April 20, 2014
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Games Today




Phantom sports franchises 2007

by Dan Krieger
September 11, 2007 - American Basketball Association (ABA)

When planning a season in any sports league, whether it's a newly developed league or an established league, events happen that might force a previously announced team to fold, move, or change its name before the team or league even begins play. The following is a list of some of these "phantom franchises" from the first seven to eight months of 2007. Several teams announced by developing leagues may not be included because there was still a chance those teams could start playing in 2007 or beyond.

Alameda Action Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
Albany Thunderdawgs American Basketball Association franchise proposed in 2007 for Albany (GA); arena costs forced the owner to look at other locations, possibly Bristol (TN), Jackson (TN) or Tampa.
Anaheim/Alameda Street Boys Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League franchise that start as Anaheim and then changed to Alameda; team became the Tri-Valley Ranchers prior to start of season.
Arkansas Jammers Proposed 2007 World Basketball Association franchise listed on league site in mid-March 2007, but was not part of 2007 season.
Bayshore Brawlers Eastern Indoor Football League franchise based in Aberdeen (NJ); left the league prior to inaugural season; failed in an attempt to join the American Indoor Football Association.
Carolina Fusion Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League franchise name; team was to replace the Charlotte Fusion team that was unable to form for the 2006 NIFL season.
Carolina Sandsharks Formerly the Charleston (SC) Sandsharks of the 2006 National Indoor Football League; franchise tried to join the American Indoor Football Association as the Carolina Sandsharks for 2007, but was not accepted.
Central Texas Diplomats Original name for a Killeen-based franchise in the proposed United Basketball League; the franchise was moved to Belton (TX) in June 2007 and was renamed the Central Texas Jammers.
Chatooga Rage Proposed 2007 World Basketball Association franchise listed on league's 2007 draft list in mid-April 2007, but was not part of 2007 season.
Colorado Candoos The first name for a 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise located in the Colorado Springs area; the franchise changed its name to the Colorado Wild Riders before its first scheduled game.
Colorado Castle Rocks A 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion team based in Douglas County that never played a game.
Fayetteville Fantastics Original name of a proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise; renamed Arkansas Fantastics based in Fort Smith; adopted "Arkansas" in name because team will play in various locations throughout the state in the season.
Fort Lauderdale Frenzy Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
Fort Worth Escape First name announced for the Fort Worth Funk of the proposed United Basketball League.
Fort Worth Funky Star Prospects Proposed 2007 World Basketball Association franchise that reportedly was going to join for the second half of the 2007 WBA season; team did not play in the WBA and was apparently looking for another league to join.
Fresno Fury Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
Georgia Warriors Proposed 2007 World Basketball Association franchise listed on league site in mid-March 2007, but was not part of 2007 season.
Grand Prairie (TX) Splash Original name announced for the Grand Prairie Stallions franchise of the proposed United Basketball League.
Gulf Coast Pirates First name given to the American Indoor Football Association's Gulf Coast Raiders road team that played a short schedule in 2007 with plans to join in 2008.
Harbor Shore Dreams Proposed Benton Harbor (MI) American Basketball Association franchise that was noted as a possible replacement for the nearby Twin City Ballers franchise, which was having venue problems during the 2006-07 season; the Dreams hoped to start play in 2007-08, but not listed on ABA site.
Hattiesburg Playmakers Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
Houston Wild Riders Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
Jacksonville Pelicans Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League franchise name; franchise ended up as the Green Cove Lions.
Kentucky Knightmares Formerly the Kentucky Force team of the 2006 Women's Football League; the Knightmares were quickly renamed the Kentucky Valkyries and the team joined the Women's Professional Football League in 2007.
Lake Erie Steelheads Eastern Indoor Football League franchise that was to play one exhibition game in the 2007 season and join as a full-time team in 2008; EIFL disbanded before its scheduled 2007 exhibition game was played.
Las Vegas Lights Name of a proposed American Basketball Association franchise for the 2007-08 season; in May 2007, the team was renamed the Las Vegas PROLYMS (Pro + Olympic) after the team's owner, PROLYM Enterprises.
Long Beach Muscle Heads Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
Long Beach Storm A proposed American Basketball Association franchise for the 2007-08 season; the owner got into trouble and another Long Beach franchise called the Breakers was created.
Los Angeles Diamonds Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
Miami Majesty Formerly the Florida Pitbulls of the American Basketball Association that moved to the Continental Basketball Association after the 2005-06 season; team sat dormant for 2006-07 CBA season and was renamed Miami Majesty; franchise was switched to Pikeville as the East Kentucky Miners for the 2007-08 CBA season.
Michigan Blaze/Showboats The Michigan Blaze was the first name listed for a new 2006-07 Major League Roller Hockey franchise, but the team eventually became the Showboats. The Showboats franchise was sold just prior to its start and renamed the Michigan Rebels, based in Grandville.
Mobile Muskateers Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
New Jersey Freedom Proposed International Basketball League franchise that never started play.
Northern Nevada Blackjacks Proposed Reno-based Continental Basketball Association franchise for 2006-07; the franchise did not play and the market may go with a National Basketball Association Development League franchise for 2008-09.
Oklahoma City Cavalry Proposed 2007-08 Continental Basketball Association franchise that was moved to Lawton (OK) and renamed the Oklahoma Cavalry, prior to the 2007-08 season.
Phoenix Phantomz Original spelling of the American Basketball Association's Phoenix Phantoms 2007-08 expansion franchise.
Rome Knights Proposed 2007-08 American Basketball Association franchise; team was part of an organization that also operated the World Basketball Association's Rome Gladiators; organization folded due to legal problems of a co-owner; a new franchise called the Rome Legions was formed to play in the city for the 2007-08 ABA season.
Sacramento Wildfire Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
San Antonio Player Haters Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League franchise name that was switched to the San Antonio Steers prior to the season.
San Francisco Quakes Proposed 2007 National Indoor Football League expansion franchise.
Saskatoon Prairie Wolves Proposed International Basketball League franchise that was to start play in 2008; apparently the franchise is dead because the league did not approve of owner's past financial dealings.
Snohomish County Stealth Original name for the Snohomish County Stallions, one of the original franchises in the proposed 2008 fall/winter Indoor Gridiron Football League.

Dan Krieger is the creator of "Leagues, Teams & Nicknames", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The latest version can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/774026. Dan can be contacted at dankrieger@leaguesteamsnicknames.com.

Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.