New York Times

February 20, 1974

By William N. Wallace

Flowers to Join W.F.L. Club in 1975; Boston Franchise Shifts to New York

The World Football League brought to New York yesterday the skeleton of a new team and at the same time took away one body, that of Richmond Flowers of the Giants. Flowers said that he would exercise the option clause in his Giants contract and that next year, after becoming a free agent on May 1, 1975; he would play for the Honolulu team of the W.F.L.

Andy Robustelli, director of operations for the Giants, indicated there would be no reprisals against Flowers, the first active player under an N.F.L. contract to jump to the new league. Said Robustelli: "If he can make our team and is the best player we can find for the position, he'll play for us…for one year."

Flowers, a 26-year-old Tennessee alumnus, is a strong safety who has played five seasons in the N.F.L. He became a regular for the first time with the Giants last season.

Flowers told Robustelli of his decision shortly before a news conference at the Marriott's Essex House Hotel here at which two other announcements were made.

The Boston Bulls franchise has moved to New York and merged with the W.F.L. operation here. Boston had structure, which New York did not. Vito (Babe) Parilli, a long‐time pro quarterback for various teams including the Jets, is the coach of the team that has one player of note. That is George Sauer Jr., the former Jets wide receiver.

This team, which will not be called the Bulls, hopes eventually to play in refurbished Yankee Stadium with Jersey City's Roosevelt Stadium the probable site for the next two years.

The W.F.L. also announced it had a television contract with an independent firm; TVS Television Network. The latter's president, Eddie Einhorn, said that if the sponsorship time is sold each of the 12 teams could receive $100,000 in revenue. The teams are to play 20 games each, with the contests scheduled from July to November, mostly on Thursday nights specifically to attract television audiences.

The agreement gave added substance to the new league but there still are problems. The vacancy at Boston will now go to either, Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City or Mexico City, according to Gary Davidson, president and founder. The original owners of the Philadelphia operation failed to meet financial obligations and so that franchise is open.

"We have several options there," said Davidson.

The New York merger took place when Bob Schmertz, the original owner here, joined forces with Howard Baldwin of Boston. The two are partners in the operation of the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association.

Baldwin will head the football operation that, so far has a woman general manager, Dusty Rhodes, and four players. They are Sauer, whom the Jets may deter from playing because he is still their property; Tom Beer, a tight end, and two kickers, Mike Walker and Pete Rajecki.