WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 13
HAWAIIANS 23, Portland 0 (14245) - Randy Johnson threw for 188 yards and a TD and the Hawaiians' stubborn defense blanked the Storm to move into a playoff slot. The Hawaiians' defense allowed Portland into its territoryonly once during the entire game. The Storm players, who got their first checks in several weeks Tuesday, stalked off the field with 2 seconds left. The Hawaiians' management guaranteed the Storm expenses for the game.
PORTLAND - 0 0 0 0 - 0
HAWAIIANS - 0 0 8 15 - 23
3rd - HAW - John Isenbarger, 12-yard pass from Randy Johnson (Norris Weese run) HAWAIIANS 8-0 4th - HAW - Clayton Heath, 24-yard run (Tim Delaney pass from Weese) HAWAIIANS 16-0 4th - HAW - Grady Richardson, 20-yard pass from Weese (Pass failed) HAWAIIANS 23-0
BIRMINGHAM 40, Shreveport 7 (14974) - The Americans, taking advantage of five first half turnovers, built a 32-0 halftime lead as LB Warren Capone scored a TD on an interception return and set up two other scores with returns of a blocked punt and a fumble. Alabama impounded Birmingham's gate receipts and bank account for failure to pay taxes. it was reported that the teams' actual paid attendance for their opener was 12,000, not 22,000.
SHREVEPORT - 0 0 7 0 - 7
BIRMINGHAM - 17 15 8 0 - 40
1st - BIRM - Charlie Harraway, 1-yard run (Run failed) BIRMINGHAM 7-0 1st - BIRM - Earl Sark, 29-yard field goal BIRMINGHAM 10-0 1st - BIRM - Warren Capone, 29-yard interception return (Run failed) BIRMINGHAM 17-0 2nd - BIRM - Jimmy Edwards, 4-yard run (Edwards run) BIRMINGHAM 25-0 2nd - BIRM - Edwards, 18-yard pass from George Mira (Pass failed) BIRMINGHAM 32-0 3rd - SHR - Willie Frazier, 4-yard pass from David Mays (Run failed) BIRMINGHAM 32-7 3rd - BIRM - Edwards,10-yard pass from Reed (Edwards pass from Reed) BIRMINGHAM 40-7
MEMPHIS 28, Charlotte 22 (13339) - Ed Marshall caught two TD passes as the Southmen ended their regular season with the best record in the WFL. The loss, the fourth in a row for the Hornets, dropped Charlotte to 10-10. Hornet owner Upton Bell was uncertain about the teams' future and standing in the playoffs, and said he was looking for investors for the team and may skip the playoffs.
CHARLOTTE - 0 7 7 8 - 22
MEMPHIS - 7 7 7 7 - 28
1st - MEM - John Harvey, 5-yard run (Pass failed) MEMPHIS 7-0 2nd - CHA - Don Highsmith, 4-yard run (Pass failed) TIED 7-7 2nd - MEM - Gary Shirk, 27-yard pass from John Huarte (Pass failed) MEMPHIS 14-7 3rd - MEM - Ed Marshall, 7-yard pass from Danny White (Pass failed) MEMPHIS 21-7 3rd - CHA - Highsmith, 3-yard run (Run failed) MEMPHIS 21-14 4th - MEM - Marshall, 27-yard pass from White (Pass failed) MEMPHIS 28-14 4th - CHA - Kreg Kapitan, 9-yard pass from Tom Sherman (Bob Gladieux pass from Sherman) MEMPHIS 28-22
Chicago at Philadelphia - The Bell were awarded a win over the Fire who did not report because of over $800,000 in losses. Hawaii, Memphis and Philadelphia reportedly gave Chicago $50,000 each to keep the Fire alive. Fire owner Tom Origer told league officials that he would consider selling the franchise outright, selling 50% of the club or merging the Fire with another team (reportedly Hawaii or Memphis).
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14
Florida 27, S. CALIFORNIA 24 (28213) - Eddie Sheats blocked a Sun punt and Dave Strock booted a game-winning FG with four seconds to play as the Blazers wrapped up the WFL's first regular season with a win. Coach Jack Pardee, whose players have not been paid for 11 weeks, said, "I'm very proud of this team. No one really knows the adversity we have overcome." Florida's Tommy Reamon captured the rushing title with 1,576 yards.
FLORIDA - 10 14 0 3 - 27
S. CALIFORNIA - 0 7 7 10 - 24
1st - FLA - Dave Strock, 28-yard field goal FLORIDA 3-0 1st - FLA - Greg Latta, 26-yard pass from Bob Davis (Run failed) FLORIDA 10-0 2nd - SC - Kermit Johnson, 33-yard run (Pass failed) FLORIDA 10-7 2nd - FLA - Latta, 4-yard pass from Davis (Run failed) FLORIDA 17-7 2nd - FLA - Dickie James, 9-yard run (Run failed) FLORIDA 24-7 3rd - SC - James McAllister, 6-yard run (Pass failed) FLORIDA 24-14 4th - SC - Rod Garcia, 25-yard field goal FLORIDA 24-17 4th - SC - Keith Denson, 26-yard pass from Tony Adams (Pass failed) TIED 24-24 4th - FLA - Strock, 25-yard field goal FLORIDA 27-24
EASTERN DIVISION CENTRAL DIVISION
X-Florida 14 6 0 .700 419 280 X-Memphis 17 3 0 .850 629 365
Charlotte 10 10 0 .500 467 350 X-Birmingham 15 5 0 .750 500 394
X-Philadelphia 9 11 0 .450 491 413 Chicago 7 13 0 .350 446 600
F-Jacksonville 4 10 0 .286 258 359 F-Detroit 1 13 0 .071 209 358
X-S. California 13 7 0 .650 486 441 Portland 7 12 1 .375 264 426
X-Hawaiians 9 11 0 .450 413 422 Shreveport 7 12 1 .375 240 415
X-Made playoffs F-Folded
NOV 8 - Joe Namath, quarterback of the New York Jets, is considering buying a WFL franchise and becoming profootball's only player-owner, WFL officials say. Namath is one of three prospective buyers, with whom theleague is discussing a franchise in New York beginning in 1976, according to John F. Bassett, president and principal owner of the WFL's Memphis Southmen and chairman of the league's executive committee. The newspaper quoted Bassett as saying the other prospective buyers are Broadway producer David Merrick and alaw firm.
CFL-WFL MERGER? - The Canadian Football League, reiterating its stand on the World Football League, said this week that, in effect, the door may be open to merger talks but the reception inside is likely to be anything but cordial. In Montreal, Alouettes' owner Sam Berger said he would not shut the door on possible mergerdiscussions but he had reservations. "I don't want to become involved in even thinking about it at this time," said Berger. "It could be that when the playoffs and the Grey Cup—if we make it—are over, maybe we'll take a look at it." And in Edmonton, Jim Hole, president of the league and of the Eskimos' club, said: "The only thing that's everbeen said on the topic is when Jake Gaudaur (league commissioner) said our league would be willing to talk to the WFL if they came to us and asked to talk. And that's exactly the way it is." Hole added: "But why wouldwe want to merge with the World Football League? They have nothing to offer."
NOV 14 - The WFL announced Thursday the two-bracket inaugural playoffs that will culminate in the WorldBowl on Dec. 5. Charlotte (10-10) is at Florida (13-6) in an upper bracket game on Wednesday, Nov. 20, while Philadelphia (9-11) travels to Birmingham (15-5) in a lower bracket quarterfinal that night. On Thursday, Nov. 21, Memphis, the WFL's top team with a 17-3 record, hosts Portland (7-12-1) in an upper bracket game and Hawaii (9-11) visits Southern California (13-6) in a lower bracket match.
NOV 18 - Birmingham owner Bill Putnam said the club must have $750,000 to pay its bills for the remainder ofthe season. Putnam said the team had been relatively successful during its first season, taking in "a little over $2.3 million at the gate. "Our preliminary figures show a loss of only $300,000 from the time we began puttingthis together last December," Putnam said. "That's not a bad loss for your first year."
NOV 19 - Following a weekend in which it reversed direction and changed its mind at least four times, the WFL was silent Monday, which means the financially struggling league apparently plans to begin its playoffs onWednesday with six teams. In a space of about 30 hours, one official or another announced over the weekend that ( a ) the playoffs were being changed from eight to three teams; (b) the playoffs were being changed from three to four teams; (c) that b was a lie, the playoffs would have three teams; and (d) that the playoffs were being changed from three to six teams. The league, which according to an Associated Press survey has lost at least $20 million in its initial season, prefaced each announcement with its firm intention of playing another season. Plans went ahead for a meeting of WFL officials this weekend in Memphis. John Bassett, owner of the Southmen and the WFL official who made most of the weekend announcements, said the WFL would play in 1975 and that "it is going to be run by responsible business and football people." He said potential franchise buyers from such cities as San Antonio, Louisville, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Portland and Chicago would attend the meetings.
AP CLAIMS $20 MILLION IN LOSSES - An Associated Press survey shows that many of the still surviving franchises in the shaky WFL are in poor economic condition. Failure to find new dollars and stability will be terminal to some franchises, and in turn, could eventually kill the league. An example of the league's problems is that only two of the original owners are still active, and officials acknowledge they must have more stability than that. The AP survey shows a loss of about $20 million for the league. The figure could go millions higher. The strongest franchise is believed to be Memphis. There have been no reported problem meeting payroll. Elsewhere, the picture is much bleaker. For instance: BIRMINGHAM - The American, who have lost between $300,000 and $1 million depending upon which estimate is used, were pitched out of their offices last week for nonpayment of bills and are behind in paying their players. Owner Bill Putnam said it had been his intention to raise $1.5 million in local money to support the team and he had only raised $175,000. The Americans are currently unable to play any playoff games at home because of court action brought to collect $100,000 the team owes in taxes. Putnam plans a public stock offering. PORTLAND - The Storm, who have not paid their players in seven weeks, are the subject of a league hunt for local owners. The team is owned by a Canadian millionaire, and officials say it cannot stay in Portland without local support in the form of dollars. It is estimated the team is $1 million in the red. NEW YORK - A city to which the WFL hopes to return in 1976, still has a franchise of sorts, although the team is now playing in Charlotte, N.C. Officials in New York have told creditors they have assets of $94,750 and liabilities of $2.5 million. CHARLOTTE - General Manager Upton Bell has been unsuccessful in finding local investors to partially purchase the club from the New York owners. And the team has continued to lose money in the North Carolina city, failing to pay its players the last few weeks. FLORIDA - Blazers players have not been paid for 11 weeks and the club is deep in debt. Officials said Tuesday they hoped to complete sale of the team by Thursday. Similar hopes in the past months have failed to yield buyers for the team. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - Larry G. Hatfield, president of the Sun, has pleaded innocent to a federal grand jury's charge that he submitted a false financial statement to gain a $365,000 loan for the team, which has lost about $1 million this year. At one point, this team was also behind in paying players. HAWAIIANS - The Hawaiians, considered one of the more stable franchises, have lost about $3 million this season, and owner Chris Hemmeter vows not to go through another year like this one. There have been reports the club might move to Chicago. CHICAGO - The Fire quit for the season last week. Owner Tom Origer, propped up by a $150,000 loan from three other owners at midseason, says he has lost $800,000 and he is seeking to sell the franchise to another city. SHREVEPORT - An effort to sell the Shreveport franchise, which landed there after being moved from Houston, to local businessmen has not yet met with success. Officials of the team, which has lost about $1.5 million, admitted last week that they had withheld information about inflated attendance figures because of a pending stock sale. JACKSONVILLE - Efforts to sell the Jacksonville franchise, which was dropped from the league at midseason, have continued since then with no success reported. The Detroit franchise was folded at the same time. Between them, the two teams lost a reported $4 million.NOTE - The playoffs will originally set to begin on November 20 with Charlotte at Florida and Philadelphia at Birmingham. On the following night, Memphis would host Portland and the Hawaiians would play at Southern California. On November 16, the WFL announced that it was cutting the number of teams in the playoffs to three. Florida would meet Birmingham in a semi-final game in Orlando on November 21. The winner would at Memphis on Nov. 29. The next day, the league, under heavy pressure from teams dumped, switched signals and again revamped its post-season schedule. The new format calls for Hawaii to play Southern California and for Philadelphia to play Florida, with Birmingham and Memphis receiving byes.