Friday, October 16, 2009

The USFL:A good idea that went wayward

I remember when the USFL first started in 1983.i was only 11 years old then and thought it would never work.Some of the names i knew of,some i never heard of.Even the players i heard of,i thought to myself,"they couldn't make it in the NFL".As the season went on i was pleasantly surprised and quickly embraced the michigan panthers as my team,pretty obvious since i lived here in the detroit area.I remember it like yesterday.Bobby Hebert at quarterback,local hero Anthony Carter at receiver,and two unknowns that became big stars in the league,running back Ken Lacy,and the "sackman" John Corker.they started slowly but went on a roll that culminated in a championship,defeating the Philadelphia Stars 24-22.I couldn't wait until the next season started and figured the NFL might be in some serious trouble.Alas,the USFL was in trouble.From my point of view, I feel the owners,flush with quick success,got too greedy.They started giving out big money contracts to players not yet drafted and to NFL stars that used the USFL as leveraage in negotiations.The locals around Detroit can remember Billy Sims nearly jumping ship to the Houston Gamblers.The contract i remember most is the ridiculous contract given to Steve Young by the Los Angeles Express.I believe it was 40 years for $43 million dollars.I could be wrong on this.If i am let me know.I know there is more to the story,but eventually,while the league was expanding,sank itself and folded.The USFL ended up suing the NFL and actually won.The amount:$1 dollar.It was exciting while it lasted and if managed correctly I feel some teams could have merged with the NFL. I still remember the players and uniforms and the teams. I just wish it lasted longer, but all good things must come to an end.