Arena Football, Arena Football League, Rival Pro Leagues

Arena Football League 1987-1991

 

AFL 1987

 

P W L T PF PA Pct
Pittsburgh Gladiators 6 4 2 0 268 199 .667
Denver Dynamite 6 4 2 0 261 252 .667
Chicago Bruisers 6 2 4 0 217 310 .333
Washington Commandos 6 2 4 0 288 273 .333

 

Reference: [1]

 

Home Team Away Team
Arena Bowl I
Denver Dynamite 45 Pittsburgh Gladiators 16

 

Reference: [1]

 

AFL 1988

 

P W L T PF PA Pct
*Chicago Bruisers 12 10 1 1 526 374 .792
*Detroit Drive 12 9 3 0 472 310 .750
*Pittsburgh Gladiators 12 6 6 0 507 491 .500
*Los Angeles Cobras 12 5 6 1 463 449 .458
New England Steamrollers 12 3 9 0 330 506 .250
New York Knights 12 2 10 0 337 505 .167

 

Reference: [1]

 

Home Team Away Team
Semi-Finals
Detroit Drive 34 Pittsburgh Gladiators 25
Chicago Bruisers 29 Los Angeles Cobras 16
Arena Bowl II
Detroit Drive 24 Chicago Bruisers 13

 

Reference: [1]

 

AFL 1989

 

P W L T PF PA Pct
*Detroit Drive 4 3 1 0 154 84 .750
*Denver Dynamite 4 3 1 0 159 147 .750
*Pittsburgh Gladiators 4 3 1 0 159 147 .750
*Chicago Bruisers 4 1 3 0 167 155 .250
Maryland Commandos 4 0 4 0 79 170 .000

 

Reference: [1]

 

Home Team Away Team
Semi-Finals
Detroit Drive 43 Chicago Bruisers 10
Pittsburgh Gladiators 39 Denver Dynamite 37
Arena Bowl III
Detroit Drive 39 Pittsburgh Gladiators 26

 

Reference: [1]

 

AFL 1990

 

P W L T PF PA Pct
*Detroit Drive 8 6 2 0 326 215 .750
*Dallas Texans 8 6 2 0 299 308 .750
*Denver Dynamite 8 4 4 0 289 287 .500
*Pittsburgh Gladiators 8 3 5 0 289 287 .375
Albany Firebirds 8 3 5 0 188 268 .375
Washington Commandos 8 2 6 0 244 264 .250

 

Reference: [1]

 

Home Team Away Team
First Round
Detroit Drive 61 Pittsburgh Gladiators 30
Dallas Texans 26 Denver Dynamite 25
Arena Bowl IV
Detroit Drive 51 Dallas Texans 27

 

Reference: [1]

 

AFL 1991

 

P W L T PF PA Pct
*Detroit Drive 10 9 1 0 437 262 .900
*Tampa Bay Storm 10 8 2 0 421 309 .800
*Denver Dynamite 10 6 4 0 389 365 .600
*Albany Firebirds 10 6 4 0 427 342 .600
Dallas Texans 10 4 6 0 286 334 .400
New Orleans Night 10 4 6 0 314 401 .400
Orlando Predators 10 3 7 0 321 363 .300
Columbus Thunderbolts 10 0 10 0 241 460 .000

 

Reference: [1]

 

Home Team Away Team
Semi-Finals
Detroit Drive 37 Albany Firebirds 35
Tampa Bay Storm 40 Denver Dynamite 13
Arena Bowl V
Tampa Ba Storm 48 Detroit Drive 42

Reference: [1]

 

Report

 

On February 11, 1981, James Foster witnessed an Indoor Soccer game at Madison Square Garden, and drew out the outline of an Indoor American Football field on a manilla envelope, using the same basic premise of a football field on a converted Ice Hockey rink. [2]

the first AFL test game was held on 27 April 1986, and following positive public response the first “showcase game” in Chicago in front of 8,200 fans. [2]

The AFL debut season began on 19 June 1987, with four teams: Chicago Bruisers, Denver Dynamite, Pittsburgh Gladiators & Washington Comandos. Denver Dynamite won Arena Bowl I, defeating Pittsburgh Gladiators 45-16 [2]

The second AFL season featued an additional three teams: Los Angeles Cobras, New England Steamrollers & New York Knights, who played only that season. Washington Commandos sat out the season Detroit Drive won Arena Bowl II, 24-13 over Chicago Bruisers. [2]

The third AFL season, in 1989, was a shortened four-game season, with five teams, including the returned Commandos, now playing in Maryland. Detroit again won the Arena Bowl, beating Pittsburgh 39-26. Following the season, the league played two successful exhibition games in Paris (France) & London (England). THE US Patent office granted the league a Patent, making it the first patented, rival-free sports league in history. [2]

the fourth AFL season, saw an expansion of two teams: Albany Firebirds & Dallas Texans, with Chicago dropping out. Detroit Drive won the Arena Bowl for the third year in succession, defeating Dallas 51-27. [2]

A further expansion in 1991, saw teams added in Orlando (Predators) and New Orleans (Night) and Columbus (Thunderbolts), with Pittsburgh relocating to Tampa Bay, becoming the Storm and the Commandos ceasing operation.The league’s expansion into the Southeast would prove enduringly successful, with the Tampa Bay & Orlando franchises remaing in existence right through to the league’s waning years in the late-2010s. Detroit was defeated in the Arena Bowl 48-42 by the Tampa Bay Storm, ending the Drive’s attempts at a four-in-a-row. [2]

In 1992 the league expanded to 12 teams and three divisions, ending the AFL’s formative years, and beginning the AFL’s rise to become what the Wall Street Journal called the fifth Major [2].

References:

_________________________________________________________________

 

Bibliography

 

[1] Arena Football League (2016) “2016 Record and Fact Book” pp. 57-65.

[2] Arena Football League (2016) “2016 Record and Fact Book” pp. 52-56.

 

Acknowledgements

 

Thanks to Richard Conville, Conor Lynch, Maurice Lynch, Dylan Brennan, Jonathan Brennan, Simon Brennan & Robert Byron.

 

About this document

 

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

World Gridiron Archive

Last Updated: 24 February 2019

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and World Gridiron Archive 2019

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Resereved.

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