***The Game Parts are required to use this Year Book***
Relive the fun and excitement of the World Football League and their
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.