USFL: The Future of Football in America
If American football fans are wondering whether there’ll be a new football league that’ll give the NFL a run for its money, then they can look no further. In the footsteps of the recently relaunched XFL and the Alliance of American Football (AAF) brief stint, the United States Football League (USFL) is the latest professional football league aiming to stir up the football arena.
Though the XFL and AAF didn’t make it through a complete season, the USFL is planning to stand out—courtesy of financial backing, reputable broadcasting partners and a dust of nostalgia.
With the season already underway, potential punters can add the USFL games to their betting list. Instead of betting on the final results of a game, you can check out some enticing live betting sites that’ll keep you up-to-date every minute of the game.
Choose your pick like who’s going to score the first touchdown of the game? Or, which receiver will make the most yards? Since the first USFL game kicked off in mid-April, what does the future of American football hold regarding the recently revamped USFL?
An Overview of the USFL
It’s good to note that the original USFL lasted only three seasons, from 1983 to 1985. With Doug Flutie, Herschel Walker, and Mike Rozier, talent was in abundance, fresh from winning the Heisman Trophy signing into the league.
Plus, Hall of Fame coaches George Allen, and Marv Levy feature in the league’s history, while future Hall of Fame pro footballers such as Jim Kelly, Reggie White, and Steve Young had their debuts in the USFL.
Due to financial constraints and ongoing legal litigation, the USFL closed shop in 1990. However, with its resurgence, the USFL still has the original league’s trademarks, meaning teams will still be the same as in the past.
New Sheriff In Town? Owners of the USFL
One of the league’s broadcasting partners, FOX Sports, owns the block with co-founder Brian Woods. Also, the media-house giant is reportedly pumping between $150 to $200 million over three years to fund the USFL’s operations.
Assisting Woods, the USFL’s President of Football Operations, is Daryl Johnston, three-time Super Bowl Champion serving as the Executive Vice President. The head of officiating is under FOX Sports rule analyst Mike Pereira while Edward Hartman handles Executive Vice President for Business Operations.
- Pittsburgh Maulers
- Michigan Panthers
- Philadelphia Stars
- New Jersey Generals
- Tampa Bay Bandits
- Birmingham Stallions
- New Orleans Breakers
- Houston Gamblers
Although the teams are based in their native cities, the new USFL will have its season played in Birmingham, Alabama, in its entirety. Two iconic stadiums hosting the games include the 71,574 Legion Field and the Protective Stadium, with 41,700 seats. The league hopes the eight teams will be playing in their stadiums from next year.
Head Coaches In The USFL
Most of the USFL coaches of the eight teams are familiar to college and NFL fans. The head coaches are:
- Pittsburgh Maulers - Kirby Wilson
- Michigan Panthers - Jeff Fisher
- Philadelphia Stars - Bart Andrus
- New Jersey Generals - Mike Riley
- Tampa Bay Bandits - Todd Haley
- Birmingham Stallions - Skip Holtz
- New Orleans Breakers - Larry Fedora
- Houston Gamblers - Kevin Sumlin
Players in the USFL
Every team will feature a 38-man roster plus a seven-man practice squad. Players were drafted on February 22 and 23, with camps opening up on 21 March. Unlike the typical drafts, the new draft had 35 rounds, lasting two days, in different positions.
As a bonus, players and team staff members have access to a college degree program thanks to a partnership with Strategic Education’s Strayer and Capella Universities. The program will allow participants to take either in-person or online classes.
Unique Rules in the USFL
The USFL has introduced new changes to bolster offense and improve game flow. Some stand-out rule changes include changes to onside kicks, overtime, extra points, and allowing players to complete two forward passes.
League Game Schedule
The regular season is scheduled to run for ten weeks with two follow-up playoff rounds. With the current season set to end on 3 July, teams in the same division will play each other twice while teams in the other division once.
Games will be taking place on the weekends with special broadcasts on Mondays and Fridays, enabling you to see all the 43 action-packed games on FOX, NBC, USA Network, and FS1. FOX Sports will feature 22 games—FOX broadcasting 12 games, with FS1 having ten. NBC’s 21 games will have streaming service Peacock with four games, USA Network with nine, and NBC with eight games.
With the new USFL ensemble, the American football field is set to see exciting aspects of the game, such as gameplay rules and player drafting. With the season still far from conclusion, only time will tell what impact the USFL will have on the future of American football.