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Sports Then and Now



WPS Troubles: Here We Go Again 3

Posted on May 14, 2011 by John Wingspread Howell

Action on the feld has been good in 2011, but off the field issues persist for the WPS.

It seems a decade ago but it was only last Fall, when rumors abounded that two WPS Franchises were on the verge of folding. One: The Bay Area’s FC Gold Pride, had just captured the league championship. The rumors turned out to be true. The other: Washington Freedom appeared to be rescued by telecom startup mogul, Dan Borislow, who would eventually move the club to South Florida and re-name it after his company: Magic Jack.

A third franchise, The Chicago Red Stars, not even rumored to be in trouble, was unable to attract additional investors and suspended play for the 2011 season.

Chicago and Gold Pride joined Los Angeles and St. Louis in the dumpster of defunct original league franchises, leaving only Boston, Sky Blue FC (New Jersey) and Magic Jack of the original seven clubs, along with expansion teams Atlanta and Philadelphia. League officials had already stated that they needed six clubs in order to have a season. Enter Buffalo Meat Mogul Joe Sahlen, who upgraded his W-League Champion Buffalo Flash to the WPS as the sixth franchise. That move appeared to save the league for the 2011 season.

Now comes the announcement from WPS that Magic Jack is non-compliant and under sanction. At issue is the team’s staging its first three home games without complying with several league rules, including those requiring display of sponsor field boards and submission of match video. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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