United Sim Football League Wiki
The United Sim Football League(USFL) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that released on April 12th, 2014. The game takes place within a fictional universe where the USFL(Formally known as the United States Football League ) has returned from a 30 year hiatus to coexist with the NFL as a spring-only alternative to professional football.
As with other MMORPGs, players control a character in our fictional sports universe, update abilities and advance through a never ending, fully customizable and always changing story line. The USFL is a text-based media-driven game world where characters do not interact with one another in a third- or first-person view, but do so through a variety of ways on our interactive forum.
United States Football League PrecursorEdit
The United States Football League (USFL) was an American football league which played for three seasons, 1983 through 1985. The league played a spring/summer schedule in their three seasons. A fourth season played in a traditional autumn/winter schedule was set to commence before league operations ceased.
The USFL was conceived in 1965 by New Orleans, Louisiana, businessman David Dixon, who saw a market for a professional football league which would play while the establishedNational Football League was in their off-season. Dixon had been a key player in the construction of the Louisiana Superdome and the expansion of the NFL into New Orleans in 1967. He developed "The Dixon Plan" --- a blueprint for the USFL based upon securing NFL caliber stadiums in top TV markets, securing a TV deal, and controlling spending—and found investors willing to buy in.
The USFL is historically significant in part for the level of talent that played in the league. The League was noteworthy for signing three consecutive Heisman Trophy winners:Georgia running back Herschel Walker and Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie signed with the New Jersey Generals, and Nebraska running back Mike Rozier signed with thePittsburgh Maulers out of college as well as numerous other collegiate stars. Future Pro Football Hall of Fame members defensive end Reggie White of the University of Tennessee,offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman and quarterbacks Jim Kelly of the University of Miami and Steve Young of Brigham Young University, began their professional careers with the USFL's Memphis Showboats, Los Angeles Express, Houston Gamblers, and Los Angeles Express, respectively. A number of NFL veterans of all talent levels played in the USFL. It is true that some NFL backups such as quarterbacks Chuck Fusina and Cliff Stoudt, G Buddy Aydelette, and WR Jim Smith who had limited success in the NFL become major stars in the USFL. However, many NFL backups struggled or did not make it in the USFL. Additionally, the USFL also lured in NFL starters, including a handful of stars in the primes of their careers, including the 1980 NFL MVP, Cleveland Browns' quarterback Brian Sipe, the Buffalo Bills' three-time pro bowl running back Joe Cribbs, and the Kansas City Chiefs' three-time pro bowl safety Gary Barbaro.
After deviating from "The Dixon Plan" in the league's inaugural season, the United States Football League was plagued with financial problems and consequently, franchise instability. A number of franchises either relocated or merged with others. In spite of these difficulties, the league had enough success in cities such as Jacksonville, Phoenix, and Baltimore that the NFL has placed teams there since the USFL ceased operations.
The Michigan Panthers were the first USFL champions. The Philadelphia Stars won the second USFL championship, and after relocating to Baltimore, won the final USFL championship as the Baltimore Stars in effectively a rematch of the first USFL title game. (Their opponents, the Oakland Invaders, featured most of the stars of the Michigan Panthers following a merger of those two franchises.)
In 1986, the USFL, having recently decided to compete directly with the NFL, filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the National Football League. The NFL was found to have violated anti-monopoly laws. However, in a victory in name only, the USFL was awarded a judgment of just $1, which under anti-trust laws, was tripled to $3. When it folded, the USFL had lost over $163 million.
The Revival of the USFLEdit
Bits of USFL games can be found in TV shows, commercials and movies even today; using stock USFL footage is much cheaper than using that of the NFL. (Gary Cohen of Triple Threat TV is the exclusive proprietor of all USFL stock footage.)
The Los Angeles Express were used as the stand-ins for the California Bulls, the fictional team at the center of the HBO sitcom 1st & Ten for the show's first two seasons. Stock footage of the USFL was used during that time to simulate Bulls games. and the Bulls starting quarterback was purposely given the number 14 to match that of Express quarterback Tom Ramsey. Once stock footage of the Ramsey-led Express ran out, the series began scripting their own plays.
In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Band Geeks," there is footage of a USFL game (Memphis Showboats vs. Tampa Bay Bandits, played at the Liberty Bowl), used for the "Bubble Bowl" background in some scenes of the band's version of "Sweet Victory."
On the penultimate episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, as part of O'Brien's "Ridiculously Expensive Sketches" routine, O'Brien used USFL footage as a fake stand-in for the much more expensive "restricted Super Bowl footage" that would cost NBC millions of dollars to air.
As part of the ESPN film project 30 for 30, filmmaker Mike Tollin produced a documentary called "Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL?" It aired October 20, 2009. As part of the project, sister station ESPN Classic aired the 1984 and 1985 USFL championship games in their entirety on the same day, leading up to the movie.
A 2010 campaign commercial for US Senator Russ Feingold, aired during his unsuccessful re-election bid against Ron Johnson in the Wisconsin Senatorial race, featured footage of the Houston Gamblers' Clarence Verdin and Gerald McNeil celebrating a touchdown during a montage of unsportsmanlike football celebrations.
t was no coincidence that most of these markets were in the Sun Belt—a region where the USFL was particularly a hit. Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Birmingham and Memphis did not have Major League Baseball teams at the time to compete against for the spring sports dollar. Of those cities, only Tampa Bay now has a baseball team; the Rays, formerly known as the Devil Rays, didn't arrive until 1998. They were among the league's leaders in attendance. Along with Philadelphia/Baltimore (the league's most successful team) and New Jersey (with Trump's deep pockets, Herschel Walker and the fact that North Jersey also had distance between it and the New York City-based MLB teams), this collection of teams had the potential to be viable ventures had the USFL stuck to its original springtime concept and been more financially sound.