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MEMORY LANE
John O'Keefe
August 20, 2001
Three diehards use the Web to evoke late and (at least to them) lamented sports leagues
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August 20, 2001

Memory Lane

Three diehards use the Web to evoke late and (at least to them) lamented sports leagues

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Do you ever talk wistfully of high school flames or find yourself longing for childhood pets? Then you know how fans of defunct sports leagues feel. Many of them have found the Web to be an ideal place to indulge their reveries. For instance, fans of the North American Soccer League (1967-84) can log on to home.att.net/-nasl/nasl.htm, a site run by Chris Page, a Chicago native who lived and died with the Chicago Sting. "I get hits from all over the world," says Page, whose site has 32 links, including one chronicling the histories of all 48 league franchises. In addition, the site has stats and bios of 146 players.

While the NASL had a healthy lifespan, the headline-grabbing United States Football League made a bigger splash during its three seasons (1983-85). Oursportscentral.com/usfl, run by 29-year-old website designer (and Michigan Panthers fan) Paul Reeths of Marshfield, Wis., details the big-money signings of such college stars as Georgia Heisman Trophy-winning running back Herschel Walker (right), who landed a three-year, $3.9 million contract with the New Jersey Generals—the kind of extravagant deal that gave the league credibility but quickly doomed it.

A photo on geocities.com/pipeline/5206 of Bobby Hull holding an enlarged $1 million check is a reminder that during its existence the upstart World Hockey Association (1972-79) stole several of the NHL's best. Ryan Hoffman, a 19-year-old student from Langley, B.C., has put together, among other features, a collection of team histories and his list of the WHA's top 50 players, with the Golden Jet at No. 1.

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