Monday, July 1, 2013

New York/New Jersey A11FL team looks to have all the trimmings – minus Trump

New York/New Jersey is going to have an A11 Football League team in the spring of 2015.

What it won’t have is Donald Trump.

Trump, the boisterous real estate mogul and owner of unflappable hair, was the owner of the United States Football League’s New Jersey Generals, who played in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in 1984-85. While Trump was a driving force in the Generals signing several big-name National Football League stars in 1984, including Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Sipe and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Doug Flutie in 1985, he also was the lynchpin of the league’s ill-fated move to the fall of 1986, which resulted in the end of the USFL.

The Generals were the one New York/New Jersey-based outdoor alternative professional football team which made the most headlines – by a mile. But the Generals aren’t alone in representing the states in the outdoor alternative pro football genre:

-       The New York Stars began the World Football League’s first season of 1974 playing home games at Downing Stadium on Randall’s Island. In Week 13, the Stars defeated the Detroit Wheels, 37-7, in front of just 4,220 people at home. Shortly thereafter, the team moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.

-       The New York/New Jersey Knights played in the first two seasons of the World League of American Football (1991-92) under the father of the Run “N” Shoot, Head Coach Mouse Davis. The Knights played their home games at Giants Stadium, and basically were a .500-type team.

-       Another resident of Giants Stadium was the XFL’s New York/New Jersey Hitmen, which narrowly missed the playoffs in its only season of existence in 2001. The Hitmen were 4-6, but rallied for four wins in their final seven games after an 0-3 start.

-       Most recently, the New York Sentinels of the United Football League went 0-6 in their lone campaign in 2009. The nomadic Sentinels played their three “home games” at Giants Stadium, James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead and Rentschler Field in Hartford, Connecticut.

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