Houston ThunderBears
Houston ThunderBears
Year founded 1996
Year folded 2001
Prior names Texas Terror (1996-1997)
Divisional championships 1:
ArenaBowl championships None

The Houston ThunderBears were a team in the Arena Football League that operated from 1996-2001. The team was based in Houston, Texas. Home games were played at the Compaq Center. The team was known as the Texas Terror their first two years in existence before changing the name to the Thunderbears. Plagued with attendance problems through the majority of their existence, the team folded in 2001.

History[edit | edit source]

Texas Terror (1996-1997)[edit | edit source]

The Texas Terror was a franchise in the Arena Football League. The Terror played in the 1996 and 1997 Arena seasons. Their home games were played at the Summit also at that time home to the Houston Rockets of the NBA. The Terror's logo appeared to be a stylized representation of Frankenstein's monster holding a football.

The 1996 season was an unmitigated disaster, with the Terror notching only one win, coming against another first-year team, the ill-fated Minnesota Fighting Pike. The 1997 season was considerably better with a record of 6-8, but the attendance was abysmal, especially given the size of the Houston market. After the season, the decision was made to remake the franchise and scrap both the existing logo and team name, and the team was renamed the Houston ThunderBears.

Houston ThunderBears (1998-2001)[edit | edit source]

The Houston ThunderBears were a continuation of the Texas Terror franchise (19961997) of the Arena Football League under a new name, logo, and color scheme. The team still played its home games at the Compaq Center. 1998, the first year as the ThunderBears, was the high-water mark in team history, in which they recorded their only winning season and sole playoff appearance (a loss to Arizona). The two subsequent seasons saw a decline in both on-field performance and attendance. For the 2001 season, then owner Leslie Alexander (owner of the NBA's Houston Rockets), sold the franchise back to the Arena Football League. Although still called the Houston ThunderBears, the team played none of its home games in Houston. The league decided to use them as a showcase team to stimulate interest in new markets. Four AFL/af2 franchises (Utah Blaze, Fresno Frenzy, Central Valley Coyotes, and Lubbock Renegades) emerged from some of the markets that the ThunderBears played in. The team was ultimately contracted along with three other AFL franchises in the 2001-2002 offseason.

Season-by-season[edit | edit source]

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
Texas Terror
1996 1 13 0 4th NC Southern --
1997 6 8 0 3rd AC Central --
Houston Thunderbears
1998 8 6 0 1st AC Central Lost Week 1 (Arizona 50-36)
1999 4 10 0 4th AC Central --
2000 3 11 0 4th AC Central --
2001 3 11 0 4th AC Western --
Totals 25 60 0 (including playoffs)

Notable players[edit | edit source]

Rodney Blackshear Wide Receive/Defensive Back 1996-2000

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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