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  1. Hello all. I am working on an “Alternative History” of the USFL, beginning in 1984 and we will see where it takes us. It is all based on the premise that a single historical change can lead to an entirely different outcome. My premise is that John Bassett, owner of the Tampa Bay Bandits and chief opposition to the move to a Fall schedule does not become ill. How could that have changed the USFL’s destiny? I will be going year by year and as teams merge, move, are added or simply change uniforms, I will post any new logos or uniforms, because that is what this board is about, but I will also try to weave in other events, particularly related to the NFL, which might also have altered history. Should be an interesting challenge to the imagination. I may get some facts wrong here and there, and I may go in some directions you don’t think are likely, but it is just a fictional story, so feel free to comment if you think things would have gone differently. 1985: With John Bassett at full strength, there is a strong counterpoint to Donald Trump and the argument that the USFL move to the Fall. Trump loses the vote. The antitrust lawsuit vs. the NFL will go ahead, but the league decides to continue with a Spring schedule. As a result the following changes occurred within the league: Both ABC and ESPN provided the league with new TV Contracts and an influx of nearly $225 million dollars with the proviso that teams remain in both Chicago and Los Angeles. The league agreed to the TV network’s terms and worked to enhance ownership groups in both cities while managing the two franchises’ day to day operations. The league also agrees to develop a more stringent salary cap to help cut down on financial losses, but through a combination of the league’s regional draft, which privileges certain teams with a pipeline to 2-3 local universities, and an exemption policy which allows 2 players per team not to count against the cap, the pace of “big name” signings slows but does not completely end. Without the shift to Fall, ownership groups in Michigan, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington did not opt to relocate their franchises for 1985. Due to economic struggles, and ownership interest in larger markets, it was decided that the league would contract by 2 franchises. The Oklahoma Outlaws merged with the undercapitalized San Antonio Gunslingers, to become the San Antonio Outlaws and the Pittsburgh Maulers merged with the struggling Washington Federals, bringing significant football talent to a team which had struggled to win games In its first two seasons. The 1985 Season is played with stronger attendance and ratings than anticipated, perhaps due to the continuity of the ongoing Spring season. Some franchises still struggle for attendance, particularly in Chicago and L.A., who also have weak seasons on the field, but the league is propping up both franchises and TV ratings help to make the case to potential owners for both. SEASON STANDINGS EAST *New Jersey 11-7 *Philadelphia 10-7-1 Jacksonville 8-10 Washington 7-11 SOUTH *Birmingham 12-6 *Memphis 11-7 *Tampa Bay 10-8 New Orleans 6-12 CENTRAL *Michigan 11-6-1 *Houston 10-8 San Antonio 9-9 Chicago 6-12 WEST *Denver 10-8 Oakland 8-10 Arizona 8-10 Los Angeles 6-12 PLAYOFFS: Birmingham d. Houston Michigan d. Tampa Bay Philadelphia d. New Jersey Memphis d. Denver Philadelphia d. Birmingham Michigan d. Memphis CHAMPIONSHIP: Philadelphia 28 Michigan 24 MVP: Herschell Walker (NJ) Coach of the year: Rollie Dotsch (BIR) New Team Uniforms or Identities: San Antonio Outlaws