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Ohio Glory

Coach: Larry Little
Stadium: Buckeye Stadium
Record: (1992) 1-9

The Glory went with a straightforward approach choosing Red, White, and Blue as their colors.

BACKGROUND:

The Ohio Glory were a franchise in the WLAF based out of Columbus, Ohio during the 1992 season. After the 1991 season the league decided to mercifully euthanize the 0-10 Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks. To return the league to a ten team league they decided to place an ‘expansion’ franchise in one of their finalists cities from before their inaugural season.

Among the choices were, Mexico City, Milan, Washington DC, and Denver.  In the end the league decided to bring the WLAF to Columbus, Ohio. As boring as the selection sounded, Columbus was actually a wise choice for a franchise which would play its games on the campus of Ohio State at Ohio Stadium.

Despite the perception that strong college football programs tended to blight other football franchise attendance, the Glory, had over 30,000 fans show up for games on 3 occasions, including a season high 41,853 to watch the Glory win their only game of the season, – a 20-17 victory over the Frankfurt Galaxy.

Unable to find an owner for the team, the league would run the franchise and appoint Peter Hadhazy to run the team. The Ohio Glory’s head coach was former Hall of Fame offensive lineman Larry Little. While other teams had minorities in many executive roles, Little was also the first minority head coach in the league. The WLAF would be his first pro head coaching gig, – which he admitted he had been dreaming of doing for years. With his big personality, Little was a very popular coach with the fans and media who swarmed him when he hit the field before games despite the team’s felonious record.

1992:

As part of the condition of the dispersal of the Skyhawks, – most of the talent from that team was returned to the draft pool, so the Glory in essence started from scratch. Ohio selected former Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Babe Laufenberg with the second overall pick. The Surge and Glory switched picks on defense so Sacramento gave them Center Curtis Wilson. Notable members of the Glory included:  Future AFL Orlando Predator head coach Pat O’Hara, and future Packer and Super Bowl champion, George Koonce. Future CFL and Baltimore Stallions wide receiver, Walter Wilson also made his way courtesy of the NFL’s allocation program through San Diego.

Ohio had a few bright spots in their single season in the WLAF as Walter Wilson would dominate the receiving charts finishing first with 65 receptions, and Melvin Patterson made a 99 yard touchdown reception setting a new league record. At runningback Amir Rasul finished 2nd in the league in rushing with 572 yards.  Over the course of the season the Glory went through 3 quarterback controversies with Babe Laufenberg, Pat O’Hara, and Greg Frey. Consistency proved to be a major problem for the team on offense, even though Ohio rolled up the statistics- they just couldn’t put it together solidly in one game.

Their low point was probably in their matchup against the San Antonio Riders. The game would be interrupted by a hailstorm and a tornado warning, but this would not stop the Riders from crushing the Glory 17-0. With Pat O’Hara under center, the Riders kept the pressure on the Glory all day long.

In the end, the Glory lost 4 games by a total of 16 points. Surprisingly the defense wasn’t bad, giving up more than 24 points in only 4 contests. Chad Rolen and Charles Jackson led the team in sacks and tackles respectively. Jason Wallace, CB, tied for 5th in the league with 3 interceptions, while Tom Rouen finished second in the league in punting yard and average, and also set a league record with an 85 yard punt.

After the season ended, Charles Jackson was named to the All-World Team along with Wilson and Rouen. The league reorganized after the 1992 season.

NOTES:

The Glory played their ‘preseason’ contest against the San Antonio Riders in San Marcos. The Riders trounced the Glory with Babe Laufenberg under center. The game would be used as a tie breaker for playoff purposes- but neither team needed it.

Since the Ohio Glory did not play in 1991, only Ultimate and Wild Card produced sets of the franchise.

LEGACY:

In 2004, the Arena league Buffalo Destroyers relocated to Columbus, where they’d remain until the AFL also reorganized after 2008. Although not among the retooled teams of the new AFL in 2010- Columbus returned to the Arena Football League stage in 2019 with the Destroyers name.

At times the city has been mentioned as a potential destination spot for the UFL and other fledgling leagues, however all of that has remained a rumor, as NFL and Spring football has escaped the beloved city of Columbus.

HC: Larry Little
QB: Babe Laufenberg, Pat O’Hara
RB: Amir Rasul, Lydell Carr
WR: Patrick Jackson, Walter WilsonMelvin Patterson,
Phil Logan
TE: Randy Bethel
LB: George Koonce, Marlon Brown
CB: Jason Wallace
K: Jerry Kauric
P:  Tom Rouen

At this time I am still missing autographs on these cards from:

Ultimate WLAF 1992:  Eric Harmon, Tim James, Babe Laufenberg (Promo).

Wild Card WLAF:  Darren Willis, Kent Wells, Chris Cochrane, Eric Harmon, Archie Herring, Tim James, & Babe Laufenberg.

Rasul, Amir

Cards: Ultimate WLAF 1992, Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 7/27   Received: 8/29  (34 days)

An excellent rusher and receiver out of the backfield during college, Amir Rasul finished with 2072 yards rushing, 600 yards receiving and a total of 23 touchdowns during his career at Florida A&M.  The Buffalo Bills would draft him in the 7th round of the 1991 draft to fit the mold of a Thurman Thomas back in their offense. He would not make the roster of the team.

The WLAF would come calling and the expansion Ohio Glory would select Amir in the 6th round of the 1992 draft. Although playing for the abhorrent Glory, (which finished at an abysmal 1-9,) Rasul was always a threat out of the backfield, racking up 572 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns for the team. In the season opener against Orlando, not only did he score the franchise’s first TD, Rasul also set league records rushing 24 times for 152 yards and a TD.  He also earned Offensive Player of the Week Honors. His rushing yards would be good enough to rank 2nd in the league behind Ivory Lee Brown (SA) in the end. He would not earn All-World honors however for his efforts. That would be it for the WLAF though, as it would reorganize after the 1992 season.

Since that time Amir has lived in relative anonymity and went into construction where he is the owner of Diamond Construction Group, out of the Fort Lauderdale area. I was able to track him down utilizing Spokeo, as his unique name made him an easy find. I didn’t expect to get a reply, so to get his response on these 2 cards was quite nice in a bit over 30 days.

Below are his WLAF statistcs:

G 10   Rush 136     Yds  572    Avg  4.2   Td  4    Lg  36  |
Rec 20    Yds 117    Avg  5.8      Td 0   Lg 22

Laufenberg, Babe

Card: Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: In Person 1993, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Home

Most famously remembered as the Dallas Cowboys 3rd string quarterback during the late 80s and early 90s, Babe Laufenberg was also the #2 overall choice of the WLAF expansion Ohio Glory in 1992.

Originally drafted out of Indiana in the 6th round of the 1985 draft by the Washington Redskins, Babe would not see playing time with the team. In 1986, he’d sign with the Saints, suiting up one game, but not play. This trend continued for Babe as he returned to the Skins for 1987.

In 1988 however, Laufenberg signed with the Chargers and started 6 games for the team that year. He’d compile a 2-4 record as a starter, throwing for 778 yards, with 4 touchdowns to 5 interceptions.  He’d move to Dallas in 1989 as the 3rd string quarterback behind Troy Aikman and Steve Walsh. He’d suit up for 3 games in 1989, after Aikman went down with an injury, but Babe still did not see any playing time until 1990.

With Steve Walsh traded to New Orleans, Laufenberg was elevated to second string for the remainder of the season.  Once again, Aikman was  injured, this time during Week 16 against the Eagles. Babe finished out the game,  as the team lost 17-3, completing 13 of 36 passes for 140 yards…. and 4 interceptions.  Laufenberg then started week 17 throwing for 129 yards and a touchdown to Jay Novacek in a losing effort blow out to the Atlanta Falcons 26-7. It’d be the last time he’d start a game in the NFL.

In 1991, Laufenberg rode into camp I’d swear on a Vespa. A character- you could always count on Babe to say something quotable or give people appropriate nicknames, like “Moose“. The Cowboys were comfortable with newly signed Steve Beuerlein in camp behind Aikman and cut the Laufenberg early on into camp that year to give him a chance to catch on somewhere else.  He’d sign with the Chiefs for the season.

Babe wound up being drafted by the Ohio Glory of the WLAF in 1992. I remember in that preseason game against San Antonio at San Marcos, Riders fans heckled Babe, as he was sacked and intercepted multiple times, en route to a shellacking by San Antonio. The Glory returned to play the Riders later in the 1992 season, but by then the team was starting Pat O’Hara.

Fans were still wrathful about the Cowboys missing the playoffs in 1990, blaming Laufenberg for the loss to the Eagles and Falcons, but really the Cowboys had to win both games- and they never stood a chance against the Eagles in the first place. Sports is a great place for revisionist history however, and Babe to many fans, despite his popularity was scapegoated by fans in Dallas  at that time for those games. -Personally, I loved the guy. Great personality. Amazing to listen to talk.

After the WLAF folded, Babe went into broadcasting where through 2011 he is a successful color commentator and sports broadcaster in Dallas.

G/Gs   N/a    Att 115   Comp 62   Yds  622  Pct 53.9   Td  2   Int 6    Rat  53.6