USFL returns: Spring football could be coming to New Jersey
Remember the USFL? That spring football league that ran from 1983-86 and was the home of such teams like the New Jersey Generals and Philadelphia Stars, who were the champions in 1984, is coming back.
The USFL announced Thursday that they will resurrect the spring league in 2022 with Fox Sports as its television partner. Also returning will be all the old team names and logos. You may remember the San Antonio Gunslingers, LA Express, Oakland Invaders, and Houston Gamblers, who had a quarterback named Jim Kelly who went on to do great things for the Buffalo Bills.
The USFL was a fun league and those who remember the New Jersey Generals owned by one Donald Trump. They featured Doug Flutie at quarterback and Hershel Walker running the ball.
It was Trump who moved the league to play in the fall competing head to head with the NFL that caused its demise. They were hoping to force a merger. Instead, they sued the NFL and when all was said and done received a check for $3.76 damages in 1990.
Sean Landeta was the last player from the USFL on an NFL roster. He left the Philadelphia Stars and signed a contract with the New York Giants, then, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and finally the Philadelphia Eagles. Landetta told me in an interview,
"I'm very excited about it you never thought that would happen. There have been other leagues that have tried to come back but certainly, the USFL was the best one. For those that remember it was three years of really good football and really good players. I just think it would be so cool all these years later to have all those teams in the same cities and use the same names and wear the same uniforms, If that could happen I think it would be wonderful."
What advice would Landetta give the returning league?
"I would tell them to stay within their means. The most important thing is guys playing and coaching football and if the salaries aren't that great that's okay because most of these guys are in the early twenties anyway and they're trying to get into the league. So be realistic with your numbers and put out a good product and I think people will watch."
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.