What is the USFL?


Emma Gill

An art piece of a football laying in green grass

Cade Clark, MVC Writer

The USFL (United States Football League) that was once popular in the early 1980’s has made its return.

Recently, many smaller American football leagues have been surfacing, such as the XFL and FCF. However, the USFL stands out. They once had a somewhat successful platform that gained a lot of attention due to the players it hosted and how the USFL blossomed their careers. For example, some big names like Steve Young, Jim Kelly, and Doug Flutie all got their start out of college in the USFL before going to the NFL. 

FOX Sports invested nearly $200 million to start the league back up. They also brought in some pretty big names to help run it including Daryl Johnston and Mike Pereira

The USFL’s reboot consisted of 8 of the 18 original teams in the first season with goals to bring back more in the upcoming years. The league’s first season back has already begun and featured some former NFL players and former big name college players. 

As well as NFL players, there are former NFL officials working for the USFL.

“We are extremely fortunate to have this extraordinary team of experienced executives to guide the new USFL’s development as we move toward launch this spring,” FOX Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks. 

A goal post standing tall in the green grass field (Emma Gill)

Many football fans are excited for the USFL, it brings football during the NFL’s offseason with high levels of competition. On opening day they had a solid 3 million viewers amidst the NBA playoffs. Even entering the second week they outnumbered the NHL’s viewer counts. 

There is doubt though. Many other leagues that have tried starting up have fallen off shortly after launching. This may come as a concern to the USFL.

“Hopefully, the fifth time is a charm. I think the timing is right, the partnership is right, and the model is bred for success,” NBC Sports President Jon Miller said. “We’re optimistic, hopeful, and excited at the same time.”

Some analyses have deemed the USFL as having a market model that is destined to fail just like previous attempts of non-NFL American football leagues.