Skip to comments.USFL will restart next March; not as a competitor to NFL but as an ally
Posted on 05/15/2012 7:43:05 AM PDT by ConservativeStatement
The first time the United States Football League was established in 1983, it gave a quick scare to the NFL. The USFL owners signed players like Reggie White, Steve Young, Jim Kelly and Herschel Walker, players the NFL actually wanted, by giving them big-time contracts.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbssports.com ...
They are only going to pay players $3000 per game, and only play in cities without an NFL franchise.
Who is really going to watch a bunch of Arena League rejects when the Memphis Mugwumps travel to take on the Toledo Green Hornets?
Oh no! Not again! Locally (Birmingham) we have had the USFL Stallions, AFA Vulcans, Areana league Steeldogs, WFL Fire, XFL Bolts, and CFL Barracudas. All promised that “this time it will be different, we’re hear to stay”.
Will Doug Flutie come back?
Then I guess Fun City is in line for a team.
Who’s going to watch? NFL Scouts and Football Junkies like me. I can’t stand the Football Down Time from the end of the Super Bowl until Late August. I used to watch the NBA and Major League Baseball, but now find them both boring and predictable. I don’t expect the USFL to draw a lot of fans, but it might be a diversion away from an otherwise boring Spring/Summer.
Heh.. I can break out my old Philadelphia Stars shirt.
Maybe now they could do what the English Premier League does, bring in Promotion/Relegation. I guess that idea wouldn’t go over very well in St Louis.
TV Contract? I seem to remember ESPN used to televise the USFL. But that was back when ESPN used to televise tiddly-wink tournaments.
This is sure to bring back memories.
I had season tix to the Philadelphia Stars at old Franklin Field. That was fun. Spring football. Weather got better each week (rather than the reverse).
The interesting idea was that each franchise had “geographic rights” to undrafted players. Consequently there where a ton of Penn State players on the Stars. Players that I had watched on the ‘83 National Championship team were still playing for the Stars.
IMHO, Donald Trump killed the league. He wasn’t on board with the vision of the league as not being competitive with the NFL. He wanted an NFL franchise and when he couldn’t get it, he started bidding wars for top college players. Other owners followed suit, and the league failed.
If the USFL had stayed with the original vision of complementing the NFL, they might have survived. We’ll never know.
People forget or don’t know that ABC/ESPN offered the USFL a TV contract of a couple of hundred million I believe(in 1986 dollars too) but the USFL turned it down to move to fall and sue the NFL.
Donald Trump killed the USFL
That means LA will have a team and NFL teams won't be able to threaten to move there so they can extort taxpayer money for more new stadiums from existing NFL cities.
Will this team be resurrected?
People in Toledo. The same kinds of folks really that watch D league basketball, and minor league hockey and baseball, regular folks in small towns. Minor league sports are a lot of fun, tickets tend to be cheap, there tends to be a lot of “side” entertainment during breaks in the game, there’s a strong community atmosphere. On a dollar value of entertainment basis minor league sports kicks the crap out of big league.
The Houston Gamblers had the best logo in the history of pro sports, IMHO.
>>Whos going to watch? NFL Scouts and Football Junkies like me.<<
Me too. If they do it right this time, it can be a minor league feeder to the NFL (Arena and CFL are too strange to be good feeders).
And the NFL needs something College and Pro — some tempering would have helped many a player: both physically and emotionally.
Agreed. They had a good product and several of their teams were in NFL cities from the beginning. You have to have some teams in media centers to get attention or wind up like the Arena League.
A team has to exist somewhere in NY/NJ, LA and probably Chicago. If they don't, it will be largely ignored.
They'd be far better off in smaller venues, where there is nothing to compete for the fans. You'll have full stadiums...and colleges with be thrilled to have the rental income.
Ultimately, this will evolve into a developmental league of sorts for the NFL, and the major revenue will come from selling TV rights to ESPN and or FOX Sports Nets...or other venues like YES or NESN..who need LIVE programming..
Will the new USFL allow college players to leave early, or even allow HS players who don't want to go to college, to sign. Or what about kids who get suspended, kicked off their college teams>
Right now, the NFL CBA will not allow players to come out until after their junior year..unlike the NBA one and done rule...
How many kids playing college ball now, who really don't want to be in college, would jump at the chance to start earning money now...
You are going to hear college coaches and ADs start to SCREAM aboit this very soon
If they’re aiming at being a D-league they won’t mind being ignored by the media. How often does the NBA D-league get attention? Minor league baseball? The AHL? If you’re keeping costs down by actually TRYING to be filled with second tier players you don’t need national media.
Way back in my Drum Corps days (Spirit of Atlanta),we did a halftime show at a Birmingham Stallions game. The players were back on the sideline as we were leaving the field. They got out of our way, and they were all saying, ‘Jeez, that’s the loudest thing I’ve ever heard!’. Kinda cool.
Great point about eligibility.
When we were living in Hawaii, there was a WFL team called “The Hawaiians”, actually went to a game against the Philadelphia Bell.
But they are also looking for a tv contract to finance themselves and, if they’re a true D-league, then the only ones who would be interested in televising it would be the NFL Network. And for that, they might as well be developed under the NFL umbrella like NFL Europe was.
And if they are going to be a D league, they would be smarter to not be national but regional - someplace in the midwest or south where there are several middle-sized cities and travel costs can be minimized.
32 NFL reams split feeding into eight franchises based in, say, Birmingham, Memphis, Louisville, Columbus, Omaha, Des Moines, Oklahoma City and Little Rock. They can then have NFL practice squad, UDFAs and other guys the NFL wants to develop combined with area talent. That could work but no major broadcaster is going to want to carry it other than the championship game, just like NFL-E.
Have you looked at the sports channel section of your cable dial lately? There’s a lot of channels out there, there’s even minor league stuff on some of them.
You can be a national minor league with low travel. That’s what divisions are for.
The NASL team was the Memphis Rogues. Just saying. :-)
These are some horrible team names.
Shouldn't they wait until the concussion issue is resolved?
Football may not be around much longer, to hear some people tell.
My father was a perfect example of how far being an ornery old bastard can take you, his daughter MaLou said in an obituary in The San Antonio Express-News.
>>The NASL team was the Memphis Rogues. Just saying. :-)<<
Actually, that was the USFL Memphis Showboats I was showing — but their pink outfits were so gay, I renamed them to correspond with their image.
That was the undefeated team, yes?
The second best thread EVAH!
Yes, those Dolphins’ players were part of the undefeated NFL team. The Memphis WFL team was nicknamed the Southmen after relocating from Toronto (Northmen). The team relocated, as I recall, because of political legislation passed in Canada which forbade U.S. football teams from playing there.
As far as the NASL soccer reference, I was making a joke to add to your earlier reference but I think I missed :-)
Yeah, I’ll watch, too. Even Arena Football rejects is better than 95% of what’s on these days.
All the time. Most are owned by companies with ties to the NFL. If the NFL says "don't show that other league", they won't.
You can be a national minor league with low travel. Thats what divisions are for.
Not as a D league. There's not enough money in it. The NBA has a D league. The only place i see it on television is on the NBA channel. That's why I think the USFL would be smart to partner with the NFL and get a contract to show games on that channel. But it will be stripped down if it goes that route. Fans will know there won't be big stars playing in it.
>>As far as the NASL soccer reference, I was making a joke to add to your earlier reference but I think I missed :-)<<
Yep — I didn’t know what NASL was so I just bluffed my way through :)
The NFL isn’t going to say “don’t show other leagues”, that would cut their own throats. Especially since the arena league is already on Fox Sports regional and NBCSports. Throwing their weight around trying to limit what the channels show outside of NFL season would alienate their biggest paying customers.
Yes you can be non-regional as a D league. Remember the NBA D league is actually OWNED by the NBA. It’s very different from the other D/ minor leagues where teams might be owned by major league teams but the leagues themselves are independent to varying degrees. And subsequently can negotiate independent TV contracts.
That's exactly what they did to the first USFL and what they did to the WFL. ESPN did not have the NFL when they signed the USFL and the WFL was covered (poorly) by TVS.
The NFL goes to their tv partners and urges them not to carry competitors or risk possible losses in carrying future Super Bowls, etc. That's why, if the new USFL is truly a D league, they would do better to partner and be covered by the NFL than they would be to run independently. If the intent of the new USFL is to be an independent "spring league", they will need a strong tv network coverage and a presence in some major media markets.
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