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New Orleans Breakers Flashback: Ben Needham (VIDEO)

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)


The New Orleans Breakers were a United States Football League franchise that played in the Louisiana Superdome for one season, in 1984. The Breakers began their USFL tenure in Boston, in 1983, but a stadium issue forced a move, allowing New Orleans real estate developer Joe Canizaro to buy the team, and move it to New Orleans for the 1984 season.

In 1984, the Breakers began the season 5-0, but went 3-10 the rest of the way, and missed the USFL playoffs.

New Orleans supported the team well, with the Breakers averaging 30,557 per game, but the USFL opted to move their schedule from the spring to the fall in 1986, and with the Saints in town, the franchise elected to move to Portland for the 1985 season.

All summer long, we’re looking back at former players for the New Orleans Breakers.

Today, linebacker Ben Needham:

Born in Groveport, Ohio, Needham attended Groveport Madison High School, before moving on to play his college football at Michigan, where he played from 1978-81.

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Needham in the seventh round, with the 194th pick of the 1982 NFL Draft.

After failing to make the Bengals’ roster, Needham was out of football until 1983, when he joined the Boston Breakers.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Needham collected 116 tackles, which ranked sixth on the team, along with two quarterback sacks, and three interceptions.

When the Breakers moved to New Orleans in 1984, so did Needham, totaling 131 tackles, fourth on the team, along with five sacks.

The Breakers then moved to Portland for the 1985 season, where Needham again eclipsed 100 tackles, to go along with 2.5 sacks and two interceptions.

The 1985 season proved to be the last one in professional football for Needham.

Below, watch Needham, wearing number 59, and the then Boston Breakers, take on the Oakland Invaders, from week six of the 1983 USFL season, back on Sunday, April 10, 1983:


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