UA-59049186-1 Welcome Back: The USFL, Now With Less Donald Trump! - Good if it Goes

Welcome Back: The USFL, Now With Less Donald Trump!


In 1983, the USFL launched as a spring football league. The league enjoyed a successful inaugural season with solid attendance and TV ratings. It wasn’t the NFL, but nobody expected it to be. However, a major shake-up occurred when the New Jersey Generals were sold that off-season.

There’s an excellent 30 For 30 that goes into more detail on this, but the long and short of it is that the new owner didn’t want to be part of the second-best league, so he spent big on NFL talent, player costs around the league went up, and said owner led a campaign to get the league to move to the fall, since spring football was “small potatoes.” Of course, the USFL couldn’t compete with the NFL, even the Generals’ owner knew that; the move to the fall was a harebrained (or in this guy’s case, hairbrained) attempt to force a merger with the NFL by proving that the USFL couldn’t exist in the fall and suing on antitrust grounds. The USFL won the lawsuit and were awarded one dollar. You read that correctly. Damages in antitrust suits are tripled, so the league got $3, $3.76 after interest accrued before the check was actually cut. The league, which had staked its survival on the lawsuit, promptly went under. Thirty years later, a bunch of folks who must have never heard that story decided that guy should be president, which, considering Donald Trump’s IQ, business acumen, long-term thinking ability, and level of interest in things that don’t pertain directly to Donald Trump, went about as well as it could have.

Now, the USFL returns as everybody and their brother attempts to start a spring football league. 3 Down Nation:

““The USFL is back — see you in 2022. It’s football, it is real football, it’s pro football at the highest level, it’s just being played in the spring. When I go back to our days in the USFL, that’s what it was,” Flutie said.

The league will target a minimum of eight teams and deliver high-quality, innovative professional football to fans throughout the spring season.

“I’m extremely passionate about football and the opportunity to work with FOX Sports and to bring back the USFL in 2022 was an endeavor worth pursuing,” co-founder of the new USFL and founder and CEO of The Spring League, Brian Woods said in a statement.

FOX Sports will serve as the official broadcast partner for the USFL. FOX Sports also owns a minority equity stake in the company that owns the USFL.”

So it sounds like these guys have their heads on straight and can avoid the pitfalls of the first iteration. So your author really hopes this line

means that they’ll be competing for guys that would be backups in the NFL, which is totally doable, particularly at QB. There are already a few in the CFL, most notably Bo Levi Mitchell, who openly said in 2019 that he wasn’t interested in leaving Calgary for an NFL team where he wouldn’t be competing for the starting job.

Speaking of which…

So what of XFL 3.0, now with maple syrup? Good question. Saskatchewan Roughriders punter Jon Ryan thinks it might not be an actual merger:

Where things go from here hinges on what kind of compensation each league will be able to offer. The average salary in XFL 2.0 was about $55,000 per year. The league minimum in the CFL was CA$53,000 (roughly $43,700, give or take, depending on exchange rates) in 2019 and was supposed to be CA$65,000 (roughly $53,600, same criteria). The CFL’s salary cap for 2021 is CA$5.8 million (roughly $4.786 million, you know the drill by now) for 56 players. Any spring league that intends to be a quality one needs to be able to at least match that. Your author is still rooting for a CFL-XFL merger that results in CFL USA 2.0 because it would be freakin’ sweet. However, there are some logistical issues with that, the biggest one being that the CFL field is 30 yards longer than the NFL one and many NFL and college stadiums wouldn’t be able to accommodate that, as the league found out the last time they tried moving south of the border, and if you’re going to do this, you need to stay true to the Canadian game, otherwise it’s just another B league. The upside here is that it would allow the USFL and CFL to exist in the same markets, since the CFL season doesn’t start until June. Five of the eight markets with XFL 2.0 teams had teams in the USFL, an issue that would need to be sorted out were the USFL and a non-CFL-merged XFL going to co-exist.

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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