We’re Professionals

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Well, did you survive your spring dosage of Thunder Madness? I know I did, even though Game 4 against Dallas nearly made me choke on a pretzel. That being said, my checking account barely survived. Who knew tense and exciting playoff games could be so expensive?

Anyway, you may not be aware of this, but the Thunder is not the first big-league sports team to set up shop in the Sooner State. For the fun of it, I thought it would be cool to take a look at some of those lesser-known professional sports franchises that currently or at one time called Oklahoma home.

The Oklahoma Coyotes
The Coyotes were a member of Roller Hockey International (RHI) in 1995-1996. Led by a bunch of Oklahoma City Blazers and a couple of Tulsa Oilers, the Coyotes played their home games in the Myriad Arena in downtown Oklahoma City. The team was about as successful as you’d imagine a professional roller hockey team filled with AA hockey talent would be – not very.

In fact, before the franchise relocated to Las Vegas in 1997, they considered playing home games in an indoor roller hockey rink next to some odd Dave and Busters style rip-off in far northwest Oklahoma City. I’m sure that would have worked out well.

The Oklahoma Outlaws
In 1984, Tulsa was home to the USFL Oklahoma Outlaws. If you exclude that period in the 1980s when OU and OSU blatantly paid their players, this is the highest level of professional football to ever be played in Oklahoma. Led by Quarterback Doug Williams – who would later on become the MVP of Super Bowl XXII – the Outlaws struggled to a 6-12 record and missed the playoffs. It was Tulsa’s biggest disappointment until that whole Plymouth Belvedere time capsule was opened.

The Tulsa Shock

After doing some research, I have learned that Tulsa is home to a WNBA franchise called the Tulsa Shock. Apparently, the WNBA is a women’s professional basketball league. It was created by the NBA in 1996, and in 2009 a group of Oklahomans