1985: The combined Oklahoma Outlaws and Arizona Wranglers composed a roster of the best players on each team. To help boost interest in the new combined Arizona Outlaws, former Arizona State Coach Frank Kush who was recently fired by the Indianapolis Colts was hired, surprising some as Hall of Famer George Allen had guided the Arizona Wranglers to the 1984 USFL Championship Game. However, football fans in the desert had to be dizzy as player turnover had made it hard to grow any connection with the team as a complete trade of players with the Chicago Blitz and the Oklahoma merger hardly made the USFL seem professional to fans in Arizona, thus attendance dropped off considerably as the Outlaws averaged just 17,887 in the spacious Sun Devil Stadium. The low attendance figures could be blamed on the Arizona heat which routinely reached triple digits late in the season. On the field the Outlaws were not much better as they posted a mediocre record of 8-10, despite another solid season from Doug Williams who passed for 3,673 yards with 21 touchdowns and an improved running game led by Reggie Brown who rushed for 1,031 yards with 12 touchdowns.
1986: Despite continuing to lose money and a lack of fan interest William Tatham planned to stick it out as the USFL moved from the spring to the fall. The Arizona Outlaws were the last of the eight USFL teams to play west of the Mississippi and with the thoughts of a merger with the NFL in mind, the Arizona market was key to maintain the USFL if they were to survive. However, any chance of survival of the Outlaws relied on the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, and when the $1 verdict came down like the rest of the USFL the Arizona Outlaws headed into the sunset. Doug Williams would return to the NFL and made history, becoming the first black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl, taking home MVP honors with the Washington Redskins, following the 1987 season. A few months later the NFL would come to the desert as the St. Louis Cardinals moved to Arizona.
©MMXVI Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the United States Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Arizona Outlaws of the USFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on December 8, 2016. Last updated on December 8, 2016 at 11:30 pm ET.