Houston Thunderbears

Houston Thunderbears

AFL defunct
name = Houston ThunderBears
logo =
founded = 1996
folded = 2001
prior names = Texas Terror
championships = none

The Houston ThunderBears were a team in the Arena Football League that operated from 1996-2001. The team was based in Houston, Texas. Home games were played at the Compaq Center. The team was known as the Texas Terror their first two years in existence before changing the name to the Thunderbears. Plagued with attendance problems through the majority of their existence, the team folded in 2001.


Texas Terror (1996-1997)

The Texas Terror was a franchise in the Arena Football League, a league which plays a scaled-down version of American football in venues primarily designed for ice hockey or basketball. The Terror played in the 1996 and 1997 Arena seasons. Their home games were played at the Summit also at that time home to the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. The Terror's logo appeared to be a stylized representation of Frankenstein's monster holding a football.

The 1996 season was an unmitigated disaster, with the Terror notching only one win, coming against another first-year team, the ill-fated Minnesota Fighting Pike. The 1997 season was considerably better with a record of 6-8, but the attendance was abysmal, especially given the size of the Houston market. After the season, the decision was made to remake the franchise and scrap both the existing logo and team name, and the team was renamed the Houston ThunderBears.

Houston ThunderBears (1998-2001)

The Houston ThunderBears were a continuation of the Texas Terror franchise (1996–1997) of the Arena Football League under a new name, logo, and color scheme. The team still played its home games at the Compaq Center. 1998, the first year as the ThunderBears, was the high-water mark in team history, in which they recorded their only winning season and sole playoff appearance (a loss to Arizona). The two subsequent seasons saw a decline in both on-field performance and attendance. For the 2001 season, then owner Leslie Alexander (owner of the NBA's Houston Rockets),sold the franchise back to the Arena Football League. Although still called the "Houston ThunderBears", the team played none of its home games in Houston. The league decided to use them as a showcase team to stimulate interest in new markets. Four AFL/af2 franchises (Utah Blaze, Fresno Frenzy, Central Valley Coyotes, and Lubbock Renegades) emerged from some of the markets that the TBears played in. The ThunderBears were ultimately contracted along with 3 other AFL franchises in the 2001-2002 offseason.


colspan="6" align="center" | Texas Terror
1996 || 1 || 13 || 0 || 4th NC Southern || --
1997 || 6 || 8 || 0 || 3rd AC Central || --
colspan="6" align="center" | Houston Thunderbears
1998 || 8 || 6 || 0 || 1st AC Central || Lost Week 1 (Arizona Rattlers)
1999 || 4 || 10 || 0 || 4th AC Central || --
2000 || 3 || 11 || 0 || 4th AC Central || --
2001 || 3 || 11 || 0 || 4th AC Western || --
-!Totals || 25 || 60 || 0
colspan="2"| (including playoffs)

Notable players

*Terrence Melton, Fullback/Linebacker 2000-2001
*Wilky Bazile, Offensive Line/Defensive Line 2001
*Terence Davis, Wide Receiver/Linebacker 1998-2001
*Clint Dolezel, Quarterback 1998-1999
*Robert Hall, Offensive Specialist 1999-2000
*Todd Hammel, Quarterback 2001
*Larry Jones, Defensive Specialist 1999; 2000-2001
*Thomas McGaughey, Wide Receiver/Linebacker 1998
*Sedrick Robinson, Wide Receiver/Linebacker 2001


*The Terror and ThunderBears both appeared on the game "EA Sports Arena Football" as hidden bonus teams.

External links

* [http://www.arenafootball.com AFL Official Website]
* [http://www.arenafan.com/teams/?page=history&team=33 Texas Terror at ArenaFan.com]
* [http://www.arenafan.com/teams/?page=history&team=41&year=2001 Houston ThunderBears at ArenaFan.com]

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