1974 World Football League Year Book for Mean Gene Football

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***The Game Parts are required to use this Year Book***

Relive the fun and excitement of the World Football League and their inaugural season.

Playing a 20-game regular season schedule in 1974 - six games longer than the NFL's then 14-game season - the WFL staged no exhibition games (although its teams did participate in preseason scrimmages). The season was to begin on Wednesday, July 10th and ended on Wednesday, November 13th. This was a 20-game season in 19 weeks --- a schedule accomplished by having double games (primarily Monday and Friday) on Labor Day weekend. But some complained that the schedule was poorly drafted. For one thing, although most teams played on Wednesday nights, with a national TV game slated for Thursday nights, the Hawaiians played their home games on Sunday afternoons (meaning that when the Hawaiians had back-to-back home games, they played on a Sunday night, followed by their next opponent playing a Wednesday night game on the mainland, and then that opponent flying out to Honolulu to play the well-rested Hawaiians four nights later). In addition, back-to-back meetings between two teams, a no-no in the NFL by that time, were common, with the earliest set of back-to-back games being as early as July 24th and 31st (the third and fourth weeks of the season).

In the first few weeks, the WFL looked to be a resounding success. Attendance outpaced the first week of the old American Football League of 1960, averaging just under 43,000 a game. The box office numbers proved to be the beginning of the WFL's undoing. In Jacksonville, the Sharks admitted that 44,000 tickets were giveaways. The Philadelphia Bell whose first two home games totaled 120,000 fans, told the press that over 100,000 had been sold for almost nothing. Presumably the giveaways were intended in part to pique the public's curiosity and interest, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Six games into the first season, WFL franchises were in serious trouble. The Detroit Wheels were looking to move to Charlotte, North Carolina and the Florida Blazers made overtures of bringing the first place club to Atlanta.

By September, the barely one-year old league had bottomed out when two franchises relocated. The New York Stars relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina as the Charlotte Hornets, and the Houston Texans, the first WFL team to relocate in mid-season, moved to Shreveport, Louisiana as the Shreveport Steamer. In October, the league pulled the plug on the Detroit Wheels and the Jacksonville Sharks after 14 games. The folding of the Jacksonville franchise meant that the Gator Bowl would not host World Bowl I.

Despite the disasters, many thought the WFL performed fairly well, though below NFL standards. Many games were tight, decided by seven points or less, and the Action Point, the one-point mandatory conversion run attempt rather than the standard "PAT" (Point After Touchdown), was favored among WFL coaches and critics. The league championship - the World Bowl, or World Bowl I - was staged in Birmingham between the hometown Birmingham Americans and Florida Blazers. The Action Point proved to be the equalizer as the Americans won the championship by a single point, 22-21. The day after the World Bowl, the champions' uniforms were confiscated by sheriff's deputies.

Can you lead Memphis to the title? How about Florida? Or will Birmingham take it all as they did in real life?

Order the year book today and find out!

This yearbook includes complete standings, a full schedule (as played), and the full schedule as intended by the league before the financial issues.  All team rating sheets are printed on card stock.

This product was added to our catalog on Monday 24 August, 2015.

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