Portland Rockets

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Portland Rockets
LeagueAmerican Football League
Based inPortland, Oregon
ArenaMultnomah Stadium
PresidentHenry J. "Sandy" Sandberg
Head coachRobert L. Mathews
Division titlesnone

The Portland Rockets were a professional American football team based in Portland, Oregon for two nonconsecutive seasons during World War II. They were members of the Northwest War Industries League as the Portland Boilermakers[1] in 1942[2] and the American Football League (AFL) in 1944. The Rockets played their home games at Multnomah Stadium and its colors were green and orange.[3] In 1944 team president Henry J. "Sandy" Sandberg asked people to submit suggestions for the team's nickname, the winner of which was L. J. Maclin of Salem, Oregon. Six other people made the same suggestion, but Maclin had submitted his entry first. They all received season tickets.[4]

Robert L. Mathews, former head coach of the Portland Pilots football team, was hired to coach the Rockets during the 1944 season.[5] Their first game was held at 2:30 on September 3 against the Seattle Bombers.[6] In front of 10,213 attendees at Multnomah Stadium Seattle beat Portland, 21–13.[7] The Rockets finished their first season with a 3–6 record.[8] At the end of the 1944 season, Rockets owners were out $40,000 after plans to farm the league's talent to the National Football League (NFL) failed.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Northwest War Industries Football League (1942)". GNFAfootball.org. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  2. ^ Gill, Bob (1989). Other minor leagues Archived 2010-11-27 at the Wayback Machine. Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association). Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  3. ^ "Oregon grid aces to star for Bombers". The Oregonian. 1 September 1944. p. 21.
  4. ^ "Portland pro eleven to be called the 'Rockets'; Seven suggest name". The Oregonian. 6 August 1944. p. 39.
  5. ^ "Roosters bill chamber 'tilt'". The Oregonian. 20 August 1944. p. 41.
  6. ^ "Rockets ready hefty line for pro inaugural Sunday". The Oregonian. 30 August 1944. p. 17.
  7. ^ "Aerial attacks tops Portland before 10,213". The Oregonian. Portland,Oregon. 4 September 1944. p. 15.
  8. ^ "Mustangs clipped Rockets 34 6, in wild rally". The Oregonian. 20 November 1944. p. 15.
  9. ^ "Pro football revival here held coming". The Oregonian. 12 February 1946. p. 21.