Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The team was originally slated to be based in Toronto. However, when then-Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced that no U.S.-based professional football league would be allowed in Canada in competition with the Canadian Football League, a change in venue and nickname was announced. From the beginning, the team was informally and perhaps better-known as the Memphis Grizzlies, in no way connected to the current National Basketball Association team of that name now based in Memphis. This name appeared to come from the logo, which appeared to be a representation of a bear backed by the sun.
The "Grizzlies" were owned by John Bassett, who later was to become far better-known as the owner of the United States Football League Tampa Bay Bandits. He apparently had more resources than most of the other WFL team owners. In an attempt to increase the league's credibility, before the 1975 season he signed three stars from the NFL Miami Dolphins, running backs Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick, and wide receiver Paul Warfield. This was inadequate to save the league as a whole, however, which folded during the middle of its second season.
The team was unwilling to give up easily, however, and announced an effort to get accepted into the National Football League. Over 40,000 deposits for season tickets were collected in this effort, which even included a telethon on a Memphis television station. The NFL refused to accept the team, however, and it then went out of existence.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details