By Dusty Sloan
The California A11FL team is going to begin play in the spring of 2015 – which gives it plenty of time to find its version of Steve Young.
Young, the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, began his professional football playing career in the United States Football League with the Los Angeles Express. The dual passing-running threat played two seasons for the Express before moving on to the National Football League, and was the starting quarterback in Los Angeles’ victory in the longest game in professional football history, a 27-21 win at the Coliseum against the Michigan Panthers in three overtimes.
Here are some of the other top moments in California outdoor alternative professional football history over the last 40 years:
- The Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football won the league’s second title in 1992, beating the Orlando Thunder, 21-17, after going 8-2 in the regular season and winning the league’s North American West Division title. The Surge rode the arm of veteran National Football League quarterback David Archer, who was the World Bowl’s Most Valuable Player.
- The XFL’s Los Angeles Xtreme finished the 2001 regular season at 7-3 and gained a Western Division championship. It won the league’s lone championship game, “The Million Dollar Game,” by a 38-6 count over the San Francisco Demons, behind the quarterbacking of league Player of the Year Tommy Maddox.
- The USFL’s Oakland Invaders, filling a void left when the NFL’s Raiders moved to L.A., went 13-4-1 and won the league’s Western Conference in 1985. The Invaders, featuring such future NFL standouts as quarterback Bobby Hebert and wide receiver Anthony Carter, advanced to the third USFL Championship Game before losing to the Baltimore Stars, 28-24.
- The World Football League’s Southern California Sun, based in Anaheim, went 13-7 and won the WFL’s Western Division in 1974 before losing in the first round of the playoffs at home to The Hawaiians, 32-14.
So there’s a history of alternative professional football doing well in California, and we hope to replicate that with our own California-based A11FL team.