Prior to its 1984 expansion, the USFL commissioned a survey of 17 potential expansion locations, requesting recommendations on the viability of each to support a USFL franchise.  Cities such as Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Seattle and Houston were seen as potentially viable locations for USFL teams.  San Antonio, well, wasn't.

Clinton Manges would not be denied, however, laying on a heavy-duty sales pitch to existing owners considering new franchise locations.  In the end the owners, seeing Manges balance sheet and wanting to expand to 18 teams for 1984, essentially said "Why not?" and admitted the San Antonio Gunslingers as the USFL's 17th franchise.  They should have come up with an answer to the "Why not?" question.

Manges ran the Gunslingers on a shoe-string in every sense of the word:  from playing games at the not-so comfy Alamo Stadium (not to be confused with the Alamo Bowl, which hadn't been built yet), to having the team's administrative offices in a double-wide trailer outside the stadium, the Gunslingers were far from a first-class operation.  This would be reflected in the team's performance on the field as well, as a 7-11-0 debut season in 1984 would degrade to 5-13-0 in 1985, with only the league-operated L.A. Express preventing the 'Slingers from finishing 7th in a 7-team Western Conference.

Manges simply stopped paying the Gunslingers bills with about a month remaining in the 1985 season, with members of his office staff reportedly avoiding players looking for their paychecks by crawling out the windows of the double-wide "offices" of the team.  Having seen enough, in July 1985 USFL Commissioner Harry Usher ordered Manges to make restitution in full for all outstanding team debts.  When Manges didn't pony up the dough after 15 days, the Gunslingers became the only USFL franchise to be revoked.


San Antonio Gunslingers


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