USFL Aims to Get Back on Track

USFL Aims to Get Back on Track

First, a little history lesson...

Over the course of the decades, many professional football leagues have been formed. Very few have been successful. The All-America Football Conference, which operated from 1944 to 1949, brought the Cleveland Browns and Otto Graham into the National Football League (NFL). The Foolish Club, the self-described nickname taken by the owners of the eight original American Football League franchises, including Texas billionaires Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams, Jr., merged with the NFL after a successful decade of the 1960s. Since then, groups have started up, failed…played a little, failed…and been the brainchild of many. Most have carved out the fall as the time of the year to play.

And then, along came the United States Football League (USFL), born from an original idea of New Orleans businessman David Dixon, who had brought the Saints to town in 1965. Dixon envisioned football to be a spring and summer sport, and for the next 15 years, he worked tirelessly on a plan, finally launching his league on May 11, 1982, at the 21 Club in New York City. In the spring of 1983, the league began play with twelve teams. Over the course of three seasons, the league succeeded in many ways, including the fact that none of the original franchises ever folded. By playing its games in the spring, the USFL established its own niche and following. However, an ill-fated attempt to move the season from the spring to the fall, and a subsequent lawsuit against the NFL, caused the demise of the endeavor. All that remained were memories, multiple successes in communities and a $3.76 check from the NFL.

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