The Memphis Express was a professional American football franchise based in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a member of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) during its single season in 2019.[1] They played their home games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium,[2] and were coached by former NFL player and head coach Mike Singletary.[3]

Memphis Express
Established 2018
Folded 2019
Played in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis Express logo
League/conference affiliations
Alliance of American Football (2019)
  • Eastern Conference (2019)
Team colorsRed, blue & white
              
Personnel
PresidentKosha Irby
General managerWill Lewis
Head coachMike Singletary
Team history
  • Memphis Express (2019)
Championships
League championships (0)
Conference championships (0)
Division championships (0)
Home arena(s)

On April 2, 2019, the league's football operations were reportedly suspended,[4][5] and on April 4 the league allowed players to leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams.[6]

HistoryEdit

The Alliance of American Football announced the awarding of the third inaugural league team, Alliance Memphis, on May 4, 2018.[7] This announcement was followed by the May 10, 2018, announcement of Mike Singletary as the team's head coach.[3]

On July 30, 2018, the Alliance announced team Memphis had signed its first 29 players.[8] On September 20, the league announced four eastern inaugural franchises' names and logos including Memphis as the Memphis Express.[9] The name is derived from Memphis' significance as a mail and cargo transport city being the "World Headquarters" of FedEx (formerly Federal Express), with an airplane being featured in the logo.[10] (FedEx CEO Frederick W. Smith had previously owned the Memphis Mad Dogs pro football team in the 1990s; as the AAF was a single-entity league that never progressed to selling individual franchises as originally planned, Smith had no involvement or investment with the Express, despite the use of the Express name and imagery.)

On January 5, 2019, training camp opened in San Antonio, Texas.[11] The final 52-man roster was released on January 30.[12] The Express' inaugural game, played against the Birmingham Iron at Legion Field on February 10, ended in a 26–0 shutout loss.[13] Their first home game was a 20–18 loss against the Arizona Hotshots during week 2.[14] Memphis notched their first win on March 2, with a 26–23 victory over the San Diego Fleet at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.[15]

On March 16, 2019, shortly after the Express fell to 1–5 in a 22–9 loss to the Salt Lake Stallions, the team announced they had signed Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel.[16]

On April 2, 2019, the league's football operations were suspended,[17][18] and on April 4 the league allowed players to leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams.[19] On April 17, 2019, the league announced the cessation of business operations after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.[20]

PersonnelEdit

StaffEdit

Memphis Express staff
Front office
Head coaches
Offensive coaches
  • Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks – David Lee
  • Wide receivers – Bobby Blizzard
  • Offensive line – Steve Marshall
 
Defensive coaches
Special teams coaches
  • Special teams coordinator/Running backs – Ty Knott

Allocation poolEdit

The Express' assigned area, which designated player rights, included the following colleges:[8]

Final rosterEdit

2019 Memphis Express final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

  • 21 Terrell Bonds CB
  • 31 Jonathan Cook SS
  • 39 Jeremy Cutrer CB
  • 24 Charles James CB
  • 45 Colton Jumper SS
  • 28 Brandon Maiden SS
  • 33 Justin Martin CB
  • 30 Channing Stribling CB
  • 25 Arnold Tarpley III FS

Special teams

Reserve lists

Rights list

  • -- Jarvion Franklin RB


50 Active, 14 Inactive

2019 seasonEdit

2019 Memphis Express season
Head coachMike Singletary
General managerWill Lewis
OwnerAlliance of American Football
Home fieldLiberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Results
Record2–6
League place3rd (tie), Eastern Conference
Memphis Express

Final standingsEdit

2019 Alliance of American Football standings
Eastern Conference
Club W–L PCT CONF PF PA DIFF SOS SOV STK
(x)Orlando Apollos 7–1 .875 5–0 236 136 100 .406 .375 W2
(x)Birmingham Iron 5–3 .625 3–2 165 133 32 .406 .300 W1
(e)Memphis Express 2–6 .250 1–4 152 194 -42 .578 .500 L1
(e)Atlanta Legends 2–6 .250 1–4 88 213 -125 .609 .438 L3
Western Conference
Club W–L PCT CONF PF PA DIFF SOS SOV STK
San Antonio Commanders 5–3 .625 3–2 158 154 4 .516 .450 L1
Arizona Hotshots 5–3 .625 3–2 186 144 42 .469 .500 W3
San Diego Fleet 3–5 .375 2–3 158 161 -3 .469 .417 L3
Salt Lake Stallions 3–5 .375 2–3 135 143 -8 .547 .417 W1
(x)–clinched playoff berth; (e)–eliminated from playoff contention

ScheduleEdit

PreseasonEdit

Week Day Date Opponent Results Location
Score Record
Monday January 28 at Salt Lake Stallions L 22–29 Alamodome

Regular seasonEdit

All times Central

Week Day Date Kickoff TV Opponent Results Location
Score Record
1 Sunday February 10 3:00 p.m. CBSSN at Birmingham Iron L 0–26 0–1 Legion Field
2 Saturday February 16 7:00 p.m. NFLN Arizona Hotshots L 18–20 0–2 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
3 Saturday February 23 7:00 p.m. NFLN at Orlando Apollos L 17–21 0–3 Spectrum Stadium
4 Saturday March 2 3:00 p.m. B/R Live  San Diego Fleet W 26–23 1–3 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
5 Sunday March 10 3:00 p.m. CBSSN at Atlanta Legends L 20–23 1–4 Georgia State Stadium
6 Saturday March 16 3:00 p.m. B/R Live at Salt Lake Stallions L 9–22 1–5 Rice–Eccles Stadium
7 Sunday March 24 7:00 p.m. NFLN Birmingham Iron W 31–25 OT 2–5 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
8 Saturday March 30 1:00 p.m. TNT  Orlando Apollos L 31–34 2–6 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
9 Saturday April 6 11:00 a.m. CBS  at San Antonio Commanders Not played Alamodome
10 Saturday April 13 7:00 p.m. NFLN Atlanta Legends Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium

  Changed from original time and/or network.[21][22]
[23]

Game summariesEdit

Week 1: at BirminghamEdit

Week One: Memphis Express at Birmingham Iron – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Express 0 0 000
Iron 3 6 01726

at Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama

Game information

Week 2: ArizonaEdit

Week Two: Arizona Hotshots at Memphis Express – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Hotshots 0 0 61420
Express 9 3 0618

at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee

Game information

Week 3: at OrlandoEdit

Week Three: Memphis Express at Orlando Apollos – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Express 0 0 61117
Apollos 9 0 6621

at Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, Florida

Game information

Week 4: San DiegoEdit

Week Four: San Diego Fleet at Memphis Express – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Fleet 14 6 0323
Express 3 12 01126

at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee

Game information

Week 5: at AtlantaEdit

Week Five: Memphis Express at Atlanta Legends – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Express 6 6 8020
Legends 3 11 0923

at Georgia State Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Game information

Week 6: at Salt LakeEdit

Week Six: Memphis Express at Salt Lake Stallions – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Express 0 9 009
Stallions 16 3 0322

at Rice–Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah

Game information

Week 7: BirminghamEdit

Week Seven: Birmingham Iron at Memphis Express – Game summary
1 2 34OTTotal
Iron 8 8 36025
Express 0 8 611631

at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee

Game information

This was the first overtime game in AAF history. Despite newly signed quarterback Johnny Manziel playing a few series for the Express, starter Brandon Silvers led the team to a comeback victory, keeping its slim postseason chances alive.[31]

Week 8: OrlandoEdit

Week Eight: Orlando Apollos at Memphis Express – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Apollos 3 11 81234
Express 0 9 14831

at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee

Game information

MediaEdit

In addition to league-wide television coverage through NFL Network, CBS Sports Network, TNT, and B/R Live, Memphis' games were also broadcast on local radio by KWNW, an iHeartMedia station branded as 101.9 Kiss FM.[33]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "New pro football team could boost business in Memphis". WREG Memphis. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Froyd, Crissy (August 27, 2018). "Zach Mettenberger and Antonio Andrews reunite in new pro league". Titans Wire. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Mike Singletary will coach Memphis team in upcoming Alliance of American Football". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Kercheval, Ben (April 2, 2019). "AAF operations suspended, league's future in doubt after eight games of first season". cbssports.com. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  5. ^ "AAF to immediately suspend operations". ESPN. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Schwartz, Nick (April 4, 2019). "AAF star Keith Reaser becomes first player to sign NFL deal after league shutdown". USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  7. ^ "Memphis awarded Alliance of American Football team". Commercial Appeal. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Munz, Jason (August 1, 2018). "Alliance of American Football announces Memphis team has signed 28 players". The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Benjamin, Cody (September 20, 2018). "LOOK: Alliance of American Football unveils logos of four pro teams that will debut in 2019". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  10. ^ Munz, Jason (September 20, 2018). "Memphis' new pro football team now has a name and logo". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  11. ^ Thompson, Cole (January 5, 2019). "Alliance of American Football Training Camp Officially Underway in San Antonio". AAF.com. Archived from the original on January 20, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "Memphis Express sets final roster". Alliance of American Football. January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  13. ^ Kercheval, Ben (February 10, 2019). "AAF Week 1 scores, highlights: Trent Richardson scores two TDs after slow start in Iron debut". CBSSports.com. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Hotshots come back to become first team with road win in AAF history". arizonasports. KTAR. February 18, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  15. ^ Mellor, Cam (March 3, 2019). "ReFocused: Memphis Express 26, San Diego Fleet 23". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  16. ^ Rubino, Dylan (March 16, 2019). "Memphis gets Manziel: Heisman QB joins Alliance". AAF.com. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  17. ^ Kercheval, Ben (April 2, 2019). "AAF operations suspended, league's future in doubt after eight games of first season". cbssports.com. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  18. ^ "AAF to immediately suspend operations". ESPN. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  19. ^ Schwartz, Nick (April 4, 2019). "AAF star Keith Reaser becomes first player to sign NFL deal after league shutdown". USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  20. ^ "AAF Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy". Front Office Sports. April 17, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  21. ^ Florio, Mike (February 25, 2019). "AAF does its first-ever scheduling flex". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  22. ^ "CBS SPORTS ELEVATES TWO ALLIANCE GAMES TO CBS TELEVISION NETWORK". Alliance of American Football. March 14, 2019. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  23. ^ "2019 Memphis Express Schedule". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  24. ^ Filipe, Cameron (February 9, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 1, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  25. ^ Filipe, Cameron (February 13, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 2, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  26. ^ Filipe, Cameron (February 22, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 3, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  27. ^ Filipe, Cameron (February 27, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 4, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  28. ^ Filipe, Cameron (March 9, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 5, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  29. ^ Filipe, Cameron (March 14, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 6, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  30. ^ Filipe, Cameron (March 21, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 7, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  31. ^ Anderson, Brett (March 24, 2019). "AAF Week 7 scores, updates, highlights: Johnny Manziel debuts, but other Express QB wins it in OT". CBSSports.com. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  32. ^ Filipe, Cameron (March 28, 2019). "Alliance of American Football: Week 8, 2019". Football Zebras. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  33. ^ Greer, Jarvis (December 14, 2018). "Local radio station tabbed as Memphis Express home". WMC-TV. Retrieved March 16, 2019.

Further readingEdit