Now that the NFL Season has ended, football fans can turn to the USFL in April to get some much-needed football relief. The USFL rebirth in 2022 was successful and the leagues has announced it will return in 2023. The decision to have all eight teams return for the second season, along with plans to expand to additional markets, shows that the USFL is committed to building a sustainable and successful league.
It will be interesting to see how the USFL continues to evolve and compete with other professional football leagues in the years to come. Let’s take a look at some of the more famous moments from the first rendition of the USFL.
1. The founding of the USFL: In 1983, the USFL was founded as a spring football league to compete with the NFL. The league was founded by a group of businessmen, including David Dixon and Donald Trump.
2. The first game: The first game in USFL history was played on March 6, 1983, between the Washington Federals and the Los Angeles Express. The Express won the game 20-15.
3. The Philadelphia Stars dynasty: The Philadelphia Stars were the most successful team in USFL history, winning two championships in three seasons (1984 and 1985). They were led by head coach Jim Mora and quarterback Chuck Fusina.
4. The league’s biggest stars: The USFL featured a number of future NFL stars, including Herschel Walker, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Reggie White, and Doug Flutie.
5. The “Chicago Blitz Miracle”: In 1984, the Chicago Blitz trailed the Arizona Wranglers 38-17 with less than four minutes left in the game. However, the Blitz scored three touchdowns in less than two minutes to win the game 45-38.
6. The USFL on national TV: The USFL signed a lucrative TV contract with ABC in 1983, which brought the league to a national audience. The league also had a game broadcast on ESPN in 1984, which was the first live football game broadcast on the network.
7. The New Jersey Generals sign Herschel Walker: In 1983, the New Jersey Generals signed Herschel Walker to a three-year, $5 million contract, which was the largest contract in professional football history at the time.
8. The USFL expands to 18 teams: In 1984, the USFL expanded from 12 to 18 teams, adding six new franchises in markets such as Jacksonville, Memphis, and Pittsburgh.
9. The USFL files an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL: In 1986, the USFL filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that the league had violated antitrust laws by monopolizing the professional football market. The USFL won the lawsuit, but was only awarded $1 in damages.
10. The death/rebirth of the USFL: In 1985, the USFL decided to move its schedule from the spring to the fall in order to compete directly with the NFL. However, this decision proved disastrous, and the league folded after the 1985 season. With Fox as the backbone of the league the USFL returns in 2022.