Oakland Invaders
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Oakland Invaders
Oakland Invaders
Founded1983
Folded1985
Based inOakland, California, United States
Home fieldOakland-Alameda County Coliseum
LeagueUSFL
ConferenceWestern
DivisionPacific Division
Team HistoryOakland Invaders (1983-1985)
Team colorsAir Force Blue, Invader Gold, Navy, White                    
Head coaches1983-1984 John Ralston (9-12)
1984 Chuck Hutchison (7-8)
1985 Charlie Sumner (15-5-1)
Owner(s)1983-1985 Tad Taube
1985 A. Alfred Taubman and Tad Taube
Conference championships1985
Division championships1983, 1985

The Oakland Invaders were a professional American football team that played in the United States Football League (USFL) from 1983 through 1985. Based in Oakland, California; they played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

History

In reaction to the Raiders relocating to Los Angeles

Oakland had been without a football team after the Oakland Raiders relocated to Los Angeles before the 1982 NFL season. The Invaders stepped in to fill the void; the similar name was no accident. One of the Invaders' first player signings was former Raider and 49er Cedrick Hardman, who came out of a one-year retirement to serve as player-coach.

The team was originally owned by Bay Area real estate magnates Jim Joseph and Tad Taube. However, after the original owner of the USFL's Los Angeles franchise, Alex Spanos, bought the San Diego Chargers instead, Joseph and Taube flipped a coin to decide who would buy the Los Angeles rights. Joseph won the toss, selling his stake in the Invaders to Taube. As it turned out, Joseph was forced to move his team to Phoenix, Arizona as the Arizona Wranglers.

1983 season

Led by the league's 2nd ranked passer QB Fred Besana, WR Gordon Banks, and ex-Raiders HB Arthur Whittington and TE Raymond Chester, the Invaders won the Pacific Conference with a 9-9 record. The Invaders gave a valiant effort in the opening round of the playoffs, but were overrun by the eventual league champion Michigan Panthers, 37-21 in front of 60,237 rabid fans in the Pontiac Silverdome (The game was the largest turnout for any USFL game in the 1983 season).

1983 schedule and results

Week Day Date Opponent Game site Attendance Television Final score W/L Record
Regular Season
1 Sunday March 6, 1983 at Arizona Wranglers Sun Devil Stadium 45,167 -- 24-0 W 1-0
2 Sunday March 13, 1983 Birmingham Stallions Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 47,344 -- 14-20 OT L 1-1
3 Saturday March 19, 1983 at Michigan Panthers Pontiac Silverdome 28,952 ESPN 33-27 W 2-1
4 Monday March 28, 1983 at Denver Gold Mile High Stadium 38,720 ESPN 12-22 L 2-2
5 Sunday April 3, 1983 at Los Angeles Express Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 23,538 -- 7-10 L 2-3
6 Sunday April 10, 1983 at Boston Breakers Nickerson Field 7,984 ABC 26-7 W 3-3
7 Saturday April 16, 1983 Philadelphia Stars Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 34,901 ESPN 7-17 L 3-4
8 Sunday April 24, 1983 at Birmingham Stallions Legion Field 18,500 -- 9-21 L 3-5
9 Monday May 2, 1983 Arizona Wranglers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 27,460 ESPN 34-20 W 4-5
10 Sunday May 8, 1983 Tampa Bay Bandits Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 26,989 ABC 10-17 L 4-6
11 Monday May 16, 1983 Washington Federals Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 25,900 -- 34-27 W 5-6
12 Saturday May 21, 1983 at Tampa Bay Bandits Tampa Stadium 43,389 ESPN 9-29 L 5-7
13 Sunday May 29, 1983 Los Angeles Express Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 28,967 -- 20-10 W 6-7
14 Saturday June 4, 1983 New Jersey Generals Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 32,908 ESPN 34-21 W 7-7
15 Monday June 13, 1983 Denver Gold Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 26,840 ESPN 16-10 W 8-7
16 Monday June 20, 1983 at Philadelphia Stars Veterans Stadium 16,933 ESPN 6-12 L 8-8
17 Saturday June 25, 1983 Boston Breakers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 30,396 ESPN 17-16 W 9-8
18 Sunday July 3, 1983 at Chicago Blitz Soldier Field 12,346 -- 7-31 L 9-9
Playoffs
Divisional
Playoff
Sunday July 10, 1983 at Michigan Panthers Pontiac Silverdome 60,237 ABC 21-37 L --

Sources[1][2][3]

1984 season

The Invaders were picked by most to again challenge for a playoff spot in 1984, but their powerful offense fell apart in the first half of the season, scoring only 82 points. The team was unable to run the ball and lost nine straight to open the season. With the emergence of RB Eric Jordan, the Invaders? running attack rebounded and the team won seven of its last nine games. The defense was strong throughout the season, finishing seventh in points allowed. However, attendance tumbled to 23,644 per game -- nearly 8,000 fewer than in 1983.

1984 schedule and results

Week Day Date Opponent Game site Attendance Television Final score W/L Record
Preseason
1 Sunday January 29, 1984 vs. Arizona Wranglers Sun Devil Stadium 0-6 L 0-1
2 Saturday February 4, 1984 vs. Denver Gold Francisco Grande, Arizona 6-12 L 0-2
3 Saturday February 11, 1984 vs. Chicago Blitz Mesa, Arizona 21-31 L 0-3
4 Saturday February 18, 1984 vs. Michigan Panthers Mesa, Arizona KICU 7-6 W 1-3
Regular Season
1 Sunday February 26, 1984 at Arizona Wranglers Sun Devil Stadium 29,176 ABC 7-35 L 0-1
2 Sunday March 4, 1984 New Orleans Breakers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 41,200 -- 0-13 L 0-2
3 Sunday March 11, 1984 Los Angeles Express Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 23,479 ABC 0-10 L 0-3
4 Sunday March 18, 1984 at Philadelphia Stars Veterans Stadium 30,284 -- 7-28 L 0-4
5 Saturday March 24, 1984 at San Antonio Gunslingers Alamo Stadium 11,012 KGGP 10-14 L 0-5
6 Sunday April 1, 1984 at Pittsburgh Maulers Three Rivers Stadium 22,408 -- 14-28 L 0-6
7 Saturday April 7, 1984 at Tampa Bay Bandits Tampa Stadium 58,777 -- 0-24 L 0-7
8 Monday April 16, 1984 Houston Gamblers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 18,320 -- 27-35 L 0-8
9 Sunday April 22, 1984 Washington Federals Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 14,828 -- 17-31 L 0-9
10 Sunday April 29, 1984 at Chicago Blitz Soldier Field 7,802 -- 17-13 W 1-9
11 Saturday May 5, 1984 Denver Gold Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 19,331 -- 20-17 OT W 2-9
12 Sunday May 13, 1984 Arizona Wranglers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 20,004 -- 14-3 W 3-9
13 Saturday May 19, 1984 Memphis Showboats Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 22,030 -- 29-14 W 4-9
14 Saturday May 26, 1984 at Oklahoma Outlaws Skelly Stadium 16,378 -- 17-14 W 5-9
15 Saturday June 2, 1984 Jacksonville Bulls Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 29,687 -- 17-12 W 6-9
16 Saturday June 9, 1984 Michigan Panthers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 23,918 ESPN 20-13 W 7-9
17 Friday June 15, 1984 at Los Angeles Express Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 14,794 -- 19-24 L 7-10
18 Friday June 22, 1984 at Denver Gold Mile High Stadium 32,623 Local 7-20 L 7-11

Sources[4][5][6]

1985 Season

Taube began looking for new investors when it became apparent that the USFL was going to vote to switch to fall play in 1986, knowing he would be competing directly with the San Francisco 49ers. However, unlike other USFL teams who would be going head-to-head against NFL teams, Taube had reason for optimism. The Raiders had successfully built their own niche market and fan base in Oakland for two decades, and there was at least a chance the Invaders could have survived in the same manner. He nearly merged his team with the Oklahoma Outlaws. However, talks collapsed when Outlaws owner William Tatham demanded that his son, Bill Jr., be given control over the merged team's football operations.

Taube then approached the Michigan Panthers, who had been one of the league's strongest teams during its first two years and had by reckoned by some observers as an NFL-quality team. However, Panthers owner A. Alfred Taubman was a strong supporter of spring football and was not willing to go head-to-head with the Detroit Lions. Taubman and Taube quickly reached a deal for a merger. Although the Invaders were the surviving team, Taube sold controlling interest in the merged team to Taubman while remaining chairman of the board. The merger was formally announced after the owners approved moving to the fall.

The new team, bolstered with key players from the Panthers such as Bobby Hebert, went 13-4-1 in the regular season and advanced all the way to the 1985 USFL championship game. The championship game was a rematch of sorts with Chuck Fusina's Stars, who now played in Baltimore; the Panthers had upended the Stars in the league's inaugural title game. The Invaders were in the midst of a potential game-winning drive when a personal-foul penalty derailed their momentum, allowing the Stars to defeat Hebert's Invaders 28-24, and claim indisputable bragging rights as the league's all-time best team.

Despite reaching the championship game, the team's attendance fell again, to a barely sustainable 17,509. Soon after the championship game, Taubman decided to pull out. The loss of Taubman's wealth left the Invaders without nearly enough resources for the move to the fall, and they suspended operations for the 1986 season. As it turned out, the championship game was the last USFL game ever played, as the league was effectively killed by an antitrust suit against the NFL in which it only won $3 in damages.

1985 schedule and results

Week Day Date Opponent Game site Attendance Television Final score W/L Record
Preseason
1 Saturday February 2, 1985 vs. Arizona Outlaws Mesa, Arizona 10-3 W 1-0
2 Saturday February 9, 1985 vs. Arizona Outlaws Mesa, Arizona 12-0 W 2-0
3 Sunday February 17, 1985 vs. Arizona Outlaws Fresno, California 10,204 31-13 W 3-0
Regular Season
1 Sunday February 24, 1985 Denver Gold Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 23,622 -- 31-10 W 1-0-0
2 Sunday March 3, 1985 Baltimore Stars Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 20,495 -- 17-17 OT T 1-0-1
3 Sunday March 10, 1985 Houston Gamblers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 16,037 -- 7-42 L 1-1-1
4 Sunday March 17, 1985 Jacksonville Bulls Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 16,678 ABC 42-36 W 2-1-1
5 Sunday March 24, 1985 at Memphis Showboats Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 28,773 -- 31-19 W 3-1-1
6 Sunday March 31, 1985 at Los Angeles Express Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 11,619 -- 30-6 W 4-1-1
7 Saturday April 6, 1985 at Portland Breakers Civic Stadium 23,388 -- 17-30 L 4-2-1
8 Saturday April 13, 1985 at Birmingham Stallions Legion Field 44,500 ESPN 17-20 L 4-3-1
9 Monday April 22, 1985 San Antonio Gunslingers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 18,215 ESPN 27-20 W 5-3-1
10 Friday April 26, 1985 Arizona Outlaws Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 12,972 ESPN 27-11 W 6-3-1
11 Sunday May 5, 1985 at Orlando Renegades Florida Citrus Bowl 21,085 -- 21-7 W 7-3-1
12 Saturday May 11, 1985 Los Angeles Express Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 12,482 ESPN 27-6 W 8-3-1
13 Saturday May 18, 1985 at San Antonio Gunslingers Alamo Stadium 7,118 -- 24-21 W 9-3-1
14 Thursday May 23, 1985 at Denver Gold Mile High Stadium 12,372 ESPN 31-16 W 10-3-1
15 Sunday June 2, 1985 Portland Breakers Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 12,740 ESPN 38-20 W 11-3-1
16 Saturday June 8, 1985 at Arizona Outlaws Sun Devil Stadium 10,591 -- 21-28 L 11-4-1
17 Saturday June 15, 1985 New Jersey Generals Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 24,338 ESPN 34-29 W 12-4-1
18 Monday June 24, 1985 at Houston Gamblers Houston Astrodome 15,797 ESPN 31-21 W 13-4-1
Playoffs
Quarterfinal Sunday June 30, 1985 Tampa Bay Bandits Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 19,346 ABC 30-27 W --
Semifinal Saturday July 6, 1985 at Memphis Showboats Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 37,796 ABC 28-19 W --
League
Championship
Sunday July 14, 1985 vs. Baltimore Stars Giants Stadium 49,263 ABC 24-28 L --

Sources[7][8][9]

Past and future National Football League players

Invaders executive William Hambrecht later emerged as a founder of the United Football League.

Single-season leaders

Rushing Yards: 1,045 (1983), Arthur Whittington

Receiving Yards: 1,323 (1985), Anthony Carter

Passing Yards: 3,980 (1983), Fred Besana

Season-by-season

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
1983 9 9 0 1st Pacific Lost Divisional (Michigan)
1984 7 11 0 4th WC Pacific
1985 13 4 1 1st WC Won Quarterfinal (Tampa Bay)
Won Semifinal (Memphis)
Lost USFL Championship (Baltimore)
Totals 31 26 1 (including playoffs)

References

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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