The Sports Lounge presents… REMEMBER THEM: Shreveport Steamer
A few posts ago, I took a look back at the Shreveport Pirates of the CFL. Now, it’s time to look at another former football franchise in the city of Shreveport. The Shreveport Steamer were a part of the WFL, the World Football League. The franchise began as the Houston Texans in 1974. They played in the Astrodome but by September of that year, they were already on the move to Shreveport and their new home field, State Fair Stadium, now known as Independence Stadium.
In 11 games in Houston, the franchise went 3-7-1. The franchise was officially renamed the Steamer in September and had a 4-5 record in Shreveport, finishing 7-12-1.
“The Boats” as they were called by fans, were led by head coach Marshall Taylor, ambidextrous QB D.C. Nobles, and FB Jim Nance. However, the person probably most known from the Steamer was one of their broadcasters, Larry King. Yes, the Larry King of CNN fame.
In 1975, their second season, the team struggled, as did the league itself. The team finished 5-7. And they finished with only 12 games because the league ceased operations in October, just halfway through the season. The Steamer, and the WFL, were finished.
As a note, this team should not be confused with the Shreveport Steamers of American Football Association. Many teams from the WFL were reborn in the AFA, with new owners and, in some cases, a slight change in the name (hence Steamer to Steamers). This Steamers team played from 1979 to 1981 and featured former NFL QB Billy Kilmer as the head coach in their first season.
But as for the WFL’s Steamer, it confuses me researching this as to why a team would relocate from Houston to Shreveport, especially in a small, upstart league. It seems as it would not have mattered, since the league itself fell apart though. The Steamer, and the WFL, are just another team that are now memories in heads of sports fans.