Prior to the Mad Dogs, Smith fronted an ownership group (along with such entities as former Memphis Showboats owner William Dunavantand the estate of Elvis Presley) that tried to get a National Football League team into Memphis in 1993. The Memphis Hound Dogs, as the proposed team was to be called, was one of five teams to be considered, but was passed over in favor of the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith, after briefly considering a proposed “new league” backed by CBS, then turned to the CFL. The league was very impressed with Smith; his group was the richest in CFL history at the time. It seriously considered selling either the Hamilton Tiger-Cats or Calgary Stampeders to Smith. After those teams resolved their ownership situations, Smith’s group was granted an expansion franchise for 1995. With Presley’s estate no longer involved, the team eschewed “Hound Dogs” in favor of “Mad Dogs,” ostensibly through a name-the-team contest.
Due to massive losses and the late-season attendance collapse, the Mad Dogs folded at the December 1995 CFL meetings. It is likely they would have been forced out of town in any event by the impending arrival of the NFL’s Houston Oilers, who were planning to play at the Liberty Bowl while their new stadium in Nashville was being built. Sharing the Liberty Bowl with the Oilers would have caused serious logistical problems in September and October, and no other stadium in the Memphis area was suitable even for temporary use. The Stallions faced a similar situation when the arrival of the Baltimore Ravens forced them to move out of town after winning the Grey Cup.
By February 1996, the Barracudas, Texans and Shreveport Pirates had also folded while the Stallions had reconstituted themselves as the third incarnation of the Montreal Alouettes, ending the CFL’s three-year experiment south of the border.
Besides financial and attendance problems, the Mad Dogs were hobbled by the promotional efforts of the CFL itself. The league positioned itself directly against the NFL when it attempted to move south of the border. The CFL adopted the marketing slogan, “Longer, Wider, Faster” to appeal to the American football market. Rodgers had expressed frustration in the efforts to market the Mad Dogs and Canadian football to the Mid-South.
The Memphis Mad Dogs were a Canadian football team that played the 1995 season in the Canadian Football League. The Mad Dogs were part of a failed attempt to expand the CFL into the United States.
1995 / Canadian Football League
1995 / Memphis Mad Dogs
Mad Dogs - Prior to the Mad Dogs, Smith fronted an ownership group (along with such entities as former Memphis Showboats owner William Dunavant and the estate of Elvis Presley) that tried to get a National Football League team into Memphis in 1993. The Memphis Hound Dogs, as the proposed team was to be called, was one of five teams to be considered, but was passed over in favor of the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars. With Presley's estate no longer involved, the team eschewed "Hound Dogs" in favor of "Mad Dogs," ostensibly through a name-the-team contest.
Grey Cup 0
1995 / Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
1995 / Fred Smith
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*Blue is this team’s history