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USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

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USFL 2009 UPDATE

 

The Califormia Condors have revealed their official logos and uniform for the 2010 season, just days after the USFL Draft.  The Condors will retain the roster and records from the Las Vegas Vipers after the sale and relocation of the franchise to Sacramento. 

 

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Wow, I love the gradient numbers on the away jersey. 

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Will the Condors play at Hughes Stadium or Hornet Stadium?

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Getting a real Calgary Hitmen vibe from the Condors, and it looks awesome.  Pink isn't used nearly enough for American sports identity packages.

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2010 USFL Season

With two expansion teams, two team mergers and a team relocation, the 2009-2010 offseason was a busy one.  The new California Condors (formerly LV Vipers) quickly released their entire coaching staff and hired former Renegades & Machine coach Sam Wyche to lead the new franchise.   Minnesota, seeking to capture the interest of Vikings fans, signed Vikings DC Leslie Frazier as its first head coach, while Louisville hoped that family ties would lead to a repeat of the Mora magic which had made the Stars one of the league’s premier franchises, signing Jim Mora, son of the legendary Stars coach to lead their new squad.  The Gulf Coast division saw the other coach turnovers as Charlotte, Tampa(Orlando) and Atlanta jettisoned their coaches (Rich Brooks, June Jones and Mike Nolan respectively) and signed new leaders.  Atlanta snagged former Michigan Panther QB Jim Harbaugh to lead the Spartans, while Charlotte opted for the veteran leadership of “retired” NFL legend Marty Schottenheimer.  The Bandits, opting not to retain either their own coach June Jones, or the flamboyant Wyche, opted to sign the controversial former U. of Miami and UNC head coach Butch Davis. 

 

In the dispersal draft, which included provisions to prevent Tampa Bay and Baltimore from reaping the full benefits of a 2 franchise merger, Minnesota signed two veteran backups who would spend most of the season battling for the starting position, Seneca Wallace and Tyler Thigpen.  Louisville’s boldest move was a three team trade that brought former U of Louisville Cardinal QB to the Bees from Atlanta. 

 

The USFL Rookie Draft saw a run on QB’s early on, but while Dallas was able to sign Texas QB Colt McCoy (a necessity after the league extended the Michael Vick ban indefinitely as part of a new comportment and player responsibility initiative) and Tampa Bay was able to stoke its fanbase by signing fan favorite Tim Tebow, the biggest fish in the pool, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, turned away the interest of St. Louis Lightning in favor of the NFL’s Rams.   In addition to adding QB talent, the rookie draft saw several top linemen head to the USFL, as well as some “skill” players in U. of Minnesota WR Eric Decker (to the Blue Ox), Stanford RB Toby Gerhart (California) and Tennessee RB Monterio Hardesty (Minnesota).  By season’s end these players were dwarfed by the success of a less-heralded rookie, New Jersey General LB Sean Lee, who took the league by surprise with a combination of sideline-to-sideline speed and natural leadership unusual for such a young player.  With Lee on the field, the General’s defense was a formidable one, helping New Jersey win the Northeastern Division for a second year.

 

The 2010 season saw some expected results, with the expansion franchises struggling and perennial powerhouses like San Jose, Houston, Birmingham and Philadelphia playing well.  It saw New Jersey improve over a very successful 2009 campaign and saw the upstart champions, the Washington Federals, fall back to earth.  It saw the new playoff qualification rules put to the test as no fewer than 6 teams finished the year at 7-7 with 2 wildcard slots to battle for.  After a complex set of tiebreakers, the new conference-preference system gave Memphis the final spot over both Cleveland and California, despite a weaker cross-conference record. 

 

The season also saw new stars in Tampa’s Tim Tebow (USFL Rookie of the Year), Dallas’s Colt McCoy and a strong second year from Michigan QB Mark Sanchez.  But the biggest breakout was not a new face, but an old one.  Breakers QB Brett Favre lit up the new Gulf Coast division, leading the hard-luck Breakers back to respectability and on to an 11-3 record.  Favre would lead the Breakers all the way to the Championship Game, with a particular highlight being the absolutely lights-out semifinal game in New Jersey, where the vaunted General defense fell apart as Favre fired lasers to his wideouts, leading the Breakers to a devastating 51-10 mauling of the Generals.   In the other Semifinal, Houston’s Byron Leftwich was injured midway through the 2nd quarter, with the Gamblers holding onto a slim 13-10 lead.  The second half, without Leftwich, was too much and league MVP Aaron Rodgers was able to lead the Samurai on three straight scoring drives to put the game away, 27-16.

 

In the Championship game it was a battle of generations with the older, craftier gunslinger in Favre facing off against the young gun in town, Rodgers.  Both QB’s demonstrated that the best defensive plans fell apart when the other team had a hot QB in control of the offense.  By halftime the score was 24-21 New Orleans behind 2 TD passes from each QB and a dazzling punt return from the Breakers’ Jabbar Gaffney.  But in the second half it was Rodgers who would gain the upper hand, hitting speedster Deshaun Jackson on a quick slant that ended up as a 67 yard TD pass.  The Breakers would rally, but on a vital 3rd and 7 on their own 23 yard line, Favre would make a fatal mistake, forcing a ball between two defenders in an attempt to hit his TE.  San Jose intercepted, setting up an short field and a 3 yard run by Marshawn Lynch which put the Samurai up 35-31.  Both teams traded field goals in 4th quarter, but Rodgers and Lynch were able to run out the final 3:53 on the clock, locking up the game with a 3rd down conversion on their own 33 to put the game away 38-34.

 

2010 USFL Final Standings

EASTERN CONFERENCE

WESTERN CONFERENCE

NORTHEAST

 

*NJ      12-2

*PHI      8-6

BLT       7-7

WSH     5-9

 

SOUTHEAST

 

*TBY    9-5

CHA     7-7

JAX      5-9

ATL      5-9

GULF COAST

 

*NOR    11-3

*BIR        9-5

*MEM     7-7

STL        4-10

LOU       2-12

 

GREATLAKES

 

*PITT      10-4

*MICH      7-7

CLE         7-7

CHI          6-8

MINN       3-11

SOUTHWEST

 

*HOU     11-3

*DAL       8-6

UTAH      6-8

DEN        6-8

SAN        4-10

 

PACIFIC

 

*SJO   11-3

*LA        9-5

CAL       7-7

POR      5-9

ARZ       5-9

 

           

 

 

2010 USFL Playoffs

Wildcard Round                      Tampa Bay(3) d. Memphis(6)                     Pittsburgh(3) d. Michigan(6)

                                                Birmingham(4) d. Philadelphia(5)              Dallas(5) d. Los Angeles(4)

 

Division Round                  New Jersey(1) d. Birmingham(4)              Houston(1) d. Dallas(5)

                                          New Orleans(2) d. Tampa Bay(3)              San Jose(2) d. Pittsburgh(3)

 

Semifinal Round               New Orleans(2) d. New Jersey(1)             San Jose(2) d. Houston(1)

 

 

2010 USFL Championship             San Jose  38    New Orleans 34

 

2010 USFL Award Winners

2010 USFL Most Valuable Player:  Aaron Rodgers, QB, San Jose

2010 USFL Coach of the Year:  Butch Davis, Tampa Bay

2010 Rookie of the Year:  Tim Tebow, QB, Tampa Bay

 

2010 USFL Expansion, Relocation & Uniform/Logo Updates

1.       2010 marked the first season for the expansion Minnesota Blue Ox and Louisville Bees.  It also saw the merger of Orlando into the Tampa Bay Bandits organization and Boston into the Baltimore Blitz organization.  Finally, in 2010 the Las Vegas Vipers were relocated to Sacramento, where they began a new chapter as the California Condors.

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I finally caught up after reading this from the beginning about 2 weeks ago. Very interesting. It has taken some turns I wouldn't have made (I am not a fan of the name Samurai for San Jose or the California Condors) but it has been very entertaining! Especially this last championship with Rodgers facing off against Favre! I can only imagine what it would have been like if some how Favre led the Jets to the Super Bowl to face off against the Packers a year after "retiring". Since I am from Jersey, I am of course a Generals fan. My only suggestion to add would be  to list the champions. Just to make it easier to see the history of the championship games at a glance. But very well written and entertaining! So keep up the great work!

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2 hours ago, officerpain138 said:

I finally caught up after reading this from the beginning about 2 weeks ago. Very interesting. It has taken some turns I wouldn't have made (I am not a fan of the name Samurai for San Jose or the California Condors) but it has been very entertaining! Especially this last championship with Rodgers facing off against Favre! I can only imagine what it would have been like if some how Favre led the Jets to the Super Bowl to face off against the Packers a year after "retiring". Since I am from Jersey, I am of course a Generals fan. My only suggestion to add would be  to list the champions. Just to make it easier to see the history of the championship games at a glance. But very well written and entertaining! So keep up the great work!

I was actually working on that before I saw your post.  Here is the full list of all champions from 1983-2010.  So far we have 4 rings for the Stars, 3 each for Houston, NJ and LA, and a smattering of teams with 1 or 2.  Of the founding 12 teams Denver, Arizona, the Blitz, and the Stallions are the only ones without rings.  Which of those 4 will be the next to grab a champonship?  

 

USFL CHAMPIONSHIPS

1983    Michigan

1984    Philadelphia

1985    Philadelphia

1986    Houston

1987    Memphis

1988    Houston

1989    Los Angeles

1990    New Jersey

1991    Michigan

1992    Cleveland

1993    New Orleans

1994    Philadelphia

1995    Houston

1996    New Orleans

1997    Los Angeles

1998    New Jersey

1999    New Jersey

2000    Chicago

2001    Philadelphia

2002   Boston

2003   Tampa Bay

2004   Dallas

2005   Philadelphia

2006   Los Angeles

2007   San Jose

2008   Cleveland

2009   Washington

2010   San Jose

 

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And just for fun, here are the league MVP's from 1983-2010.  You will see a lot of QB domination here as the USFL was able, at least for a while, to sign top QB's out of college before they took NFL deals (in some cases).  Seems clear that when the USFL builds a Hall of Fame, it will have to include Jim Kelly (4 MVP), Steve Young (3 MVP), Herschel Walker (2 MVP), Brett Favre (4 MVP) and Aaron Rodgers (2 MVP), but I suspect everyone on this list could get in if they played 6+ years in the USFL (some did not). 

 

1983    K. Bryant, RB, PHI

1984    J. Kelly, QB, HOU

1985    H. Walker, RB, NJ

1986    J. Kelly, QB, HOU

1987    R. White, DE, MEM

1988    J. Kelly, QB, HOU

1989    S. Young, QB, LA

1990    J. Kelly, QB, HOU

1991    H. Walker, RB, NJ

1992    A. Carter, WR, MICH

1993    B. Favre, QB, NO

1994    B. Favre, QB, NO

1995    T. Thomas, RB, HOU

1996    B. Favre, QB, NO

1997    S. Young, QB, LA

1998    D. Flutie, QB, NJ

1999    J. George, QB, CHI

2000    D. McNabb, QB, BOS

2001    S. Young, QB, LA

2002    B. Favre, QB, ORL

2003    T. Brady, QB, PHI

2004    S. Alexander, RB, DAL

2005    C. Martin, RB, PHI

2006    D. Brees, QB, WSH

2007    B. Roethlisberger, QB, PHI

2008    A. Rodgers, QB, SJO

2009    M. Lynch, RB, SJO

2010    A. Rodgers, QB, SJO

 

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How has attendance been for the teams since the 2008 economic collapse. Would be intresting to know. 

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This is the greatest the fictional sports league concept I have ever seen. And you were right to eliminate the Boston franchise, as they would struggle to sell tickets during Red Sox seasons especially during their 2004 - 2011 run. If you decide to bring a New England franchise back, Hartford would be a good option. 

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2011 USFL Season

The 2010-2011 offseason was dominated by difficult, even contentious, television negotiations as the USFL sought to create a dedicated television network similar to the NFL Network as well as develop a higher revenue package with a dish or cable provider.  This had been a multiple year project, but despite strong ratings in  most markets and particularly with younger viewers who saw the USFL as a more attractive “fun” league than the NFL, the major players had been standoffish with the league as it tried to negotiate new contracts.  By January negotiations with both NBC and Fox had come to a complete halt, but this gave ESPN/ABC the window they needed to corner the USFL market.  The plan they developed with the league was a sea change for the way the USFL would be covered.  The plan, signed by the league in their February meeting, included the following:

 

  • · Exclusive rights to cover USFL games by the ESPN (Disney) family of networks.
  • · Development of a joint SEC/USFL network to be called  ESPN Gridiron, to begin with the 2012 season.
  • · Agreement with Dish Network to broadcast all out of market games to its subscribers on a series of channels dedicated to the league.
  • · Development of pay-per-view live-streaming options through ESPNGridiron.com and Dish Network.
  • · Rebranding of the highly successful “Jack Pardee USFL Football” video game series with 2k Sports to “ESPN Gridiron USFL Football”, beginning with USFL2k12.
  • · Regularization of the schedule to include each week a single Friday night game, 4 games on Saturday afternoon, 6-8 games on Sunday afternoon (Variation due to bye weeks) and a single Sunday Night game. 
  • · Friday night games to be aired exclusively on Gridiron, with ABC covering all Saturday and Sunday day games and ESPN airing its Sunday Night Football game each week.
  • · A requirement that the USFL return a franchise to the Boston area by 2013, without losing a top 30 market through relocation, and expansion to a second team within a top 30 market by the same date.

 

The new television package knocked both Fox and NBC completely out of the USFL picture, provided the league with NFL level television funding and the ability to compete year round through the Gridiron network and opportunities to crossmarket with the SEC, college football’s most prestigious conference.  Shows featuring SEC and USFL alums would be developed, beginning with a Steve Spurrier coaches roundtable show and a joint USFL/SEC weekly show hosted by All-USFL legend Herschel Walker.

 

Flush with funding, and looking ahead to expansion to Boston and beyond, the USFL saw a spending spree in 2011, with franchises reaching out to both NFL stars and college All-Americans to bolster their rosters.

 

The 2011 USFL draft was particularly rich, as the spring league was unabashed in its attempts to snag blue-chip talent out from under the NFL.  Several teams added key talent at positions of weakness and the recent expansion teams in Minnesota and Louisville used the opportunity to bring their squads towards greater parity with the rest of the league.  Among the big name signings by the USFL in 2011 were defensive standouts such as Texas A&M LB Von Miller (Houston), Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt (Minnesota) and Clemson DE DaQuan Bowers (Charlotte).  New Orleans planned for the future by signing an understudy for Brett Favre in Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett  as well as LSU RB Steven Ridley .  Louisville gave Brian Brohm a new weapon in Kentucky WR Randall Cobb, as did Atlanta with its signing of Georgia WR A.J. Green.  Three top RB’s signed with the USFL, Ridley with New Orleans, Illinois’ RB Mikel LeShoure to Chicago and Alabama RB Mark Ingram (Birmingham).  Finally Portland and Jacksonville brought in young arm talent with Washington QB Jake Locker and Florida State QB Christian Ponder, respectively. 

 

In free agency, there was also no lack of talent brought in.  Both Cleveland and Utah sought to address the QB position by bringing in NFL veterans.  Utah brought home a local talent with former Ute and 49er QB Alex Smith while the Cleveland Invaders spent big and signed the former SuperBowl MVP QB of the Browns, Dereck Anderson.  Other major signings included Denver signing disgruntled Steeler RB Rashard Mendenhall and Louisville snagging former Patriot back Benjarvis Green-Ellis.  On the defensive side, Washington was the big hitter signing both LB Stephen Tulloch and Colts DE Robert Mathis. 

 

It did not take long into the season to realize that the influx of talent had raised the bar across the league.  Birmingham, pairing the short passing of Eli Manning with the new power running game of Ingram, ran out to a 9-0 start before suffering their first defeat.  Houston also started fast, building a 7-2 record, largely on the back of Von Miller and an intimidating passrush, before a late season injury to Leftwich again hampered the offense and led to a late season slump.  Even Minnesota and Louisville were far better teams, though their toughness did not yet translate into a lot of wins.  J.J. Watt, in particular, was a revelation for the Blue Ox, finishing the season with 12.5 sacks, while Randall Cobb led the Bees in receiving. 

 

But despite the spending spree, it was one of the most frugal franchises, the Baltimore Blitz, who surprised everyone, winning the Northeast on the strength of former Boston QB Donovan McNabb in what would be his final season.  Out west, the biggest surprise was the uprising of the California Condors, who fought for each yard and won 10 games despite having no players named to the All-USFL team. 

 

2011 was also a year with significant playoff turnover as several mainstays of the past few years failed to live up to expectations.  Pittsburgh suffered several key injuries and did not have the depth to overcome them, leading to a 6-win season.  Shockingly falling from grace were the Philadelphia Stars, whose 8-6 record proved insufficient to earn them a playoff spot for the first time in over a decade.  Tampa Bay also surprised many after a good 2010 playoff squad seemed to fall apart at the seams, leading to questions around 2010 Coach of the Year Butch Davis.  The Breakers also fell from the elite after losing Brett Favre to a midseason shoulder injury.  Rookie Ryan Mallett showed some spark but far too often tossed the ball to the wrong team, with 11 interceptions in only 7 games. 

 

The playoffs saw two phenomena at work.   Michigan used its considerable home field advantage to full effect, knocking off two teams which had defeated the Panthers during the regular season, California and Houston, to reach the Championship.  Both victories were narrow and hard-fought, but the Panthers, backed by rowdy Detroit fans, were able to scratch their way to victory.  For the Birmingham Stallions, the path was either far easier, or they made it look easy.  Beating New Jersey and Baltimore by a combined score of 73-22, the outcome of both games was never in doubt.   The Stallions entered the Championship as a 14 point favorite, and woe to the gambler who bet on Michigan.  Birmingham broke out in the 2nd quarter, scoring 3 TD’s in a span of only 7 minutes as a Manning TD was followed by a muffed kickoff by Michigan, leading to an 11 yard Mark Ingram rumbler in which he carried 2 Panther defenders the final 3 yards to the endzone.  The scoring spree was capped off by a 3 play drive after a Panther 3-and –out that made the score 24-3.  Michigan was out for the count, and would only muster a TD and 2 point conversion the rest of the game.  The final 41-11 score was a testament to the domination shown by the Stallions as they ended nearly 30 years of futility and won their first USFL title. 

 

2011 USFL Final Standings

EASTERN CONFERENCE

WESTERN CONFERENCE

NORTHEAST

 

*BLT     10-4

*NJ         8-6

PHI         8-6

WSH       5-9

 

SOUTHEAST

 

*CHA    9-5

*ATL     8-6

JAX      6-8

TBY     4-10

GULF COAST

 

*BIR       12-2

*MEM      9-5

NOR        7-7

STL         5-9

LOU        5-9

 

GREATLAKES

 

*MICH     9-5

CLE         8-6

CHI          7-7

PITT        6-8

MINN      4-10

SOUTHWEST

 

*HOU      9-5

*DEN      8-5-1

DAL        5-8-1

SAN        5-9

UTAH      4-10

 

PACIFIC

 

*SJO      10-3

*CAL      10-3

*LA          9-5

ARZ         4-10

POR        2-12

 

           

 

 

2011 USFL Playoffs

Wildcard Round                 New Jersey(6) d. Charlotte(3)          Houston(3) d. Denver(6)

                                          Memphis(4) d. Atlanta(5)                 California(4) d. Los Angeles(5)

 

Divisional Round               Birmingham(1) d. New Jersey(6)           California(4) d. San Jose(1)

                                          Baltimore(2) d. Memphis(4)                   Michigan(2) d. Houston(3)

 

Semifinal Round               Birmingham(1) d. Baltimore(2)               Michigan(2) d. California(4)

 

2011 USFL Championship             Birmingham  41  Michigan 11

 

2011 USFL Award Winners

2011 USFL Most Valuable Player:  Eli Manning, QB, Birmingham

2011 USFL Coach of the Year:  Sam Wyche, California

2011 USFL Rookie of the Year: J.J. Watt, DE, MIN

 

2011 USFL Relocation, Expansion or Uniform/Logo Updates

  1. The USFL contracts with ESPN/Disney would lead to immediate discussion of expansion as the league was required to return to Boston and add a 2nd Top 30 market franchise as  part of the contract.  Early speculation was that either Miami or Seattle would be considered, but the idea of a 2nd NY area franchise was also floated by several within league  circles.
  2. The Memphis Showboats opted to go retro with their Under Armour redesign, returning to the “paddlewheel” logo as their primary while retaining many elements of their original Nike design elsewhere.
  3. The San Antonio Outlaws updated their look by adding barb wire piping to the uniform, an idea many claimed was stolen from the Adam Sandler film “The Longest Yard”.

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First up, the new UA uniforms for the Memphis Showboats. 

 

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And the new Outlaws gear, with barb-wire motif. 

 

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Besides the Outlaws and Showboats, who else in the USFL works with Under Armour on the uniforms?

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Also, I've noticed a wave of Scottish Claymores games being uploaded to YouTube lately, so I'm curious to know what became of these guys below in this universe...

 

- Paul Justin (Galaxy QB)

- Terry Crews (Rhein Fire LB)

- Mario Bailey (Galaxy WR)

- Will Furrer (Admirals QB)

- Eric Wilkerson (NY/NJ Knights RB)

- Brad Johnson (Monarchs QB)

- Preston Jones (Monarchs QB)

- Matt Blundin (Claymores QB)

- Steve Matthews (Claymores QB)

- Kelly Holcomb (Dragons QB)

- Siran Stacy (Claymores RB)

- Yo Murphy (Claymores WR)

- Allen DeGraffenreid (Claymores WR)

- Chris Mohr (Montreal Machine P)

- George Koonce (Ohio Glory LB)

- Scott Mitchell (Orlando Thunder QB)

- Kerwin Bell (Orlando Thunder QB)

- Stan Gelbaugh (Monarchs QB)

- Kendall Trainor (NY/NJ Knights K)

- Bill Goldberg (Sacramento Surge DL)

- Kurt Warner (Admirals QB)

- Karl Dunbar (Orlando Thunder, Rhein Fire DL)

- Ricky Blake (Riders, Dragons FB)

- Jason Garrett (Riders QB)

- Keith Traylor (Dragons DL/LB)

- Adam Vinatieri (Admirals K)

- Darren Bennett (Admirals P)

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2011 Update

The midseason league meetings in Dallas brought big news on the USFL expansion frontier. The league announced that it had accepted bids from three different New England ownership groups and that it was also evaluating bids from five other Top 30 markets for the second 2013 expansion team.  The New England franchises, and we have to use that moniker for reasons which will soon be apparent to all, include a bid from Jim Davis, CEO Of New Balance; a bid from Jonathon Kraft, son of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, which includes an agreement to use Gilette Stadium, and a surprising third bid from Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who proposes that the USFL’s Boston franchise actually split time between BC’s Alumni Stadium and UConn’s Rentschler Field. 

 

In early negotiations, the Jim Davis bid, which would have the franchise playing at 30,000 seat Harvard Stadium looked to be the most convincing, despite the obvious issues with stadium seating and amenities.  Jonathon Kraft’s bid to essentially build a USFL franchise using the resources and facilities of the NFL’s New England Patriots, was immediately made a longshot when several NFL owners balked, citing the non-competition clause which would not allow NFL owners to own competing sports franchises.  The potential conflict of interest brought back memories of the DeBartolos issues in Pittsburgh in the 1980’s and created a real possibility for future litigation. 

 

The Bruins/Jacobs proposal was also intriguing, in part due to the strong group of investors, but also because the concept of a “New England” franchise, with homes in both Massachusetts and Connecticut, had the potential to downplay some of the issues which the former Boston Beacons had seen with a fickle spring Boston sports market.  The potential tie-ins with the Bruins also added intriguing opportunities to the bid.

 

Outside of New England, the league saw ownership teams headed by some huge names in the world of finance and sport as bids competed to be added as the 30th USFL city.  While it was surprising that no new bid from Indianapolis came in, the league did see five different city bids by the June deadline.

 

In New York, Fred Wilpon, owner of the Mets, and the City Group, owners of Manchester City, proposed bringing a 2nd team to the New York market, with a franchise based at Citifield in Queens.  This immediately drew concern from the owners of the Generals, but also from all three Boston bids, who felt that a 2nd NYC franchise would make it difficult for Boston as well as for the Generals.

 

Orlando, who had recently seen the Renegades merge with the Tampa Bay Bandits, had a new ownership group, headed by John Henry, owner of both the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, to bring football back to BrightHouse Network Stadium.

 

The Orlando bid would have to compete with a second Florida bid, as a group headed by Mickey Arlson of Carnival, and with the celebrity “faces” of both Gloria Estefan and actor Will Smith, aimed at putting a USFL franchise in Miami. 

 

In Kansas City, Gary Burrell of Garmin put together a bid for a franchise to play in the newly constructed Livestrong Wizard Park, home of the KC Wizards soccer club of Major League Soccer.  But, as that stadium had a maximum capacity of 22,000 and as the Hunt family were seen as unlikely to allow a USFL franchise in Arrowhead stadium, Kansas City had to be considered the least favorable of the 5 bids.

 

The most favorable, both in financial backing and football acumen, appears to be the Seattle bid.  An ownership group headed by Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos and with the full cooperation of the University of Washington and its Husky Stadium, was a team that seemed to have it all.  Seattle is a growing, high income, market with growth sectors in the burgeoning tech fields, a high quality stadium at the ready and an in-place management group which includes such football luminaries as former Husky, CFL and NFL quarterback Warren Moon, and former San Antonio Qb Rick Neuheisel.

 

The league accepted all 8 bids for the two franchises and in September would hear the full report of each bid before a league vote to select the two franchises.

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2 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

Also, I've noticed a wave of Scottish Claymores games being uploaded to YouTube lately, so I'm curious to know what became of these guys below in this universe...

 

- Paul Justin (Galaxy QB)

- Terry Crews (Rhein Fire LB)

- Mario Bailey (Galaxy WR)

- Will Furrer (Admirals QB)

- Eric Wilkerson (NY/NJ Knights RB)

- Brad Johnson (Monarchs QB)

- Preston Jones (Monarchs QB)

- Matt Blundin (Claymores QB)

- Steve Matthews (Claymores QB)

- Kelly Holcomb (Dragons QB)

- Siran Stacy (Claymores RB)

- Yo Murphy (Claymores WR)

- Allen DeGraffenreid (Claymores WR)

- Chris Mohr (Montreal Machine P)

- George Koonce (Ohio Glory LB)

- Scott Mitchell (Orlando Thunder QB)

- Kerwin Bell (Orlando Thunder QB)

- Stan Gelbaugh (Monarchs QB)

- Kendall Trainor (NY/NJ Knights K)

- Bill Goldberg (Sacramento Surge DL)

- Kurt Warner (Admirals QB)

- Karl Dunbar (Orlando Thunder, Rhein Fire DL)

- Ricky Blake (Riders, Dragons FB)

- Jason Garrett (Riders QB)

- Keith Traylor (Dragons DL/LB)

- Adam Vinatieri (Admirals K)

- Darren Bennett (Admirals P)

 

As the WLAF and NFL Europe did not exist in this alternative history, some of these players never really got a shot.  But, of course, with two large leagues playing year round football, many did go to one of the two.  Within the USFL the most noteworthy players from this list were Kerwin Bell (Los Angeles), Ricky Blake (San Antonio), George Koonce (Cleveland) and Eric Wilkerson (St. Louis).  Kurt Warner spent 3 years on the bench with the Dallas Cowboys before being cut and picked up on waivers by the Houston Oilers, where he would go on to start for 7 seasons, leading the Oilers to their first Super Bowl.  Adam Vinatieri played 3 years with the San Diego Chargers, then 2 more with the Atlanta Falcons and is now one of the top kickers in the CFL, where he plays for the Edmonton Eskimoes.  Scott Mitchell spent 5 years as a backup with the Detroit Lions, starting a total of 7 games in that span.  Kelly Holcomb played as a backup QB in both the USFL and NFL, playing with the NJ Generals, Baltimore Blitz, Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers.  He is now a QB coach with the Chicago Bears. 

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