It is being reported on Profootballtalk.com that the USFL, the pro football league from the 1980's that unsuccessfully tried to compete with the NFL, is coming back and will act more as a minor league for the NFL this time around. The new USFL is going to have teams in cities that do not have pro football or baseball, and according to their website, they will be competing in the spring, starting in 2013.
As stated in the article linked above, each player will receive $3000-$3500 a game, and the players will not be obligated to stay with their team if the NFL comes calling.
This kind of reminds me of a domestic version of NFL Europe, only the league isn't affiliated with the NFL in any way. I think a sort of minor league system that pays its players fairly well is a good deal. $3000 a week isn't a bad chunk of change for playing football, especially if a kid is just out of college and looking for a job. And if a player is allowed to leave for the NFL anytime he wants, I think it's a no-lose situation.
There are literally hundreds of football players walking around who can't find an NFL job for one reason or another, and this would be a way for them to stay in shape and continue to develop their skills while playing professional football.
As a football junkie, I'm always willing to give any football league a chance. However, the catch 22 of this whole thing is trying to get people to pay attention to a league that is designating itself as a minor league and isn't directly competing with the NFL. The old USFL was clearly trying to compete with the NFL, and they were able to convince players like Mike Rozier, Steve Young, Herschel Walker and Doug Flutie to sign with their teams instead of heading to the NFL right out of college.
Also, the old USFL placed franchises in established NFL cities like Pittsburgh and the New York market, and some teams had high-profile owners like Donald Trump.
How will the new USFL be received in cities like, say, Omaha or Portland?
Obviously, the jury is still out as to whether or not this new upstart league will even get off the ground, but what do you think about minor league pro football in the spring? Would you be willing to give it a chance?
Any memories of the old USFL that you'd like to share? Remember the Pittsburgh Maulers?