The Sports Lounge presents… REMEMBER THEM: New Orleans Night
Once a month I will post a blog called REMEMBER THEM. It will be a look back at forgotten or unknown sports franchises in Louisiana. Now, while I am sure that some teams will get overlooked, I guarantee I will find everything I can. And in this first week, I will start with a team from the Arena Football League. Seeing as I just posted a blog about the New Orleans VooDoo, I’m gonna take a look back at the original New Orleans AFL franchise.
New Orleans Night
The New Orleans Night came into the league in 1991, only a few years after the AFL was founded. They played their home games at the Louisiana Superdome, which for their games was called the “Thunderdome”. Since the Superdome was so big, they used the basketball layout to set up the field and covered most of the seating to give the games a closer, more intimate feeling. The Night only lasted for 2 seasons before folding, going 4-16 overall (4-6 in 1991 and 0-10 in 1992).
My standout Night player is Willie Totten. Totten was a quarterback that played on teams in the NFL, CFL, and AFL. He played collegiately at Mississippi Valley State University where he also went on to coach when his playing career was finished. Rice-Totten Field, the home stadium at MSVU, is named after him and one of his receivers in college, the great Jerry Rice. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Only lasting for 2 seasons, the Night are not remembered for much at all. The one thing they may be best remembered for was the Zubaz-styled uniforms. If you remember the Zubaz fad, then you remember how it bad it was. It is definitely one trend that this writer is happy to have seen die(whoever at New Era that decided to make NFL hats with the Zubaz design this past season, stop it now please). If you don’t know what Zubaz is and are lost, just look at the picture below and then try to immediately forget what you just saw.
Well, that is the end for the New Orleans Night. They were a very short-lived franchise in an league that was only 4 years old and still learning. Not to mention that I do not think New Orleans was ready for another football team at the time. But, even after only 2 seasons, the Night were included as an unlockable team on the AFL video game that was released in 2006 for the XBOX and Playstation 2. And yes, the team was in all their Zubaz uniform glory.
No matter how big or small, the New Orleans Night will always be a part of Louisiana sports history. You can check out more on the Night at the AFL History Page and the New Orleans Night Wikipedia page.