Muscle Sport Magazine

New USFL – Spring Football Returns in 2010

Rival League from the ’80s on the Table Again; All it Takes is $1 and a Dream

Are you ready for some (more) football? I’m sure the answer is ‘yes,’ especially with the “one-year hiatus” of the Arena Football League. Back from the dead comes the reincarnation of perhaps the best rival to the NFL since the AFL merger, and this time we won’t even have to deal with that annoying Donald Trump trying to be a sports guy.

Scheduled for 2010, the New USFL (www.newusfl.com) will be on the landscape. Break out the mullets and Duran Duran albums! Gridiron from the tackiest of decades will be making a triumphant return after a quarter century. And I must admit that I’m a little pumped up for it.

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Games will be played in the spring and I suppose that they can use that $1 court settlement to get things off the ground when Trump and the boys sued the NFL back in 1985 to play in the fall. States awarded teams so far are: [Western Division] – California (2); Nevada; Portland; Texas; Louisiana. [Eastern Division] – Florida; Arkansas; New York; Michigan; Ohio; Alabama.

According to the league website, there will be a 16-game regular season, no touchbacks on kick-offs (ball spotted at the 15 if it goes out of the end zone), 4 points for a field goal over 50 yards, 3-point PAT from 10 yards out, one foot inbounds for a catch, no kneel downs, 4-point safeties and the ssame OT rules as in college.

Also, fans can buy stock in any of the teams. That sounds like something the United Football League has been trying, but still hasn’t gotten off the ground.

Can this work? Absolutely, as long as the league knows where it stands. The NFL will never be touched by any league in any sport in this country. So keeping that in mind, they can play a full schedule during the offseason and maintain some type of fan base.

What will be key is where the teams will play. Full-sized arenas are very important and with the shaky economy, paying rent at a 70,000-seat venue hoping to get good attendance may be too much to ask for. If teams play at small or D2 college stadiums, that will take a lot of the energy and ‘mystique’ away that this is a serious professional league. The XFL and the original USFL played in large venues, but much of the time the dreaded ‘black drape’ was part of the upper deck.

The league has set up an Advisory Committee that includes some former NFL and USFL players, Jack Youngblood (former LA Ram) being the most recognizable.

Capital was never an issue with the original league until the end and many an NFL star began his career playing in the USFL. Jim Kelly, Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie and Reggie White just to name a few. That probably will not be the case this time around.

The guys taking the field will be back-ups who have been released from an NFL team, hanger-ons, AFL and CFL players. Without NFL Europe and the likelihood that the AFL is gone for good, there will be a talent pool. The USFL can make a slight dent, as long as they stay away from the “He Hate Me” gimmicks.

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