9 8 1
14 - Tad Taube first meets with John Ralston
about the possibility of establishing a USFL
franchise in the Bay Area.
23 - Partnering with friend Jim Joseph, Taube
becomes minority owner of the Bay Area
9 8 2
7 - Taube and Joseph flip a coin to determine
which of them takes control of the USFL's Los
Angeles franchise. Joseph "wins"
and Taube becomes the team's majority owner.
11 - At "21" in New York City, the
USFL announces its intent to play spring
football beginning in 1983.
30 - John Ralston is named head coach and
11 - Taube announces that the team will be known
as the "Bay Area Invaders."
19 - The Invaders sign their lease and their
first player, Cedrick Hardman. The team
also changes its name to the "Oakland"
Invaders, as the team would play all its games
at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Originally the team's plan had been to play at
three different sites: the Oakland
Coliseum, San Francisco's Candlestick Park, and
Stanford Stadium in nearby Palo Alto.
29 - The Invaders sign a contract with KGO radio
giving them broadcast rights for the team's
10 - The Invaders offices open in conjunction
with the team's hosting of a league meeting at
the Oakland Hyatt.
see more of the
Invaders timeline, visit the
Timeline of the USFL
Played in USFL:
Taube and Jim Joseph (1982); Tad Taube
(1983-84); Tad Taube and A. Alfred
Ralston (1983-84); Charlie Sumner (1985)
in post-season games
life decisions are made after careful
thought and planning, while others they
are made by the toss of a coin. In
the case of the Oakland Invaders and owner
Tad Taube, the latter would prove to be
originally partnered with Jim Joseph as co-owners
of a USFL franchise that would play in the Bay
Area of California. But by April 1982, Taube
had decided he'd rather be a majority owner.
Fortunately an opportunity to do just that had
come along - Alex Spanos, owner of the USFL's Los
Angeles franchise, had given up his slot in order
to buy a stake in the NFL's San Diego
Chargers. With founder David Dixon's
consent, Joseph and Taube decided to settle who
would take over L.A. by tossing a coin - the
winner got Los Angeles, the loser stayed in the
On May 7, 1982, the friends met at Vince's
Restaurant in San Mateo and the coin was
tossed. Joseph won, and Tad Taube was the
majority owner of a team in his hometown. A
real estate developer and investor, Taube is a
self-made man in every sense of the word.
Born April 1, 1931 in Krakow, Poland, Taube came
to the United States at a young age, growing up in
the Bay Area and getting a degree in industrial
engineering from Stanford. Prior to tackling
the challenge of the USFL he had been a successful
businessman and avid philanthropist - both of
which he remains to this day. But his
ownership tenure in the USFL proved to be one
instance where his Midas touch and commitment to
hard work just wouldn't pay off.
Starting their inaugural 1983 season with a 24-0
win over Jim Joseph's Arizona Wranglers (Joseph
was asked to give the L.A. market to cable
television pioneers Alan Harmon and Bill Daniels)
gave Taube gloating rights over his friend as the
USFL made its debut. As the Invaders
continued on over the course of the next three
years, the team would give him a number of
headaches as well.
Taube was the first USFL owner to notice the
rather stringent clauses in the league's
television contract with ABC, and fought hard over
the league's three years to get them
renegotiated. He was among the more active
owners in the USFL, keeping in regular
communication with the league office on a variety
of issues, among them the failure of some of his
fellow owners to adhere to David Dixon's blueprint
However, as time wore on, Taube would come to the
opinion that the USFL should seek a merger with
the NFL and play in the fall. Egged on by
New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump, Taube
began to see spring football as a financial
failure, and hoped his Invaders would be among the
franchises added to the older league should a
merger scenario unfold. It was not to be.
After a 1984 season that saw the Invaders go from
first to worst in the Pacific Division standings
and attendance drop to an unacceptable level (in
part, no doubt, due to the USFL's announcement
that they would play in the fall in 1986), Taube
had had enough. After discussing a merger
between his Invaders and the Oklahoma Outlaws, he
came to terms with Michigan Panthers owner A.
Alfred Taubman, another who had seen all together
too much money go down the chute. The
Panthers and Invaders were merged with the
Invaders as the surviving team, and while the
financial results weren't any better, the results
on the field were a dramatic improvement.
While the 1984 Invaders had gone 7-11-0, the
addition of several members of the Panthers
propelled the Invaders to the best record in the
USFL in 1985, going 13-4-1 and winning the
seven-team Western Conference's regular season
title. The team fared just as well in the
playoffs, defeating the Tampa Bay Bandits and
Memphis Showboats to advance to the 1985 USFL
Championship Game against the Baltimore Stars,
whom they had tied 17-17 in the season's early
stages. As the regular season game had been
the outcome was close, but the Stars emerged
victorious, 28-24. Thereafter the Invaders
were a franchise pretty much in name only,
suspending operations and awaiting the outcome of USFL
v. NFL to determine if the Invaders were dead
or merely hibernating. When the verdict came
in, it was official - the Invaders, and the rest
of the USFL, were dead.