Hornets Helmet Awards And Reviews World Football League

September 2001
By Tom Hultman

Mention the Charlotte Hornets to any sports fan and immediately they will think of the NBA team.

Richie Franklin of Stephens City, VA, isn't like the others. When he thinks of the Hornets he immediately harks back to the Hornets of the World Football League.

The Hornets began as the New York Stars, but on Sept. 20, 1974, moved to Charlotte and two weeks later became the Hornets.

The 40-year-old Franklin worked with Jim Cusano to produce the WFL Hall of Fame web site. Franklin wanted to take it a step further by dedicating a site to his favorite WFL team, the Hornets.

"As a teen-ager, I used to listen to the Hornets on WBT-AM. Putting this site together has brought back a lot of great memories of listening to those games on Saturday nights in 1975," he said.

Whether you're a WFL collector or just a football fan, you will notice that memorabilia is very important to this site. Click on game summaries and you will notice photos of the program and, in many cases, tickets are showcased along with statistics.

"For any WFL fan memorabilia is all that is left," he said. "For me, my WFL collection keeps the league alive. As a kid I wrote to all the WFL teams, and asked for team photos, stickers, etc. When the league folded that is all I had."

The site's memorabilia section spotlights a 1974 Hornets pennant, bumper stickers, ticket brochure, picket schedule, and helmet.

"I do not think you can put together a site on a defunct team or league, and not feature any of the memorabilia from that era," Franklin said.

Rating (out of four stars): * * * *