Most of you have probably never heard of the Toledo Troopers, but in 1971 they began playing in the Women’s Professional Football League. During their tenure the Troopers became, according to some, the most successful team in professional football history with seven consecutive perfect seasons.
The Troopers played from 1971 to ’79 all under the coaching of Bill Stout. In total 82 different female athletes’ plaid on the team. Five months out of the year they practiced five days a week. For their work each player made $25. These players came from varied backgrounds off the field some were mothers, some students, some businesswomen. The Toledo Troopers advanced the cause for equality in sports long before Title IX legislation was in full effect.
Unsurprisingly the Troopers were met with skepticism and sometimes outright discrimination because they were women. However, once the Troopers began to play all that was laid aside. The Toledo Blade published a 1972 article in which two of their journalists describe their experience scrimmaging with the Troopers. Was noted as saying that if you want to experience pro football don’t play with the men, play the women.
Though successful and fairly popular financial troubles caused the Toledo Troopers to call it quits in 1979. One impact they left on the sports world was their stunning 61-4 lifetime record. And in 1983 the authority on all things football—The Pro Football Hall of Fame—named them the “winningest team in professional football history”.