The Hawaiians (WFL)

The Hawaiians were a professional American football team based in Honolulu that played in the World Football League. They played two seasons, 1974 and 1975. Their records were 9–11 in 1974 and 4–7–1 in 1975. Their home stadium was Honolulu Stadium in 1974 and Aloha Stadium in 1975. The best known player to play for the Hawaiians was former Dallas Cowboys running back Calvin Hill, though quarterback Jim Fassel became better known as a head coach decades later. The Hawaiians head coach was Michael Giddings[1] who guided the Hawaiians through both the 1974 and 1975 World Football League seasons.

The franchise was originally going to be called the Honolulu Warriors, but a local team had trademarked that name. As a result, the team was known simply as "The Hawaiians", although the press frequently mistakenly called them the "Honolulu Hawaiians" or the "Hawaii Hawaiians." They were owned by real estate developer Christopher Hemmeter for the first season. He was named league president in 1975, and sold the Hawaiians to jewel merchant Edward Sultan, Jr.

To keep the NFL out of Hawaii, the WFL had the Hawaiians play their games on Sundays, while the rest of the league played (mostly) on Wednesday nights. This resulted in confusion, since one team played a different schedule from the rest of the league, and teams had to fly back to the mainland Sunday night to play again on Wednesday night. The franchise also made the mistake of allowing a same-day tape delay of their home games, meaning many Hawaiians' fans would watch the game on TV later on that day. (As a result, the Hawaiians drew just 13,031 fans per game, ahead of only New York and Detroit, neither of which finished the season.) Eventually, the Hawaiians switched to playing on Wednesday nights.

Even with these missteps, the Hawaiians represented a serious attempt to form a viable professional football organization, one that at least had the potential for success had the WFL been better run. They were one of only three teams that did not miss a payroll during the league's first season. (False accounts had said some players released from the team could not afford to get to the mainland.) Hemmeter and his original partner, Sam Battisone (who also owned the NBA's New Orleans Jazz) were among the few owners thought to be capable of fielding a team in 1975.[2]

It was the first and, to date, only major professional American football team to establish its home base outside the contiguous 48 states. (This excludes the Pro Bowl teams, which have called Hawaii home from 1980 to 2009 and again in 2011, 2012 and 2016.)

The Hawaiians
FoldedOctober 1975
Based inHonolulu, Hawaii
Home fieldHonolulu Stadium (1974)
Aloha Stadium (1975)
Head coachMike Giddings
General managerDanny Rodgers
Owner(s)Christopher Hemmeter and Sam Battisone (1974)
Edward Sultan, Jr. (1975)
LeagueWorld Football League
ColoursBrown, Gold, Scarlet               

Schedule and results

Key: Win Loss Bye

1974 regular season

Week Day Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 Wednesday July 10, 1974 at Florida Blazers L 7–8 18,625
2 Wednesday July 17, 1974 at Southern California Sun L 31–38 32,018
3 Sunday July 21, 1974 Detroit Wheels W 36–16 10,080
4 Sunday July 28, 1974 Chicago Fire L 29–53 12,608
5 Thursday August 8, 1974 at Jacksonville Sharks L 14–21 43,869
6 Wednesday August 14, 1974 at Birmingham Americans L 0–39 43,297
7 Wednesday August 21, 1974 at Memphis Southmen L 8–60 25,123
8 Sunday August 25, 1974 Jacksonville Sharks L 8–14 10,099
9 Sunday September 1, 1974 Houston Texans W 33–15 10,248
10 Friday September 6, 1974 at Portland Storm L 6–15 15,551
11 Wednesday September 11, 1974 at Houston Texans W 24–17 9,061
12 Wednesday September 18, 1974 New York Stars W 17–14 12,169
13 Wednesday September 25, 1974 Philadelphia Bell L 16–21 14,497
14 Wednesday October 2, 1974 Birmingham Americans W 14–8 12,039
15 Wednesday October 9, 1974 at Philadelphia Bell W 25–22 4,900
16 Wednesday October 16, 1974 at Portland Storm L 0–3 N/A
17 Wednesday October 23, 1974 at Chicago Fire W 60–17 20,203
18 Wednesday October 30, 1974 Memphis Southmen L 31–33 20,544
19 Wednesday November 6, 1974 Southern California Sun W 29–8 13,780
20 Wednesday November 13, 1974 Portland Storm W 23–0 14,245


Game Day Date Opponent Result Attendance
Quarter-finals Wednesday November 20, 1974 at Southern California Sun W 32–14 11,430
Semi-finals Wednesday November 27, 1974 at Birmingham Americans L 19–22 15,379

1975 regular season

Week Day Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 Sunday August 2, 1975 at Philadelphia Bell L 15–21 3,266
2 Sunday August 9, 1975 at Portland Thunder W 25–24 7,709
3 Sunday August 16, 1975 Southern California Sun L 19–37 15,862
4 Sunday August 23, 1975 Chicago Winds W 28–17 10,313
5 Sunday September 7, 1975 at Memphis Grizzlies L 17–37 15,132
6 Sunday September 14, 1975 Jacksonville Express W 33–15 18,479
7 Sunday September 21, 1975 at San Antonio Wings L 11–30 10,871
8 Sunday September 28, 1975 at Shreveport Steamer L 25–32 21,348
9 Saturday October 4, 1975 Birmingham Vulcans L 16–29 18,894
10 Saturday October 11, 1975 Philadelphia Bell W 14–13 10,789
11 Sunday October 19, 1975 Southern California Sun L 7–26 15,905

See also


  1. ^ "Head football coach". Football Digest. August 1974.
  2. ^ Marshall, Joe. World Bowl in crisis. Sports Illustrated, 1974-12-16.
  3. ^ "1974 World Football League Game Results". Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  4. ^ "1975 World Football League Results". Retrieved 2015-11-11.

External links

Aloha Stadium

Aloha Stadium is a stadium located in Halawa, Hawaii, a western suburb of Honolulu (though with a Honolulu address). It is the largest stadium in the state of Hawaii. Aloha Stadium is home to the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors football team (Mountain West Conference, NCAA Division I FBS).

It hosts the NCAA's Hawai'i Bowl, and formerly was home to the National Football League's Pro Bowl from 1980 through 2016 (except in 2010 and 2015) and to the NCAA's Hula Bowl from 1975 to 1997 and again from 2006 to 2008. It also hosts numerous high school football games during the season, and serves as a venue for large concerts and events, including high school graduation ceremonies. A swap meet in the stadium's parking lot every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday draws large crowds.Aloha Stadium was home field for the AAA Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) from 1975 to 1987, before the team moved to Colorado Springs.

Calvin Hill

Calvin G. Hill (born January 2, 1947) is a retired American football player. He played running back in the National Football League for twelve seasons. Hill played for the NFL Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Browns. He also played a season with The Hawaiians of the World Football League in 1975.

Hill was named to the Pro Bowl team four times (1969, 1972, 1973, and 1974). In 1972, he became the first Cowboy running back to have a 1,000-yard rushing season (with 1,036 yards rushing); he repeated the feat in the following season with 1,142 yards rushing.

Yale University conferred Hill with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at its 2016 commencement. "You are a Yale legend" is the opening sentence of the citation honoring Hill.

Duane Thomas

Duane Julius Thomas (born June 21, 1947) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. He played college football at West Texas State University.

Ed Peasley

Ed Peasley (born c. 1935) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Northern Arizona University from 1971 to 1974.

Hawaiian Islanders

The Hawaiian Islanders were a minor league team of the Arena Football League's developmental league, the AF2. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Hawaiian Islanders home field was at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena. It competed in the AF2 National Conference West. They were owned by Charles Wang, who also owned the New York Islanders and New York Dragons, the latter of which it was an affiliate of, along with the short-lived New Haven Ninjas. It lasted from 2002 to 2004.

The team was coached by Guy Benjamin and Chad Carlson in 2002. In 2003, they were coached by Cal Lee, who had been coaching high school football at Hawaii's St. Louis School for the past 20 seasons. Fullback Josh White played with the Islanders before playing in the AFL.

The team disbanded after the 2004 af2 season.

During the team's inaugural 2002 season, Oceanic Time Warner Cable carried every home game live on a pay-per-view basis. Kanoa Leahey and Robert Kekaula served as the television announcers.

Hawaiians (disambiguation)

Hawaiians are the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiians or The Hawaiians may also refer to:

The Hawaiians (WFL), a football team in the World Football League from 1974 to 1975

The Hawaiians (film), a 1970 American historical film

Hawaii state residents, regardless of ancestry

Honolulu Stadium

Honolulu Stadium was a stadium located in the Moʻiliʻili district of Honolulu, Hawai'i, at the corner of King and Isenberg Streets, which was the left field corner. Opened in 1926, it was the primary sports venue in Hawaiʻi preceding Aloha Stadium. Famous athletes who competed in Honolulu Stadium include Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, who hit a home run out of the park in 1944, and Jesse Owens.

Irving Berlin performed at Honolulu Stadium in 1945. Elvis Presley performed in 1957 while Billy Graham inspired a capacity crowd a year later. It was the home of the University of Hawaii Rainbows football team, the Hawaiians of the World Football League (WFL) and the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League (PCL).

The stadium was also the venue for the Poi Bowl and Pineapple Bowl, and a number of world championship boxing matches. It also served as a venue for stock car racing and high school football. During its final years, the stadium could hold about 25,000 fans; it was demolished in 1976.

Honolulu Stadium, nicknamed the "Termite Palace" because it was made of wood and wooden structures in Hawaii are attacked by termites, was considered outdated by the 1960s and was replaced by Aloha Stadium in September 1975. Home plate was in the northwest corner; the third base line ran along King, and left field seating was bounded on the east by Isenberg. The football field ran parallel to the third base line, but away from the infield; the west end zone was near the first base line and the gridiron ran east-southeast, through right field and center field. The sideline seating for football was in right field and along the third base line.

Field dimensions mentioned in local newspapers varied somewhat, but the consensus appears to be: left field 325 ft (99 m), right field 305 ft (93 m), and center field 430 ft (130 m).

In 1971, the Hawaii Rainbows football team hosted the undefeated and top-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers at the stadium in early December. The defending national champions were fresh off their Game of the Century win on Thanksgiving at #2 Oklahoma, and went on to crush second-ranked Alabama in the Orange Bowl in Miami on New Year's night for a 13–0 season.

Track was also run at the stadium. It was the site of Hawaii's first night track meet in 1949.In the stadium's last event, the Islanders won their first PCL championship (in six games) over the Salt Lake Gulls on September 8, 1975; they successfully defended the title in 1976, with the entire best-of-five series played in Utah.

A public park, Honolulu Stadium State Park, also known as Old Stadium Park, now occupies the location. A plaque at the corner of King and Isenberg commemorates the stadium. Some of the property wall that stood behind the first-base stands on the west end still remains.

John Wilbur (American football)

John Leonard Wilbur (May 21, 1943 – December 9, 2013) was a professional American football offensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins. He also was a member of The Hawaiians in the World Football League (WFL). He played college football at Stanford University.

Ken Bowman

For the rugby league footballer of the 1960s for Great Britain, and Huddersfield, see Kenneth BowmanKenneth Brian Bowman (born December 15, 1942) was a center in the National Football League for ten seasons, all with the Green Bay Packers. In his fourth NFL season in 1967, Bowman was the center during the winning play of the Ice Bowl in which Bart Starr scored the winning touchdown on a quarterback sneak in the final seconds for a third consecutive NFL title.Born and raised in Illinois, Bowman played college football at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. During his junior year in 1962, the Badgers were Big Ten Conference champions and played USC in the Rose Bowl. Bowman was selected by the Packers in the eighth round of the 1964 NFL Draft and succeeded hall of famer Jim Ringo at center for the Packers as a rookie in 1964.

After his rookie season, Bowman attended law school part-time and earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1972. During the 1974 players' strike, Bowman was the NFL players' union representative for the Packers, and was picketing the first preseason scrimmage against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field in late July. Along with a number of teammates, he was arrested, and was placed on injured reserve with a phantom back injury and sat out the 1974 season. Bowman ended his 11-year professional career in 1975 in Honolulu with The Hawaiians of the struggling World Football League, which folded on October 22.

Otto Brown

Otto Brown (January 12, 1947 – December 5, 2006) was an American football defensive back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. He played college football at Prairie View A&M University.

Rick Cassata

Rick Cassata (Born November 17, 1947) is an American former gridiron football quarterback who played seven seasons in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for five different teams. He led the Ottawa Rough Riders to victory in the 61st Grey Cup. He also played with The Hawaiians in the World Football League (WFL) in 1975. He played at Tonawanda High School before playing college football at Syracuse University. In 2002, he was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

Ron East

Ronald Allan East (born August 26, 1943) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League from 1967 to 1977. He played college football at Oregon State University and Montana State University following his completion of service to the United States Marine Corps.

Yale Bulldogs football

The Yale Bulldogs football program represents Yale University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Yale's football program is one of the oldest in the world (i.e. North America), having begun competing in the sport in 1872. The Bulldogs have a legacy that includes 27 national championships, two of the first three Heisman Trophy winners (Larry Kelley in 1936 and Clint Frank in 1937), 100 consensus All-Americans, 28 College Football Hall of Fame inductees, including the "Father of American Football" Walter Camp, the first professional football player Pudge Heffelfinger, and coaching giants Amos Alonzo Stagg, Howard Jones, Tad Jones and Carmen Cozza. With 890 wins, Yale ranks second in wins in college football history, trailing only the University of Michigan.



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