USFL

Team Directory

Arizona Wranglers
Baltimore Stars
Birmingham Stallions
Boston Breakers
Chicago Blitz
Denver Gold
Houston Gamblers
Jacksonville Bulls
Los Angeles Express
Memphis Showboats
Michigan Panthers
New Jersey Generals
New Orleans Breakers
Oakland Invaders
Oklahoma Outlaws
Orlando Renegades
Philadelphia Stars
Pittsburgh Maulers
Portland Breakers
San Antonio Gunslingers
Tampa Bay Bandits
Washington Federals

Facts and information about the United States Football League

  • The USFL was in operation for only three years; 1983, 1984, and 1985. The USFL as a legal entity, on paper only, was in existence until 1989.
  • The USFL was the idea of David Dixon, a New Orleans entrepreneur.
  • The league was formed in May of 1982 and set to begin play in the spring of 1983.
  • Two of the USFL’s most innovative rules were the two-point conversion and the ability of a Head Coach to challenge an official’s ruling on the field with the use of instant replay. Both of these features have since been adopted by the NFL.
  • The ownership voted in October of 1984 to begin playing football in the fall of 1986, the USFL wouldn’t last long enough to see any autumn games played.
  • When the USFL filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, each owner in the NFL was also named as a defendant except for Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. Davis was an important witness for the USFL.
  • After a 42 day trial in 1986, the jury did find that the NFL was an illegal monopoly, but only fined them $1 which was tripled under antitrust law to a final award of $3. The jury had found that although the NFL was an illegal monopoly, most of the USFL’s problems could be traced to mismanagement. It also came out later that the jury was under the wrong assumption that the judge could increase the financial award at his discretion.
  • The antitrust lawsuit that ultimately determined the fate of the league was decided roughly one month before the USFL was set to kickoff its 1986 fall football schedule.
  • After all the appeals, the USFL finally received a check from the NFL in 1990 for the amount of $3.76, the value of the judgment plus interest.
  • Jim Kelly, based on his subsequent career with the Buffalo Bills, was the first former USFL player to make it into the Hall-of-Fame.
  • During the USFL’s first year of operations, no team in the Central Division (Michigan, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Birmingham) finished with a sub .500 record.
  • During the USFL’s first year of existence, no team in the Pacific Division (Oakland, Los Angeles, Arizona, and Denver) finished with an above .500 record.
  • The first USFL Championship Game in 1983 was played in Denver’s Mile High Stadium. 1984’s game was played in Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida and 1985’s game was played in Giants Stadium in New Jersey.
  • The USFL’s original Commissioner was Chet Simmons from 1982 to 1984, from 1984 until the league ceased to exist the Commissioner role was filled by Harry Usher.
  • The career leader in Interceptions thrown (53) in the USFL is former Quarterback Bobby Hebert who played in the NFL for the Saints and the Falcons. Hebert also holds the USFL record for total yards passing with over 10,000.
  • The first overall pick in the 1983 USFL draft was Dan Marino from the University of Pittsburgh. Marino elected to play football in the NFL with the Dolphins instead, going on to a Hall-of-Fame career.
  • Former Professional Wrestlers Ron Simmons (Farooq) and Lex Luger (The Total Package) both played football in the USFL.
  • During the 1984 season the L.A. Express would defeat the Michigan Panthers 27-21 in triple overtime, which would be the longest professional football game ever played.
  • Though the USFL was the upstart league that most would assume would have a hard time competing with the established NFL, the younger league would affect the older league in a number of ways. There were rules original to the USFL that the NFL eventually adopted like Instant Replay. There was production values like the overhead suspended camera that the NFL now uses that were originally pioneered by the USFL. The USFL was able to sign a significant amount of talent away from the NFL, including at one time having four former Heisman Trophy winners in the league (Archie Griffin, Herschel Walker, Mike Rozier, and Doug Flutie). The USFL also brought a taste of professional football to cities the NFL would eventually expand to, move to, or move back to like Jacksonville, Memphis, and Oakland.
  • Two of the USFL’s head coaches coached their teams in multiple cities; Jim Mora with the Stars in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and Dick Coury with the Breakers in Boston, New Orleans, and Portland.
  • In the first USFL Draft in 1983, three of the first six picks were all Running Backs from Southern Methodist University (SMU); Tim Spencer and Eric Dickerson by the Arizona Wranglers, and Craig James by the Washington Federals. Only Dickerson did not play in the NFL as he chose to play for the Los Angeles Rams instead.
  • The last player selected in the 1983 USFL Draft was Tackle Don Edwards from the University of New Mexico in the 24th round.
  • Three people in the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame for their coaching of NFL teams also coached in the USFL; Marv Levy, Sid Gillman, and George Allen.
  • 187 players spent time on USFL rosters and eventually transitioned to the NFL.
  • Punter Sean Landeta was the last active NFL player to have played in the USFL.


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