Nicknames are familiar to those who have a long memory: New Jersey Jeners, Philadelphia Stars, Tampa Bay Bandits. And the name of the league: USFL
But his new leadership says that despite the nostalgic names of the team and the league, this iteration of the USFL, which starts playing on Saturday, wants to differentiate itself from the league that operated for three seasons in the mid-1980s. This predecessor began the professional football careers of Heisman Trophy winners such as Herschel Walker and Doug Flutey, and future Hall of Fame members such as Reggie White, Jim Kelly and Steve Young. His colorful story ended in an empty victory over the NFL before the end of the league in 1986.
In its new incarnation, the USFL will play a 10-week regular season with 40 games that will run from April 16 to June 19, gaining a head start in the XFL, another NFL alternative league scheduled to resume in February 2023.
Where are the USFL games held?
Despite the names of eight teams in different cities, all regular season games will be held in one place – Birmingham, Alabama. After the regular season, the semifinals and finals will take place on June 25 and July 3 in Canton, Ohio, on the Pro Hall of Fame website.
The reason for the single placement is “mostly financial,” said Daryl Johnston, a former Dallas Cowboys defender known as Moose, who is the USFL executive vice president of football operations. He noted that travel is a great price for new leagues. «My most important thing is to reach the 2nd year, ”he said.
Johnston said the league hopes to move the teams to their nominal hometowns somewhere between the second and fourth seasons.
Will USFL games be broadcast on TV?
Fox is an investor in the league, and the games will be shown on various Fox and NBC networks and on streaming platforms. In an unusual twist the starting game between c Generals and the Birmingham Stallions on Saturday at 7.30pm Eastern Time will be shown simultaneously on two broadcast networks, The fox and NBC. Networks will operate from a single channel, but have separate speakers and a production team.
Are there any non-traditional rules?
Like other upstart leagues, the USFL will experiment with some rules that distinguish their game from their longtime counterpart. In addition to the ability to try to score a point after landing or converting to 2 points, teams can line up from the 10-yard line to get 3.
Overtime matches will be decided by competitions on bullets. Each team will receive three shots in the final zone from the 2-yard line. The team that achieves more salary will win.
As an alternative to a side kick teams may try to convert the game with a fourth and a 12. If they succeed, they will save the ball.
Will the players be famous?
There is no Walker or Donald Trump in the new USFL. About as big as the names are quarterback Paxton Lynch of the Michigan Panthers, who started four games for the Denver Broncos NFL in 2016 and 2017. Last month, the Panthers were selected No. 1 in the USFL Draft and selected Shea Patterson, a defender who graduated from college in 2019 at the University of Michigan.
Other players include Luis Perez (General), a former Texas A & M-Commerce defender who starred in AAF and XFL, and Jordan Taamu (thugs) from the University of Mississippi and XFL.
How about coaches?
The names of some head coaches may be more familiar than the players. Among them are Jeff Fisher (Panthers), who led the Tennessee Titans to the Super Cup in the 1999 season; Skip Holtz (Stallion), a longtime college coach and son of Lou Holtz; and Kevin Samlin (Gamblers), a former college coach at Arizona, Texas A&M and Houston.
What money do players get?
Players will receive $ 4,500 a week and exercise $ 1,500. There are also winnings bonuses of $ 850 per win.
Can players skip college and go straight to the USFL?
No. The league requires players to be expelled from high school for two years, a year less than in the NFL. No USFL player has yet taken advantage of this year’s professional football breaks, but in the future, “we see that as a value,” Johnston said. “We offer an alternative path from student play to professionals,” he said.
Have I heard anything about the trial?
Some of the original owners of the USFL have sued the new league, arguing that it is not eligible for league and team names. The new league has said the suit is unfounded.
Will the new USFL last?
He has a shot.
Other recent efforts include the United Football League (four seasons), the Autumn Experimental Football League (two seasons), the American Football Alliance (less than a season) and the second iteration of the XFL (less than a season, though scheduled to return next year under new leadership). – died out pretty quickly, despite showy launches and heaps of talent.
“Players have always been available to play football in the spring,” Johnston said. “We have a product that, as we know, gets a rating. We have a fiscal responsibility. “
“Great is the partnership we have for distribution. It can’t be better than Fox and NBC. “
He also believes that this league has the right time and does not start immediately after the Super Cup, as some spring leagues and as the XFL hopes to do in 2023. a little? ” He asked.