Wichita Falls Nighthawks Extinct, Cut Season Short
The Wichita Falls Nighthawks minor league football team has collapsed and forfeited the rest of their 2014 season in the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL). The announcement was posted on the team's Facebook page Friday afternoon (7/18) citing financial hardship as the main reason for the ending of the organization.
Things began to fall apart for the team when in-game contests and giveaways were questioned to be rigged. Some people claimed that the organization misled fans when they offered a CHANCE at $1,000,000 during halftime of the first game. None of the randomly selected fans drew the million dollar ticket on the field that night. Public relations got worse when the same fans that won a team emblazoned Dodge Challenger in the first year, again won a vehicle, this time a Jeep 4x4. Screams of collusion were cried throughout the town and on social media.
Lost in the midst of the off-field issues, the team was beginning to struggle to score points and play the same brand of defense that was played in the first year. Sloppy, flag-filled games dragged on late into the night this season. What fans were left with at the end of the game could easily be counted by hand.
Nighthawk owner and GM Jerry Hughes took to social media in recent weeks to address the allegations concerning the giveaways and even the financial status of the team. On June 26, a post on the team's Facebook page outlined the tremendous financial strain that the team was in. Combine that news with declining attendance at the games and it is no wonder that we are left with today's announcement.
Once the initial shock wears off and the dust settles, I plan to take an in-depth look at the Nighthawks tenure in WF. I look forward to talking with players, workers, fans, and even the owner of the team. Stay locked in to NewsTalk 1290 for the latest.
Here is the official announcement posted to the Nighthawk's Facebook page Friday, July 18: