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Portland Storm

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Portland Storm
Portland Thunder
Founded October 1973
Folded October 1975
Based in Portland, Oregon
Home field Civic Stadium
League World Football League
Division Western
Colors Lime Green & Blue (Portland Storm) Green & Navy           (Portland Storm)
Head coach Dick Coury
General manager Ron Mix
Owner(s) Bruce Gelker

The Portland Storm were an American football team based out of Portland, Oregon, playing in the World Football League. When the World Football League was created in October 1973, the Storm was the original New York franchise. When the Boston Bulls merged with New York to become the New York Stars, the original New York entry's draft picks were eventually relegated to Portland.

Portland's original owner, Houston accountant John Rooney, soon dropped out of the picture. By March 1974, Bruce Gelker, a former football player and owner of several Saddleback Inns, was named the new owner of the fledgling Portland Storm. Bruce Gelker originally sought a team in Mexico City, which proved to be unfeasible. The Storm hired Ron Mix, a Hall of Famer, as general manager and Dick Coury, an NFL assistant with the Denver Broncos, as head coach.

The Storm had mostly rookies on their roster. Among the standouts was running back Rufus "Roadrunner" Ferguson, ex-CFL and Detroit Lion quarterback Greg Barton, and linebackers Marty Schottenheimer (later a successful head coach in the NFL) and Bruce Bergey, brother of Cincinnati Bengals-Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Bill Bergey.

In the first half of the season Portland played poorly, going 1-8-1. The Storm won their first game when they beat Detroit in the ninth week. Originally a Wheels home game, the contest was moved to London, Ontario. The team improved during the second half of the season, thanks in part to many NFL players cut in training camp that September. Among the new signings were Ben Davidson of the Oakland Raiders, and Pete Beathard, who had been cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. With the stock of veterans, the Storm improved to 6-4. The team finished the season with an overall record of 7-12-1, tied with Houston-Shreveport for 8th place in the 12-team league. Soon after, the IRS impounded the franchise. The Portland Thunder took the Storm's place in 1975 and lasted until the entire WFL folded halfway through its second season.

The home stadium for both the Portland Storm and Thunder was Civic Stadium, now renamed PGE Park.

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