Texans expect big things from their sports teams.
The state’s A11 Football League franchise should be no different. Texas’ latest professional sports team, to debut in the spring of 2015, is the latest in a long line of outdoor alternative pro football teams from the Lone Star State.
The one Texas-based outdoor alternative pro football team that had the most star power was the United States Football League’s Houston Gamblers (1984-85). With Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly at the controls of a potent Run “N” Shoot offense, the Gamblers scored a lot of points and won a lot of games, including going 13-5 as an expansion team in 1984.
If there was one thing the Gamblers weren’t good at, it was winning in the playoffs. Houston was 0-2 in the postseason, then went away when they merged with the New Jersey Generals for the never-played 1986 fall season.
- The USFL’s other Texas entry was the San Antonio Gunslingers (1984-85). The ’Slingers weren’t very good on the field (7-11 and 5-13), and they were infamous off the field for missing payroll. San Antonio’s quarterback would become a household college football coaching name – Rick Neuheisel.
- The World Football League also had two Texas-based teams. In 1974, the Houston Texans played at the Astrodome, but after 11 games of a 20-game regular-season schedule, they became “Louisiana,” then, finally, the Shreveport Steamer. In 1975, the San Antonio Wings were born out of the ashes of the Florida Blazers, and played at Alamo Stadium before the entire league folded mid-season.
- San Antonio got its third outdoor alternative pro team in 1991-92 with the Riders in the World League of American Football. The Riders played in Alamo Stadium in 1991 and Bobcat Stadium in 1992, and didn’t qualify for the playoffs in either season. San Antonio’s Head Coach was current Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley.