Tampa Bay Storm

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Tampa Bay Storm
Current season
Established 1987
Play in Tampa Bay Times Forum
in Tampa, Florida
Tampa Bay Storm logo
Logo
League/conference affiliations

Arena Football League (1987–present)

  • National Conference (1993–2008)
  • American Conference (2010–present)
    • South (1991, 1995–2008, 2010–present)
Team colors

Blue, Gold, White

              
Mascot Storm Dawg
Personnel
Owner(s) Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment
Chairman Jeffrey Vinik[1]
President Derrick Brooks
Head coach Lawrence Samuels
Team history
  • Pittsburgh Gladiators (1987–1990)
  • Tampa Bay Storm (1991–present)
Championships
League championships (5)
1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2003

Conference championships (1)
2010

Prior to 2005, the AFL did not have conference championship games

Division championships (5)

Playoff appearances (22)
1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013
Home arena(s)

The Tampa Bay Storm are a professional arena football franchise based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Conference (AC) in the Arena Football League (AFL). The team, along with the Chicago Bruisers, Denver Dynamite and Washington Commandos joined the AFL as one of the charter franchises, and the only one still operating. The franchise was originally located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and known as the Pittsburgh Gladiators. They relocated to Tampa Bay in 1991 and adopted their current name. They played in St. Petersburg from 1991–1996, then in Tampa until 2008, after which point the AFL suspended operations and did not return until the 2010 season following the league's restructuring. Together with the Orlando Predators they have been in their city for longer than any other AFL team. During their tenure they have won five ArenaBowl championships. With 214 wins at the end of the 2013 season, the Storm have won more games than any other team in AFL history. The club is currently owned by Jeffrey Vinik. They play their home games at Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa.

"Tampa Bay"[edit]

The name "Tampa Bay" is often used to describe a geographic metropolitan area which encompasses the cities around the body of water known as Tampa Bay, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton and Sarasota. Unlike in the case of Green Bay, Wisconsin, there is no municipality known as "Tampa Bay". The "Tampa Bay" in the names of local professional sports franchises (Storm, Buccaneers, Rowdies, Rays, Lightning, etc.) denotes that they represent the entire region, not just Tampa or St. Petersburg.

History[edit]

Along with their traditional rivals, the Orlando Predators, they share the Arena Football League record for the longest tenure by a franchise in a single market area. They are also the last of the original four franchises (the Chicago Bruisers, Denver Dynamite and Washington Commandos were the other three) to have operated in continuous existence from the formation of the league in 1987 until the present.

Pittsburgh Gladiators (1987–1990)[edit]

Pittsburgh Gladiators Logo

When arena football was first announced in 1986, Jim Foster targeted Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for an inaugural franchise due to their great football tradition.[2] The franchise was originally known as the Pittsburgh Gladiators, and was one of the original four AFL teams formed in 1987. The team was named by Robert Ninehouser whose entry for the team name was selected in 1987. They originally played their home games at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. On June 19, 1987, the Gladiators defeated the Washington Commandos 48–46 in the first ever AFL regular season game.[3] The Gladiators participated in ArenaBowls I[4] and III,[5] losing both.[6]

Moving to Tampa (1991–1994)[edit]

The team moved from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Tampa, Florida in 1991, with the team taking on the "Storm" nickname. The Cleveland Arena Football League franchise now bears the Gladiators name, however, the two organizations share no link in history nor records.

The Storm won the ArenaBowl in their first season in Tampa Bay (V) and have won four subsequent championships (VII,[7] IX, X, and XVII). Up to the 2006 season, the Storm had qualified for the playoffs in every season but one during their time in Tampa Bay.

T.B. Storm Logo (1991–1996)

The team played in the former Thunder Dome in St. Petersburg (now called Tropicana Field) from 1991–1996, becoming its first regular team sports tenant.[8] Since 1997, the team has played its home games in the Tampa Bay Times Forum (previously the Ice Palace and the St. Pete Times Forum) which is located in Tampa.

Tim Marcum era (1995–2010)[edit]

After the 1994 season, Greis sold the team to Peter "Woody" Kern[9] for $850,000.[10] Kern's first move as the Storm owner was the hiring of coach Tim Marcum, who is widely regarded as the greatest coach in Arena Football history.

On December 23, 2004, Sports Illustrated[11] wrote in its 'The 10 Spot' feature that the AFL's players' union filed a grievance against the Storm. The reason was that seven of the Storm's players claimed that some of the diamonds in their 2003 AFL championship rings were fake. Six of the seven players had left the team after the 2003 season. The Storm acknowledged that some of the rings did, in fact, include cubic zirconia instead of diamonds, and that different players received greater amounts of diamonds in their rings based on their contributions that season.

The Storm ended the 2006 season with a 7–9 record (4th in their Division), ending a 19-year streak of playoff appearances, dating back to their days as the Gladiators and the start of the Arena Football League.

In December 2007, Kern sold 51% of his stake in the Storm to Robert Nucci for just over $9.6 million, while still maintaining control of the other 49%.[10] The Storm followed a 9–7 season and first-round playoff exit in 2007 with an 8–8 finish in 2008. They salvaged the .500 record by defeating the Los Angeles Avengers 72–47 in Tampa. There was no 2009 Arena Football League season due to the organization's ongoing financial difficulties, which eventually resulted in its filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, leaving it uncertain if the Storm, arguably the most successful team in the history of any form of indoor football, would ever play another game.

New future[edit]

T.B. Storm Logo (1997–2011)

A new arena football league, originally called Arena Football 1, formed in 2009. The Storm were not one of the initial 16 teams announced. However, Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings owner Dan Newman mentioned that the Storm were one of at least two former AFL franchises that were being negotiated with, the other being the San Jose SaberCats.[12] The new organization bought the rights to the intellectual property, including the team names, logos, histories, and patented rules of the old AFL in a bankruptcy auction, which allowed to function essentially as a full successor; after this action, the name Arena Football 1 was dropped and the group resumed operating as the Arena Football League The Storm resumed full operations for the new league's 2010 season, with some players from the former roster, and once again coached by Tim Marcum and this time owned by Tampa Bay Storm Partners LLC, a group led by Todd Boren a previous partner with the Orlando Predators and the Arizona Rattlers. The AFL released the schedule for the season on December 31, 2009. The Storm returned during the opening weekend of the season on April 3, 2010.[13]

The Storm playing against the Iowa Barnstormers during the 2013 season.

On February 17, 2010, it was formally announced that the AF1 had adopted the former Arena Football League name.

In the 2010 season the Storm went 11–5, finishing second in the South Division. In the playoffs, they earned a trip to ArenaBowl XXIII, but lost to the Spokane Shock 57–69.

Post Marcum (2011–present)[edit]

On February 17, 2011, Marcum would resign as head coach of the Storm less than a month before the 2011 season was to begin, after having the position for 15 years. He left as the AFL's all-time winningest head coach with 211 wins. Dave Ewart was named as the team's new head coach the next day.[14][15] His resignation was sparked by an admission in a deposition related to a lawsuit he had filed against the Storm's previous owner, Robert Nucci. In that deposition, Marcum admitted to forwarding emails that were pornographic and racially tinged to other members of the Storm organization, using his work email address. [16] In April 2011, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker, Derrick Brooks became a part owner and the team president for the Storm.[17] After a 7-4 start to the 2013 season, the Storm lost the final 7 games of the season, but still qualified for the postseason.[18] The Storm played well in their playoff game, but came up just short against the Jacksonville Sharks.[18] The team's collapse lead to the firing of Ewart.[18] One month later, the team announced they had promoted offensive coordinator, and Storm legend Lawrence Samuels to the team's head coach.[19]

Storm highlights[edit]

  • In a 1996 playoff game against the Arizona Rattlers the Storm had the lead late in the game but the Rattlers came down the field and scored a touchdown with little time left on the clock. Rather than try to tie the game with an extra point, Rattlers coach Danny White elected to go for the win with the two-point conversion. Quarterback Sherdrick Bonner was stopped short and the Storm won the game. On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights this is ranked at number 10.
  • During a 1991 regular season game the Storm found themselves down 17 points against the Albany Firebirds. However they rallied late in the game to take a 57–53 lead. But it wasn't over yet as the Firebirds had five seconds left to come up with the touchdown from midfield. The Storm won the game with an interception off of the nets. On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown this is ranked #8.
  • ArenaBowl V found the Detroit Drive hosting the Tampa Bay Storm. With seconds left in the game quarterback Jay Gruden threw deep to Stevie Thomas in the endzone. It was complete and the Storm won the ArenaBowl. On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown this is ranked number 5.
  • Stevie Thomas saves the Storm: During a 1995 semifinal game between Albany and Tampa Bay took a late one-point lead with seconds left on the clock. On the ensuing kickoff the Storm couldn't field the ball off the nets and Stevie Thomas found himself in the very back of the endzone. Thomas broke five tackles at once coming out of the endzone and went all the way for a touchdown to give the Storm the win 56–49. They later went on to capture their 3rd ArenaBowl in 5 years. On the AFL's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown this is at #2.
  • On March 16, 2012, the Storm became the first AFL team to win 200 games in league history with a 50-47 victory over the Georgia Force.[20]
  • The Storm have a heated rivalry with the Orlando Predators known as the War On I-4. Both teams have found success and have faced each other in the ArenaBowl and playoffs numerous times.

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Tampa Bay Storm roster
Quarterbacks

Fullbacks

  • Currently vacant

Wide receivers

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Kickers

Injured reserve

Refuse to report

  • Currently vacant

Other League Exempt

League suspension

Team suspension

Inactive reserve

  • Currently vacant

Rookies in itlatics
Roster updated August 13, 2014
23 Active, 14 Inactive

More rosters

Retired numbers[edit]

Tampa Bay Storm retired numbers
Player Position Seasons Ref.
7 Jay Gruden QB 1991–1996 [21]
20 Stevie Thomas WR/LB 1991–1999 [22]
22 Lawrence Samuels WR/LB 1995–2000, 2002–2010 [23]
24 Tracey Perkins DS 1991–1999 [24]
25 George LaFrance OS 1994–1999 [22]
76 Al Lucas DL 2003 [25]
78 Sylvester Bembery OL/DL 1994–1999, 2001 [22]

Arena Football Hall of Famers[edit]

Tampa Bay Storm Hall of Famers
No. Name Year Inducted Position(s) Years w/ Storm
78 Sylvester Bembery 2011 OL/DL 1994–1999, 2001
7 Jay Gruden 1999 QB 1991–1996
25 George LaFrance 2011 OS 1994–1999
-- Joe March 2000 OL/DL 1993–1996
-- Tim Marcum 1998 Head Coach 1995–1997
22 Lawrence Samuels 2013 WR/LB 1994–2000, 2002–2010
20 Stevie Thomas 2011 WR/DB 1991–1999
54 Craig Walls 1998 OL/DL 1987–1988

Individual awards[edit]

All-Arena players[edit]

The following Gladiators/Storm players have been named to All-Arena Teams:

All-Ironman players[edit]

The following Gladiators/Storm players have been named to All-Ironman Teams:

All-Rookie players[edit]

The following Gladiators/Storm players have been named to All-Rookie Teams:

Coaches of note[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Note: Statistics are correct through Week 18 of the 2014 Arena Football League season.

Name Term Regular Season Playoffs Awards
W L Win% W L
Joe Haering[26] 19871990 15 13 .536 0 3
Darrel Jackson[27] 1989 1 1 .500 1 1
Fran Curci[28] 1991 8 2 .800 2 0 Arena Football League Coach of the Year (1991), 1x ArenaBowl winning coach (V).
Lary Kuharich[29] 19921994 25 9 .735 4 2 1x ArenaBowl winning coach (VII).
Tim Marcum[30] 19952010 140 77 .645 16 10 2x Arena Football League Coach of the Year (1987, 1998). 3x ArenaBowl winning coach (in Tampa Bay only, seven overall)(IX, X, XVII). Arena Football League Hall of Fame (1998). Founder's Award winner (2001).
Dave Ewart[31] 20052006, 20112013 25 34 .424 0 2
Lawrence Samuels[32] 2014–present 8 8 .500 0 0

Current staff[edit]

Tampa Bay Storm staff
Front Office  

Head Coach

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – Doug Miller

Defensive Coaches

Cheerleaders[edit]

The Storm created an official cheerleading squad called the "Storm Cheerleaders."[33]

Radio and television[edit]

The Tampa Bay Storm are broadcast on Storm Radio, which has no affiliates; only a flagship which is AM 620 WDAE. The radio play-by-play announcer is local radio icon Jack Harris, and the radio color commentator is Darek Sharp who is also a producer and broadcaster for AM 620 WDAE. Bright House Sports Network, owned by and shown only on Bright House Networks cable systems, broadcasts all the Storm home games. Drew Felios and Mark Royals are the broadcasters.

Season-by-season[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lightning (NHL) Owner, Vinik, Purchases Storm". Arena Football League. January 13, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Arena football: a whole new indoor ball game". Gettysburg Times. May 16, 1986. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ Gary Tuma (June 20, 1987). "Gladiators smashing in 48-46 win". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Glads wilt in 'Bowl'". Pittsburgh Post=Gazette. August 3, 1987. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Drive Arena Bowl Champs". The Argus-Press. August 18, 1989. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Arena Football League Championship : Taylor Leads Dynamite, 45-16". www.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. August 2, 1987. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tampa Bay tops Detroit for title". Star-News. August 22, 1993. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  8. ^ Mills, Roger (August 18, 1994). "Storm franchise for sale". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved October 16, 2012. "Tampa Bay Storm owner Bob Gries said Wednesday that he intends to sell the franchise at the end of the season, but insisted the team would remain in the Tampa Bay area." 
  9. ^ "2003 Arena Bowl Champions". www.sports.dir.groups.yahoo.com. Yahoo!. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Rider Of The Storm: AFL Team Introduces Nucci As New Owner". www.sportsbusinessdaily.com. American City Business Journals. December 14, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ The 10 Spot
  12. ^ ESPN.com, "Arena Football 1 to launch in 2010"
  13. ^ 2010 Regular Season Schedule
  14. ^ "Tim Marcum Resigns After 15 Seasons With the Storm". Tampa Bay Storm. February 17, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Storm Name Dave Ewart Head Coach". Tampa Bay Storm. February 17, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Tim Marcum Resigns". 
  17. ^ Rick Stroud (April 12, 2011). "Derrick Brooks to become Tampa Bay Storm president, part owner". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c Brandon Wright (August 6, 2013). "Storm fires head coach Dave Ewart". www.tampabay.com. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ Brandon Wright (September 5, 2013). "Storm taps Samuels as coach". www.tampabay.com. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  20. ^ Erie R. Ivie (March 17, 2012). "Tampa Bay Storm Notch 200th Victory in Franchise History". www.sports.yahoo.com. Yahoo!. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Gruden's Jersey Out Of Retirement". www.orlandosentinel.com. Orlando Sentinel. June 10, 2002. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b c "Three Storm Greats to be Honored". www.tampabaystorm.com. Tampa Bay Storm. March 6, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  23. ^ Eric R. Ivie (April 12, 2012). "Tampa Bay Storm to Honor Legends on April 30". www.sports.yahoo.com. Yahoo!. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 
  24. ^ Frank Pastor (June 9, 2002). "Jersey issue spices up rivalry". www.sptimes.com. St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Storm To Remember Lucas This Weekend". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. April 26, 2005. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  26. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Joe Haering". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved October 25, 2008. 
  27. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Darrel Jackson". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved October 25, 2008. 
  28. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Fran Curci". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved October 25, 2008. 
  29. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Lary Kuharich". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved October 25, 2008. 
  30. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Tim Marcum". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved October 25, 2008. 
  31. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Tim Marcum". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved October 25, 2008. 
  32. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Lawrence Samuels". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Storm Cheerleaders". www.tampabaystorm.com. Tampa Bay Storm. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]