Shreveport  WFL

Steamer - 1975 
(Authentic Reproduction)




WFL historians recall that the Houston Texans franchise was one of the least solvent in part because it was literally given to one of Gary Davidson’s cronies. Steve Arnold had started out to find his fortune in Memphis but without local backing there, moved on to Houston. He had no resources to fund a professional football team and almost from the start, the Texans were a league-financed team although few in the public knew this. After compiling a 3-8 record and finding few paying customers in Houston, the team found a home in Shreveport, Louisiana. Over the protestations of Head Coach Jim Garrett who called Shreveport “rinky-dink” and encouraged his players to remain in Houston, the Shreveport Steamer was born with assistant coach Marshall Taylor moving up to head coach. In 1975, the ownership group headed by John Atkins had high hopes. Shreveport was an underrated football area, a hotbed of high school and college ball that supported a number of smaller and lesser-known collegiate squads and turned out numerous high school stars. The initial response to the 1974 team had been excellent relative to the usual WFL standards and steps had been taken to mend fences with those players who had not received their full salaries. Former Chicago Fire General Manager Al Lange was brought in to secure player contracts. Atkins had made money in oil, gas, farming, and real estate and was determined to put a team on the field. Taylor’s staff included offensive line coach Bill Muir who went on to a highly respected NFL career; Joe Robb who had started the 1974 season as a defensive lineman for the team but turned to coaching after injuries ended a career that had started in the NFL with the Eagles, Cardinals, and Lions; Tommy Brasher, the former Arkansas firebrand who handled the linebackers and who has been the defensive line coach for the Eagles for a number of years; and Hall Of Fame Jets receiver Don Maynard who had suited up when the Texans needed a boost at the gate in 1974. Linebacker Garland Boyette who was a local hero having played his college ball at nearby Grambling did double duty as a player and coach.  MORE...

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