The Cincinnati Rockers were an arena football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They began play in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and competed through the 1993 season before they suspended operations due to low attendance. The Rockers played their home games at the Riverfront Coliseum.
Played in Riverfront Coliseum
in Cincinnati, Ohio
|Arena Football League (1992–1993)
|Team colors||Cal Poly Green, yellow, white|
|General manager||Ted Gregory|
|Head coach||Joe Haering|
|League championships (0)|
|Conference championships (0)|
Prior to 2005, the AFL did not have conference championship games
|Division championships (0)|
|Playoff appearances (1)|
The Rockers were announced in 1991 as successful restaurant owner Ted Gregory was granted the Arena league expansion the franchise. As one of four expansion teams for 1992, the Rockers sold 5,700 season tickets. In a bid to give the new franchise some credibility, the league persuaded the league's strongest team, the Detroit Drive, to trade Art Schlichter to Cincinnati. Schlichter had grown up in nearby Bloomingburg and had starred at Ohio State, and still had some name recognition in the area.
Additionally, the compulsive gambling that had derailed Schlichter's NFL career had continued unabated during his two years with the Drive, to the point that he had to leave Detroit for his own safety. Schlichter signed a one-year $40,000 contract. Soon after that, he was arrested for passing a bad check, and admitted suffering a gambling relapse. Gregory worked out a deal in which the team put most of Schlichter's paycheck into an account to pay off his gambling debts, except for $300 that they gave to his wife, Mitzi. It was to no avail; police were frequently waiting for Schlichter in the locker room.
The Rockers finished their first season in the league with a surprising 7–3 record, but lost in the first round of the playoffs 41–36 to the Tampa Bay Storm.
The Rockers suffered a major blow in the 1992-93 offseason when Schlichter was forced to retire. League officials learned that Schlichter was betting on AFL games. League commissioner Joe O'Hara recalled in 2020 that when he learned this, he called Gregory and told him Schlichter had to go. Schlichter's was allowed to publicly save face by retiring. Even before then, the Rockers were losing patience with Schlichter's gambling; they had asked him to take a substantial pay cut to return for 1993.
The team ceased operations following a 2–10 season in 1993. The team's attendance fell by almost 50%, leading to Tom Gregory's decision to drop out of the AFL for the 1994 season. Gregory attempted to find additional sponsors to re-launch the team in 1995, but he instead sold the franchise to the Hartford Sports & Entertainment Group, who moved the franchise to Hartford, Connecticut and became known as the Connecticut Coyotes.
|1992||7||3||0||2nd Northern||Lost Week 1 (Tampa Bay 41-36)|
|1993||2||10||0||5th Am. Conf.||– n/a –|
Logos & uniformEdit
The team color scheme incorporated bright yellow and green.
|Cincinnati Rockers roster|
Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs
Offensive Linemen/Defensive Linemen
Rookies in italics
→ More rosters
Arena Football Hall of FamersEdit
|Cincinnati Rockers Hall of Famers|
|No.||Name||Year Inducted||Position(s)||Years w/ Rockers|
Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 1993 Arena Football League season.
- Jason Blanton (May 12, 1992). "Couch playing Arena Football". Harlan Daily Enterprise. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- "Rockers bail out Schlichter". The Daily Sentinel. July 20, 1992. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- Schlichter, Art (2009). Busted: The Rise and Fall of Art Schlichter. withJeff Snook. Orange Frazer Press. ISBN 978-1933197678.
- Jeff Long (April 1995). "Art Schlichter's Fall From Glory". Columbus Monthly.
- "Schlichter may end grid career". Toledo Blade. October 23, 1992. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- "Schlichter Admits Gambling Relapse". The New York Times. July 12, 1992. Retrieved August 18, 2007.
- "AFL Rewind: Joe O'Hara". ArenaFan.com. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
- Ryan Ernst (March 23, 2003). "Following in footsteps of defunct Rockers". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- "ROCKERS TO LEAVE ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE". Dayton Daily News. October 30, 1993. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- "Arena grid team sold to Hellcats". Record=Journal. June 23, 1994. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- "Arena Football League Hall of Fame". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Fran Curci". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan.com. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Joe Haering". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan.com. Retrieved 2008-10-24.