Toronto Northmen

Charter members of the World Football League (WFL) in 1974, the Memphis Southmen began as the Toronto Northmen. However, before the team could play a down, the Canadian government passed legislation to block any U.S.-based football league from operating in Canada. Unwilling to undergo a protracted legal battle, owner John Bassett moved the team to Tennessee and renamed it. Before the move, he signed NFL stars Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Paul Warfield to $1 million a year contracts to begin in the league's second season 1975, of which only 12 of 20 games were completed before the league folded.