St. Louis Stallions

The St. Louis Stallions was the name of a proposed National Football League (NFL) franchise which was to have been located in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1990s. There were two attempts to get a team with that name in St. Louis, which had been without a professional football franchise since the end of the 1987 season, when the Cardinals left the city to move to Phoenix, Arizona.[1]

Expansion attempt

The first attempt to get a team back in St. Louis came in 1991, when the city submitted a package to the NFL. The NFL was looking to add two teams in time for the 1994 season (later pushing this idea back one year), and St. Louis was one of the finalists. The others were Baltimore, which like St. Louis had seen its team, the Colts, move out of town in 1983; Charlotte, which had been seeking a team since 1987 and had already seen an expansion NBA team awarded to the city; Jacksonville, which had seen several aborted attempts at relocation in recent years; and Memphis, who had been trying to get an NFL team since the folding of the United States Football League cost the city its only professional sports team, the Memphis Showboats.[2]

St. Louis was to have placed the Stallions in Busch Stadium, where the football and baseball Cardinals played, for a brief period while a new domed stadium was constructed near the city's America's Center. Although St. Louis had been considered a favorite to land a team, the NFL instead announced in 1993 that the Charlotte and Jacksonville groups were declared the winners and that the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars would begin play in 1995.[3]

First relocation attempt

After St. Louis came up short in its expansion bid, it appeared that the city might land a new team anyway. Advertising executive James Orthwein, a St. Louis native and member of the Busch family, bought the New England Patriots in 1992 from Victor Kiam to resolve a debt between the two men. The Patriots had long been in financial malaise since original owner Billy Sullivan, who was still the team president during Kiam's ownership, had squandered all of his net worth on a series of bad investments in the mid-1980s and was forced to sell the team to Kiam and Foxboro Stadium to Robert Kraft.[4]

Immediately upon purchase, Orthwein made it clear that he wanted to relocate the team from its Foxborough, Massachusetts home to the Midwest. With the city of St. Louis having begun construction on the new domed stadium that they had discussed in their expansion bid, Orthwein was set to leave New England at the end of the 1993 season.

Orthwein's plans to move the team were thwarted when Kraft refused to let Orthwein out of the long-term lease that he had secured from Kiam and Sullivan as part of his purchase of the stadium. Orthwein did not want to own the team if he could not move it, and Kraft initiated a hostile takeover that resulted in his purchase of the Patriots in 1994.

St. Louis finally gets a team

During the 1994 season Georgia Frontiere, the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, was having trouble finding a new stadium for her team as the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding area was not willing to have taxpayer money pay for it. At the time, the Rams were playing in Anaheim Stadium, to which the team had moved in 1980 from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and which had required a massive reconstruction in order for the Rams to be able to play in what was originally only intended to be a home for the California Angels. Frontiere, who inherited control of the team following the death of her husband Carroll Rosenbloom in 1979, decided that relocation was the only option and initially considered Baltimore, the city where her husband originally owned the Colts before he traded ownership of the team with Robert Irsay, before deciding on St. Louis (her home city) as the domed stadium that was originally intended for the Stallions franchise was nearing completion. The NFL initially was unwilling to allow the move out of Los Angeles, and in fact had voted to reject it, but acquiesced after Frontiere threatened to sue the league.[5] Unlike the Patriots/Stallions proposal, Frontiere opted to keep the Rams name.

Shortly after the Rams left, the Raiders also left to move back to Oakland, where they had last played in 1981. The Trans World Dome, which the completed stadium became known as, opened on November 12, 1995 with a game against the expansion Carolina Panthers.

Departure

A major problem with St. Louis was that their fixed-roof and fully covered domed stadium was built at a time when retractable roofs which allowed generous daylight dissipation through the roof material were becoming the norm. The lighting within the stadium was also noted as 'warehouse-like' and unable to light the field properly, and the darker blue and gold shades the Rams adopted for their logo and uniforms in the early 2000s exacerbated the situation further. Because of its dual use as an extension of the America's Center convention center, the field continued to use AstroTurf, a long-outdated brand of artificial turf that was used primarily for its ability to be easily moved and rolled up into storage, even after its most recent renovations (most other stadiums had already gone to permanent FieldTurf or similar installations by this point; it was eventually converted to an AstroTurf-branded surface that more resembled FieldTurf, though this dark surface only increased the dreary feel of the stadium). By the early 2010s, the dome was consistently considered one of the worst stadiums in the NFL.[6][7][8][9] On January 12, 2016, the NFL approved a request by Rams owner Stan Kroenke to move the Rams back to the Greater Los Angeles Area. The Rams plan to play in a new stadium in Inglewood, California due to open in 2020. The team's move left St. Louis with no team and no realistic prospects of gaining one in the immediate future, barring future expansion or relocation.[10]

References

  1. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (March 16, 1988). "N.F.L. Approves Team Shift". The New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  2. ^ Allen, Scott (December 11, 2011). "11 Expansion Teams That Just Missed the Cut". Mental Floss. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  3. ^ Litsky, Frank (December 1, 1993). "PRO FOOTBALL; N.F.L. Expansion Surprise: Jacksonville Jaguars". The New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  4. ^ Farinella, Mark (June 27, 2009). "Jackson's part in Pats' history was real 'thriller'". The Sun Chronicle. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  5. ^ Simers, T.J. (April 13, 1995). "NFL Owners OK Rams' Move to St. Louis". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  6. ^ "Edward Jones Dome listed as one of 10 worst stadiums". KTRS. St. Louis. May 11, 2012. Archived from the original on June 29, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  7. ^ http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/10/best-worst-nfl-stadiums-capacity-rankings-lambeau-field-solder-field-size-super-bowls
  8. ^ Carbone, Nick (May 10, 2012). "7. Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis | Top 10 Worst Stadiums in the U.S." Time. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  9. ^ "NFL Stadium Rankings". Sports Illustrated. 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  10. ^ Hanzus, Dan (January 12, 2016). "Rams to relocate to L.A.; Chargers first option to join". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved January 13, 2016.

External links

Gil Santos

Gilbert A. Santos (April 19, 1938 – April 19, 2018) was an American radio play-by-play announcer for the New England Patriots of the National Football League, and morning sports reporter for WBZ radio in Boston. He was an inductee of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.He retired from WBZ radio in January 2009, and was inducted into the WBZ Radio Hall of Fame on July 9, 2009. The Patriots 2012 season was his final season of radio play-by-play.

James Orthwein

James Busch Orthwein (March 13, 1924 – August 15, 2008) was an American heir and business executive. Orthwein was the owner of the New England Patriots during the 1992 and 1993 seasons. He sold the team in 1994.

List of defunct National Football League franchises

The following is a list and brief history of American football franchises that at one time played in the National Football League (NFL). The NFL was known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1920 and 1921. Note that the list represents NFL franchises that no longer exist, not franchises/teams that relocated. However, during the 1920s it is hard to tell if some teams changed nicknames from year to year or if each nickname represented a new franchise. It was also not uncommon for two or more teams to have the same nickname during the same season. No NFL franchise has folded since 1952. The Buccaneers, Colts, Cowboys, Giants, Lions, Panthers, and Texans franchises listed on this page are not the current franchises of those names. A defunct team, in this case, refers to a team which has had the rights to have a team returned to the NFL (or league collective at the time). Massillon Tigers attended the meetings in 1920, but never fielded a team in 1920.

Six defunct teams won an APFA/NFL championship: 1920 Akron Pros, 1922 and 1923 Canton Bulldogs, 1924 Cleveland Bulldogs, 1926 Frankford Yellow Jackets and 1928 Providence Steam Roller.

Memphis Hound Dogs

The Memphis Hound Dogs were a proposed NFL team in the early-1990s. Former Memphis Showboats owner William Dunavant, Paul Tudor Jones, Fred Smith and Elvis Presley Enterprises were the members of the potential ownership group.

In 1993, the NFL invited potential owners from four finalists to make a presentation, after which two teams would be selected as expansion teams. Along with representatives from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Cougars, Baltimore Bombers and St. Louis Stallions, the potential franchise owners gave a presentation to NFL owners in hopes of attracting an NFL team. Carolina (later renamed the Panthers) and Jacksonville were chosen to become expansion teams and started in 1995.

After the NFL bid failed, Smith continued his desire to form a football team and contacted the Canadian Football League, then expanding into the United States, who gave him an expansion franchise that would be known as the similarly named Memphis Mad Dogs (the name change is presumably due to Presley's estate not being involved in the franchise). The Mad Dogs played one year in the CFL, but after weeks of declining attendance, the Mad Dogs folded, along with the rest of the American CFL franchises (except the defending champion Baltimore Stallions, who shifted their resources to the then-mothballed Montreal Alouettes franchise).

All five of the proposed expansion cities would get NFL teams by 1997 through expansion (Carolina and Jacksonville) or moved franchises (Los Angeles Rams to St. Louis and the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore); however, Memphis's was only temporary, as they hosted the Tennessee Oilers for only one year while Nashville worked out stadium issues. (The original plan was for Memphis to host the Oilers for two years while the Nashville stadium was built, but the city's fans rejected the team, and dismal attendance figures forced an early move to a smaller Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville.) Yet Memphis would not be without a professional sports team for long, as the Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA would relocate there in 2001 to become the Memphis Grizzlies, who have remained there since.

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area. The Patriots compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts, which is located 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Boston, Massachusetts and 20 miles (32 km) northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots are also headquartered at Gillette Stadium.

An original member of the American Football League (AFL), the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of the two leagues. The team changed its name from the original Boston Patriots after relocating to Foxborough in 1971. The Patriots played their home games at Foxboro Stadium from 1971 to 2001, then moved to Gillette Stadium at the start of the 2002 season. The Patriots' rivalry with the New York Jets is considered one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL.

Since the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady in 2000, the Patriots have since become one of the most successful teams in NFL history, claiming 16 AFC East titles as part of 18 consecutive winning seasons since 2001. The franchise has since set numerous notable records, including most wins in a ten-year period (126, in 2003–2012), an undefeated 16-game regular season in 2007, the longest winning streak consisting of regular season and playoff games in NFL history (a 21-game streak from October 2003 to October 2004), and the most consecutive division titles won by a team in NFL history (ten straight division titles from 2009 to 2018). The team owns the record for most Super Bowls reached (nine) and won (six) by a head coach–quarterback tandem, most Super Bowl appearances overall (eleven), tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins (six), and also tied with the Denver Broncos for the most Super Bowl losses (five).

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