|Team Colors||Navy, Gold, Crimson, White|
|Franchise W-L-T Record||Regular Season: 12–7–1 Postseason: 0–2|
|World Bowls (0)
The Birmingham Fire was a professional American football team based in Birmingham, Alabama that played in the World League of American Football in 1991 and 1992. The team played at Legion Field, and it made the playoffs in both seasons.
Gavin Maloof was the primary owner of the Fire. He had previously owned the Houston Rockets of the NBA. He hired long time NFL assistant Chan Gailey as head coach. The Fire also had one of the first African-American general managers in pro football, United Football League commissioner Michael Huyghue. Ronn Hollis was the Director of Communications.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties
|1991||5||5||0||1st North American West||Lost Semifinals (Dragons)|
|1992||7||2||1||2nd North American West||Lost Semifinals (Thunder)|
The first game at Legion Field featured an attendance of over 53,000. The Fire lost to Montreal 20-5. Their second game, a 17-10 win against Sacramento, only drew 16,000. The game featured a 99 yard interception return for a touchdown, by free safety John Miller. The Fire got off to a 1-4 start, but clinched the North American West Division with a 5-5 record. They would lose in the playoffs to the Barcelona Dragons 10-3.
Five players were named to the All-WLAF Team:
- John Brantley, LB, 1st Team
- John Miller, FS, 1st Team
- Darrell Phillips, NT, 2nd Team
- John Holland, CB, 2nd Team
- Kirk Maggio, P, 2nd Team
|Final score||Team record|
|1||Saturday, March 23||7:00 p.m.||Montreal Machine||L 5–20||0–1||Legion Field||52,942|
|2||Saturday, March 30||7:00 p.m.||Sacramento Surge||W 17–10||1–1||Legion Field||16,432|
|3||Monday, April 8||8:00 p.m.||at Montreal Machine||L 10–23||1–2||Olympic Stadium||27,766|
|4||Monday, April 15||7:00 p.m.||London Monarchs||L 0–27||1–3||Legion Field||18,512|
|5||Sunday, April 21||7:00 p.m.||at Orlando Thunder||W 31–6||2–3||Florida Citrus Bowl||21,249|
|6||Monday, April 29||7:00 p.m.||San Antonio Riders||W 16–12||3–3||Legion Field||8,114|
|7||Saturday, May 4||8:00 p.m.||at Barcelona Dragons||L 6–11||3–4||Montjuic Stadium||31,490|
|8||Sunday, May 12||7:00 p.m.||at Frankfurt Galaxy||L 3–10||3–5||Waldstadion||28,127|
|9||Monday, May 20||8:00 p.m.||New York/New Jersey Knights||W 24–14||4–5||Legion Field||31,211|
|10||Saturday, May 25||3:00 p.m.||at Raleigh–Durham Skyhawks||W 28–7||5–5||Carter–Finley Stadium||16,335|
|Semifinal||Sunday, June 1||7:00 p.m.||Barcelona Dragons||L 3–10||5–6||Legion Field||37,590|
|1991 Birmingham Fire staff|
|1991 Birmingham Fire roster|
General Manager Michael Huyghue left to join the league's front office and was replaced by Rick Nichols. As for the team, the season started out the same way as the previous year. A loss to Sacramento on the road, followed by winning 4 of the next 6 games. Including a first ever road win in Europe, against the Frankfurt Galaxy. While in London, the Monarchs and Fire played to the only tie in league history. Birmingham finished up in second place in the division, but would once again lose in the playoffs, this time to Orlando.
John Brantley and John Miller repeated as All-WLAF members.
Week 1: Sacramento Surge 20, Birmingham 6
Week 2: Birmingham 17, San Antonio Riders 10
Week 3: Birmingham 17, Frankfurt Galaxy 7
Week 4: Birmingham 17, London Monarchs 17 (OT)
Week 5: Birmingham 28, Sacramento Surge 14
Week 6: San Antonio Riders 17, Birmingham 14
Week 7: Birmingham 19, Barcelona Dragons 17
Week 8: Birmingham 23, Montreal Machine 16 (OT)
Week 9: Birmingham 24, Orlando Thunder 23
Week 10: Birmingham 27, Ohio Glory 24
Semifinals: Orlando Thunder 45, Birmingham 7
|1992 Birmingham Fire staff|
Life after the WLAF
Chan Gailey became the head coach at Samford University. When he left to re-enter the NFL, he was replaced by Fire offensive line coach Pete Hurt. Gailey went on to become the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Georgia Tech, and the Buffalo Bills.
- Birmingham only had 3 players from the state of Alabama on the team. Kicker Wyn Lyle from Auburn, on the 1991 team. Auburn's Craig Ogletree and Alabama's Phillip Doyle on the 92 team.
- The Fire went through four General Managers in its two year history.
- Wayne Rogers, who acted in the hit television series M*A*S*H, was rumored as a potential owner.
- Applebome, Peter (April 21, 1991). "Can the Fire Catch On in Birmingham?". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/21/sports/football-can-the-fire-catch-on-in-birmingham.html?pagewanted=1. Retrieved April 12, 2010.