The most interesting team in National Football League history is one you’ve never heard of.
In just two seasons the Oorang Indians produced more fever-dream lunacy than most modern NFL franchises have in decades of existence. Before trying to argue that your favorite colorful characters and stories from NFL history top those of the Indians, please know that the story of this franchise includes:
Dogs. Lots and lots and LOTS of dogs
Accusations of sheep murder as the primary reason for forming an NFL franchise
Both the players and owners treating playing in the National Football League as a literal side-hustle and marketing gimmick for a completely different business
The smallest city to ever host an NFL franchise
Said franchise never actually playing a single game in their hometown
Truly mind-boggling revelations about how little it cost to start an NFL team in the 1920s
The invention of the halftime show and training camps
One of the most famous and accomplished athletes of all-time, who also happened to be a national champion ballroom dancer
Some of the best player names in NFL history
A pet coyote
Drunken, unsanctioned alterations to the public transportation infrastructure of St. Louis
Honestly, that list doesn’t even do the full story justice, as this truly may be one of the most entertainingly insane franchises in all of sports history. Without further ado, Forgotten Franchises presents the story of the Oorang Indians, the NFL’s original Dawg Pound.
I have a Twitter friendship with a number of Memphis Grizzlies fans and writers, the origins of which I can not even begin to accurately trace. Regardless, they are some of the most fun and encouraging Internet Folks I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and they’ve been pretty darn supportive of this site. While this dive into Memphis’ pre-NBA history is written with them in mind, I hope anybody that stumbles across it will find something to enjoy (and I think they will)!
For our second post I decided to focus on a more recent team-no-more, as well as one from the place I’ve called home for the last four years, Tampa Bay. Enjoy the tale of the Tampa Bay Mutiny, a team that begs the question: If a team is really good but no one is around to see it, how long will it be until said team folds?
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Despite being the second most-played youth sport in America (behind only basketball), soccer has had a difficult time capturing the nation’s imagination on a professional level. Outside of the meteoric rise and fall of the NASL in the late 70s thanks to teams like the legendary New York Cosmos and all-time great players like Pele, Johan Cruyff, and Franz Beckenbauer, there had been nothing even resembling a successful professional soccer league in the United States before the formation of Major League Soccer in 1996.
Author’s Note: It is only appropriate that the first article on this site is about the team that inspired it in the first place. While in the throes of a Wikipedia wormhole I stumbled upon a collection of Defunct NFL Franchises and was pleasantly surprised to see the words “Milwaukee Badgers” on the list. A love of history and sports led, naturally, to further exploration of this team I never knew existed even though I grew up in their home city. What I found was at turns fascinating and ridiculous, which is right in line with many of the most famous franchises and fables from this era of the NFL. The idea of synthesizing the various sources and stories about the Badgers into one easily-digestible narrative was born. From there it branched out to the site you’re reading now, where teams young and old, from all sports, that were taken from this world too soon can get some posthumous time in the spotlight.
I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much I enjoy putting them together!