Jacksonville Bulls

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Jacksonville Bulls
Jacksonville Bulls logo

Founded 1984
Folded 1986
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Home field Gator Bowl Stadium
League USFL
Division Southern Division (1984)
Western Division (1985)
Team History Jacksonville Bulls (1984-1985)
Team Colors Maroon, Burnt Orange, Silver, Black, White

                        

Head coaches 1984-5 Lindy Infante (15-21)
Owner(s) 1984-5 Fred Bullard
Named for Fred "Bull"ard

The Jacksonville Bulls were a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida. They were members of the United States Football League during its final two seasons, 1984 and 1985. They played their home games in the Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville.

Former Miami Dolphins stars Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick were involved in an advertising campaign for the team, and they apparently had a minor ownership interest as well. Larry Munson was hired as radio play-by-play announcer. His distinctive voice was already well known in the Jacksonville area due to his long association with both the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons.

Team name and colors[edit]

The Bulls' name was taken from team owner Fred "Bubba" Bullard, a Jacksonville businessman, although there was a 'name the team' promotion with a write-in campaign for publicity purposes. The Bulls moniker was credited as a submission from the winning entry. The team colors of garnet, orange and silver were taken from the three college football teams most popular in the area; garnet from the Florida State Seminoles, orange from the Florida Gators, and silver from the pants worn by the Georgia Bulldogs.

The helmet design was unique for a professional football team. Each side had the team's logo of a streaking bull (one side the mirror image of the other); the two logos were bridged by a series of parallel lines, and the team name was incorporated into the bridge as a silhouette against the parallel lines.[1]

1984 Season[edit]

The Bulls made an immediate splash in their first game, in which they blew out the Washington Federals 53-14. Although they finished 6-12 — last in the tough Southern Division — they were far more competitive than their record indicated. Six of their losses were by a touchdown or less, including two losses by a last-second field goal. They remained in contention for most of the season, but a six-game losing streak toward the end of the season kept them out of the playoffs.

The Bulls were an undisputed success at the gate, running away with the league's attendance title. They notched the only two crowds of 70,000 or greater in league history, including a throng of 73,227 against the powerful New Jersey Generals on March 4. In the last game, against the Pittsburgh Maulers, a huge crowd patiently waited through a late-June downpour which postponed the game for more than an hour. When play finally started the game was a 26-2 Jacksonville victory.

Offseason[edit]

The offseason saw the addition of former NFL MVP QB Brian Sipe to take over as triggerman of Coach Lindy Infante's high octane passing scheme as well as former Heisman Trophy winning HB Mike Rozier.

1985 Season[edit]

While Sipe only threw 89 passes before suffering a career-ending injury, an improved defense and the addition of Rozier resulted in a 9-9 record. The Bulls finished one win short of a playoff spot and led the league in attendance again.

Demise[edit]

The Bulls were slated to be even stronger in 1986 due to a merger with the Denver Gold. Unfortunately the league made several fatal errors, one of which was to stake their future on the outcome of an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. The league won the suit but was awarded only $3 in damages. The Bulls, along with all of the other USFL teams, ceased operations and passed into history.

Legacy[edit]

Despite never posting a winning record, the Bulls were considered to be one of the stronger USFL franchises — indeed, one of the few USFL teams with the potential to be viable had the league been better run. Owner Fred Bullard was determined from the beginning to put together a strong organization on and off the field. Many experts believe that had it not been for the Bulls' success, the NFL would have never considered awarding the Jacksonville Jaguars to the city in 1995. In 1987, the Houston Oilers nearly moved to Jacksonville, at least in part due to the overwhelming support for the Bulls.

1984 Jacksonville Bulls game results[edit]

Sun. Feb. 26 - (W) BULLS 53 vs. WASHINGTON FEDERALS 14 - (Att. 49,392)

Sun. Mar. 4 - (L) BULLS 26 vs. NEW JERSEY GENERALS 28 - (Att. 73,227)

Sat. Mar. 10 - (L) BULLS 25 @ Tampa Bay Bandits 28 - (Att. 51,274)

Mon. Mar. 19 - (L) BULLS 9 vs. NEW ORLEANS BREAKERS 38 - (Att. 48,303)

Sun. Mar. 25 - (W) BULLS 13 @ Los Angeles Express 7 - (Att. 8,000)

Sat. Mar. 31 - (L) BULLS 24 @ Memphis Showboats 27 - (Att. 17,180)

Sat. Apr. 7 - (L) BULLS 17 vs. BIRMINGHAM STALLIONS 24 - (Att. 43,654)

Sat. Apr. 14 - (L) BULLS 0 vs. SAN ANTONIO GUNSLINGERS 20 - (Att. 35,084)

Fri. Apr. 20 - (W) BULLS 12 vs. MEMPHIS SHOWBOATS 10 - (Att. 36.256)

Fri. Apr. 27 - (W) BULLS 34 @ Oklahoma Outlaws 6 - (Att. 29,324)

Sat. May. 5 - (L) BULLS 13 vs. TAMPA BAY BANDITS 31 - (Att. 71,174)

Fri. May. 11 - (L) BULLS 10 @ Birmingham Stallions 42 - (Att. 29,500)

Sat. May. 19 - (L) BULLS 12 @ Philadelphia Stars 45 - (Att. 33,194)

Fri. May. 25 - (L) BULLS 7 vs. HOUSTON GAMBLERS 54 - (Att. 31,638)

Sat. Jun. 2 - (L) BULLS 12 @ Oakland Invaders 17 - (Att. 29,687)

Fri. Jun. 8 - (L) BULLS 14 @ Arizona Wranglers 45 - (Att. 15,513)

Fri. Jun. 15 - (W) BULLS 20 @ New Orleans Breakers 17 - (Att. 21,333)

Fri. Jun. 22 - (W) BULLS 26 vs. PITTSBURGH MAULERS 2 - (Att. 31,843)

1984 Jacksonville Bulls roster[edit]

1. Danny Miller (K)

2. Rich Hendley (P)

3. Brian Franco (K/P)

5. Jeff Brockhaus (K)

8. Jeff Pierce (P)

9. Ken Hobart (QB)

14. Ben Bennett (QB)

14. Ron Rice (P)

15. Robbie Mahfouz (QB)

16. Buck Belue (QB)

17. Matt Robinson (QB)

20. Billy Cesare (SS)

21. Willie McClendon (RB)

22. Kevin Gray (CB)

23. Kerry Baird (CB)

23. Donald Dykes (CB)

24. Marvin Lewis (FB)

25. Charlie Dean (CB)

26. Chester Gee (CB)

27. Michael Whiting (RB)

28. Matt Courtney (CB)

32. Larry Mason (RB)

33. Vaughan Johnson (LB)

35. John Lott (FS)

44. Larry Key (RB)

44. Bobby Hosea (FS)

45. Mike Goedeker (LB)

46. Don Bessillieu (FS)

47. Sammy Brown (SS)

50. John McLean (LB)

51. Dave Otey (C)

52. Tom Dinkel (LB)

53. Fernando Jackson (LB)

55. Carl Qualls (LB)

55. Dann Lute (LB)

56. Rufus Norman (LB)

56. Doug West (LB)

57. Greg Zappala (LB)

58. Andy Hendel (LB)

59. Russ Washington (LB)

60. Gary Anderson (G/C)

63. Nat Hudson (T)

64. Kenny Howell (G)

65. Wally Pesuit (C)

66. George Collins (G)

67. Warren Gray (G)

69. Rush Brown (DE)

70. Val Brown (DE)

72. Don Latimer (NT)

73. Ed Gantner (DT)

75. Bob Gruber (T)

77. Chris Wampler (NT)

78. Brian Douglas (NT)

80. Gary Clark (WR)

82. Wyatt Henderson (WR)

83. Aubrey Matthews (WR)

84. Paul Bergmann (TE)

85. Perry Kemp (WR)

87. Chuck McCurley (WR)

88. Robert Young (TE)

89. Alton Alexis (WR)

91. Phil Dokes (DE)

92. George Atiyeh (NT)

92. Marvin Dyett (DE)

95. Mike Raines (DE)

97. Charles Philyaw (DE)

98. Bob Clasby (DE)

99. Joe Costello (DE)

--. Amos Lawrence (RB)

--. Dan Gooch (LB)

Charles R. Hunsicker Jr. - Team Chaplain

Season-by-season[edit]

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
1984 6 12 0 5th EC Southern --
1985 9 9 0 6th EC --
Totals 15 21 0

References[edit]

External links[edit]