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View Full Version : Could the USFL come back?


Generals3866
03-16-2005, 01:09 PM
Does anyone think it could work, if it stayed in the spring/summer? I'm just curious what people out there think. Thanks.

JB
03-16-2005, 02:07 PM
Yeah absolutely. An outdoor football league that plays anytime after the Super Bowl game and before the first NFL pre-season game (winter/spring/summer call it what ever you want) would do well provided the front office was professional and not amateurish. A fan owned league would fit perfectly in that scenario.

Shootmaster_44
03-18-2005, 12:02 PM
It could work providing it acknowledged that it was a minor league. The XFL went head-to-head with the NFL and died. But the $1 league making a comeback would be interesting. However, I am sick of new leagues popping up and claiming the name of a more famous defunct league (ABA and WHA pop to mind) and attempting to make it seem like it was just one long hiatus.

But yes a spring football league would work, if it avoided cities where the NFL is and where MLB and the NBA are overly popular. Essentially, it leaves the deep South, some of the midwest and Canada. Go where they would be the only game in town. However, I doubt a rival to the CFL would fly up here. Unless a team is placed in a non-CFL city, but I'm not sure there are many that have a stadium suited for professional football, otherwise they'd be in the CFL already.

Bill
03-21-2005, 12:30 AM
And don't forget rule #1...

Don't let Donald Trump in the league...

Donald.. When it comes to football...
You are SO fired...

afdave
04-14-2005, 02:15 PM
Well, obviously thinking about bringing back the "USFL" is two-fold. One, the USFL is now being "fondly remembered", as fondly as the WHA and ABA. And that is the second point - people have tried recently, to varying success, to "reuse" the WHA and ABA monikers (as well as MISL in indoor soccer).

Bringing back the USFL could work, if the owners didn't expect to get rich. The owners need to be fiscally responsible, and set up the league in a way where crowds of 10,000-20,000 would make them money.

One new interesting thing that I think could work on the side of a "USFL" type spring outdoor league comeback is the building of many 20-30,000 seat outdoor statdiums for Major League Soccer. These cities/venues, along with some other cities 10-20,000 seat stadiums that can fit an football field, would be the perfect seating size for a league like this. Instead of looking dead with only 10-12,000 fans a game, the stadiums could block off high level seats, and look half full, or better.

These stadiums will definately be looking for more dates to fill other than MLS dates, and an NFL-offseason limited run league could work for that.

Another option is the NFL could "bring back" the USFL, and use the moniker and this "smaller stadia" idea to have a "post college" level minor league running at the same time as their season. I say "post college" because the NFL doesn't want to 'compete' with the NCAA. But, a league, run during the season, where guys are getting reps, and you could have lets say 8-16 teams, with each team being a "farm team" for 2-4 NFL teams, and being played in mostly secondary markets, I think would be benficial to the NFL. You could get rid of the "practice squads" on the NFL teams. Their current "practice squad" players would make up the rosters of these teams. All games could be played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, with some nationally shown on the NFL network, so that they don't interfere with NFL, college or HS action.

Shootmaster_44
04-16-2005, 02:12 AM
Another option is the NFL could "bring back" the USFL, and use the moniker and this "smaller stadia" idea to have a "post college" level minor league running at the same time as their season. I say "post college" because the NFL doesn't want to 'compete' with the NCAA. But, a league, run during the season, where guys are getting reps, and you could have lets say 8-16 teams, with each team being a "farm team" for 2-4 NFL teams, and being played in mostly secondary markets, I think would be benficial to the NFL. You could get rid of the "practice squads" on the NFL teams. Their current "practice squad" players would make up the rosters of these teams. All games could be played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, with some nationally shown on the NFL network, so that they don't interfere with NFL, college or HS action.

Doesn't this sort of exist with NFL Europe? I remember the NFL tried this with the WLAF in 91/92 and didn't those teams die a horrible death?

I think one has to look at the Arena League as a model of how to make minor league football work. You need a major TV deal, not being the late night entertainment on ESPN2 or some other more fringe cable network. You need big name owners. If Jon Bon Jovi didn't own Philadelphia, John Elway in Denver and Jerry Jones in Dallas, would the AFL have even gotten on NBC? Lastly, you need to have an exciting product. I know alot of purists don't like the AFL as it is way too much passing, but the general audience likes the high scoring. Put it this way, is a 6-3 outdoor game nearly as exciting as a 94-65 AFL game?

What could be interesting is if someone made a hybrid of the games fit for the outdoor game. First off eliminate the fair catch, adopt the CFL rule of giving 5 yards on any punt or kickoff. Secondly, use only 3 downs, this forces teams to pass more. The NFL seems to be 2 runs that generally end up as a cloud of dirt and a long pass. The CFL forces the pass to occur sooner. I would remove the 1 yard no-man's land in the trenches. Use a larger field, most likely wider. This league wouldn't want to be an American league playing Canadian. I think playing 12 players adds more excitment as you have an extra receiver to open things up. Lastly, I liked the XFL's version of the coin toss. Let the players actually win the ball. Also let players return missed field goals. This forces teams to make real plays instead of trying a ridiculously long field goal. What could be adopted is the rule used in Canadian Junior and University football, if the ball is returned out of the end zone it automatically gets placed at the 20 if it isn't returned longer.

Too bad people on this board aren't actually involved in pro sports, there's a lot of good ideas that aren't implimented. It would be interesting to see the fans have more involvment.

afdave
05-19-2005, 08:08 PM
"NFL Europe" is an offseason "development" league.

An "in season" development league would allow players to be 'fresh' and in game action if they are "brought up" to the main club. As I said, if they were to do this, they could basically get rid of the "practice squads" on the teams now, as they would have the 'rights' to their players on the "NFL2" teams.

I think it could work, if it was structured so that teams only needed 8-12.000 per game to survive (as it would be in non-NFL mid-size markets).

Pounder
05-20-2005, 12:08 PM
MLS runs a reserve league this year involving the "reserves" of the 12 league teams.

Each team only plays 12 games. Most of the games are being played on the Sunday morning after the Saturday night game (on a training field), OR the Saturday evening immediately following a Saturday afternoon game in the same stadium.

The games aren't generally meant for attendance. In fact, they allow the normal pine riders for the first team to get game action, as well as the "youth program" teenagers that make up a good number of spots 18-28 on the MLS rosters. Statistics are kept, games are scouted.

Something like that is all the NFL really needs.

I don't think you can market a separate league into a crowded fall weekend schedule and make money off of it. There's a reason NFL Europe plays in the spring, mostly near the end of the European football season.