Jacksonville Bulls Article

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Jacksonville Bulls
Jacksonville Bulls helmet Jacksonville Bulls logo
Founded1984
Folded1986
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Home field Gator Bowl Stadium
League USFL
DivisionSouthern Division (1984)
Western Division (1985)
Team HistoryJacksonville Bulls (1984–1985)
Team colorsGarnet, Orange, Silver, Black, White                         
Head coaches1984–1985 Lindy Infante (15-21)
Owner(s)1984–1985 Fred Bullard
Named forFred "Bull"ard

The Jacksonville Bulls were a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida. They were members of the United States Football League (USFL) during its final two seasons, 1984 and 1985. They played their home games in the Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville.

Former Miami Dolphins stars Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick were involved in an advertising campaign for the team, and they apparently had a minor ownership interest as well. Larry Munson was hired as radio play-by-play announcer. His distinctive voice was already well known in the Jacksonville area due to his long association with both the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons.

Team name and colors

The Bulls' name was taken from team owner Fred "Bubba" Bullard, a Jacksonville businessman, although there was a 'name the team' promotion with a write-in campaign for publicity purposes. The Bulls moniker was credited as a submission from the winning entry. The team colors of garnet, orange and silver were taken from the three college football teams most popular in the area; garnet from the Florida State Seminoles, orange from the Florida Gators, and silver from the pants worn by the Georgia Bulldogs.

The helmet design was unique for a professional football team. Each side had the team's logo of a streaking bull (one side the mirror image of the other); the two logos were bridged by a series of parallel lines, and the team name was incorporated into the bridge as a silhouette against the parallel lines. [1]

1984 season

The Bulls made an immediate splash in their first game, in which they blew out the Washington Federals 53-14. Although they finished 6-12 — last in the tough Southern Division — they were far more competitive than their record indicated. Six of their losses were by a touchdown or less, including two losses by a last-second field goal. They remained in contention for most of the season, but a six-game losing streak toward the end of the season kept them out of the playoffs.

The Bulls were an undisputed success at the gate, running away with the league's attendance title. They notched the only two crowds of 70,000 or greater in league history, including a throng of 73,227 against the powerful New Jersey Generals on March 4. In the last game, against the Pittsburgh Maulers, a huge crowd patiently waited through a late-June downpour which postponed the game for more than an hour. When play finally started the game was a 26-2 Jacksonville victory.

1984 schedule and results

Week Day Date Opponent Game site Attendance Television Final score W/L Record
Preseason
1 Saturday January 28 Pittsburgh Maulers Gator Bowl Stadium 10,000 0–0 T 0–0–1
2 Bye
3 Saturday February 11 Houston Gamblers Gator Bowl Stadium 24,680 22–34 L 0–1–1
4 Saturday February 18 vs. Pittsburgh Maulers Melbourne, Florida 4,500 10–13 L 0–2–1
Regular Season
1 Sunday February 26 Washington Federals Gator Bowl Stadium 49,392 53–14 W 1–0
2 Sunday March 4 New Jersey Generals Gator Bowl Stadium 73,227 ABC 26–28 L 1–1
3 Saturday March 10 at Tampa Bay Bandits Tampa Stadium 51,274 ESPN 25–28 L 1–2
4 Monday March 19 New Orleans Breakers Gator Bowl Stadium 48,303 ESPN 9–28 L 1–3
5 Sunday March 25 at Los Angeles Express Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 8,000 13–7 W 2–3
6 Saturday March 31 at Memphis Showboats Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 17,180 ESPN 24–27 L 2–4
7 Saturday April 7 Birmingham Stallions Gator Bowl Stadium 43,654 ESPN 17–24 L 2–5
8 Saturday April 14 San Antonio Gunslingers Gator Bowl Stadium 35,084 0–20 L 2–6
9 Friday April 20 Memphis Showboats Gator Bowl Stadium 36,256 12–10 W 3–6
10 Friday April 27 at Oklahoma Outlaws Skelly Stadium 29,234 34–6 W 4–6
11 Saturday May 5 Tampa Bay Bandits Gator Bowl Stadium 71,174 ESPN 13–31 L 4–7
12 Friday May 11 at Birmingham Stallions Legion Field 29,500 10–42 L 4–8
13 Saturday May 19 at Philadelphia Stars Veterans Stadium 33,194 ESPN 12–45 L 4–9
14 Friday May 25 Houston Gamblers Gator Bowl Stadium 31,638 7–54 L 4–10
15 Saturday June 2 at Oakland Invaders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 29,687 12–17 L 4–11
16 Friday June 8 at Arizona Wranglers Sun Devil Stadium 15,513 14–45 L 4–12
17 Friday June 15 at New Orleans Breakers Louisiana Superdome 21,333 20–17 W 5–12
18 Friday June 22 Pittsburgh Maulers Gator Bowl Stadium 31,843 26–2 W 6–12

Sources [2] [3] [4]

1984 roster

1. Danny Miller (K)

2. Rich Hendley (P)

3. Brian Franco (K/P)

5. Jeff Brockhaus (K)

8. Jeff Pierce (P)

9. Ken Hobart (QB)

14. Ben Bennett (QB)

14. Ron Rice (P)

15. Robbie Mahfouz (QB)

16. Buck Belue (QB)

17. Matt Robinson (QB)

20. Billy Cesare (SS)

21. Willie McClendon (RB)

22. Kevin Gray (CB)

23. Kerry Baird (CB)

23. Donald Dykes (CB)

24. Marvin Lewis (FB)

25. Charlie Dean (CB)

26. Chester Gee (CB)

27. Michael Whiting (RB)

28. Matt Courtney (CB)

32. Larry Mason (RB)

33. Vaughan Johnson (LB)

35. John Lott (FS)

44. Larry Key (RB)

44. Bobby Hosea ( FS)

45. Mike Goedeker (LB)

46. Don Bessillieu (FS)

47. Sammy Brown (SS)

50. John McLean (LB)

51. Dave Otey (C)

52. Tom Dinkel (LB)

53. Fernando Jackson (LB)

55. Carl Qualls (LB)

55. Dann Lute (LB)

56. Rufus Norman (LB)

56. Doug West (LB)

57. Greg Zappala (LB)

58. Andy Hendel (LB)

59. Russ Washington (LB)

60. Gary Anderson (G/C)

63. Nat Hudson (T)

64. Kenny Howell (G)

65. Wally Pesuit (C)

66. George Collins (G)

67. Warren Gray (G)

69. Rush Brown (DE)

70. Val Brown (DE)

72. Don Latimer (NT)

73. Ed Gantner (DT)

75. Bob Gruber (T)

77. Chris Wampler (NT)

78. Brian Douglas (NT)

80. Gary Clark (WR)

82. Wyatt Henderson (WR)

83. Aubrey Matthews (WR)

84. Paul Bergmann (TE)

85. Perry Kemp (WR)

87. Chuck McCurley (WR)

88. Robert Young (TE)

89. Alton Alexis (WR)

91. Phil Dokes (DE)

92. George Atiyeh (NT)

92. Marvin Dyett (DE)

95. Mike Raines (DE)

97. Charles Philyaw (DE)

98. Bob Clasby (DE)

99. Joe Costello (DE)

--. Amos Lawrence (RB)

--. Dan Gooch (LB)

Charles R. Hunsicker Jr. – Team Chaplain

Offseason

The offseason saw the addition of former NFL MVP QB Brian Sipe to take over as triggerman of Coach Lindy Infante's high octane passing scheme as well as former Heisman Trophy winning HB Mike Rozier.

1985 season

While Sipe only threw 89 passes before suffering a career-ending injury, an improved defense and the addition of Rozier resulted in a 9-9 record. The Bulls finished one win short of a playoff spot and led the league in attendance again.

1985 schedule and results

Week Day Date Opponent Game site Attendance Television Final score W/L Record
Preseason
1 Bye
2 Saturday February 9, 1985 Orlando Renegades Gator Bowl Stadium 10–20 L 0–1
3 Saturday February 16, 1985 Memphis Showboats Gator Bowl Stadium 10–13 L 0–2
Regular Season
1 Sunday February 24, 1985 Baltimore Stars Gator Bowl Stadium 51,045 22–14 W 1–0
2 Monday March 4, 1985 Memphis Showboats Gator Bowl Stadium 40,112 ESPN 14–24 L 1–1
3 Monday March 11, 1985 at Arizona Outlaws Sun Devil Stadium 13,025 ESPN 21–41 L 1–2
4 Sunday March 17, 1985 at Oakland Invaders Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 16,678 36–42 L 1–3
5 Thursday March 21, 1985 Orlando Renegades Gator Bowl Stadium 31,883 ESPN 34–31 OT W 2–3
6 Saturday March 30, 1985 at Birmingham Stallions Legion Field 41,200 18–25 L 2–4
7 Saturday April 6, 1985 at Tampa Bay Bandits Tampa Stadium 51,286 ESPN 17–31 L 2–5
8 Friday April 12, 1985 San Antonio Gunslingers Gator Bowl Stadium 32,097 ESPN 28–17 W 3–5
9 Saturday April 20, 1985 at Orlando Renegades Florida Citrus Bowl 34,338 31–10 W 4–5
10 Sunday April 28, 1985 Birmingham Stallions Gator Bowl Stadium 41,298 ABC 27–17 W 5–5
11 Sunday May 5, 1985 New Jersey Generals Gator Bowl Stadium 60,100 ABC 30–20 W 6–5
12 Sunday May 12, 1985 Tampa Bay Bandits Gator Bowl Stadium 58,928 10–21 L 6–6
13 Monday May 20, 1985 at Houston Gamblers Houston Astrodome 17,127 ESPN 20–17 W 7–6
14 Saturday May 25, 1985 Los Angeles Express Gator Bowl Stadium 51,033 ESPN 21–7 W 8–6
15 Sunday June 2, 1985 at Baltimore Stars Byrd Stadium 9,663 ABC 12–17 L 8–7
16 Monday June 10, 1985 at New Jersey Generals Giants Stadium 36,465 ESPN 24–31 L 8–8
17 Saturday June 15, 1985 at Memphis Showboats Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 31,634 0–31 L 8–9
18 Sunday June 23, 1985 Denver Gold Gator Bowl Stadium 32,428 42–6 W 9–9

Sources [5] [6] [7]

Demise

The Bulls were one of the seven teams assured of playing the 1986 USFL season, which would have been played in the autumn. The Bulls had bought the football assets of the Denver Gold during the offseason and were to take on much of that team's staff, including head coach Mouse Davis.

The USFL itself was pursuing a large antitrust lawsuit against the NFL at the time; when they failed to secure a sizable judgment against the older league, the USFL suspended operations and eventually folded.

Legacy

Despite never posting a winning record, the Bulls were considered to be one of the stronger USFL franchises — indeed, one of the few USFL teams with the potential to be viable had the league been better run. Owner Fred Bullard was determined from the beginning to put together a strong organization on and off the field. Many experts believe that had it not been for the Bulls' success, the NFL would not have considered awarding the Jacksonville Jaguars to the city in 1995. In 1987 the Houston Oilers nearly moved to Jacksonville, in part due to the overwhelming support for the Bulls.

Season-by-season results

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
1984 6 12 0 5th EC Southern --
1985 9 9 0 6th EC --
Totals 15 21 0

References

External links