Steelers fans might’ve forgotten these 5 defunct football leagues
World League of American Football (WLAF)/NFL Europe
The WLAF was formed by the NFL as a spring league that could help develop players before the season began. Owners of different franchises funded this league and found it interesting to allow for another operation to take over and allow for their players to develop before coming to training camp. Not only was development the idea for coaches and players, but expansion of the game was on the mind as well.
There were ten teams in the WLAF that consisted of three divisions. It was a revolutionary idea to get the game of football into different countries around the world. There were four teams that were in different countries that included Canada, Spain, Germany, and England.
The league would later evolve into NFL Europe and NFL Europa and fold their North America teams. There were many different talented players and coaches that would come out of this and get a lot of experience. Some of them had Steelers connections and great careers in the black and gold.
Jim Haslett would become the defensive coordinator for the Steelers after his stint in the WLAF as the head coach of the Sacramento Surge. James Harrison would play in NFL Europe before he became a sack master for Pittsburgh. Even big names like Kurt Warner, Adam Vinateri, and William “The Refrigerator” Perry played in this league before it ultimately folded in 2007.