Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Columbus OH’ tag

1979-1980 Columbus Magic

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Columbus MagicAmerican Soccer League (1979-1980)

Born: 1979 – ASL expansion franchise
Folded: 1980

Stadium: Franklin County Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Ted Celeste, et al.

ASL Championships: None


The Columbus Magic were a short-lived 2nd Division pro soccer club that played for two seasons in 1979 and 1980. The club played at a minor league baseball stadium that it shared during the summer with the top farm club of the New York Yankees.

The Magic were terrific during their expansion season of 1979. They won the American Soccer League’s Eastern Division with a 17-8-3 record. Ron Wigg was the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals. The Magic hosted the ASL championship game against the Sacramento Gold on September 16, 1979 at Franklin County Stadium. 9,378 fans showed up, but went home disappointed after the league’s leading scorer, Ian Filby, scored the only goal of the match for Sacramento in the second half.

The Magic ran into financial headwinds during the second season in 1980 and folded quietly at the end of the season.


Columbus Magic Shop

Magic Retro T-Shirt by Throwback Max


Columbus Magic Memorabilia



American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs


Written by Drew Crossley

January 2nd, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Columbus Crew Programs

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Columbus Crew Programs

Major League Soccer (1996-Present)

Founded: 1994 – Major League Soccer founding franchise


Team Colors:


MLS Cup Champions: 2008
U.S. Open Cup Champions: 2002


The Columbus Crew began play in 1996 as one of the ten founding franchises of Major League Soccer.  The Crew were backed by Lamar Hunt, the iconic American sports entrepreneur and long-time patron of professional soccer in the United States.  After three seasons at Ohio State University’s massive 102,000-seat American football coliseum, the club moved into Crew Stadium in 1999. Crew Stadium was the first professional soccer-specific stadium opened in the United States and signaled the start of a stadium construction boom in the early 2000’s that vastly elevated the status of pro soccer in America.

At the end of the 2014 season, the Crew underwent a modest re-branding, changing their formal identity to Columbus Crew SC.


Columbus Crew Programs 1996-1999


Columbus Crew Programs 2000-2009


Collector Notes

Throughout the 1990’s, all of Major League Soccer’s clubs sold a match day program known as FreekickFreekick was a pretty crummy production. The magazine-style covers were nice enough, but the inside was printed on cheap black-and-white newsprint.

Along with the rest of MLS, the Crew shifted to a smaller Playbill-style format during the 2000’s, also known as Freekick.  These were typically produced only about four times per season, with each edition covering four to five matches.  On the upside, the interiors were now on decent paper with full color photography.

In recent seasons, the Crew have abandoned the centralized Freekick format of MLS’ early years and produced their own programs (now known as Match Day) in unconventional brochure-style formats. For example, each 2013 edition of Match Day folds out roadmap-style into a large player poster.

The Crew also printed attractive annual media guides from 1996 until at least 2008.  The club seems to have shifted to digital (.pdf) media guides only in the late 2000’s, following the trend of most MLS clubs.


Columbus Crew Programs 2010-Present


Written by Drew Crossley

May 21st, 2016 at 3:31 pm

1998 Columbus Hawks

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Columbus HawksMajor League Roller Hockey

Born: 1998
Folded: Postseason 1998

Arena: Battelle Hall

Team Colors:

Owner: Fred Drew,


This fly-by-night professional roller hockey outfit played for two months in downtown Columbus, Ohio during the summer of 1998.  The Hawks were one of several minor sports franchises that tried to make a go of it at Battelle Hall in the Columbus Convention Center during the mid-1990’s, along with the Columbus Invaders indoor soccer team and the Columbus Quest women’s basketball team. Only the Quest attracted even a modest core of regular fans while the men’s teams played to virtually empty stands. None of these clubs made it through more than two seasons.

The Hawks were owned by a Mansfield, Ohio businessman named Fred Drew who worked in the trucking industry. The team’s coach and GM position was a summer job for Derek Clancey, a minor league hockey journeyman who had played four winters for the city’s popular East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) team, the Columbus Chill.  Most of the Hawks players were moonlighting ECHL ice hockey players, including a number of other Chill veterans.

Crowds numbered in the low hundreds and the Hawks faded quietly from view at the end of the summer along with the rest of Major League Roller Hockey. The league was relaunched as a semi-pro enterprise in the early 2000’s but the Hawks never returned.


Written by AC

November 5th, 2015 at 3:56 am

1966-1968 Columbus Comets

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Joe Roberts Columbus CometsNorth American Basketball League (1966-1968)

Born: 1966
Died: 1968

Arena: ?

Team Colors:

Owner: Louis A. Mitchell, et al.


The Columbus (OH) Comets were a minor league pro basketball team that played two seasons in the Midwestern-based North American Basketball League (1964-1968).

The Comets featured several top former Ohio State stars, including Gary Bradds and Mel Nowell.  Bradds was a two-time All-America center at OSU and the Associated Press college Player of the Year for 1964. The Baltimore Bullets made Bradds the #3 overall selection in the 1964 NBA draft, but he spent much of the mid-1960’s bouncing around the NABL, which had bus league stops in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.  The Comets sold Bradds’ contract to the Oakland Oaks of the new American Basketball Association in 1967 and he went on to play several seasons in the ABA. Mel Nowell was a veteran of Ohio State’s 1960 NCAA championship team and also later played in the ABA.

The Comets played a short scheduled of just 21 games in 1966-67 and 18 games in 1967-68.  Both the Comets and the NABL folded quietly after the 1967-68 season.

Please let us know if you know where the Comets played in Columbus, or if you have more information on this team.


Written by AC

May 5th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

2004-2008 Columbus Destroyers

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Matt Nagy Columbus DestroyersArena Football League (2004-2008)

Born: September 25, 2003 – The Buffalo Destroyers relocate to Columbus, OH.
Died: August 2009 – The Arena Football League ceases operations.

Arena: Nationwide Arena (17,078)

Team Colors:

Owners: John McConnell, Jim Renacci, Steve Germain & Joey Galloway



The Columbus Destroyers were a popular attraction in college football-mad Columbus despite the fact that this Arena Football League squad was routinely terrible.  The team never posted a winning record in five seasons.  But in 2007, the Destroyers squeaked into the playoffs with a 7-9 mark and then went on an unlikely run.  They went on the road to beat the 15-1 Dallas Desperadoes in the quarterfinals and then knocked off the 14-2 Georgia Force in the semis to reach Arena Bowl XXI in New Orleans.

NFL wide receiver and former Ohio State star Joey Galloway owned a small piece of the Destroyers.  Co-owner John McConnell also controlled the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.  McConnell died at age 84 in April 2008 midway through the Destroyers’ final season.



==Columbus Destroyers Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other


2005 4/16/2005  @ New Orleans Voodoo  L 64-28 Program
2005 5/15/2005 @ Philadelphia Soul W 55-52 Program


2007 7/29/2007 San Jose Sabercats L 55-33 Program


2008 6/21/2008 @ Cleveland Gladiators L 47-35 Program


==In Memoriam==

Destroyers owner John McConnell died of cancer in April 2008.  He was 84. USA Today obituary.



Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs



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