Chicago Fire (American football)

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For the soccer club with the same name, see Chicago Fire S.C..
Chicago Fire
Founded October 1973
Folded January 1975
Based in Chicago, Illinois
Home field Soldier Field
League World Football League
Division Central
Colors Red & Black          
Head coach Jim Spavital
Owner(s) Thomas Origer

The Chicago Fire was an American football team in the short-lived World Football League for one season, 1974. The team was founded in late October 1973, with building magnate Thomas Origer becoming the first owner to purchase a WFL franchise, for around $400,000.

Chicago was also the first franchise to sign a player, former Notre Dame and Chicago Bears wide receiver Jim Seymour, and then added quarterback Virgil Carter, who also had played for the NFL's Bears as well as the Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers. Another notable Fire player was punter Chuck Ramsey, who would later go on to play with the New York Jets.

The team played at Soldier Field. It was coached by Jim Spavital, former coach of the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Fire started out well, winning seven of the first 10 games and boasting some of the largest crowds in the league. However, a rash of injuries triggered an 11-game losing streak. Origer was so fed up by the team's collapse that he forfeited the team's final game. At the end of the season, he pulled out of the league and the Fire disbanded.

Another team, the Chicago Winds, replaced the Fire in 1975 WFL play, though the new team was evicted from the second WFL after just five games.

Another team known as the "Chicago Fire", led by running back Billy Marek, played in the American Football Association in the 1980s. There is no official tie between that team and the WFL team.

Chicago's current professional soccer team, founded in 1997, also ended up calling itself the Fire.

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References[edit]

  • "Head coach WFL", Football Digest, August 1974 issue