Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 1974

On this date, 37 years ago, the World Football League’s inaugural season officially kicked off.  10 of the 12 teams took the field to open up their 20 game schedules.  After opening week was in the books attendance showed people can’t seem to get enough football.  Early attendance numbers that were reported showed over a quarter millions fans attended the leagues first six games.  Among those in attendance was the King, Elvis Presley, who was on hand to witness the Memphis Southmen defeat the Detroit Wheels.  The early attendance success, however, was short lived when only a few weeks later it was discovered a large number of tickets for some of the franchises were either given away or sold at significantly low prices.  The inflated attendance numbers crushed the leagues credibility.

On a positive note, the World Football League did institute 11 rule changes that had an impact on the game.  Among the rule changes… the WFL moved the kickoff back 10 yards from the 40-yard line to the 30, a 15 minute overtime period was added to games tied at the end of regulation and goal posts were moved from the goal line to the end line.

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