|Based in||San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Head coach||Kay Stephenson|
|League||Canadian Football League|
|Colours||Teal, old gold, black, burgundy, and white |
The San Antonio Texans were a Canadian Football League (CFL) team that played in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, in the 1995 CFL season. They had relocated from Sacramento, California, where the team had been called the Sacramento Gold Miners. After relocating, the team still had the same ownership in Fred Anderson and the same staff, including President Tom Bass and Head Coach/General Manager Kay Stephenson. The Gold Miners/Texans franchise played three seasons (five if the Texans' WLAF iteration, the Sacramento Surge, is also counted) before folding in 1995. They were the southernmost team in CFL history and the only team in CFL history to have ever officially relocated from another market (the Baltimore Stallions and Montreal Alouettes are considered separate teams by the league).
Before the 1993 season, the CFL granted expansion franchises to the owners of two WLAF teams, the Sacramento Surge and San Antonio Riders. The Riders changed their name to the Texans to avoid confusion with the Ottawa Rough Riders and Saskatchewan Roughriders. However, the original Texans franchise folded without ever playing a down when its owner, Larry Benson, ran out of money and was forced to withdraw. In a second attempt to place a team in San Antonio, Larry Ryckman threatened to move the Calgary Stampeders to San Antonio for the 1995 season if Calgary fans did not buy 16,000 season tickets; the tickets were purchased, though Ryckman was forced to sell the team a year later.
The Surge changed their name to the Gold Miners, and played the 1993 and 1994 seasons in Sacramento. However, their home stadium, Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium, was completely inadequate as a professional football venue. At the time, it consisted mostly of temporary-style bleacher seats, had few amenities and did not have permanent bathrooms. Additionally, it was uncovered, and thus offered no protection from Sacramento's blistering summer heat. They were also relatively isolated from the rest of the league; for their first two seasons, their nearest opponent was the BC Lions, 890 miles (1,430 km) north.
Unable to persuade Sacramento State to upgrade Hornet Stadium to something approaching CFL standards, Anderson tried to build a new stadium, but those plans fizzled. Neither of the other two stadiums in the Sacramento area, Toomey Field and Charles C. Hughes Stadium, offered anything significantly better; like Hornet Stadium, they were both inadequate even for temporary use. The failure of the Las Vegas Posse after only one season left the Gold Miners once again isolated from the rest of the league. Faced with an inadequate stadium and an unsustainable travel situation, Anderson reluctantly opted to move the team to San Antonio as the Texans. The move brought the Texans closer to the league's three Southern teams—the Birmingham Barracudas, Memphis Mad Dogs and Shreveport Pirates.
The Texans were unique in that their stadium, the Alamodome, had a playing surface large enough to accommodate a regulation Canadian football field. Although the facility had been designed primarily with American football in mind, its sideline seats could be retracted to create a playing surface wide enough for the full 65-yard width of a CFL field, and its end zone seating could be retracted to accommodate the full 150-yard length of a CFL field.
In their third season in the CFL and their first as the Texans, the team had the second-highest scoring offence in the league, which was led by veteran quarterback David Archer. The franchise finished the 1995 CFL season with a 12–6 record, finishing in second place of the South Division, which sent them to their first playoff berth.
In the playoffs, the Texans soundly defeated the Barracudas, 52–9, in the Southern Semi-Final at the Alamodome, in what was the only CFL playoff game ever held in an American city other than Baltimore. However, their playoff run would end with a loss to the eventual Grey Cup champion Baltimore Stallions in the Southern Final by a score of 21–11. As it turned out, it would be the last game the Texans would ever play, and (as of the 2015 season) the last meaningful CFL game ever played in the United States.
San Antonio's two backup quarterbacks had connections to the National Football League 's (NFL) Buffalo Bills. The first was 45-year-old former Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson, who had retired five years earlier and came out of retirement when Dave Archer, the Texans' long-time starting quarterback, suffered an injury. The second was Jimmy Kemp, son of Bills quarterback (and politician) Jack Kemp. Head coach Kay Stephenson was Jack Kemp's backup on the Bills squad in 1968 and served as head coach of the Bills during Ferguson's last season with the team in 1984.
The San Antonio Texans had respectable attendance, with the average being 15,855. In one of their games at the Alamodome, attendance reached 22,043, in a 38–32 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. The turmoil surrounding most of the other American CFL teams was not a significant factor in San Antonio.
Anderson was heavily committed to the American CFL experiment. Indeed, by most accounts, he and the Baltimore Stallions' Jim Speros were the only truly dedicated American-based owners. When the experiment appeared to be in jeopardy near the end of the 1995 season, Anderson attempted to orchestrate a plan to save it. Under the plan, the Stallions, who were about to be forced out of Baltimore due to the pending establishment of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, would have moved to Houston, a city that was about to lose their NFL team, the Oilers, and Speros would have sold a minority stake to Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane. Meanwhile, the Barracudas would have been sold to a new investment group and relocated to Shreveport to take the place of the Pirates. This would have matched up a team that made a good account of itself in its first season with a market that at least had the potential to support it. The 'Cudas' attendance had dwindled to unsustainable levels once college football season started. In contrast, while Shreveport was the smallest American market in the league, it had proven it could support CFL football for a full season despite being saddled with one of the league's worst teams both on and off the field. The plan would have concentrated the CFL's American experiment in the Southwest, and the three cities would have been close enough to make both it and the three teams more viable. The proposal would likely have meant the end of the CFL's South Division. The most likely alignment would have been to place the three U.S. teams in a re-constituted East Division, while the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would have returned to the West Division.
However, only two months after the Grey Cup, the Mad Dogs and Pirates had both folded. The Barracudas were about to be euthanized as well, as by then it was obvious the CFL would not approve their proposed sale and relocation to Shreveport. Speros was seriously considering moving his team to Montreal, in response to pressure from the league office.Anderson was not enamored at the prospect of being the only American owner in the CFL once again. He believed that the league needed at least three more American teams for the Texans to be viable in the long term. However, he was willing to play another season in San Antonio provided the Stallions stuck to their initial plan to move to Houston.
On February 3, 1996, the Stallions received formal approval to move to Montreal (they later reconstituted themselves as the third incarnation of the Montreal Alouettes) and the Texans were shuttered along with the Mad Dogs, Pirates and Barracudas.Anderson had little choice but to accept the euthanization of his team; earlier he had stated that he'd lost $6 million in 1995—far too much to make it worth the effort to go it alone. With the Stallions' move to Montreal, his nearest opponent would have been in Hamilton, over 1,400 miles away. With the Stallions opting to move to Montreal, there was no longer a viable place for Anderson to relocate had he decided to follow the Stallions' example. Although several other markets in Canada had expressed interest in joining the CFL, none had a stadium at the time that was suitable even for temporary use.
Malcolm Frank was the last remaining player from the Texans to play in the Canadian Football League when he was a member of the Edmonton Eskimos in 2006. He retired after that season.
|1995||CFL||2nd, South||12||6||0||Lost in Division Finals|
The Montreal Alouettes are a professional Canadian football team based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1946, the team has folded and been revived twice. The Alouettes compete in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and last won the Grey Cup championship in 2010. Their home field is Percival Molson Memorial Stadium for the regular season and as of 2014 also home of their playoff games.
The Baltimore Stallions were a Canadian Football League team based in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States, which played the 1994 and 1995 seasons. They were the most successful American team in the CFL's generally ill-fated southern expansion effort into the United States, and by at least one account, the winningest expansion team in North American professional sports history at the time. They had winning records in each season, winning two division titles. In 1995, they became the only American franchise to win the Grey Cup.
The Birmingham Barracudas were a Canadian football team that played the 1995 season in the Canadian Football League. The Barracudas were part of a failed attempt to expand the CFL into the United States.
The Las Vegas Posse were a Canadian Football League (CFL) team that played the 1994 season as part of the CFL's short-lived American expansion. The Posse was one of the least successful CFL teams, both on the field and off.
The Memphis Mad Dogs were a Canadian football team that played the 1995 season in the Canadian Football League. The Mad Dogs were part of a failed attempt to expand the CFL into the United States. They played at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
The Sacramento Gold Miners were a Canadian football team based in Sacramento, California. The franchise was the first American team in the Canadian Football League. The Gold Miners inherited a home stadium, front office staff and much of the roster of the Sacramento Surge from the defunct World League of American Football. The team played its home games at Hornet Stadium.
The Shreveport Pirates were a Canadian Football League team, playing at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States, in 1994 and 1995. Despite a relatively strong fan base, they were one of the least successful of the CFL's American franchises on and off the field.
The Alamodome is a 64,000-seat domed indoor multi-purpose stadium in San Antonio, Texas. It is located on the southeastern fringe of downtown San Antonio. The facility opened on May 15, 1993, having been constructed at a cost of $186 million.
The San Antonio Riders were a professional American football team that played in the WLAF in 1991 and 1992. The team played at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio in 1991 and then were forced to move to Bobcat Stadium on the campus of Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, 45 miles (72 km) northeast of San Antonio, for the 1992 season after the San Antonio Independent School District refused to allow the sale of beer at WLAF games or the display of beer advertising at Alamo Stadium. In return, Riders ownership scrapped plans to fund $235,000 in renovations to the Stadium. In June 1991, SAISD officials announced plans for a rent increase on the Riders for the 1992 season. The relationship would last for only one season.
The 1996 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 43rd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 39th Canadian Football League season.
The 1995 Canadian Football League season was the 38th season of the CFL, and the 42nd in the modern era of Canadian football.
The 1994 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 41st season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 37th Canadian Football League season.
The 83rd Grey Cup a.k.a. The Wind Bowl was the 1995 Canadian Football League championship game played between the Baltimore Stallions and the Calgary Stampeders at Taylor Field in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Stallions won the game by a score of 37–20. It marked the only time that an American-based team won the Grey Cup.
The Canadian Football League (CFL), the sole major professional sports league in the United States and Canada to feature only teams from Canada, has made efforts to gain further audience in the United States, most directly through expansion into the country from 1993 to 1995. The CFL plays Canadian football, a form of gridiron football which is somewhat different from the more common American football played in the United States and the world.
The Miami Manatees was a proposed Canadian Football League (CFL) team scheduled to begin play in the 1996 season, and had plans to play out of the Miami Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. After looking at a possible expansion franchise, the decision to relocate the Las Vegas Posse to Miami became the preferred choice to land a CFL team in Miami. The team never came to fruition as the CFL suspended its U.S. operations in spring 1996.
The 1995 Baltimore Stallions season was the second in the history of the Baltimore CFL franchise. The team became the first American-based football team to win the Grey Cup. Despite the Stallions success, attendance dropped. The club only sold 9,000 season tickets.
The 1996 Montreal Alouettes finished in second place in the East Division with a 12–6 record in the franchise's first full season in the Canadian Football League since 1986. Unlike the lean years from 1981–86, the revived Alouettes were going to be competitive, especially since most of them had won the Grey Cup in the previous season as the Baltimore Stallions. They had some nice talented offensive players from that team, such as Tracy Ham, Mike Pringle, kick returner Chris Wright, slotback Chris Armstrong, and two great defensive players in Irvin Smith, and Elfrid Payton. After a slow start they rebounded to finish strong and after defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, they traveled to Toronto, where they were defeated in the East Final by the eventual Grey Cup champions, the Toronto Argonauts.
This list combines the statistics and records of the seven CFL American teams from 1993 to 1995: Baltimore Stallions, Birmingham Barracudas, Las Vegas Posse, Memphis Mad Dogs, Sacramento Gold Miners, San Antonio Texans, and the Shreveport Pirates. Though no city lasted more than 2 years in the CFL, they combined for 10 seasons of team statistics, including several record breaking performances.
Fred Anderson was a Sacramento, California based businessman and sports entrepreneur.