United Football League
SportAmerican football
No. of teams8
Country(ies)United States

The United Football League was a professional minor league American football league that operated between 1961 and 1964. It had eight teams primarily based in the Midwestern United States. After the league folded following the 1964 season, the more ambitious owners formed the new Continental Football League. The more conservative owners, who wanted to continue as a regional Midwestern bus league, broke away to form the Professional Football League in February 1965.[1]

The league was founded in 1961 as a minor league alternative to the National Football League and American Football League. Based in the Midwest, it drew many of its players from the Big Ten college conference.

It was primarily a Mid-Western league, drawing many quality players from the Big Ten conference. Though it provided the NFL with many good players, it was an entertaining option during a time when (with lower player salaries) it could compete with other leagues. The league would fold, but many of its backers and players would find new franchises in the Continental Football League.

Among its more notable feats, the league revived the Cleveland/Canton Bulldogs and Akron Pros, two early-era NFL teams, and became the first professional football league to have full-time teams in both the United States and Canada, when it launched the Quebec Rifles in 1964.

1961 Season[edit | edit source]

Columbus Colts 6-2-2
Grand Rapids Blazers 6–3-1
Indianapolis Warriors 6-3-1
Cleveland Bulldogs 6-4-0
Louisville Raiders 4-6-0
Akron Pros 0–10-0

WESTERN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF Grand Rapids Blazers 24 Indianapolis Warriors 14

UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP Grand Rapids Blazers 20 Columbus Colts 7

1962 Season[edit | edit source]

Grand Rapids Blazers 9-3-0
Indianapolis Warriors 9-3-0
Wheeling Ironmen 8-4-0
Toledo Tornadoes 6-5-1
Columbus Capitols 6-6-0
Louisville Raiders 4-7-1
Cleveland Bulldogs 4-8-0
Chicago Bulls 1-11-0

WESTERN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF Grand Rapids Blazers 24 Indianapolis Warriors 20

UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP Wheeling Ironmen 30 Grand Rapids Blazers 21

1963 Season[edit | edit source]

Wheeling Ironmen 12-1-0
Toledo Tornadoes 10-3-0
Cleveland Bulldogs 7-5-0
Indianapolis Warriors 5-8-0
Grand Rapids Blazers 4-9-0
Syracuse Stormers 0-12-0

UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP Wheeling Ironmen 31 Toledo Tornadoes 21

1964 Season[edit | edit source]

Canton Bulldogs 12-2-0
Charleston Rockets 11-3-0
Indianapolis Warriors 10-4-0
Wheeling Ironmen 7-7-0
Toledo Tornadoes 6-8-0
Quebec (Montreal) Rifles 5-9-0
Grand Rapids Blazers 5-9-0
Joliet Explorers 0-14-0

UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP Canton Bulldogs 19 Indianapolis Warriors 14

Teams[edit | edit source]

Toledo Tornadoes[edit | edit source]

A former Michigan semi-pro team moved to Toledo as the all pro Toledo Tornadoes of the America Football Conference in 1956 then transferred to the United Football League. The Tornadoes primarily played at Waite Stadium. The league forced the team to close due to debt in 1965.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "New League Is Formed Of Leftovers". The Progress-Index. Associated Press. February 7, 1965.
  2. Autullo, Ryan (April 3, 2014). "New league not coming to Toledo". The Blade. http://www.bcsn.tv/news_article/show/372539. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
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