Minnesota Fighting Pike
|League||Arena Football League|
|Team history||Minnesota Fighting Pike|
|Based in||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Colors||Green, Gold, White
|Head coach||Ray Jauch|
The Minnesota Fighting Pike were an Arena football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They joined the Arena Football League (AFL) in 1996 as an expansion team. The Fighting Pike were the first ever attempt at an arena/indoor football team in the state of Minnesota. The owner of the Fighting Pike was Tom Scallen. The Fighting Pike played at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team colors were green and gold. In a 2012 AFL Poll, the Fighting Pike were voted as the 8th greatest nickname in AFL history.
The Pike were 0-7 at home, and the average attendance for the 7 home games was 8,894.
The roster was full of players that had played at the University of Minnesota or other Minnesota colleges and universities. Former Gopher Rickey Foggie was the quarterback and he struggled adapting to the Arena Football League after many years in the Canadian Football League. Once during the season he was benched in favor of Southwest State's Jeff Loots, who threw four interceptions in a game. Loots was playing on his third expansion team in three seasons. Another player from Southwest State was Alvin Ashley. Perhaps the best-known ex-Pike is kicker Mike Vanderjagt, later a star in the CFL and NFL.
The team's lack of exposure or advertising was the key reason for the team's folding at the end of the 1996 season. The team did not have a regional television deal to promote their games or have the games advertised in newspapers and other media.
The Pike's final game of the season against the Memphis Pharaohs was played in Tupelo, Mississippi, because the Pharaohs had been evicted from their arena. After the game, the Pike ceased operations. There were no announcements nor press releases; players left town and staff did not receive their final paychecks.
The Pike's official mascot was a giant Pike named "Tackle." He was known to "dive" into a promotional hot tub at the arena.
Players of note
Minnesota Fighting Pike roster
|Offensive linemen/Defensive linemen
Rookies in italics
Coaches of note
Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 1996 Arena Football League season.
|Minnesota Fighting Pike staff|
Statistics and records
Note: The Finish, Wins, Losses, and Ties columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play.
|Arena Bowl Champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||Wild Card Berth||League Leader|
|Season||Team||League||Conference||Division||Regular season||Postseason Results|
|Totals||4||10||0||All-time regular season record (1996)|
|0||0||-||All-time postseason record (1996)|
|4||10||0||All-time regular season and postseason record (1996)|
* Season currently in progress
- Leading rusher: Harry Jackson 22 carries, 26 yards and 0 touchdowns
- Leading passer: Rickey Foggie 224-443 for 2,269 yards, 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
- Leading receiver: Reggie Brown 79 catches, 964 yards 17, touchdowns
- The team appeared on the game EA Sports Arena Football as a hidden bonus team.
- "Top 25 Team Names in Arena Football History". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. February 16, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Transactions". Hartford Courant. November 10, 1995. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Anthony Hall (July 5, 2007). "A Return Of The Minnesota Fighting Pike?". www.realclearsports.com. Real Clear Sports. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Dan Barrerio (January 17, 1996). "Coach tells Pike: This I don't like, I'm takin' a hike; `They weren't my kind of folks,' says Haege.". The Star Tribune. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Minnesota Fighting Pike history - 1996". www.arenafan.com. Arena Fan. Retrieved August 13, 2012.