Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1981 Chicago Fire

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1981 Chicago FireAmerican Football Association (1981)

Born: 1981 – AFA expansion franchise.
Spring 1982

Stadium: Soldier Field

Team Colors: 

Owners: Bill Feda and Howard Miller

AFA Championships: None


The 1981 Chicago Fire were a pro football outfit that competed in the summer-season American Football Association.  The club was a brand re-boot of the old Chicago Fire of the World Football League, resuscitating that team’s name, logo and helmet design (visible in the schedule poster top right).

Unlike the WFL, which made a brief go of challenging the NFL for elite talent in 1974 and 1975, the American Football Association was a decidedly minor league operation.  Club officials spotted an opportunity with the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which wiped the Cubs and the White Sox off the map from early June to mid-August. WGN-TV, scrambling for summer sports programming during the strike, broadcast a Fire game from Soldier Field on June 27, 1981.  But lukewarm ratings led the pioneering cable superstation to cancel Fire broadcasts scheduled for later in the season.

The Fire won the AFA’s Western Division with an 8-4 record in 1981 and advanced to the league title game.  The Fire traveled to Charleston, West Virginia on August 30th, 1981 and lost to the defending league champion West Virginia Rockets 29-21.

As late as May 1982 Fire owners Bill Feda and Howard Miller were still trying to scrape together funds to play a second season in the AFA. But the team was in financial straits and the formation of the big-budget United States Football League on May 11th, 1982 drove a final nail into the coffin.  The Fire folded quietly shortly thereafter. The USFL’s Chicago Blitz would begin play at Soldier Field in the spring of 1983.  Ex-Fire General Manager Ron Potocnik would become (briefly) GM of the Blitz in 1984.



1981 Chicago Fire Schedule & Results



American Football Association Programs


Written by AC

August 12th, 2015 at 3:02 am

1979 Tulsa Mustangs

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Tulsa MustangsAmerican Football Association (1979)

Born: 1979 – Joined American Football Association
Folded: Midseason 1979


Team Colors:



The Tulsa Mustangs were a minor-league football outfit that last for only 5 games of a planned 16-game schedule in the American Football Association in 1979.  The team had a 1-4 record at the time they folded in midseason.  The AFA was a southern U.S. minor league that stretched from Jacksonville to San Antonio and as far north as Louisville during the 1979 season.

Most of the Tulsa Mustangs players were local players from Oklahoma and Texas universities and junior colleges.  A roster from one of their five games is available in the games section below.

According to Wikipedia, the Mustangs played their few home games at Skelly Stadium, but we haven’t been able to find confirmation for that claim.


==Tulsa Mustangs Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other
1979 6/2/1979 @ Jacksonville Firebirds ?? Program Roster




American Football Association Programs


Written by AC

May 19th, 2014 at 2:33 am


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