What is the USFL? Details, history, potential teams for 2022 spring soccer league return
After a 35-year hiatus, the USFL is back.
The United States Football League, a spring league which played three seasons from 1983 to 1985, will be back in 2022. Fox Sports is the TV partner and there are plans to create an eight-team league.
The USFL will try to take advantage of this spring window. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) failed to make it through an entire season in 2019, and COVID-19 cut the XFL season short in 2020. Will the USFL make a difference? Will Donald Trump be back?
The younger generation might still be asking, “What is USFL?”
Here’s a closer look.
What is the USFL?
The United States Football League played three seasons from 1983 to 1985. The 1983 season featured 12 teams, primarily in major markets. The league expanded to 18 teams in 1984, then contracted to 14 teams in 1985.
Who played in the USFL?
The USFL caused a stir at the start when the New Jersey Generals signed the running back for Georgia’s Heisman Herschel Walker Trophy. Walker was the league’s biggest star and racked up 1,812 yards and 17 touchdowns in 1983.
Walker wasn’t the only college superstar to choose the USFL over the NFL. Professional Football Hall of Fame players such as Jim Kelly, Reggie White, Steve Young, and Gary Zimmerman started at the USFL. George Allen, Bill Polian, Sid Gillman and Marv Levy were also involved in the league.
Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie signed with the USFL against the NFL after winning the award in 1984.
Herschel Walker signed with the New Jersey Generals in 1983. (Getty Images)
Donald Trump and the USFL
Donald Trump became the owner of the New Jersey Generals in 1984, and he pushed the USFL to adopt a fall schedule to compete with the NFL. The USFL filed an antitrust complaint with the NFL and ultimately won the case, but the three-year court battle did more harm than good.
The USFL folded before the start of the 1986 season.
Can USFL Operate Again?
It will be much more difficult for the USFL to compete for NFL talent, and other development leagues have tried and failed in the spring.
The AAF and XFL had good initial ratings, but those dropped as the Curiosity Factor declined. It will be the challenge of another spring league.
The USFL could also be in competition with the CFL and the XFL, which would be in discussion to merge.
The USFL has a nostalgia factor in its favor with the older generation of football fans who remember these teams and players. He will have to feed on it to get an initial buzz.
Which cities will have USFL teams in 2022?
The USFL has yet to say where they plan to have teams when they return in 2022, although we do know there will be eight teams to start. But the original league could provide clues as to which cities might land teams.
Which USFL teams do we want to see again?
The USFL has not announced which teams / cities will be involved in the new league, but we have some ideas for why eight franchises are expected to return to the USFL in 2022.
The Panthers won the first USFL Championship game in 1983, Michigan’s last professional football championship. The Panthers also had the best helmet.
New Jersey generals
The generals drew the most attention by signing Walker and Flutie. This franchise has to be back for the second time, if only for Flutie to keep this hat …
The Stars were the most successful team in the league’s opening round. They were 41-12-1 under Jim Mora, who used that success to launch a successful NFL career.
Tampa Bay Bandits
Steve Spurrier coached this team for the first time. It would come full circle in his career. This gives the league a market in Florida.
The Oakland Invaders have been more successful, but Memphis is another market that might be interested in professional football. It’s an excuse to bring out those retro Reggie White swimsuits.
Jim Kelly posted a USFL record 5,219 yards in 1984, and the Gamblers were instrumental in bringing “Run and Shoot” to professional football.
San Antonio pistols
The AAF San Antonio team had the best turnout, and the USFL can exploit that here with a natural rivalry with Houston. Rick Neuheisel played QB for the Gunslingers in the original USFL.
Los Angeles Express
The Arizona Wranglers would be a possibility, but the Los Angeles market is still big. Steve Young was also a star player for the Express.