Arena Football League: The 5 Worst Arena Football League Teams

Leonard WeirichCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - APRIL 26:  Ricky Hall #49 of the New York Dragons runs the ball against the Cleveland Gladiators on April 26, 2008 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  Dragons defeat Gladiators 56-39.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for the New York Dragons)

Although the Arena Football League has seen its share of teams cease operations during its 22 year run (1987-2008), it has also seen some teams succeed.

Here is my top 5, in no particular order, of the worst teams to play in the Arena Football League.

New Orleans Night (1991-92) - This 1991 entry (along with Columbus (the Thunderbolts), Tampa Bay and Orlando) would play its home games in one half of the Louisiana Superdome.  The Night would become the third Arena Football League franchise to go through its entire season winless (New Orleans would finish the 1992 season 0-10).  The 1992 AFL regular season would be the Night's final season as well as they would cease operations (as would the San Antonio Force, who finished 2-8).

Columbus Thunderbolts (1991) - The Thunderbolts would only play one season and they would finish the 1991 regular season with no wins and 10 losses (they would be the second AFL franchise to achieve this type of futility).  After the 1991 season, Columbus would relocate to Cleveland and play three more seasons.  I do not know if Cleveland would fare as well, but the Thunderbolts will be remembered for being the only AFL team from the State of Ohio to finish a season winless.

Maryland Commandos (1989) - The 1989 season would be the only season for the Commandos (as Maryland, of course) and they would become the first ever Arena Football League team to finish the regular season without a victory.  Maryland would finish 0-4 and play the 1990 AFL season as the reborn Washington Commandos (the original Washington Commandos finished the 1987 AFL season 2-4 and relocate to Detroit in time for the 1988 AFL season).

Memphis Pharaohs (1996) - The Pharaohs played their home games at the Pyramid for two seasons and what is so special about including Memphis?  Memphis would become the fifth Arena Football League team to finish the regular winless (Memphis finished 0-14 in 1996 and would relocate to Portland, Oregon for three seasons (1997-99) and finally to Oklahoma City for two seasons - 2000-01).  Despite seven AFL seasons as three different teams, Memphis will always be remembered as the only Arena Football League team from Tennessee who finished a season winless.

Carolina Cobras (2003) - Already in its fourth season, the Cobras would become the sixth (and last) Arena Football League season with a winless record.  Carolina would finish the 2003 season 0-16 and play its final season, which would be the 2004 AFL season, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Cobras would play four of its five seasons in Raleigh, but the 2004 season would see the Cobras sport uniforms that would make them look like knockoffs of the San Francisco 49ers.  It has been five years since arena football departed from North Carolina, but another league has placed teams in North Carolina (as well as South Carolina).

That concludes my top 5 of the worst teams in the Arena Football League.