AAA Football Leagues, American Leagues, Southwestern Football League 1972-1973, World Gridiron

Southwestern Football League 1973

SWFL 1973

PWLTPFPAPct
Eastern Division
*Oklahoma City Wranglers10910442110.900
*San Antonio Toros8620239170.750
Albuquerque Thunderbirds8440212173.500
Denver Oilers817087372.125
Kansas City Steers303019139.000
Western Division
*Las Vegas Casinos8620192129.750
Phoenix Blazers9630217181.667
Southern California Razorbacks9360164147.333
Los Angeles Mustangs9180128221.111

Reference: [1]

DateHome TeamAway Team
Semi-Final Playoff
01.09.1973San Antonio Toros 45Las Vegas Casinos3
Championship Game
08.09.1973Oklahoma City Wranglers19San Antonio Toros16

Reference: [1; 37-40]

Regular Season Results

DateHome TeamAway Team
Week 1
16.06.1973New Mexico Thunderbirds32Los Angeles Mustangs6
16.06.1973Phoenix Blazers20Southern California Razorbacks18
16.06.1973Oklahoma City Wranglers57Denver Oilers0
Week 2
23.06.1973Phoenix Blazers27New Mexico Thuncerbirds33 ot
23.06.1973Kansas City Steers0Oklahoma City Wranglers37
Week 3
30.06.1973New Mexico Thunderbirds21Southern California Razorbacks27
30.06.1973San Antonio Toros35Denver Oilers10
30.06.1973Phoenix Blazers27Los Angeles Mustangs7
30.06.1973Oklahoma City Wranglers75Kansas City steers0
Week 4
07.07.1973New Mexico Thunderbirds14Oklahoma City Wranglers37
07.07.1973Denver Oilers6Phoenix Blazers39
07.07.1973Las Vegas Casinos26Southern California Razorbacks12
07.07.1973San Antonio Toros25Los Angeles Mustangs15
Week 5
14.07.1973San Antonio Toros43Phoenix Blazers7
Week 6
21.07.1973New Mexico Thunderbirds17Southern California Razorbacks0
21.07.1973San Antonio Toros26Oklahoma City Wranglers17
21.07.1973Phoenix Blazers22Las Vegas Casinos17
Week 7
28.07.1973Oklahoma City Wranglers38New Mexico Thunderbirds22
28.07.1973Las Vegas Casinos39San Antonio Toros27
28.07.1973Phoenix Blazers52Denver Oilers19
28.07.1973Southern California Razorbacks27Los Angeles Mustangs4
Week 8
04.08.1973San Antonio Toros31New Mexico Thunderbirds24
04.08.1973Oklahoma City Wranglers63Denver Oilers3
04.08.1973Phoenix BlazerscLos Angeles Mustangsc
04.08.1973Las Vegas Casinos13Southern California Razorbacks11
Week 9
11.08.1973New Mexico Thunderbirds50Denver Oilers7
11.08.1973Las Vegas Casinos47Phoenix Blazers7
11.08.1973San Antonio Toros32Southern California Razorbacks7
Week 10
18.08.1973New Mexico ThunderbirdscPhoenix Blazersc
18.08.1973Oklahoma City Warriors42San Antonio Toros14
Week 11
25.08.1973New Mexico ThunderbirdscSan Antonio Torosc
25.08.1973Las Vegas Casinos0 #Southern California Razorbacks1
Week 12
01.09.1973Los Angeles MustangsSouthern California Razorbacks

Reference: [2-36; 41-47]

Report

The Soujthwestern Football League expanded to nine teams from six in 1973. The Kansas City Steers folded after 3 games, and were stricken from the record. The top teams all season were the San Antonio Toros, Las Vegas Casinos and Oklahoma City Wranglers.

The New Mexico Thunderbirds and Phoenix Blazers both finished with average records, and ran into financial trouble late on in the season, both cancelling games.

The Toros were the defending Champions, andhad a shot at repeating, beating Western Division Champions Las Vegas Casinos in the Semi-Final Playoff 45-3, before losing to Eastern Division Champions Oklahoma City Wranglers 19-16 in the Championship Game.

About

The Southwestern Football League (1972-1973) was a AAA (2nd Level) American Football League – when asked by a reporter if they were any good, the New Mexico Thunderbirds Head Coach said the Southwestern Football League Champs were to the NFL Super Bowl Champs what the Albuquerque Dukes were to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Baseball – in other words a AAA team.

It was based, as its name suggests, in the American Southwest, featuring teams from Texas (San Antonio Toros & Dallas Rockets), Kansas City, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City Wranglers), Colorado (Denver Oilers), New Mexico (Albuquerque Thunderbirds), Arizona (Phoenix Blazers), Nevada (Las Vegas) and California (Southern California Razorbacks, Los Angeles Mustangs).

It was preceded by the Texas Football League (1966-1971) and the Continental Football League – 1965-1969 – AAA – 2nd Level) and was succeeded by the California Football League (1977-1982) and the American Football Association (1977-1983 – Texas and Southern States further east – AAA). The World Football League of 1974-1975 took up a lot of the players of Minor Football Leagues at the time, leaving just one League at AAA & AA level.

Note on Team Names

A lot of the teams in the Southwestern Football League made reference to the “Cowboy & Indian” culture of the region – the Kansas City Steers and San Antonio Toros were both named after Bulls, the Los Angeles Mustangs were named after a Wild Horse found in the West, and the Oklahoma City Wranglers were named after Cowboys. The Albuquerque Thunderbirds were named after a mythical Native American bird. There were also teams named after the Oil Industry – the Denver Oilers; the Space Industry – Dallas Rockets; and the Gambling Industry – Las Vegas Casinos, all of which would employ people in the Southwest. The Phoenix Blazers is also a reference to a mythical bird, this time the one from Ancient Egyptian & Christian mythology, the Phoenix who rose from the flames, after which the city is named.

Reference:

Bibliography

[1] Gill, Bob et al (2010) “Season-by-Season Listings- Other Leagues” Outsiders II – Minor League and Independent Football 1951-1985 pg. 120-121. St. Johann Press, Haworth, NJ (USA), 2010

Sources

[2] Adams, Bill (1973) “Thunderbirds leave nest Saturday” Los Lunas Valencia County News, June 14, 1973. pg. 14 [internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/los-lunas-valencia-county-news-jun-14-1973-p-14/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[3] Bearman, LeRoy (1973) “13, 000 fans see T-Birds win by 32-6” Albuquerque Journal. June 17, 1973. pg. 53 [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-journal-jun-17-1973-p-53/ [Accessed 6 December 1973]

[4] Anon. (1973) “T-Birds, unbeaten Oklahoma clash Saturday” Albuquerque Tribune. July 4, 1973. pg. 30. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-jul-04-1973-p-30/ {Accessed 6 December 2019]

[5] Lay, Gret (1973) “T-Birds Face California Tonight” Albuquerque Journal, July 21, 1973. pg. 31. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-journal-jul-21-1973-p-31/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[6] Anon. (1973) “SWPFL Standings” Albuquerque Tribune. July 26, 1973. pg. 48. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-jul-26-1973-p-48/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[7] Anon. (1973) “Wranglers stop T-Birds, 38-22” Albuquerque Tribune. July 30, 1973. pg. 31. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-jul-30-1973-p-31/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[8] Anon. (1973) “SWPFL Standings” Albuquerque Tribune. August 1,1973. pg. 45. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-aug-01-1973-p-45/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[9] Anon. (1973) “Olivas figures in Toros Game” Albuquerque Tribune. August 2, 1973. Pg. 54 [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-aug-02-1973-p-54/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[10] Anon. (1973) “T-Bird Bid Falls Short” Albuquerque Journal. August 5, 1973. pg. 57 [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-journal-aug-05-1973-p-57/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[11] Anon. (1973) “Oilers next for T-Birds” Albuquerque Tribune. August 10, 1973. Pg. 41 [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-aug-10-1973-p-41/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[12] Anon. (1973) “T-Birds play Denver” Albuquerque Tribune. Aug 11, 1973. pg. 9 [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-aug-11-1973-p-9/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[13] Wood, Charles (1973) “Olivas shoots ’em down” Albuquerque Tribune. Aug 13, 1973. p. 27. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-aug-13-1973-p-27/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[14] Anon. (1973) “Blazers back out on T-Bird Contest” Albuquerque Journal. August 16, 1973. pg. 35. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-journal-aug-16-1973-p-35/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[15] Anon. (1973) “T-Bird Football Game Cancelled” Albuquerque Tribune. August 24, 1973. pg. 44. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/albuquerque-tribune-aug-24-1973-p-44/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[16] Anon. (1973) “Blazers’triumph” Phoenix Arizona Republic. July 1, 1973. pg. 131. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-jul-01-1973-p-131/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[17] Jacobsen, Bob (1973) “Blazers’ char Mustangs” Phoenix Arizona Republic. July 2, 1973. pg. 55. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-jul-02-1973-p-55/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[18] Anon. (1973) “Blazers’ air game destroys Denver” Phoenix Arizona Republic. July 9, 1973. pg. 65. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-jul-09-1973-p-65/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[19] Jacobsen, Bob (1973) “Blazers’ bow, 43-7” Phoenix Arizona Republic. July 16, 1973. pg. 53. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-jul-16-1973-p-53/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[20] Jacobsen, Bob (1973) “Blazers take squeaker” Phoenix Arizona Republic. July 22, 1973. pg. 117. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-jul-22-1973-p-117/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[21] Jacobsen, Bob (1973) “Blazers triumph” Phoenix Arizona Republic. July 22, 1973. pg. 129. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-jul-22-1973-p-129/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[22] Anon. (1973) “Phoenix Blazers forced to cancel game with LA” Phoenix Arizona Republic. July 27, 1973. pg. 121. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-jul-27-1973-p-121/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[23] Jacobsen, Bob (1973) “Blazers breeze, 55-19” Phoenix Arizona Republic. July 29, 1973. pg. 125. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-jul-29-1973-p-125/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[24] Anon. (1973) “Blazers in gamble on Casinos’ turf” Phoenix Arizona Republic. August 11 1973. pg. 133. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-aug-11-1973-p-133/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[25] Anon. (1973) “Casinos beat Blazers, 47-7” Phoenix Arizona Republic. August 12 1973. pg. 133. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/phoenix-arizona-republic-aug-12-1973-p-133/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[26] Anon.(1973) “Toros hold off Mustangs for 25-15 Grid Victory” San Antonio Light. July 8, 1973. pg. 67. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-jul-08-1973-p-67/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[27] Anon.(1973) “Toros beat Los Angeles” San Antonio Light. July 8, 1973. pg. 69. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-jul-08-1973-p-69/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[28] Anon.(1973) “Toros smash Phoenix by 43-7” San Antonio Light. July 15, 1973. pg. 72. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-jul-15-1973-p-72/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[29] Hines, John (1973) “Toros Wrangling for Another Victory” San Antonio Express and News. July 21, 1973. pg. 54. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-express-and-news-jul-21-1973-p-54/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[30] Hines, John (1973) “Toros in Unreal Rally; Win by 26-17” San Antonio Express and News. July 22, 1973. pg. 50. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-express-and-news-jul-22-1973-p-50/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[31] Evans, Ray (1973) “Toros Explode late to defeat Wranglers” San Antonio Light. July 22, 1973. pg. 31. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-jul-22-1973-p-31/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[32] Page, Barry (1973) “Toros win, 31-24” San Antonio Express and News. August 5, 1973. pg. 48 [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-express-and-news-aug-05-1973-p-48/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[33] Evans, Ray (1973) “Toros take 31-24 victory from N.M.” San Antonio Light. August 5, 1973. pg. 70. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-aug-05-1973-p-70/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[34] Evans, Ray (1973) “Sub QB guides Toros to victory” San Antonio Light. August 12, 1973. pg. 75. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-aug-12-1973-p-75/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[35] Hines, John (1973) “Wranglers slash Toros” San Antonio Express and News. August 19, 1973. pg. 23. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-express-and-news-aug-19-1973-p-23/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[36] Evans, Ray (1973) “Wranglers Tame Toros, Take Crown” San Antonio Light. August 19, 1973. pg. 131. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-aug-19-1973-p-131/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[37] Anon. (1973) “SFL Playoff Tilts slated” San Antonio Express. August 22, 1973. pg. 45. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-express-aug-22-1973-p-45/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[38] Juarez, Ray (1973) “Toros smash crippled Las Vegas Casinos, 45-3” San Antonio Light. September 2, 1973. pg. 80. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-sep-02-1973-p-80/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[39] Juarez, Ray (1973) “Pasterchick feels loneliness of defeat” San Antonio Light. September 10, 1973. pg. 17. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-light-sep-10-1973-p-17/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[40] Hines, John (1973) “Wranglers nip Toros 19-16” San Antonio Express. September 10, 1973. pg. 13. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/san-antonio-express-sep-10-1973-p-13/ [Accessed 6 December 2019]

[41] Anon. (1973) “Sports Briefs: Football” Nevada State Journal. July 9, 1973. pg. 14. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/nevada-state-journal-jul-09-1973-p-14/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[42] Anon. (1973) “Razorbacks in near upset” Santa Ana Register. June 18, 1973. pg. 24. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/santa-ana-register-jun-18-1973-p-24/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[43] Anon. (1973) “Razorbacks at New Mexico” Santa Ana Register. July 21, 1973. pg. 24. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/santa-ana-register-jul-21-1973-p-24/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[44] Anon. (1973) “Razorbacks , Mustangs at Bowl” Santa Ana Register. July 25, 1973. pg. 21. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/santa-ana-register-jul-28-1973-p-21/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[45] Anon. (1973) “Razorbacks score early to rout Mustangs, 27-4” Santa Ana Register. July 30, 1973. pg. 21. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/santa-ana-register-jul-30-1973-p-21/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[46] Anon. (1973) “Razorbacks Fall 13-11” Santa Ana Register. Aug 7, 1973. pg. 28. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/santa-ana-register-aug-07-1973-p-28/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

[47] Anon. (1973) “Razorbacks get 2nd – on Forfeit” Santa Ana Register. Aug 26, 1973. pg. 32. [Internet] Available from: https://newspaperarchive.com/santa-ana-register-aug-25-1973-p-32/ [Accessed 7 December 2019]

References

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Fiona Corrigan, Caoimhe Mullaney, Alan Delaney, John Kane, John Wills, Louise Kenny, John Cummins, John Morahan, Jean-Paul O’Flynn.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 7 December 2019

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2019

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Reserved.

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