Friday, February 25, 2011

Rider Prophet Salutes US Expansion: Las Vegas Posse

 What town has a large population but no pro sports team? Las Vegas
And where to people go when they are looking for entertainment? Las Vegas
And where is there more money than people know what to do with? Las Vegas

It seemed so simple. The only thing lacking in Vegas (other than morals) was a pro sports team. This narrow minded reasoning of course omits the long list of reasons why Vegas is a terrible place for a sports team and why none of the major US based sports league set up shop in Vegas. But all this was of no concern to Nick Miletti who became the owner of a CFL expansion team from Sin City in time for the 1994 CFL season.

Years in the League: 1994
Overall Record: 5 - 13
Notable Players: QB Anthony Calvillo, DL Shonte Peoples, WR Curtis Mayfield, KR Tamarick Vanover, RB Jon Volpe, LB Greg Battle, K Carlos Huerta

The Good
- Introduced the CFL to future Hall of Famer Anthony Calvillo
- Historical comedic value

The Bad
- Pretty much everything not covered in “The Good”

- Failed to consider the possibility of it being really, really, really hot in Las Vegas when deciding to play football at an outdoor stadium in July and August.

- They practiced on a casino parking lot that was converted into a practice field… which was only 70 yards long.

- Their mascot was 8 men on horseback called “The Eight Horsemen”… take 8 live horses, add the sweltering Nevada heat and you get a pungent odour that is more suitable for a feedlot than the sidelines of a football field.

- The Posse had a scantily clad group of cheerleaders called the “Showgirls”. At times Posse head coach had them loiter behind their opponents’ bench in an attempt to distract them.

- During their debut game in the CFL, their kick returner (Tamarick Vanover) called for a fair catch while the ball was in the air and headed for the sidelines. Meanwhile the BC Lion players (who actually knew the Canadian rules) jumped on the loose ball in the endzone for one of the easiest TDs ever scored. Later that same game Vanover caught a punt on his own 10 yard line and ran back into his own endzone and out the back thinking he was conceding a single. Again, the BC players (who knew the Canadian rules) celebrated one of the easiest safeties ever scored.

- This… 

- Averaged under 9000 fans per game.

- Only 2350 people showed up to their second last home game against the Blue Bombers and a large portion of that was a contingent who made the trip from Winnipeg. That game is now etched in the record book as the lowest attendance in league history.

- Their final home had to be moved to Edmonton because ticket sales were so bad.

Mercifully folded after the gong show that was their inaugural season.

Video Evidence
Here's a clip of Anthony Calvillo from his Posse days... he fumbles and Doug Flutie proceeds to score in 2 easy plays. Sadly, it was the least embarrassing clip of the Posse I could find. The other option was one of Anthony Calvillo injury knee on the first play of the game.


1 comment:

Ronbo the Riderfan said...

The dumbass singer screwed up the anthem for the Riders and got to 'make it right' with all the promotional publicity that went with it in Toronto..