May 14, 2012
Dust off your old Birmingham Stallions jersey, the USFL is back.
The league which brought the world future NFL Hall-of-Famers such as Jim Kelly and Steve Young will begin play again next March. The new eight-team league will consist of a 14 game season. Separating the new USFL from the old USFL is that this new league, while the same in name, will consist of players who were not picked up by any NFL team, and will act as a developmental, off-season alternative to the NFL.
Think of it almost like the NBA Developmental League, but for football.
This new USFL will be run by EndZone Sports Management — a San Diego based sports management firm — and its president Jaime Cuadra.
“You can’t deny the impact the USFL made on the football landscape even with its brief history. It gave us great players like Steve Young, Jim Kelly, Reggie White, Sam Mills and so many others,” President and Chief Executive Officer, Jaime Cuadra states. “We are excited to have the opportunity to build on that history and re- launch the league as a Professional Football League that plays in the spring, giving fans more football and giving talented athletes a platform from which to perform.” (via Press Release)
Also involved with both EndZone and the USFL, is NFL Hall-of-Famer Fred Biletnikoff, who has been hired to consult on football operations. The league has also already hired Crimson Marketing & Public Relations and Brand North for their marketing and social media marketing needs, respectively.
The USFL joins an ever-growing list of off-shoot football leagues that were created to either compete against, or at least coincide with the NFL. World League of American Football, NFL Europe, and the XFL are just a few of the leagues that have tried, yet none have been able to achieve the long term viability that the NFL has been able to create. Of course, the fact that the USFL is strictly holding itself out as a developmental league that is in no way in any direct competition with the NFL, could allow it to be the “spring fix” that transitions the NFL fan from offseason to new season.
The league, in fact, is making such a conscious effort to distance itself from direct sporting competition, that they are not only refusing to place teams in cities that do not have an NFL franchise, but MLB franchises as well.
The teams and their host cities will be announced sometime this summer.
Maybe dusting off that Birmingham Stallions jersey is a good idea, after all.