UPDATE (July 14, 2022): I'm excited to unveil this opportunity to preserve the entire video library of the USFL. These videotapes were the league's archive until being turned over to Halcyon Days Productions in 1985. An estimated 400+ games remain preserved on tape. The videotapes won't last indefinitely, however, and the footage must be converted to a digital format to be preserved and accessed. How can you help? Check out the USFL Video Library Preservation GoFundMe campaign. Please contact me, Paul Reeths, with any questions.
Order the book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
Boston/New Orleans/Portland Breakers
Years of existence: 1983-1985
Owner: George Matthews, Randy Vataha (1983), Joseph Canizaro (1984-84)
Stadium: Nickerson Field (20,535) 1983, Superdome (69,658) 1984, Civic Stadium (32,500) 1985
Colors: Ocean blue, Breaker blue, silver and white
Overall Regular Season Record: 25-29 (.463)
Overall Playoff Record: 0-0
Yearly Standings and Average Home Attendances1983: 11-7 (12,817)
1984: 8-10 (30,557)
1985: 6-12 (19,919)
The nomads of the USFL, the Breakers saw the league from sea to shining sea. Beginning in Boston at tiny Nickerson Field, coach Dick Coury molded a tough, competitive club. Veteran quarterback John Walton's 3,772 yards and 20 touchdowns led the third best offense in the league to within a game of the playoffs. Richard Crump ran for 990 yards, Nolan Franz gathered in 62 passes for 848 yards, and Charlie Smith caught 54 balls for 1,009 yards. Linebacker Marcus Marek headed up a solid defense.
Unable to secure a better field in Boston, the Breakers bolted for New Orleans the following year under new owner Joe Canizaro. The Breakers began their year in the Superdome with a 7-2 mark but even the addition of runningback Marcus Dupree couldn't keep them from stumbling badly over the last half of the season. Buford Jordan led the team in rushing with 1,276 yards, good for fourth in the league, and Walton threw for 3,554 yards. Newly acquired tight end Dan Ross paced the team with 65 receptions, and Frank Lockett caught 56 passes for 1,199 yards.
Once the USFL announced its move the fall, the Breakers had to leave their new home and continued their trek westward, landing in Portland, Oregon. The year 1985 was not a year Breakers' fans would like to remember. The offense was last in the league with just 275 points. Jordan led the way with 817 yards, but the passing game struggled under Matt Robinson and Doug Woodward following the retirement of Walton. It was a testament to the team's character and Coury's determination that the team made it as far as it did.Their Finest Hour: This one's a tie. In 1983, the Philadelphia Stars came to Boston with an eight-game winning streak and held a 17-13 lead late in the game thanks to two Chuck Fusina to Willie Collier TD passes. Breakers' QB John Walton also had two scoring tosses and needed one more on the final play of the game from the Stars' 14-yard line. Walton zipped a pass to tight end Charlie Smith, but the ball bounced off him, tumbled into the air and finally settled into the hands of wide receiver Frank Lockett for the winning score, touching off a wild celebration at tiny Nickerson Field. In the 1984 campaign, the Breakers, now in New Orleans, played a high scoring game against the visiting Chicago Blitz. New Orleans held a 28-17 lead heading into the fourth when all the fireworks began. The Blitz stormed out to a 32-28 advantage early in the quarter on a 92-yard fumble return (and two-point conversion) and a 50-yard Vince Evans scoring toss. The Breakers jumped back on top when Walton hit Charles Smith with a nine-yard scoring strike with under two minutes remaining. The Blitz, however, battled back again and kicked a 23-yard field goal to tie the game at 35-35 as time expired. In the overtime session, the Breakers didn't take long to get into Chicago territory. From the Blitz 44, Walton faded back and threw a perfect bomb to the speeding Frank Lockett for a 41-35 Breakers' win. Walton finished the game with 440 yards passing and four touchdowns.
1983 Boston Breakers Roster|
1984 New Orleans Breakers Roster
1985 Portland Breakers Roster
1983 Boston Breakers Statistics |
1984 New Orleans Breakers Statistics
1985 Portland Breakers Statistics