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Chicago Tribune, April 10, 1974

WFL May Lose Houston

By Jim Walker

The Chicago Fire's latest opening day opponent in the World Football League's much-juggled, as-yet-unannounced 1974 schedule is Houston.

But will there be a team in Houston when the season opens? With 92 days to go before the World starts turning, the Texas franchise looks like a team that may not show up for the kickoff.

The Houston problem will be one of the main items for discussion today when the new league's executive board meets at the Fire's Park Ridge offices.

In addition to host Tom Origer, owner of the Fire, the board consists of WFL President Gary Davidson, Toronto Northmen owner John Bassett Jr., New York Stars' Vice-President Howard Baldwin, and Birmingham Americans' President Bill Putnam.

Originally, the schedule called for the Fire to face the Detroit Wheels on July 11 at Soldier Field in the league's inaugural nationally televised game. Now it appears the televised opener will take place a week later, with the Southern California Sun and the Honolulu Hawaiians doing the honors.

Portland and Washington, the latter still without a suitable place to play, are other problem franchises in the 12-team WFL plan, but Houston is the city causing the most concern among league officials.

Meanwhile, the Fire is preparing to announce several important signings within a few days, and will dispatch Personnel Director, Bill Byrne, to Columbus, Ohio, for a meeting with Green Bay Packers fullback John Brockington and his agent later this week.

Speaking about Brockington, Origer said: "I wouldn't bet my life that we'll sign him, but we're going to give it a shot. We're not going to sell the farm to get him, but we'll make him a good offer."