CONTINENTAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (1965-1969)


AKRON VULCANS

1967

The Vulcans entered the league in 1967, but only lasted four games before financial problems forced them to fold.


ALABAMA HAWKS

1968 - 1969 1968 - 1969 1968 - 1969
   

The Hawks played in Huntsville, AL. All three helmets were used at some point during the team's two years in the league, but I'm not sure specifically when each was worn.


ARKANSAS DIAMONDS

1968 1969
 

The Diamonds played in Little Rock, AK.


BROOKLYN DODGERS

1966

The Dodgers played in Brooklyn, NY. They played as the Rhode Island Indians in 1965. They were unsuccessful on the field, posting a 5-9 record, as well as off the field, were the league assumed ownership and operated the team as a road club early on in the season.


CHARLESTON ROCKETS

1965 - 1968

The Rockets played in Charleston, WV. The team won the first championship, beating the Toronto Rifles 24-7. They became the Jersey Jays in 1969.


EUGENE BOMBERS

1967

The Bombers played in Eugene, OR. They lasted only one season in the Continental League.


FT. WORTH BRAVES

1969

The Braves played in Ft. Worth, TX. They joined the league for its final season.


HARTFORD CHARTER OAKS

1965 - 1967 1965 - 1967
 

The Charter Oaks played in Hartford, CT. They were one of the founding franchises of the league. Both helmets were apparently worn during the team's three years, but I don't have any information stating exactly when either was used. As with many "minor" league teams, both versions may have been used in the same year, or even the same game.


INDIANAPOLIS CAPITOLS (CAPS)

1968 - 1969 1968 - 1969
 

The Capitols, or Caps, played in Indianapolis, IN. They were the Montreal Beavers in 1966-67. The first helmet above was definitely used. The second helmet may not have been worn on the field.


JERSEY JAYS

1969

The Jays played in Newark, NJ. They were the Charleston Rockets for their first four years in the league.


MICHIGAN ARROWS

1968

The Arrows played a single season in Detroit, MI. In fact they were also known as the Detroit Arrows. Their uniforms were "hand-me-downs" from the Detroit Lions. The team became the Tri-City Apollos in 1969.


MONTREAL BEAVERS

1966 - 1967

The Beavers played in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I believe the Beavers, along with the Toronto Rifles, were one of the first teams based outside the United States to play American football in an organized league. They originally played as the Ft. Worth Warriors in 1965, and later became the Indianapolis Capitols in 1968.


NEWARK BEARS

1965

The Bears played in Newark, NJ, and were one of the founding franchises of the Continental League. They moved to Orlando, FL in 1966 and became the Panthers.


NORFOLK NEPTUNES

1965 - 1967 1968 1969
   

The Neptunes played in Norfolk, VA. They were one of the more successful teams in the league, lasting all five years of its existence.


OMAHA MUSTANGS

1968 - 1969

The Mustangs played in Omaha, NE.


OKLAHOMA THUNDERBIRDS

1969

The Thunderbirds played in Bartlesville, OK, near Tulsa.


OKLAHOMA CITY PLAINSMEN

1968

The Plainsmen played in Oklahoma City, OK.


ORANGE COUNTY RAMBLERS

1967 - 1968

The Ramblers played in Anaheim, CA. Despite making it to the championship game its first two seasons (both losses to the Orlando Predators), the team folded following the 1968 season and became the Portland Loggers.


ORLANDO PANTHERS

1966 - 1969

The Panthers played in Orlando, FL. They got their start as the Newark Bears in 1965, but had much more success when the moved to Florida from New Jersey. They made it to the championship their first three years as the Panthers, losing the Phildelphia Bulldogs in 1966, but beating the Orange County Ramblers in 1967 and 1968.


PHILADELPHIA BULLDOGS

1965 1966
 

The Bulldogs played in Philadelphia, PA. They won the championship in 1966, but folded soon thereafter.


RICHMOND REBELS

1965 1966
 

The Rebels played in Richmond, VA.


RHODE ISLAND INDIANS

1965

The Indians played in Providence, RI. They were also known as the Providence Indians. They became the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1966.


SACRAMENTO BUCCANEERS / SACRAMENTO CAPITOLS

1967 1968 - 1969
 

The Buccaneers played in Sacramento, CA. In 1968, they became the Capitols.


SAN ANTONIO TOROS

1969

The Toros played in San Antonio, TX.


SAN JOSE APACHES

1967

The Apaches played in San Jose, CA.


SEATTLE RANGERS

1967 - 1969

The Rangers played in Seattle, WA.


TORONTO RIFLES

1965 -1967

The Rifles played in Toronto, Ontario, CA.


TRI-CITY / MIDLAND APOLLOS

1969

The Apollos were based in the Tri-City area of Michigan -- Bay City, Saginaw & Midland. They played as the Michigan Arrows in 1968, and were also known as the Michigan Apollos.


WHEELING IRONMEN / OHIO VALLEY IRONMEN

1965 - 1966 1967- 1969
 

The Ironmen played in Wheeling, WV. They became the Ohio Valley Ironmen in 1968, but the helmet did not change.


COMMENTS

The Continental Football League was formed in 1965 with hopes of being a "minor" league counterpart to the major leagues at the time, the NFL and AFL. The league did it's best to adopt a "professional" appearance. Rules were standardized, with 36-man rosters and 5-man taxi squads for each team. The league followed the NFL rules closely, except for a "sudden death" overtime to break ties. Teams were required to meet a $5000 franchise fee and to post a $25,000 letter of credit.

The original teams came mainly from two semi-pro leagues, the United Football League and the Atlantic Coast Football League.

I have plenty of other teams to add and more information about the league to comment on. Look for more of both soon.


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