With the possibly impending demise of the Houston Comets WNBA franchise, I thought I would take a little look at some of the other professional sports franchises that have given it a try in Houston…and failed.
2. Houston Gamblers, United States Football League, 1984-1985. The Gamblers had a short but bright tenure in the U.S.F.L., which itself had a short, but bright tenure on the American sports landscape. Playing in the Astrodome, coached by Jack Pardee, quarterbacked by Jim Kelly, and employing the explosive Run-and-Shoot offense, the Gamblers appeared to be an early success story. And as with teams using the Run-and-Shoot offense in the NFL, the Gamblers made the playoffs, but were not able to win a title. The Gamblers were purchased by Donald Trump, who merged the team into his existing New Jersey Generals for the 1986 season. A season that was never played as the league went out of business.
3. Houston Hurricane, North American Soccer League, 1978-1980. The Hurricane were an expansion team in the NASL, a rapidly growing professional soccer league attempting to cash in on the soccer craze arising from soccer legend Pele’s play with the New York Stars. The Hurricane played in the Astrodome, which didn’t have much of a soccer atmosphere to it. Like many Houston sports teams, the Hurricane made the playoffs in two of their three years of existence, but like many Houston sports teams, they failed to win when it mattered. The team folded after the 1980 season.
5. Texas Terror/Houston ThunderBears, Arena Football League, 1996-2001. The Terror/ThunderBears were owned by Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander, and shared the Compaq Center with the team. The Terror/ThunderBears were so bad that, for their last season, they played all of their games on the road before folding after the 2001 season. -- John Royal