Chicago Fire (WFL)

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Chicago Fire
EstablishedOctober 1973
FoldedJanuary 1975
Based inChicago, Illinois
Home fieldSoldier Field
Head coachJim Spavital
Owner(s)Thomas Origer
LeagueWorld Football League
ColoursRed and black          

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.

Schedule and results[edit]

Key: Win Loss Bye

The radio announcer for the Fire was former Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play man, Eddie Ducette. The public address announcers at Soldier Field were Eddie Ryan and Les Grobstein.

1974 regular season [1][edit]

Week Day Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 Wednesday July 10, 1974 Houston Texans W 17–0 42,000
2 Wednesday July 17, 1974 Jacksonville Sharks W 25–22 29,308
3 Wednesday July 24, 1974 at Portland Storm W 29–22 19,358
4 Sunday July 28, 1974 at Hawaiians W 53–29 12,608
5 Wednesday August 7, 1974 Florida Blazers L 21–46 31,193
6 Wednesday August 14, 1974 Philadelphia Bell W 32–29 27,607
7 Thursday August 22, 1974 at Detroit Wheels W 35–23 10,300
8 Thursday August 29, 1974 Birmingham Americans L 8–22 44,732
9 Monday September 2, 1974 at Southern California Sun W 32–22 27,133
10 Saturday September 7, 1974 at Birmingham Americans L 40–41 54,872
11 Wednesday September 11, 1974 Southern California Sun L 28–31 24,837
12 Wednesday September 18, 1974 Memphis Southmen L 7–25 26,678
13 Thursday September 26, 1974 at Florida Blazers L 0–26 16,679
14 Thursday October 3, 1974 Charlotte Stars L 30–41 22,354
15 Wednesday October 9, 1974 Florida Blazers L 17–45 23,289
16 Wednesday October 16, 1974 at Charlotte Hornets L 0–27 20,333
17 Wednesday October 23, 1974 Hawaiians L 17–60 20,203
18 Wednesday October 30, 1974 at Philadelphia Bell L 31–37 12,500
19 Thursday November 7, 1974 at Memphis Southmen L 24–49 14,085
20 Wednesday November 13, 1974 at Philadelphia Bell L 0–2 (forfeit) cancelled

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "1974 World Football League Game Results". Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  • "Head coach WFL", Football Digest, August 1974 issue