Cincinnati Rockers
Established 1992
Folded 1993
Played in Riverfront Coliseum
in Cincinnati, Ohio
CincinnatiRockers2.png
League/conference affiliations
Arena Football League (19921993)
Team colorsCal Poly Green, yellow, white
     
MascotRockerman
Personnel
Owner(s)Ted Gregory
PresidentTed Gregory
General managerTed Gregory
Head coachJoe Haering
Team history
  • Cincinnati Rockers (1992–1993)
Championships
League championships (0)
Conference championships (0)
Prior to 2005, the AFL did not have conference championship games
Division championships (0)
Playoff appearances (1)
Home arena(s)

The Cincinnati Rockers were an arena football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They began play in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and competed through the 1993 season before they suspended operations due to low attendance. The Rockers played their home games at the Riverfront Coliseum.

History

1992

Main article: 1992 Cincinnati Rockers season

The Rockers were announced in 1991 as successful restaurant owner Ted Gregory was granted the Arena league expansion the franchise. As one of four expansion teams for 1992, the Rockers sold 5,700 season tickets.[1] In a bid to give the new franchise some credibility, the league persuaded the league's strongest team, the Detroit Drive, to trade Art Schlichter to Cincinnati. Schlichter had grown up in nearby Bloomingburg and had starred at Ohio State, and still had some name recognition in the area.[2][3]

Additionally, the compulsive gambling that had derailed Schlichter's NFL career had continued unabated during his two years with the Drive, to the point that he had to leave Detroit for his own safety.[4] Schlichter signed a one-year $40,000 contract.[5] Soon after that, he was arrested for passing a bad check, and admitted suffering a gambling relapse. Gregory worked out a deal in which the team put most of Schlichter's paycheck into an account to pay off his gambling debts, except for $300 that they gave to his wife, Mitzi.[6] It was to no avail; police were frequently waiting for Schlichter in the locker room.[4]

The Rockers finished their first season in the league with a surprising 7–3 record, but lost in the first round of the playoffs 41–36 to the Tampa Bay Storm.

1993

Main article: 1993 Cincinnati Rockers season

The Rockers suffered a major blow in the 1992-93 offseason when Schlichter was forced to retire. League officials learned that Schlichter was betting on AFL games. League commissioner Joe O'Hara recalled in 2020 that when he learned this, he called Gregory and told him Schlichter had to go. Facing the prospect of being banned from the league, Schlichter was allowed to publicly save face by retiring.[7] Even before then, the Rockers were losing patience with Schlichter's gambling; they had asked him to take a substantial pay cut to return for 1993.[3]

The team ceased operations following a 2–10 season in 1993.[8] The team's attendance fell by almost 50%, leading to Tom Gregory's decision to drop out of the AFL for the 1994 season.[9] Gregory attempted to find additional sponsors to re-launch the team in 1995,[9] but he instead sold the franchise to the Hartford Sports & Entertainment Group, who moved the franchise to Hartford, Connecticut and became known as the Connecticut Coyotes.[10]

Season-by-season

Season records
Season W L T Finish Playoff results
1992 7 3 0 2nd Northern Lost Week 1 (Tampa Bay 41-36)
1993 2 10 0 5th Am. Conf. – n/a –
Totals 9 14 0 (including playoffs)

Logos & uniform

The team color scheme incorporated bright yellow and green.

Notable players

Final roster

Cincinnati Rockers roster
Quarterbacks

Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs

Fullbacks/Linebackers
  • -- John Clark
  • 32 Mel Mills
  • 34 Dan Sellers

Offensive Linemen/Defensive Linemen

  • -- Kevin Allen
  • -- Joe Brunson
  • -- Kevin Carroll
  • -- Lamar Davis
  • -- John Dixon
  • -- David Edeen
  • -- Cecil Fletcher
  • -- Steve Houghton
  • -- Jerry Renners
  • -- Mick Roessler
  • -- Craig Schlichting
  • -- Steve Slay
Wide Receiver/Linebackers
  • -- Falanda Newton

Kickers

Rookies in italics
Roster updated July 15, 2013
29 Active, 0 Inactive, 0 PS

→ More rosters

Arena Football Hall of Famers

Cincinnati Rockers Hall of Famers
No. Name Year Inducted Position(s) Years w/ Rockers
1 Gary Mullen[11] 1998 WR/DB 1993

Other players

Notable coaches

Head coaches

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 1993 Arena Football League season.

Name Term Regular Season Playoffs Awards Reference
W L T Win% W L
Fran Curci 1992 7 3 0 .700 0 1 [12]
Joe Haering 1993 2 10 0 .167 0 0 [13]

Notes

References

  1. ^ Jason Blanton (May 12, 1992). "Couch playing Arena Football". Harlan Daily Enterprise. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  2. ^ "Rockers bail out Schlichter". The Daily Sentinel. July 20, 1992. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Schlichter, Art (2009). Busted: The Rise and Fall of Art Schlichter. withJeff Snook. Orange Frazer Press. ISBN 978-1933197678.
  4. ^ a b Jeff Long (April 1995). "Art Schlichter's Fall From Glory". Columbus Monthly.
  5. ^ "Schlichter may end grid career". Toledo Blade. October 23, 1992. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  6. ^ "Schlichter Admits Gambling Relapse". The New York Times. July 12, 1992. Retrieved August 18, 2007.
  7. ^ "AFL Rewind: Joe O'Hara". ArenaFan.com. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  8. ^ Ryan Ernst (March 23, 2003). "Following in footsteps of defunct Rockers". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "ROCKERS TO LEAVE ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE". Dayton Daily News. October 30, 1993. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  10. ^ "Arena grid team sold to Hellcats". Record=Journal. June 23, 1994. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  11. ^ "Arena Football League Hall of Fame". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. Archived from the original on May 1, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  12. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Fran Curci". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan.com. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  13. ^ "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Joe Haering". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan.com. Retrieved 2008-10-24.