GOP political gain—it’s unclear the Biden administration plans to do anything about it.
It began with Abbott deploying Texas law enforcement to pretextually stop and inspect every commercial truck crossing the southern border into the U.S.—a violation of federal jurisdiction over national borders and trade, which created huge shipping delays and increased inflation nationwide. It veered further into illegality when Abbott used the trade crisis he’d provoked between the U.S. and Mexico to negotiate security agreements with Mexican governors—a patent violation of Article I Section 10 of the Constitution, which states: “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress…enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power.” To tie a bow on it, Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-TX) admitted this was all part of a single scheme: “The governor has figured out we can stop trade along the border, slow it down, and it will create pressure on Mexico and some of their governors to work out a deal to help us with border security,” he said. Given all this malfeasance, the White House’s response has been to criticize Abbott, without accusing him of legal violations, or directly insisting he stop; and the Justice Department has said nothing.

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Light At The End Of The Email

Iowa’s supreme court has overruled a Republican lower-court judge to restore Abby Finkenauer’s rightful place on the Democratic Senate primary ballot
Ohio’s supreme court has struck down the state GOP's unlawful partisan gerrymander for a fourth time.
This article about a Hasidic couple that planned to get married in Ukraine, but managed to relocate their ceremony to New York and even keep their wedding date, is probably the only good Vows story in the history of the section.
U.S. industrial and manufacturing production have soared.


JEFF on Twitter: "Lmao is that bread"
submitted by kittehgoesmeow to FriendsofthePod [link] [comments]

2022.04.07 17:54 CramblinDuvetAdv Spring League Location Guide

Was going to comment this under the Orlando team news but figured it encompasses more than that location so decided to slap it in a new thread. Some of the older leagues I'm going to tack on to certain categories as their geographic locations wouldn't have a bearing on franchises present day, or they may have only been there for a season, etc. but still worth noting.

AAF locations XFL 2.0 had to stay out of but have since been confirmed with 3.0:
- San Antonio (also CFL USA, USFL 80's, WLAF)
- Orlando (also XFL 1.0, UFL, USFL 80's, WLAF)

AAF location that USFL is also in:
- Birmingham (also XFL 1.0, CFL USA, USFL 80's, WLAF)

USFL 2022 locations that XFL 2.0 was in (all were USFL 80's franchises):
- Houston
- Tampa Bay
- NY/NJ (also XFL 1.0, UFL, WLAF)

Unique USFL 2022 locations (all were USFL 80's franchises):
- New Orleans
- Detroit
- Philadelphia
- Pittsburgh

Unique XFL 2.0 locations:
- Dallas
- Los Angeles (also XFL 1.0, USFL 80's)
- DC (also USFL 80's)
- Seattle
- St. Louis

Unique AAF locations:
- San Diego
- Salt Lake
- Atlanta
- Arizona (also USFL 80's)

Unique XFL 1.0 locations:
- San Francisco

Unique UFL locations:
- Omaha
- Sacramento (also CFL USA, WLAF)
- Hartford
- Virginia Beach

XFL 1.0 & AAF locations:
- Memphis (also CFL USA, USFL 80's)

XFL 1.0 & UFL locations:
- Las Vegas (also CFL USA)

XFL 1.0 & USFL 80's location:
- Chicago

Unique CFL location:
- Shreveport

Unique WLAF locations:
- Columbus
- Raleigh-Durham
- Montreal (also CFL present day)

Unique USFL 80's Locations:
- Boston
- Baltimore
- Portland
- Denver
- Oakland
- Jacksonville
- Oklahoma
submitted by CramblinDuvetAdv to xfl [link] [comments]

2020.06.12 15:02 livestreamfailed MLFB Update

The NFL Rooney Rule - Requirements by NFL teams to hire diversity
The Pig Skin Nut makes a good point. The MLFB is a place that not only players can be developed, but every aspect of the game including coaching.
“Another way the NFL could go about improving the chances for minorities, is by officially supporting a developmental league, who institutes the same type of program. One such league could be the MLFB, who’s mission statement is that of development on every level. Beginning with players, but branching out to coaches, front-office personnel, and officials. Similar to what the NFL Europa (WLAF) offered.“
As I said yesterday morning I believe once the MLFB gets up and running it is here to stay.
Yes, the price went up yesterday, but it is back down to levels at which a large fund manager purchased them just a month ago. I don’t know about you, but if a fund manager sees value at current prices then so do I.
EDIT: As always, just a thought. Do your own DD. I’m just some guy on the internet.
submitted by livestreamfailed to pennystocks [link] [comments]

2020.05.10 21:48 ZappaOMatic In 1991, a semi-pro kicker won the Oilers' job after watching the incumbent struggle in preseason and felt he'd do better; he was cut midseason after missing a game winner. His replacement then missed a chip shot in the playoffs. That offseason, they drafted Air Force's K, unaware he had to serve.

As a Bears fan, the 2019 kicker carousel was not fun, to say the least.
In the early 1990s, the Houston Oilers were the snakebit team when it came to the kicker position, and it was a pretty weird series of events. In the span of less than two years, the Oilers went from losing their longtime kicker to injury to bringing in a journeyman who didn't make it past the first preseason game the following year to a semi-pro kicker who literally watched the previous guy miss his kicks at a bar to a kicker who missed the difference maker in that year's playoff game to a kicker who was busy serving in the military to bringing in the playoff-missing kicker once again. This was the 1991 Houston Oilers kicker fiasco.

Teddy Garcia

Our story begins the previous year in October 1990. Tony Zendejas, who had played for the Oilers since 1985, broke his left fibula on a kickoff and was knocked out for the season. Although he had missed five of his first seven kicks to start the year, he was riding a hot streak since with six consecutive field goals made.[1]
To take his place, Houston signed journeyman Teddy Garcia, who finished the year making 14 of 20 field goals. Garcia, who kicked with a shoe but without a sock (a situation that led to him meeting with NFL officials as the league had a rule requiring socks),[2] then found a gig with the San Antonio Riders in the World League of American Football.[3]
Said stint did not go well at all as he made just one of four kicks and even missed an extra point that would have forced overtime. Garcia noted the special teams unit as a whole was a disaster, recalling, "We had some times where they'd center the ball before you'd even get ready. I'd be taking my steps and they'd center the ball. In one preseason game my center yelled at me to hurry. I never heard that in my life. It was like a 20-yard field field goal and he's telling me to hurry. That's not his job. The holder is supposed to control the time."[3]
He was unceremoniously released by the Riders, but the Oilers were more than willing to bring him back for continuity, opting to protect him in Plan B free agency while letting Zendejas walk.[3]
Well, that idea went just as poorly as his time in the WLAF. In the preseason opener against the Chargers, both teams' offenses caught fire with four touchdown passes apiece, but Garcia missed two extra points. Houston would lose 31–29. He never played another down in the NFL.[4]

Ian Howfield

Meanwhile at a sports bar in Oklahoma, Ian Howfield was watching the Oilers/Chargers game with his Oklahoma City Twisters teammates. The son of former Jets kicker Bobby Howfield, Ian struggled to attract interest from the NFL and WLAF with seven failed tryouts in the former and one in the latter. In July, he attended a Minor League Football Alliance game between Oklahoma City and Plano-Texas, where he participated in a fan kicking contest at halftime; upon winning, he was offered the kicker job. The Twisters, a minor league team that did not play its players, enjoyed success with Howfield.[5]
As Howfield and his teammates watched Garcia miss the two extra points, his confidence got the best of him. Twisters owner Nick Hahalis recalled, "Ian says, 'I'd better go down there and show them how to kick the ball,' and that's the last we saw of him."[5]
Howfield's agent reached out to Oilers general manager Mike Holovak, who worked with Bobby on the Jets. Holovak replied the team had brought in two-time Super Bowl champion Raul Allegre to kick in the second preseason game against the Falcons and "we'll see what happens."[5]
Allegre missed his lone field goal attempt in the game, leading Holovak to give Howfield a tryout with one condition: play "until you miss one."[5]
Although it was preseason, Howfield's first pro football game saw him make all three field goals, including one from 50 yards, against the Cowboys. Impressed, the Oilers gave him the starting job for the regular season. To only add to the craziness, Howfield's holder was receiver Frank Miotke, who was given the role after punter Greg Montgomery held out for contract reasons.[5]
Howfield started off strong, making eight of ten field goals and 18 of 19 extra points to begin his career. Against the Broncos, he made all six XPs.[6] He even kicked against the Jets, whose kicker Pat Leahy replaced his dad in New York in 1974.[5]
However, things started to fall apart in October as he made one of two kicks in consecutive games.[6] In a win over the Bengals, he missed two extra points, though one was due to a bad snap that Miotke couldn't handle; Montgomery took over holding duties for the following week's Redskins game.[7] The Oilers also won that game 35–3, so no biggie.
Against Washington, Howfield made two of three kicks, but the one miss was the stinger: with the score tied at 13 each and just one second left on the clock, he missed a 33-yard field goal. In overtime, Washington answered with the 41-yard game winner.[7]
Howfield was cut later that week. Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post wrote the following:[7]
"This is killing me," Howfield told reporters in Houston. "Before this, no one knew who I was. I'm proud of the way I played, and my teammates didn't blame me for the loss. I wish I had a chance to say goodbye to them.
"I feel awful. When I get my next shot, I'm going to remember this day, because it hurts."
Earlier this year, Howfield was sitting in The InnerUrban bar in Oklahoma City -- where he was kicking for the semi-pro Oklahoma Twisters -- watching the Oilers in a preseason game when he got the idea to call them and ask for a tryout.
Now, one is left to assume, he'll be watching again.
He can watch next Sunday when the Oilers play the Dallas Cowboys, the same team against which Howfield made three field goals in three tries in the preseason to win the job from Raul Allegre and incumbent Teddy Garcia.
After the loss to the Redskins, Howfield fought back tears while patiently fielding questions from reporters. When asked whether he was worried about losing his job, Howfield said: "I can't worry about that. God, I'll be sick to death if I worry about that."
After receiving the news from Pardee yesterday, he came out of the meeting crying, but again he held on long enough to share his pain with the media.
Howfield would never kick in the NFL again, but latched on and made a career in the Arena Football League.

Al Del Greco

With Howfield's Cinderella story coming to an abrupt end, the Oilers were left scrambling for another kicker. Head coach Jack Pardee commented shortly after Howfield's release, "I have no idea who we're going to bring in. Certainly, we'll want it to be someone who is proven in pressure situations."[7]
Enter Al Del Greco. The former Cardinals kicker had been planning to join a sales training program with Birmingham Packaging Corporation when he was signed to a two-year deal by the Oilers.[8]
"Basically, my life has had a 180-degree turnaround in the last day and a half for the better," he said.[8]
He started his time in Houston on a wild note against the Cowboys: in the first quarter, he made a then-career-best 52-yard kick. Two more converted FGs and three quarters later, he missed a 41-yarder that would have won the game for his team. In overtime, he made up for his mistake by scoring the game-winning 23-yard FG as Houston triumphed 26–23.[9][10]
Del Greco ended the regular season making 10 of 13 FGs and all 16 XPs.[11] The Oilers ended the regular season 11–5 and made the playoffs for the league-best fifth straight season, though a loss in the regular season finale to the Giants relegated them to the Wild Card Round for a rematch with the 8–8 Jets.[12][13]
The game proved to be far messier than hoped even before kickoff as a local television station had to buy tickets to avoid a blackout. Once it began, the Oilers' run-and-shoot offense struggled as Warren Moon was sacked four times. In the kicker battle, Del Greco missed a 46-yarder late in the first half that led to Allegre's 33-yard score before halftime. That turned out to be New York's final points of the game, while Del Greco booted a 53-yarder in the fourth for the lone scoring of the second half as the Oilers won 17–10.[13]
The Divisional Round saw Houston visit Denver to take on John Elway's Broncos. Although Del Greco made three PATs as the Oilers pulled to an early 21–6 lead, the advantage slowly disappeared. In the third quarter, he missed an easy 33-yard field goal wide right, which he bounced back from with a 25-yard score early in the final period that put his team up by eight.[14]
Unfortunately for the kicker and his team, he helplessly watched as Elway led the Broncos on two scoring drives, including one nicknamed "The Drive II" that ended with a game-winning field goal to advance them to the AFC title game. Final score: Denver 26, Houston 24.[15]
Del Greco took responsibility for the loss as he pointed to his third-quarter miss: "These types of things hurt and it would have hurt even if we had won. It happened in the third quarter and we had other chances to win the game. But, looking back, that may have been the biggest play of the game. We knew coming in that we had to take advantage of every scoring opportunity. We didn't and it cost us."[12]
Entering the 1992 offseason, the Oilers were ready to make changes. As Plan B free agency loomed, they chose not to protect Del Greco, among others like franchise-leading receiver Drew Hill.[16]

Joe Wood

The 1992 NFL Draft came and Pardee got to work. As the draft loomed, many expected Houston to address the kicker position.
"Last year the Oilers played Washington dead even, but lost because their placekicker failed them," said one draft preview. "They also lost a shot to play Buffalo in the AFC Championship game because of a blown chip-shot field goal. Thus, finding a reliable placekicker is a pressing need."[17]
The draft class featured a variety of kickers like Washington State's Jason Hanson, Miami's Carlos Huerta, and the local Roman Anderson from the University of Houston.[18] Hanson would be selected by the Lions in the second round, though the Oilers still had the others available.
In the seventh round with the 322nd-overall pick, Houston drafted their kicker: Joe Wood out of Air Force.
Pardee compared him to Jeff Jaeger due to his leg strength, noting he had "great hang time, and he really gets his kickoffs deep." Air Force kicking coach Billy Mitchell also described Wood as "NFL-caliber", while Wood proclaimed, "I don't want to toot my own horn, but I really do feel I'm good enough to fit somewhere in the NFL."[19]
That's great and all, but there was one big issue: he played for Air Force, and at the time, service academy graduates were required to serve for at least four years. This rule has since seen a tumultuous history, with the current directive saying you can either defer your service to the end of your pro career or pay back your education (Navy's Malcolm Perry probably springs to mind for many after he was drafted this year).
During a post-draft press conference, Wood commented he was surprised about being selected due to his military obligations. Upon hearing this, Oilers public relations head Chip Namias immediately called his team's war room.[20]
Namias asked, "Did you guys know about his Air Force commitment?"
The response: "His what?"
As an anonymous team official remarked, "If they'd drafted Mike Tyson, he'd be available sooner."[21]
Wood was able to salvage the situation when he was assigned to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, where he was to train with NASA.[22] It was a similar strategy to the one used by the Raiders for Navy's Napoleon McCallum in 1986, when he was stationed close enough to Los Angeles to play and serve at the same time (on a ship in Long Beach).
However, Wood was eventually reassigned to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, ending any hope that he could pull double duty. His agent Jack Mills noted, "There were a lot of complaints made about him playing football while on active duty."[22]
David Whitley of The Tampa Tribune remarked in a 1997 article, "Oh well. At least he wasn't dead."[20]

Al Del Greco (again)

Obviously, the Oilers could not afford to wait four years for their kicker to arrive, so they turned to the next best choice: Al Del Greco. Again.
Still, they kept their options open during the 1992 preseason. Entering their game against the Saints, New Orleans' Cary Blanchard—knowing he was not going to beat out Morten Andersen for the job—listed Houston as a possible landing spot for him.[23]
"I really think Houston is undecided about their kicking situation," he said. "They've got Del Greco, but I'm not sure they're totally happy with him."[23]
As it turned out, Del Greco was indeed the man for Houston. He would go on to play for the Oilers/Titans until 2000.


[1] Oilers begin search for new place kicker from United Press International, The Kilgore News Herald, October 23, 1990
[2] Pardee must decide which talent wide receivers to keep by Michael Ibanez, The Monitor, July 28, 1991
[3] Houston kicker ready for return to NFL by Michael A. Lutz, The Odessa American, July 25, 1991
[4] Oilers run out of luck, time from the Associated Press, The Galveston Daily News, August 5, 1991
[5] Leahy kicks vs. Howfield's son by Mark Cannizzaro, The Courier-News, October 12, 1991
[6] Ian Howfield 1991 Game Log, Pro-Football-Reference
[7] OILERS CUT HOWFIELD AFTER HIS RFK MISS by Dave Sheinin, The Washington Post, November 5, 1991
[8] Del Greco signs two-year contract with Oilers from United Press International, November 6, 1991
[9] Rypien rips Atlanta for six TDs from the Associated Press, The Daily Review, November 11, 1991
[10] Del Greco FG lifts Oilers over Dallas from the Associated Press, The Paris Times, November 11, 1991
[11] Al Del Greco 1991 Game Log, Pro-Football-Reference
[12] Oilers are NFL's most consistent playoff losers from The Miami Herald, January 6, 1992
[13] Reluctant Oilers get the job done by Tom Cowlishaw, Chicago Tribune, December 30, 1991
[14] Divisional Round - Houston Oilers at Denver Broncos - January 4th, 1992, Pro-Football-Reference
[15] Way Back When: Remembering The Drive II by Jim Saccomano, Denver Broncos, November 1, 2018
[16] NFL Teams Release Plan B Lists from the Associated Press, The Tyler Courier-Times, February 2, 1992
[17] 1992 NFL Draft preview, Florida Today, April 26, 1992
[18] Kickers get acclaim, except in draft by Chris Lazzarino, South Florida Sun Sentinel, April 22, 1992
[19] Oilers hope kicker Wood worth the wait from the Associated Press, The Galveston Daily News, May 5, 1992
[20] Inside the War Room by David Whitley, The Tampa Tribune, April 19, 1997
[21] Haul of receivers redeems Oilers by Randy Riggs, Austin American-Statesman, April 28, 1992
[22] Air Force grounds kicker from The Times, April 1, 1993
[23] Blanchard's best won't be enough to win position from the Associated Press, Kingsport Times-News, August 19, 1992
submitted by ZappaOMatic to nfl [link] [comments]

2019.05.20 14:08 JaguarGator9 [OC] Lost Leagues (The Series on Defunct Pro Football Leagues): History of the Regional Football League (1999)

The 1990s were an exciting time in the NFL. You had three new expansion teams enter the league with the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Baltimore Ravens, teams relocating left and right, and offenses absolutely exploding like never before (look at the number of receivers with 100+ receptions in 1994, and then look at that same stat in 1995. New venues were popping up every year in the late-90s, as teams moved out of their outdated facilities or their shared baseball stadiums into state-of-the-art facilities. After some struggles in the 1980s, including controversial 1982 and 1987 seasons, the league was thriving in the 1990s.
Elsewhere in professional football, though, it seemed like a new startup league was failing every year. The World League of American Football was gone after two years (which later became NFL Europe). The CFL’s gloriously bad expansion into the USA failed (which I’ll get to later). And, as I stated in depth in my last post, the Professional Spring Football League never got off of the ground; apparently, relying on an average attendance of 20,000 in the first season when you don’t have a TV deal and you created the league merely four months ago is not a good business model.
And at the turn of the century, we had another one of those leagues. You’ve probably never even heard of this league, seeing as it only lasted one season and didn’t have any TV deal. But this is the story of a lost league that is no more, and the story of one of the weirdest television promotions I’ve ever seen for a football team. This is the story of the Regional Football League.
Part I: A Delayed Formation
You know how you know that a league left no imprint whatsoever? When you type in “Regional Football League” onto YouTube, the first thing that pops up is a YouTube channel about a Madden simulation league with 78 subscribers. So how did we get from the formation of the league to this point, where nobody even remembers its existence?
The league was first created sometime in March of 1997, with the earliest documentation of this league being a newspaper clipping announcing Gus Bell as the commissioner. Bell was a former NFL agent, and to his credit, he seems to have rebounded very nicely, as he’s the man in charge of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. However, at the time, he was an agent trying to start a pro football league. So, why would this league work?
The RFL was going to succeed because the league would have players with regional ties, and would avoid competing against the NFL. Gee… I’ve never heard that one before. That sounds like every other league that I’ve reviewed- get players with local ties in the area, and don’t compete with the big boys of the NFL. Way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack.
The idea behind the league was to start up in 1998 with tickets costing around $18. For a minor league football team, that sounds pretty expensive, especially when adjusted for inflation. In 2019 dollars, this is somewhere in the ballpark of $28, according to this inflation calculator. When parking and concessions are factored into this, a family of four attending an RFL game is spending close to $150 in 2019 dollars on a game. There are legitimate NFL games that are cheaper than that. I’ll give the PSFL credit- they had pretty cheap tickets and seemed to care about making games affordable for fans (the universal season ticket was a novel idea, even if there’s no way anyone would’ve used it), even though they never ended up playing a game. RFL games seem expensive.
An ideal starting number of teams for a league is eight. The RFL wanted at least six teams in the league before launching operations. Well, it was December of 1997, three months before the league was supposed to kick off, and they only had five teams. Seems like a bit of a red flag right there. So, they decided to postpone the 1998 season and just kick things off in 1999. On one hand, that’s an admirable move- not wanting to rush the league’s formation, since you only have one shot at making a first impression, could be a smart move. On the other hand, postponing the start of the league just three months before kickoff because you couldn’t get six teams is a warning sign if I’ve ever seen one.
Eventually, though, this league got off the ground and found its sixth team. Sure, some of the ownership models were a bit weird, as the Shreveport Knights were owned by stockholders, but the league was ready to kick off for the 1999 season.
The six teams were the Houston Outlaws, Mississippi Pride (played in Jackson), Mobile Admirals, New Orleans Thunder, Shreveport Knights, and… the Ohio Cannon. Five of those cities are close by, but the one based in Toledo seems a bit off. It clearly doesn’t belong. By car and from Houston, it takes roughly five hours to get to New Orleans, three hours to get to Shreveport, seven hours to get to Mobile, six hours to get to Jackson… and nineteen hours to get to Houston. Spoiler alert- one team winds up folding before the season ends. You’ll be shocked when you find out which team it is.
Even if the locations are a bit off, as one team is in the middle of nowhere compared to the rest of the league, the six teams are in place. So how is the league going to promote itself and use television? Well…
Part II: Trouble with TV
You guys wanna see a hidden gem? A YouTube video with 269 views and 0 likes or dislikes? Then take a gander at this TV promo for the Mississippi Pride. The Mississippi Pride, as you’ll find out, were not exactly the best of run teams; they weren’t even the only football team named the Mississippi Pride in the state. And yes, this video is real and not fan-made.
It can be tough to advertise for a new football team when they haven’t played a game yet. You need to get footage somehow, either through practices or exhibitions (a la the AAF), or you need to go XFL style and do something like this. What you can’t do is this. The Mississippi Pride put out what might be the worst TV promotion of all-time. And yes, that includes this promo for the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League.
There’s so much wrong with this Pride promo video. What’s the appeal to this league or this team? What does excessive mutilation mean? What does leg knawing mean; better yet, why is it misspelt and not spelt normally like “gnawing”? I get some of the puns, like mauling the passer, but some of the others, I have no idea what they’re even going for. This commercial had to be filmed on a budget of $0; this had to be a case of “I have a Microsoft PowerPoint 1997 subscription and some royalty free music we can use, and I need this done in an hour.” That’s the only explanation for why this video is so bad.
As you can probably guess, television was not the RFL’s strong suit. The RFL had no television contract whatsoever. In fact, only one game ended up on TV, and that was a game between the Mobile Admirals and the New Orleans Thunder. It aired on WHNO, a small religious station in New Orleans. Considering the fact that the Facebook page for WHNO has a grand total of 7 likes, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s not only really small, but the game probably drew a 0.0 in the TV ratings. Here is a clip of the game. I’m pleasantly shocked at the production quality, especially for a game in 1999; however, as you can probably judge by the number of people in the stands, attendance would be a problem for this league.
So we’ve seen that the RFL has no plan whatsoever when it comes to television. How would the 1999 season play out for the league? Would the delayed start by one year be worth it in the end?
Part III: Already Thinking Ahead
Did the league have talent? Not really. In terms of starting quarterbacks, former Ole Miss quarterback Stewart Patridge led the way for the Mississippi Pride; he threw 15 touchdowns in his time with the Rebels and never sniffed the NFL. Thad Busby, the former Florida State quarterback and 1997 ACC Offensive Player of the Year, started for the Mobile Admirals, while Josh LaRocca, who started for the England Monarchs in NFL Europa in 1998 and completed less than 48% of his passes, was starting for the Houston Outlaws. Shreveport’s quarterback was Raymond Philyaw, who completed less than 50 percent of his passes in his final season at Louisiana-Monroe. Basically, the league didn’t have a whole lot of talent. They had some semi-accomplished coaches, such as former Raiders offensive coordinator Tom Walsh (what happened after Walsh left the Admirals is hysterical and is a whole separate post), but the talent in this league was bare-bones.
However, the league was very optimistic about its fate for the 1999 season. In fact, they were so optimistic that they were already planning expansion. They were going to go to 10 teams for the 2000 season, placing teams in Buffalo, Orlando, San Jose, and Winston-Salem. Turns out, there were supposed to be nine teams in the league initially with teams in Los Angeles, San Jose, and New England, but that never materialized. Even despite this, without playing a game, they were going to go to 10 teams, and place them all over the country.
Each team was restricted to a salary cap of $1.5 million, with an average salary ranging from $30,000 to $65,000 per player (which is pretty good for minor league football). And, according to that same link, the business model was based on the league getting 25,000 fans. If that was on the entire season, then holy cow are those low expectations. If that was per game, then that’s delusional; I mentioned in the last post on the PSFL that not even the American teams in the WLAF averaged that number, so to expect a new league with no TV deal to get that is delusional.
So why would the RFL work? From that same linked article, here’s the reason why the league was going to work:
“The reason, according to Ron Floridia at the league office in Framingham, Massachusetts, lay in the owners’ greed themselves, particularly one New Yorker named Trump. Simply stated, the owners ‘didn’t stick to the original business plan and stick to the salary caps.’ To combat this problem, the RFL is investigating its owners and making sure the stability of the league is, to borrow a slogan, priority job 1.”
That’s right- the RFL was going to succeed because Donald Trump wasn’t going to be involved. I’m not even going to touch that. All I’ll say is that it’s a major red flag that the league office was in Massachusetts when all of its teams (barring the Ohio Cannon for some strange reason) were based in the south. That seems very cost-inefficient.
Anyway, the league was in a good spot according to the commissioner. They were already thinking expansion, they were sure this was going to work, and had the players and coaches ready to go. Sure, they didn’t have a television contract (they tried to set something up with FOX and ESPN per that same link, but obviously, neither network bit), had already been delayed once, and they had a business model that seemed absurd if they’re relying on getting an average attendance of 25,000 fans per game, but they’re confident. Would the league work?
Part IV: The 1999 Season
Scheduling a game on Easter Sunday in the Bible Belt probably isn’t a great idea. And when the league scheduled a preseason game between the Shreveport Knights and New Orleans Thunder on that day and got 1,500 people, the commissioner was already starting to get concerned. Commissioner Bell said, “I just thought the crowds would be a little bit bigger.” That’s always a good sign when the regular season hasn’t even started yet, and the commissioner is concerned about attendance.
Before we start the regular season, this seems like a good time to plug the fact that the RFL still has an AngelFire page that’s up on the internet. Whether any of the phone numbers still work, I’m not sure (I’m leaning on the side of “no”).
So, how did the inaugural season go? For the most part, very badly.
Two weeks in, salaries were being slashed. It was complete chaos. The league said they weren’t folding, and none of the teams had folded yet, but they were clearly showing signs of trouble. Instead of the $30,000 to $65,000 per year salaries, players were now getting paid $500 per week. Ohio head coach Darrell Farmer resigned after two weeks because his contract wasn’t being honored. Yet, despite all of this, Jay Stallworth, the Director of Operations for Shreveport, said that the league was on the verge of establishing itself “as a legitimate league in the eyes of the NFL.” Yeah… that never happened.
As for attendance, it was nowhere near what the league hoped for. New Orleans drew 500 fans for their opener against Mobile. They drew 2,000 for a game against the Mississippi Pride. Houston drew 800 fans for one of their games. The Toledo team played one of their games against Mobile in Charleston, West Virginia, and drew a grand total of 300 fans; Mobile drove 16 hours to get to the game, just to highlight why putting a team in Ohio was a bad idea in a southern football league. Attendance was pitiful… except for one team.
For whatever reason, and I have no idea why, the Mobile Admirals actually drew very good crowds. Mississippi had decent crowds, all things considered; they had a week seven game against Mobile draw 7,000 fans, and a week eight game against New Orleans draw 4,200 fans. But Mobile was in a league of its own. Their week four game against New Orleans drew 10,146 fans, and they followed that up the week after with a game against Mississippi where they drew 11,026 fans. Remember- this was a league with no TV contract and very little coverage. They were drawing five figures to their games. No idea how they did it, but props to them, because the fact that there was a legitimate success from an attendance perspective in this league is shocking. Just to put into perspective how good Mobile’s attendance was compared to the rest of the league, they averaged roughly 10,000 fans per game. The rest of the league averaged 2,000.
For the rest of the league (and even at times for Mobile), it was a clown show. After week four, the Ohio Cannon changed their name to the Toledo Cannon. After week seven, the New Orleans Thunder won their first game of the season after an 0-6 start; they beat the Toledo Cannon because Toledo forfeited the game. The following week, New Orleans won their second game of the season over Shreveport; they beat Shreveport because Shreveport forfeited the game. Turns out, Shreveport needed to pay the city $15,700 and couldn’t muster up the money, so the city seized the team’s equipment and then locked them out of the stadium. Despite this, Shreveport owner Bud Collins said he had no plans of moving the team.
These stadium issues were not limited to Shreveport. Someone actually went to Mississippi Pride games and wrote a blog post on it, and during one of the games, this happened:
“In Jackson, a few hundred fans (including yours truly) faithfully attended the Pride games and saw some pretty darned good football in the process. It was a bit disconcerting one night, however, when the stadium lights went out in the middle of the game because the team owners had not paid the rent for the stadium. After some frantic negotiations with the stadium management, the lights came back on… eventually.”
That’s right. The lights went out in the middle of a game because the team hadn’t paid the rent. This seems like something out of a sports comedy movie. Some of the stadium issues with this league were comical. A scheduling conflict involving the Houston Outlaws was moved to Mobile because the stadium was booked. One game was moved to Jackson for some reason. A game at Tad Gormley Stadium involving New Orleans drew 125 fans, which included the equipment manager’s family; apparently, the Thunder spent $50,000 in advertising, and it clearly did not work. The only fan of the team, a man named Doug Arena, said this:
“It’s not getting promoted enough. There’s nothing in the paper, nothing on TV. I have some friends who think I’m pulling their leg when I say there’s another professional football team in New Orleans.”
I’m even convinced that some of the attendance numbers were inflated to an extent. New Orleans drew 4,000 fans for one of their games, but for their other two home games, drew 625 fans combined. Something’s not adding up. Even Mobile, who drew 13,256 fans to one of their games, likely inflated their attendance by about 5,000 fans. At one point, Shreveport got so desperate to draw fans that they planned a B-52 flyover. Like that was going to get people to show up.
And the league was so financially-stricken and decimated that not only did players leave teams midseason because of contract restructuring, and not only did the Mississippi Pride change owners midseason, but the league changed commissioners midseason, replacing Gus Bell with Ron Floridia. Oh, and they moved league offices midseason from Massachusetts to Mobile, which might be the first and only move that the league made during this season that actually made sense.
The league planned a 12-week season. They wound up playing just eight weeks before calling the regular season short. If you want to see the standings for the regular season, here they are. Four teams made the playoffs, with Mobile, Houston, Mississippi, and the team formerly known as Ohio qualifying. As big of a clown show as the regular season was, the postseason would be even more of one.
Part V: A Catastrophe of a Finish & Conclusion
June 12, 1999. Mobile was hosting a game against Toledo after the abbreviated regular season. By this point, the writing was on the wall, as this game only drew 2,873 fans. For the team that was averaging upwards of 10,000 fans per game, to only draw 2,800 fans for a playoff game is not a good sign. And for the 2,873 fans in attendance, they got a game. Eventually.
You see… when the game was supposed to start, Toledo wasn’t there. The league had planned to pay the winning team $1,000 per player and the losing team $250 per player. However, for the Cannon, who just came off of a bus ride that was 21 hours long (again, showing why it was a terrible idea to put a team in Ohio), they wanted more. They wanted $1,000. And when they didn’t get it, they went on strike. RFL is unfair. Floridia is in there, standing at the concession, plotting his oppression.
Kickoff was supposed to be at 6:30. Toledo was in the locker room trying to bargain. As Cannon quarterback Major Harris put it, “we have been lied to all season, and we were not going to play until we got something.”
Eventually, they got their deal. Ohio starters would get $1,000 for the game, and Ohio reserves would get $500 for the game. After a 25-minute strike, Toledo took the field and were assessed two delay of game penalties. Mobile won the game 35-14 and advanced to the first ever RFL Bowl, where they defeated the Houston Outlaws 14-12 in front of 5,571 fans. Ohio folded shortly after their semifinal loss, not even surviving the entire first season technically. And you know it’s always a good sign when starting quarterback Thad Bubsy said in a postgame press conference after the game that he had his doubts that the league was going to survive. As he put it:
“I really did [have my doubts]. It got kind of shaky there for a while and I don’t think anyone really knew what would happen. But it was good that we got to this point, and it’s always nice to win a championship.”
Despite the failures of the 1999 season and the hobble to the finish line, they planned a season for 2000. Leon Fulton, the owner of the New Orleans team, said that he was definitely going to move the team, and was looking at either Birmingham or San Antonio. And after firing Commissioner Floridia, they replaced him with… Gus Bell. That’s right- they brought back the man that they just fired. Unsurprisingly, the league folded and didn’t make it to the 2000 season; it died with a whimper, especially after news that the XFL was going to be playing in 2001.
Every week, there were problems with this league. Stadiums were unable to be used at random points, salaries were slashed after just two weeks because attendance was well short of projections, a team folded and went on strike, there were multiple forfeitures, the regular season was cut short, and the league fired and then re-hired the same commissioner. The delayed start time did not help the league at all. The only positive to take away from this league is that it showed that, if done right, Mobile can support a team. Even if the numbers were slightly inflated, if they could draw over 10,000 fans per game to this league that had no idea what it was doing, then they can support a legitimate minor league football operation, even if they can’t exactly support their minor league baseball team.
Again, starting a football league is hard. Not many have succeeded. Only some have even come close to catching the attention of the NFL. And then some, like the RFL, failed miserably.
Previous Posts
History of the United Football League (2009-2012)
History of the Spring Football League (2000)
History of the Fall Experimental Football League (2013-2015)
History of the Stars Football League (2011-2013)
History of the Professional Spring Football League (1992)
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2019.05.14 16:32 JaguarGator9 [OC] Lost Leagues: History of the Professional Spring Football League (1992)

Competing football leagues in the offseason is all the rage right now. The Alliance of American Football started up this year, and promptly ended this year without even finishing its first season. And, the XFL is starting up again in 2020 (it’s almost impossible for the league to be as big of a failure as it was in 2001, when it flamed out in a blaze of glory).
Here’s the thing with other football leagues- I love getting my football fix at all times of the year. I was glued to my TV during AAF season, and watched practically every Orlando Apollos game. And when then XFL starts again in 2020, you can bet that I’ll be watching with a keen eye. There’s big names attached to the XFL, there’s financial backing, there’s a TV contract that is nothing short of impressive (half the games on network TV), and the rule changes look interesting.
But here’s the thing with other football leagues- 99 percent of them don’t work. In terms of outdoor professional football leagues in the United States, the only two outside of the NFL that worked were the AFL and the AAFC; they don’t exist anymore because they combined with the NFL. It’s extremely hard to get a pro football league up and running and give it any kind of success. There’s tons of leagues that have fallen by the wayside.
Case in point- the Professional Spring Football League.
Now seems like as good of a time as ever to revive the Lost Leagues series, where I take a look at failed professional football leagues. Some leagues, such as the United Football League post that kicked off the series two years ago, you may recognize. Others, like this one, you’ve probably never heard of. In fact, this league made such little of an impact that if you do a Google search for “Professional Spring Football League”, every link on the first page of results has absolutely nothing to do with the PSFL that I’m talking about.
With all of that said, let’s take a look at the incredibly short-lived existence of the Professional Spring Football League.
Part I: A Puzzling Formation
The league announced its existence on October 1, 1991, less than a year before the league was set to play in 1992. Already, you might be able to spot a major problem with this. There was already a pro football league in the spring in 1991, and that was the World League of American Football. That league had a lot of things that the PSFL would not wind up getting. For starters, it had the backing of the NFL. The league owners wanted to create a developmental football league in the spring that would also give the sport popularity overseas. The WLAF also had a television contract; not only were games shown on ABC and USA Network, but those networks actually paid the WLAF for the TV rights.
There were so many failed spring football leagues, and now, the PSFL was going to directly compete against a spring football league that actually had the backing of the NFL. Let’s put that in perspective. Professional hockey in Atlanta has not worked. The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in part because of low attendance, and the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in part because of low attendance. Imagine if the NHL decided, for whatever reason, to go back to Atlanta. Now imagine that after this announcement is made, a competing hockey league (and I use competing very loosely) announces that they’re going to be putting a team in Atlanta, and the season is going to run at the same time as the NHL. Why would that make any sense for the competing hockey league to do? Already, the league was behind.
But let’s take a look at that other pro league that was playing in the spring, and is still somewhat remembered to this day. The WLAF, in its inaugural season, averaged 25,361 fans per game. On its surface, that’s really good. However, if you take out the three European teams (London Monarchs, Frankfurt Galaxy, Barcelona Dragons) and the one Canadian team (Montreal Machine), you’re left with six American teams. Here’s the average attendance of those American teams:
Team Average Attendance
New York/New Jersey Knights 32,322
Birmingham Fire 25,442
Orlando Thunder 19,018
Sacramento Surge 17,994
San Antonio Riders 14,853
Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks 12,753
AVERAGE 20,397
Why do I bring this up? Let’s be very clear- an average attendance of 20,397 for a football league’s inaugural season is still extremely good… but only two of the six teams cleared 20,000. Remember that this was the league with the NFL’s backing and a relatively lucrative TV contract (it was in the eight figure range according to some reports). In the PSFL, a league with neither the league’s backing nor any TV contract to speak of, they needed each team to average 20,000 fans per game to stay afloat. Per the article:
[President] Vince Sette and the other league organizers figure each team will need to average just 20,000 fans per game to make this endeavor work. And they're not counting on television revenue to bail them out.
Each team needs to average just 20,000 fans per game? That’s all it’s going to take? A number that four out of six teams in the WLAF couldn’t reach? A number that, in the final season of the USFL, 8 out of the league’s 14 teams couldn’t reach? That seems like a fantastic business model that can’t possibly fail. You can probably already see some of the inevitable failures and red flags with this league just based off of the model.
But remember when I said that the PSFL did not have a TV contract? That doesn’t mean that they didn’t get some exposure on TV, in the form of an introduction video that aired on SportsChannel New York in 1991 (even though the league did not have any teams in New York). The video is… well, let’s just take a look at the video, because there’s a lot to dissect.
Part II: An Even More Puzzling Video
I have no idea how I found this video, seeing as it has a grand total of 398 views on YouTube, two likes, and two comments. However, this is an absolute gold mine. This was a half-hour special aired on SportsChannel a few months prior to the launch of the league, and man, is it a weird video in all its early-90s cheese and glory. The first thing you’ll notice is that the commissioner of this league is Rex Lardner. About a quarter century later, he would try launching another pro football league in the spring. Considering the fact that the league has 195 likes on Facebook and the only video on the league’s website is literally five seconds long and is just a horribly-done Microsoft Word logo, I’m guessing that league is dead and that he learned nothing from the failures of this league.
After a shot of a logo that looks somewhat similar to the USFL logo, we get an introduction by a man who, literally less than one minute into the video, tries to stop skepticism of fans. In the first minute, they acknowledge that every other attempt has failed. That’s rather comforting. However, they explain why this league is different and won’t fail, and it’s because Vincent Sette (the founder and president of the league) said that he researched the other leagues. Checking in on what happened to Sette after the league’s demise, and it turns out that he’s doing great.
The founder of the league was also known Vincent Setteducate. There appear to have been no criminal charges filed in the aftermath of the PSFL. Five years later, he was charged by the SEC in a wire fraud case, and pleaded guilty, sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution in another business venture. He has had other brushes with the law as well.
And yes, according to this article, he goes by both names of Vincent Sette and Vincent Setteducate. Getting back to the video, after he promises that the league is going to work because he researched at the New York Public Library, you’ll also notice that Walt Michaels is the Director of Football Operations. I’ll give the league credit for that- Michaels is a recognizable name; in six seasons with the Jets and two seasons with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, he’s made the playoffs four times, and only had a losing record twice. He even guided the Jets to the AFC Championship in the 1982 strike-shortened season. Unfortunately, that’s the only recognizable front office figure associated with this league. Not once in the video does it mention any coaches associated with the league. Considering the league was starting up in spring of 1992 (the first game seemed to be scheduled for February 29), and this TV special aired in late 1991, that seems like a major red flag. Again, just to reiterate- this league was announced on October 1, and the first game was to be played on February 29. People criticized the XFL the first time around for moving too quickly, but that was a year. This is less than five months. This is 151 days between announcement and the first game.
But how are the players in this league? Remember that the talent pool with any secondary football league is going to be somewhat worse; factor in the WLAF already existing in the spring, and the PSFL was playing third fiddle. They held three combines, with the one in the video taking place in Atlanta in October (less than a month after the creation of the league), and others taking place in December and January. Who were some of the players?
You know it’s a good sign when the first player that’s mentioned is Mickey Guidry. When the FIRST PLAYER YOU HIGHLIGHT is a man that threw 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in his four years at LSU from 1985-88 and a man who was so buried on the depth chart with the Sacramento Surge of the WLAF that he didn’t even throw a pass in 1991, that’s a horrible sign. Other quarterbacks in this league included Tony Rice (who threw 2 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in his final season at Notre Dame in 1989, completed 48.5% of his passes over his career, and was dreadful with the Barcelona Dragons in the WLAF in 1991 with one touchdown pass and three interceptions), Bobby McAllister (an atrocious QB in the WLAF in 1991 with Raleigh-Durham, throwing 7 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 5.9 yards per attempt, a 46.7% completion percentage, and a passer rating of 54; Raleigh-Durham went winless), and Todd Hammel (a 12th round pick in 1990 who never played a snap, and then played in the WLAF with New York/New Jersey where he threw 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, had a passer rating of 53.7, completed just 45.5% of his passes, and averaged 5.8 yards per attempt). Remember- these were the guys they were highlighting, so this was their cream of the crop. Guys who were awful in the WLAF were, on paper, the best quarterbacks in this league.
As for the other offensive skill players, there were some recognizable names, even if they weren’t that good. Timmy Smith ran for a record-204 yards for Washington in Super Bowl XXII; he only had three regular season rushing touchdowns in his NFL career, and from 1989-91 (the three years before the PSFL’s scheduled inaugural season in 1992), had 6 rushing yards, but at least the name was recognizable. The second halfback mentioned is James Gray; while he was exceptional at Texas Tech, leading the Southwest Conference in 1989 with 1,509 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, he never played a down in the NFL after getting drafted by the Patriots in round five of the 1990 NFL Draft. Lydell Carr had a solid career with Oklahoma, but after getting drafted in the fourth round of the 1988 NFL Draft, did nothing in the NFL, never recording a single yard from scrimmage (in fairness, he did score eight touchdowns with the Barcelona Dragons in the 1991 season of the WLAF). And then, there was Lorenzo Hampton, who scored 28 touchdowns in his NFL career. Those were the four halfbacks highlighted; two of them never got a carry in the NFL. Quality-wise, that’s not good. Also, you may notice that half of this video is just the PSFL Combine and almost plays like a football instructional video; I’m not sure why this is.
Another major red flag with this video comes with the announcement of the teams. We’ll get to the teams later, but the map only shows nine cities, even though there’s supposed to be 10 teams in the league. That means that a new team would have to be announced and formed with roughly 70 days to go until the first game of the season. Good luck with that.
But how is this league going to be any different from the other leagues? After an interview with former BYU tight end Chris Smith that, no joke, starts off with the line, “I love children,” we find out how. For one, the players are going to do community service. There’s going to be autograph sessions. I’m failing to see how this is any different, but then we get two weird things. The first is that the games are going to be when the fans want. They’re scheduling for the fans. I have no idea what this even means. Does this mean that if the fans want them to play a game right now, that they’ll do it? The second is a cool idea but has no practicality whatsoever, and that is the universal ticket. Any fan who buys a season ticket to a PSFL team gets all of their team’s home games plus a universal ticket that can be used at any PSFL game. Good idea… but who’s flying halfway across the country to watch a PSFL game? Sette brings up the idea of staying at a hotel in Tampa for a PSFL game… who’s going to do that? It’s an interesting idea, but one that I’m sure nobody would actually use.
Some frequently asked questions about the league pop up next, and it’s always a good sign when one of the questions is whether or not a franchise can go under. The PSFL actually had a good idea with a single-entity structure; MLS has a similar system and it has worked well in ensuring the league’s survival. But here’s where it gets somewhat eyebrow-raising for me- each team has a salary cap of $2 million, and an average player salary of $45,000. Adjusting for inflation, today, the average player salary is around $82,000. That’s a pretty large amount for a minor football league. For some perspective, even the AAF’s average salary was less than that at $75,000 per season. And even though the AAF didn’t work, it had a TV contract and actual investors. This league was formed in the blink of an eye, had no TV revenue, had a business model that relied on a rather unattainable goal of 20,000 fans at every game, and yet, had a higher average salary per season when adjusted for inflation than the AAF.
After watching that video, it’s time to break down the actual markets chosen.
Part III: The Teams
The PSFL was pretty ambitious with their inaugural season, opting to have 10 teams play in the league. Four of the teams would be located in cities with NFL teams, with the other six teams being in unoccupied professional football markets. The New England Blitz seemed like an odd choice for a team. While the league stressed going into unoccupied markets, Boston already had a team in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, so this completely defeats the purpose. Additionally, the Boston Breakers were in the USFL in 1983, and drew the smallest average attendance in the league at 12,735 fans per game. Why Boston was chosen for a team, I’m not sure. The other baffling location was the Washington Marauders at RFK Stadium; the Washington Federals of the USFL bombed horribly (second-to-last in attendance in 1983 and 1984, including an average of just 7,694 fans per game in 1984), and there was competition in the area with the Bullets of the NBA and the Capitals of the NHL.
However, every other city makes sense. I’ll give the PSFL credit- they seemed like they had a good idea of where to go with their teams. Going to Tampa Bay with the Tampa Bay Outlaws made complete sense- in the USFL, the Bandits consistently ranked near the top of the league in average attendance, proving that spring football in Tampa Bay could work (if it’s done correctly, the XFL team playing in Tampa Bay in 2020 could have a strong following, though it’ll be tougher now that the city has an NHL team and an MLB team). Miami didn’t have the Marlins yet or the Florida Panthers (although Sunrise is an hour away from Miami), so there was little competition in the area for a spring football team to thrive. The other six locations were teams without NFL teams. The Arkansas Miners played in Little Rock (no pro sports teams), the Carolina Cougars played in Columbia (no pro sports teams), the Nevada Aces played in Las Vegas (no pro sports teams), the New Mexico Rattlesnakes played in Albuquerque (no pro sports teams), the Oregon Lightning Bolts played in Portland (only the Trail Blazers as competition), and the Utah Pioneers played in Salt Lake City (no pro sports teams). Yes, travel costs were going to be high, but the market selection seemed promising with a bunch of mid-sized markets who were starving for pro sports.
The logos, though? My, are some of them bad.
A lot of these logos would’ve been outdated very quickly. I have no idea what the New England Blitz logo is trying to be. The Carolina Cougars logo looks like the logo from Monster Energy (though the Carolina logo predates the Monster logo). Nevada’s logo is just the Alcorn State logo with cards coming off of it. And then there’s the Utah Pioneers helmet, which is the exact same thing as the Cleveland Browns helmet minus a logo on it. Why the Miami Tribe were named what they were, I’m not sure, seeing as the actual Miami Tribe is based in Oklahoma.
They were already thinking about expansion. As mentioned in this article, they were looking at expanding to 12 teams in the near future, putting teams in Fresno and Austin; both were large cities with no pro sports team.
So, we’ve got our teams. We’ve got our video promoting the league (even though we don’t have a television contract). And, we’ve got a schedule culminating with the Red, White & Blue Bowl at RFK Stadium on July 5. How does the first season of the league go?
Part IV: Collapse & Conclusion
Already, cracks were starting to show in 1992. Businessman Nick Bunick bought the Portland team a month before the season started, and immediately wanted to change the name to the Oregon Chargers. I’m sure the NFL would’ve been thrilled by that. They just hired a coach a month before the season started by taking former NFL quarterback Craig Morton.
February rolled around, and it was less than a month before the start. And when February rolled around, I’ll let Squidward explain why the league was struggling.
In what can only be described as a shocked Pikachu face for a lot of these other leagues, they had no money. It was February 12, just 17 days before kickoff between the Tampa Bay Outlaws and Utah Pioneers, and the league was in serious trouble. The Miami Tribe folded. The commissioner, Rex Lardner, said that they were considering shutting down the league. The Washington Marauders, who were a late addition to the league to begin with, threatened to cease operations by the end of the week if the league didn’t provide adequate financial arrangements. Remember those plans that said that the league needed each team to average at least 20,000 fans per game to survive? Less than three weeks before the season, and Washington had sold 100 season tickets. One hundred. I’m shocked that the team that was announced hastily in a market with lots of competition already and in a market where the USFL failed miserably could barely sell 100 season tickets.
And, as it turns out, nobody got any money. Washington wide receivers coach Brian Gardner said he was owed $5,000, and never got it, stating that “I have as much chance of getting that as I do of catching the clouds in my hands right now.” The league lied when they said that it had $50 million in the bank; only a small percentage of that was actually in the bank. The schedule, set to start on February 29, was in danger of getting pushed back two weeks. And the Marauders were running an awful operation:
The Marauders operation is tight. All the equipment is in Room 131 of the team's headquarters here, a Quality Inn. The shoulder pads are piled atop two beds; face bars sit on a table. Other pads and several jerseys are in the bathroom.
[Cornerback] Barry Wilburn kept his football shoes on after the morning practice today. That was because the tape he'd bought and used to anchor the shoes to his feet had run out. There was no tape for anyone. Until the season starts, players are responsible for their own football shoes. They pay their way to training camp -- and their way home if cut.
One week later, the league folded. On February 19, 1992, the PSFL shut down operations, and never played a single game. And thus, another professional football league collapsed. Considering the lack of name recognition or the lack of a TV deal, and considering the WLAF already happening in the spring of 1992 while this league was trying to get underway, I’m not sure many people noticed that this league died. But it goes to show you that trying to start a football league in five months is usually a bad idea.
Previous Posts
History of the United Football League (2009-2012)
History of the Spring Football League (2000)
History of the Fall Experimental Football League (2013-2015)
History of the Stars Football League (2011-2013)
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2017.12.07 23:09 SarizzleShizzle11 Found some Sh*t out about Toborowsky

David Toborowsky was involved in a political scandal(s). Back in 2010, David Toborowsky ran for a seat on the Jefferson County Board of Education in his home state of Kentucky. His campaign was controversial almost before it started as it was reported that the president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association (a liberal) recruited David (a staunch conservative) as a means to “produce a school board majority favorable to renewing [Superintendant] Dr. Sheldon Berman’s contract.” From Insider Louisville: Multiple sources confirmed to Insider Louisville that liberal labor union leader [Brent] McKim has recruited conservative activist David Toborowsky to run against Third District incumbent Debbie Wesslund, who represents eastern Jefferson County. Toborowsky is close to far-right political figures including anti-gay rights crusader Dr. Frank Simon, a Louisville allergist.
In something right out of a toned-down episode of House of Cards, there were accusations that the political maneuvering included a potentially illegal meeting between David and teachers’ union leader McKim. From the Courier-Journal [via Education Voodoo]: David Toborowsky, who is challenging Wesslund, met with JCPS Superintendent Sheldon Berman and Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, on Oct. 12, according to the complaint. Wesslund said the meeting may have been illegal because Toborowsky has been endorsed by the teacher’s union and is supported by a political action committee associated with JCTA called Better Schools Kentucky. Because that group is conducting an independent campaign for Toborowsky, Wesslund said it is prohibited from coordinating any activities with the candidate during the election. “This is something (JCTA officials) typically have not done when they are running independent campaigns,” Wesslund said. “Independent campaigns are not supposed to be done in coordination with the candidate at all.”
David’s campaign ran into yet another controversial stumbling block early on over his eligibility due to residency. The address Toborowsky submitted to the Board of Elections turned out to be a property owned by his good friend Chris Thieneman, who viewers will recognize as David’s pal on 90 Day Fiance. After questions were raised about whether or not David actually lived at the address, local news agency WAVE-3 sent an undercover reporter to the house in question to find out who actually lived there. The answer? Toborowsky listed the address on Alia Circle in his election filing and his voter registration card to qualify to run for the school board’s 3rd district seat, but a teen, whom we can’t identify, told us Toborowsky didn’t live there. The teen told us former mayoral candidate and real estate developer Chris Thienamen did. When Thienamen showed up, he told us Toborowsky asked to move in shortly before the election’s filing deadline. “He asked me. He said: ‘Listen, you know I want to run for this thing and I need a place to stay. Would you care if I lived with you?’ I said: ‘Absolutely not. You’re my best friend,'” said Thienamen. Ultimately, it was the question surrounding his residency that led to The Jefferson County Teachers Association political action committee, Better School Kentucky, withdrawing their endorsement for David. Here is the statement from McKim (remember him?): On August 25, 2010, the Jefferson County Teachers Association’s political action committee, Better School Kentucky, endorsed David Toborowsky in the 3rd district JCPS School Board race because he cares about the students and teachers in our community. Over the last several days, Better Schools Kentucky learned of some new information that raises questions about Mr. Toborowsky’s candidacy. After looking into this matter further, Better Schools Kentucky has decided, at this time, to withdraw the endorsement of David Toborowsky and to discontinue its independent expenditures backing his endorsement, effective immediately. Our endorsements are used as recommendations by voters. Therefore, we encourage voters to seek more information on this particular race. There were some other issues with David Toborowski’s campaign as well, but I think I covered most of the big ones. Here is a brief overview from Education Voodoo, which does not appear to be a pro-Toborowsky site: We now have (1) rumors of McKim recruiting Toborowsky to run against Wesslund, (2) Toborowsky “moving” to 3rd District the day before the filing deadline to run for the Board of Education, (3) proof that Toborowsky’s personal finances are a mess even though he wants to oversee a billion dollar budget, (4) the allegation that Tobo met with JCTA/Better Schools Kentucky when elections laws prohibit it and (5) the possibility that Tobo is using the address of his friend’s house as his own. David with controversial New Jersey Governor (and 2016 Presidential candidate) Chris Christie:
In addition to his School Board campaign controversies, David also had an issue a few years earlier when he was investigated for a “possible violation of the Ethics Code by failing to file a 2007 Statement of Financial Disclosure with the [Commonwealth of Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics] Commission” during his time serving in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. You can click here for a PDF file of the Initiating Order. (I do not know what came of the investigation.)
Was David really on a reality show before 90 Day Fiancé? The answer to this one is yes and no. David is part of his BFF Chris Thienamen’s “Fantasy Thailand” business, which is essentially a play on Fantasy Island, only set in Thailand. Here is their own description from their Facebook page: Welcome to the home of Fantasy Thailand. Where we help you make YOUR dreams come true. No Matter what you may desire or want to change Fantasy Thailand can help guide you to your desired goals. Whether it is to loose weight, change careers, find a soul mate, find yourself, or just enjoy an exotic destination with great food, beaches, night life, adventures, massages and Temples Fantasy Thailand will be there every step of the way. No matter what your budget or goals Fantasy Thailand has something for everyone. In 2015, Chris Thienamen’s “Fantasy Thailand” was described by The Rusty Satellite Show as “a reality show/travel business based on visits to Thailand,” and there are Facebook photos taken in 2015 that include a camera crew (and David). It’s unknown if the reality show was ever released or pitched to networks. What is David’s job in Thailand? Both David and Annie work for Fantasy Thailand. The two are described as “Thailand Love Birds” on the website, and they are described this way: The Beautiful Thai Singer Anne and David an “Expert Ex-Pat” are living the Dream together in Thailand! David has been to over 63 countries and specialize in international travel and business. He has degrees in Health Administration, Aviation, and is certified to Teach English as a 2nd language.
What is the story on David’s best friend Chris Thieneman? As interesting as David Toborowsky’s life has been, it is NOTHING compared to that of his bromance partner Chris! (Both good and bad.) Here is the intro from Chris’ Wikipedia entry: Christopher Allen Thieneman (born June 6, 1965) is a former American college football player who was a defensive lineman in the World League of American Football (WLAF) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) during the early 1990s. He played for the San Antonio Riders of the WLAF, and the Sacramento Gold Miners of the CFL. Thieneman played collegiately at the University of Louisville, where he was an honorable mention All-American. Later, he returned to Kentucky and took over the family business which included development and real estate. As a Republican he also ran for the Mayor of Louisville, the Kentucky State House of Representatives and the Kentucky State Senate, losing all three times. He has also been accused of bribery, perjury and assault.
The assault charge and arrests stem from two separate incidents with an ex-girlfriend named April. The first incident occurred in September of 2013. Here is a brief summary from The Courier Journal before April’s identity had been revealed: The woman, who was not identified, and Thieneman got into an argument while she was driving, according to an arrest report from that incident. She allegedly stopped at an intersection and started walking down the street. The woman walked to her business, which was not identified, to call police. Thieneman followed her and pushed his way into the building, the report said. Thieneman pushed her and when he tried to take her phone “he put his arm around her neck and tried to strangle her,” the report said. The following year, Chris was arrested again after being charged with violating April’s emergency protective order. From The Courier Journal: Louisville businessman and former mayoral candidate Chris Thieneman is accused of violating an emergency protective order after police say he had his employees remove the doors at a gym once owned by his former girlfriend. Thieneman, 48, ordered his employees on April 30 to remove doors from a former Snap Fitness located on property he owns in the 10100 block of Dixie Highway, according to an arrest warrant. His employees placed old equipment that did not belong to the woman in the gym the next day. …Police say that because the woman has a vested interest in the closed gym, Thieneman violated the order. Chris Thieneman was later found “not guilty of the most serious charge against him brought by an ex-girlfriend” in 2016. A blogger for LouisvilleKY.com, who admits that he is a friend of Chris’, reported on the not guilty verdict and shared Chris’ version of what happened: At the time of the incident, [Chris] was attempting to end their relationship. She would have none of it. Unfortunately, the breakup couldn’t be simple, because Chris had set her up as the owner of a Snap Fitness franchise (in a property he owned) and a massage business (where the accusation of assault took place). While Chris had moved on from the relationship, her connections to him emotionally and financially wouldn’t allow a clean break. On the day of the incident, it was Smith who left the car she was driving running in the middle of a busy street, and it was she who caused the confrontation in the office. She pressed charges, and a sympathetic police officer believed the story she made up at the scene without even speaking to Chris. Chris was reportedly found guilty of wanton endangerment. He has appealed the fine. Earlier this year, Chris Thieneman filed a lawsuit “against the City of Louisville, LMPD Officers, and County Attorney Ingrid Geiser for malicious prosecution among other things,” according to Louisville Blogs. The writer, who is also a friend of Chris’, makes a pretty strong argument for his pal, including a police interview with April that disappeared, plus the fact that is was Chris who made the 911 call. (You can’t just make that up!)
Who is Chris Thieneman’s wife? One of the best things about the 90 Day Fiance franchise are the “woke” friends and relatives of the main cast members who seem to have the same perception on everything going on as the majority of the internet. When it comes to David’s story, that person is DEFINITELY Chris’ wife Nikki! Her no BS take on David’s relationship with Annie and likelihood of asking for money was “You tell ’em girl!” awesome! (Although I’m starting to think all of that was kinda made up given that David works for Chris, etc.) Even so, for those of you (like me) who wanted to know a little more about Nikki, here is her and Chris’ story from their own mouths via her Youtube channel:
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