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In North American team sports, the phrase taxi squad refers to a group of reserve players employed by a team but who typically do not play in games. In NFL football, the term is sometimes used to refer to the practice squad -- as distinguished from the active squad or travelling squad -- or to the players on the inactive list.[1] In NHL hockey, the term taxi squad is used interchangeably with Black Aces, an expression that originally referred to players who had earned management's displeasure and were required to fulfill all requirements of team membership (like practicing), but did not dress for games and were not offered the opportunity to play.[2]



The phrase originates from 1940's Cleveland Browns' coach Paul Brown's method of circumventing the All-America Football Conference's 33-man roster limit by maintaining an extra group of off-roster players whose salaries were technically paid by Browns' owner Mickey McBride's taxi company.[3] The name taxi squad has led to a common misconception that the reserve players actually drove taxis for McBride's company, when in fact their employment with the company was merely a contrivance to allow the team to retain the extra players while remaining in technical compliance with league roster limits.[4] Successive roster-limit expansions have made the need for such a stratagem obsolete,[5] and the term has come to refer loosely to any group of reserve players associated with a team but unlikely to dress for a game.

Further reading

Lubinger, Bill (2007-12-28). "Practice squad: It's all work and no play". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-04-03.  
Zinser, Lynn (2003-09-13). "The Giants View The Inactive List As an Opportunity". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-03.  


  1. ^ Wallace, William N. (1987-11-12). "Jets Hail the Taxicab Squad". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-03.  
  2. ^ Cherry, Don, with Stan Fischler (1999). Grapes: A Vintage View of Hockey. Harper Collins. ISBN 9780380651771.  
  3. ^ Henkel, Frank M. (2005). Cleveland Browns History. Arcadia Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 9780738534282.  .
  4. ^ Pluto, Terry (1997). When All the World Was Browns Town. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780684822464.  
  5. ^ Wallace, William N. (1964-02-20). "Departed Taxi Squad Owed Minute Silence". The St. Petersburg Times.,5488864. Retrieved 2009-04-03.  

See also



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