Fun While It Lasted

The Untold Stories of Forgotten Teams

About This Blog

with 5 comments

About Fun While It Lasted:

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”  – Leo Tolstoy. 

I was a Russian major before I spent 12 years living and working in the remote provinces of the American sports landscape.  I’ve thought of Tolstoy’s opening to Anna Karenina now and then as having some application for that industry.  Major League teams always seemed more or less alike to me – a linear storyline of rising franchise values and increasing media saturation, barreling along unimpeded by the occasional steroid scandal, labor lockout or strip club rampage.  Major League teams are more or less indestructible – take heart, Dodger fans – and therefore kind of boring.

If you want unscripted, transcendent moments of joy, weirdness and catastrophe you must look to the minor leagues and to the dreamers and con men promoting the latest “sport of the future”, whether that be basketball played by short men or football played by lingerie models.

Which is why it is such a shame that the stories of old minor league clubs typically get reduced to a brief and bloodless Wikipedia entry.  There are wonderful stories to be told, and the goal of Fun While It Lasted is to preserve some of those tales, assisted by rare video, photos, documents and interviews with the people who lived it day to day.

About Andy Crossley:

Andy Crossley curates Fun While It Lasted.  He spent twelve years as a General Manager, salesman, promoter, PR man and intern in minor league baseball and professional men’s and women’s soccer.  During those years he lost Jose Canseco’s uniform in a coin-op laundromat, got tossed out of the Moscow apartment building of the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in rhythmic gymnastics, testified in grand larceny proceedings against his boss and got married on a pitcher’s mound in the presence of friends, family and season ticket holders.  Andy has lead record-setting sales teams in two sports and has lost millions of dollars of investor capital (sometimes simultaneously).  He refuses to take sole credit for either accomplishment.  His teams’ promotional and customer service adventures have been profiled in The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, National Public Radio and The NBC Nightly News among other outlets.

Now 35 years old,  Andy lives with his wife outside Boston and works in the straight world.  This will be the only portion of the blog where he refers to himself in the third person.

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Written by andycrossley

February 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Maybe you can help me. Some time in the mid 80s, I briefly worked for a fledgling basketball league. I can’t remember if they were supposed to be a minor league thing or competition to the NBA. The Long Island team was to play at Hofstra University. I thought it was called the UBL, but that’s another league entirely. I wish my memory was better. Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?

    Michele Catalano

    August 11, 2011 at 6:51 am

    • Hi Michele,

      It played in the spring/summer time right? That was the United States Basketball League (USBL) and they had a couple of teams on Long Island over the years. Definitely a minor league league. The league hung in there for more than two decades, finally shutting down after the 2007 season.

      andycrossley

      August 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

  2. Stumbled across your website just recently. Great in depth blog on some defunct teams.

    Wondering if you have read the book “Sports Hall of Oblivion”. I got that book on inter-library loan from, I believe, the Windsor Public Library some time ago.

    Will Scheibler

    September 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

  3. Fantastic Site! I look forward to your future posts. Being a fan of women’s sports you will unfortunately have unlimited material. Looking forward to it!

    M.Boyd

    October 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm

  4. Mr. Crossley,

    I’d like to nominate a team for the “Crime & Punishment” tag. The 2010 Baltimore Mariners of the American Indoor Football Association went 16-0 and won the league championship, then weeks later were shut down when the owners were arrested for embezzlement. Months later, the rest of the league collapsed.

    In fact, I’m hoping you’ll get to indoor football soon, because the old-timers at oursportscentral.com know about a lot of screwed-up franchises, including some other arrested owners. The four non-Arena leagues are still good for a few hilarious catastrophes between them per season. The story of the seeming success and shocking expulsion of the Northern Kentucky River Monsters looks to still have a few hidden wrinkles, probably hidden under the flab of its general manager-turned starting QB, 300 lb NFL veteran Jared Lorenzen.

    super390

    October 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm


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