Hartford Hellions

If you had never heard of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) or you recall it from the 1980s and 1990s but never attended a game, YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of historical footage.

Although the quality of the recordings (remember tracking on a VHS machine?), the uniforms and even the play is sometimes lacking they still provide an interesting record of the league and its many departed clubs, including the Hellions. It can also be amusing to see familiar names and faces broadcasting an unfamiliar sport. One promotional video for the Cincinnati Kids features Bob Trumpy, while Kyle Rote Jr. provided analysis for the Denver Avalanche.

Nostalgic review of the original MISL. Watch for the Snow Cats!:

Promotional video for the Cincinnati Kids:

Hartford Hellions featuring Roy Messing (brother of Shep Messing):


Listen to the Hartford Hellions podcast here.

Sources and Further Reading

Tom Condon and Dick Lehr, Series of investigative articles published in the Hartford Courant on August 30, 31 and September 1, 1981.

Frank Deford, “Show, Sex and Suburbs”, Sports Illustrated, February 28, 1983.

Fun While it Lasted, “1979-1981 Hartford Hellions” and “MISL (1978-1992).”

Dave Litterer and Steve Holroyd, Overview of MISL history and seasonal summaries at www.oursportscentral.com/misl/history.php.

Ronald P. Maierhofer, No Money Down. How to Buy a Sports Franchise. A Journey Through an American Dream (Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing, 2009.

Peter Richmond, “Indoor Soccer” The Washington Post, February 8, 1981.

Kenn Tomasch, MISL attendance figures.

 Sound Clips in this episode from www.freesound.org:

 Maniacal Laugh 3.wav by acekasbo
storm door slam 01.wav by volivieri
Ba-da-dum.wav by Simon_Lacelle
avalanche.wav by mystcscool
Metal Band Jam 5 Thrash.wav by RutgerMuller
football score.wav by winsx87

From Soundcloud.com: “Disco Party” by Aries4Rce


Author: Brian

Brian D. Bunk is the creator and host of the Soccer History USA podcast. He is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His early research focused on Modern Spanish history and his book Ghosts of Passion: Martyrdom, Gender, and the Origins of the Spanish Civil War appeared in 2007. His recent work examines the history of sport in the United States with an emphasis on boxing and soccer. Articles on these topics have been published in the Journal of Sport History, Sport in History and Sport in Society.

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