The Houston Gamblers were one of six expansion teams in the USFL’s second season. They got a big break when they were able to sign Miami Quarterback Jim Kelly, who despite being picked in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills chose the upstart spring league over a reluctance to play in cold weather. Kelly would ...
Run & Shoot advocate and chief refiner Darell “Mouse” Davis was hired by the progressive Pardee to install the offense as the team’s Offensive Coordinator. (Davis was a former head coach at Portland State University where he developed the St. Louis Cardinals 2 time Pro Bowl QB Neil Lomax.) Led by former Miami Hurricanes QB Jim Kelly (who snubbed the ...
While the Gamblers had been a solid draw the year before, area fans were not about to abandon the Houston Oilers. Attendance dropped by almost 9,000 from 1984. The resulting financial problems were so severe that at one point, the Gamblers had trouble making payroll. They needed an advance from the league just to go to the playoffs. Although owner ...
The Houston Gamblers were one of eight teams that were officially announced as a USFL franchise on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on November 22, 2021. On January 6, 2022, it was announced on The Herd with Colin Cowherd that former NCAA Football Head coach Kevin Sumlin was named the Head coach and General manager of the Gamblers.
History of the Gamblers
The Houston Gamblers were a professional American football team that competed in the United States Football League (USFL) from 1984 to 1985. The team was based in Houston, Texas, and played their home games at the Astrodome. The Gamblers were coached by former University of Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson and led by quarterback Jim Kelly, who would later become an NFL Hall of Famer.
In two short seasons, the Gamblers compiled a 24-20 record and made it to USFL Championship Game before losing to George Allen's Chicago Blitz 27-0. They also had one Pro Bowl player - wide receiver Richard Johnson - and several other notable players, including running back Craig James, defensive lineman Doug Smith and linebacker John Corker among others.
After folding along with the rest of USFL after its second season due to financial issues caused by an antitrust lawsuit against NFL, which they lost, the franchise has been dormant for over 35 years until 2022, when the new ownership group announced plans for reviving them. They plan on joining the newly formed Freedom Football League (FFL), which is scheduled to begin to play that year. It remains to be seen if this new version will be able to bring the same kind of success or even surpass the achievements original squad. Still, no doubt sports fans are everywhere looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these reborn Houston Gambles!
1984 – 1985, 2022 - Present / United States Football League
1984 – 1985, 2022 - Present / Houston Gamblers
Gamblers – The Houston Gamblers were a professional American football team that played in the United States Football League (USFL) from 1984 to 1985. The team was based in Houston, Texas, and played their home games at the Astrodome. Despite having only two seasons, they left an indelible mark on USFL history with their unique nickname: The Gamblers.
But how did this unique moniker come about? It all started when owner Jerry Argovitz wanted to create a name for his new franchise that would capture the spirit of its city - one known for taking risks and embracing boldness - while also honoring his love of gambling. After much deliberation, he settled on “Gamblers” as it perfectly encapsulated what he was trying to achieve; not just a reference to gambling but also representing risk-takers everywhere who are willing to take chances despite potential failure or success being uncertain outcomes.
In addition, calling themselves “Gamblers” created an instant rivalry between them and another USFL franchise –the Los Angeles Express– whose nickname happened to be "Express." This gave fans something extra special during matchups between these two teams as both had names related directly back to their respective cities' culture & heritage, which made each game even more exciting than usual!
As time went on, though. Unfortunately, due financial issues caused by bad investments & mismanagement within the ownership group led them to fold after just 2 seasons, playing out the 1984-85 season before disbanding the following year completely, 1986, leaving behind a legacy filled with great memories and fondly remembered those who followed closely throughout short lifespan organization.
USFL Championship 0
2022 - Present / Protective Stadium/Legion Field (Birmingham, Alabama)
1984 – 1985 / Houston Astrodome
2022 - Present / National Spring Football League Enterprises Co
1985 / Alvin Lubetkin, Dr. Jerry Argovitz, Jay Roulier
1984 / Alvin Lubetkin, Bernard Lerner, Dr. Jerry Argovitz, Fred Gerson
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
1985 / Division Championship Game (vs Birmingham Stallions 20 – 22)
1984 / Division Championship Game (vs Arizona Wranglers 16 – 17)
Averaged 28,152 in 1983 and 19,120 in 1984 (47,690 seat stadium)
*Blue is this team’s history