Wednesday, March 20, 2019

'84 Chronology-Jockocracy

Event Date: August 22nd, 1984

Event Description: Cosell Leaves MNF

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Mike Rozier Poll

Which team should Mike Rozier play for in 1985?
Pittsburgh Maulers
Jacksonville Bulls
Created with SurveyMaker

'84 Chronology-Rozier Seeks Release

Event Date: August 23rd, 1984

Event Description: Rozier Disappointed

Source: Pittsburgh Press

Mike Rozier is fed up with the USFL and wants to be released from his $3.1 million contract with the Pittsburgh Maulers, his agent told the Pittsburgh Press today.

"The only thing I can say is that Mike was disappointed with his season," said agent Art Wilkinson. 

“But I don't think it's fair to Mike to reveal anything about his innermost reason (for wanting to leave).”

He told the Press, Rozier was not disappointed with the Maulers, but with the entire league.

“It's not the city that he's disappointed with, it's himself,” Wilkinson said. “It's more his original decision. He has taken a lot of heat from here to Nebraska with people saying that it's a good thing he did not make it in the big leagues."

Rozier, winner of the Heisman Trophy, signed a three-year contract Jan. 4th shortly after the Cornhuskers lost to Miami in the Orange Bowl and began having doubts almost immediately.

“After Jan. 5, he started thinking “Why did I do this,'' Wilkinson said.

Maulers president Paul Martha said, “We talked to Wilkinson and he said Mike would like to get out of his contract. I can understand that. He's a little disenchanted.”

The Houston Oilers of the NFL and two other teams, one in the Canadian Football League, are interested in Rozier, Wilkinson said.

Houston General Manager Ladd Herzeg said he wants to sign Rozier, but Wilkinson is asking for $5.5 million to $6 million for five years. Herzeg says he is offering between $2.8 million and $3.1 million for four years.

Wilkinson said he will meet with Herzeg Friday or Saturday to negotiate a contract, but he said he will talk to other teams.

“He'll be doing the best job he can in this country or not,” Wilkinson said. “I'd like to have it done by Sunday night.”

Rozier is in Nebraska to attend classes and coach Nebraska running backs. Even if he was allowed to go to the NFL, a recurring ankle problem would make it mid-season before he could receive significant playing time.

Story-(Pittsburgh Press)

'84 Chronology-General Discussions

Event Date: August 23rd, 1984

Event Description: Oilers Eye Rozier

Source: United Press International

Mike Rozier's next cutback may be across league lines.

General manager Ladd Herzeg of the NFL's Houston Oilers is interested in signing the 1983 Heisman Trophy winner, who is under contract to Pittsburgh of the U.S. Football League, but Rozier's agent said no proposal has been made.

On Wednesday, Herzeg said Rozier will be signed to an Oilers contract if the two sides can agree on terms. But Art Wilkinson, Rozier's agent, said he has conducted no active negotiations with the Oilers, nor has any contract proposal been offered. He said he informed the Maulers of that fact Tuesday.

“Their response is simply one of frustration,” Wilkinson said at a news conference in suburban Philadelphia. “I can't seem to convince anyone that I'm not holding any contract proposal. If one is offered, I'd love to see it. But as for now, Mike is going to stay where he is."

Rozier and Wilkinson were Herzeg's guests last Saturday night at the Astrodome to watch the Oilers' pre-season game against New Orleans. 

Wilkinson said they had “general discussions” about Rozier coming to Houston for the 1986 season after his Maulers' contract expires.

Rozier, who joined the Maulers after playing in the Jan. 1st Orange Bowl for Nebraska, has two years remaining on a personal services contract with Pittsburgh owner Edward DeBartolo Sr. worth $3.1 million.

Herzeg says Pittsburgh may be anxious to release Rozier from his guaranteed salary after losing $10 million.

“Paul Martha, the president of the Maulers, is on record as saying that the team lost $10 million last year, and $10 million is an awful lot of money, even to wealthy individuals,” Herzeg said.

Herzeg said if Rozier joined the team now, he would alternate with Earl Campbell in the second half of the season in the Oilers' one-back offense.

“On a spot basis, they might both get in the game at the same time,” he said.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

'84 Chronology-Rozier Rumors

Event Date: August 18th, 1984

Event Description: Oilers Deny Rozier Reports

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Saturday, March 16, 2019

'84 Chronology-Average Attendance

Event Date: August 16th, 1984

Event Description: League Attendance Averages

Source: League Office

'84 Chronology-Go Long!

Event Date: August 16th, 1984

Event Description: USFL Committee Meets

Source: Lakeland Ledger

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Off Season Poll '84-85

Will you be following the VUSFL as we move into the 1985 season?
Created with SurveyMaker

'84 Chronology-Boat Builders

Event Date: August 13th, 1984

Event Description: Pepper Staying Put

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

'84 Chronology-Fall Football?

Event Date: August 11th, 1984

Event Description: Stars May Move

Source: Lakeland Ledger

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

'84 Chronology-Chet Simmons ESPN Interview

Event Date: Summer 1984

Event Description: Tom Mees-Chet Simmons Interview

Source: ESPN

'84 Chronology-The Scourge

Event Date: August 10th, 1984

Event Description: Corker Contract

Source: Lakeland Ledger

Sunday, March 10, 2019

'84 Chronology-Coaches Carousel

Event Date: July 29th, 1984

Event Description: Bullough Hires Two

Source: Beaver County Times

'84 Chronology-Low Balling

Event Date: July 28th, 1984

Event Description: Duncan Holdout Continues

Source: Times Daily

'84 Chronology-Home Coming

Event Date: July 26th, 1984

Event Description: Smith Talks Contract

Source: Times Daily

Saturday, March 9, 2019

'84 Chronology-Doctor of Defense

Event Date: July 27th, 1984

Event Description: Maulers Hire Head Man

Source: Beaver County Times

Thursday, March 7, 2019

'84 Chronology-Lane Changing

Event Date: July 25th, 1984

Event Description: Lane Joins Falcons

Source: Times Daily

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

'84 Chronology-Interim Basis

Event Date: July 24th, 1984

Event Description: Malavasi Departs

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

'84 Chronology-Finances & Forfeiture

Event Date: July 21st, 1984

Event Description: Oldenburg Empire Crumbles

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Monday, March 4, 2019

'84 Chronology-July Owners Meeting

Event Date: July 1984

Internal Memo: United States Football League Owners Meeting

Re: Expansion and Relocation

The owners considered the following; 
  1. A proposal to grant league founder David Dixon a minority interest in the New Orleans Breakers organization (Dixon will also waive all rights to a future expansion franchise).
  2. A proposal to move the Washington Federals franchise to Woody Weiser. 
  3. A recommendation from the Relocation Committee to allow the transfer of the Washington Federals franchise to Miami for next season.
  4. A proposal to continue talks regarding a new franchise to be placed in San Antonio for the 1985 or 1986 seasons with the team being sold to either Clinton Manges or Red McCombs.
  5. A proposal from New Jersey Generals owner Donald J. Trump to move to the fall for the 1986 season.
  6. A recommendation from the Executive Committee for the league  to take control of the Chicago franchise for one year.
  7. A proposal from a group of prospective owners led by Eddie Einhorn to take control of the Chicago Blitz franchise and then move them into involuntary bankruptcy.
  8. viii. A proposal from the Einhorn group to be granted a new franchise  for the city of Chicago which would begin play in 1986.
  9. A recommendation from the league finance committee calling for a strict adherence to the so-called Original Concept Cap* for the 1985 season and beyond.

The owners agreed to the following;
  1. The owners approved the sale of a minority interest in the New Orleans Breakers franchise to league founder David Dixon (the sale will also include monetary compensation paid to Mr. Dixon in exchange for his waiving of any future claims to an expansion team).
  2. The owners approved the sale of Washington franchise to Woody Weiser pending
  3. The owners approved the resolution to continue talks with Clinton Manges regarding a future expansion team to be placed in San Antonio, Texas.
  4. The owners rejected the proposal from Donald J. Trump to move to the fall in 1986 citing the completion of the McKinsey Report.
  5. The owners rejected the recommendation from the Executive Committee to have the league take control of the Chicago Blitz franchise and move them into involuntary bankruptcy.
  6. The owners tabled a proposal from the Einhorn group regarding control of the Chicago franchise until the release of the McKinsey Report.
  7. The owners agreed to table all expansion franchise charters until after the submission of the McKinsey Report.
  8. The owners agreed to a proposal from Philadelphia Stars  owner Myles Tanenbaum calling for a sixteen team league in 1985.
  9. The owners agreed to table the Original Concept Cap until the completion of the McKinsey Report.
  10. The owners agreed to a $22.5 million Emergency Fund to help finance the Chicago and Los Angeles franchises, and put both franchises under conditional league control.
  11. Accepted the final team salary reports from the Finance Committee.
  12. The owners agreed to meet again in August after the release of the McKinsey Report.
*The Original Concept Salary Cap calls for a salary cap of a maximum of $3M for the 1985 season.  (Teams may exceed the cap only to pay players under personal services contracts between players and owners.)

more to come......

'84 Chronology-Tally Ho!

Event Date: July 21st, 1984

Event Description: Eatman Interview

Source: ESPN

Sunday, March 3, 2019

'84 Chronology-Goldfinger

Event Date: July 19th, 1984

Event Description:  Gold Ready to Run

Source: United Press International

Denver Gold owner Doug Spedding introduced his new head coach, Darrel “Mouse” Davis, to Colorado with a promise to fans they would never leave a game disappointed.

The USFL team might not always be a winner, but with the run-and-gun offensive attack that Davis has made his trademark, it always will provide excitement, Spedding said.

His comments came at a news conference where he formally announced the selection of Davis, former offensive coordinator of the Houston Gamblers, as new head coach of the Gold.

Spedding took verbal aim at the other football team in town, the NFL Denver Broncos, in his comments regarding the new coach. Davis replaces former Bronco quarterback Craig Morton, who was fired as head coach of the Gold at the end of this past season.

“When's the last time this city had a football team that could play offense?’” asked Spedding, who has been searching for a new coach since he dumped Morton last month.

"I've been here 15 years and never seen it. But I will now. I like a guy whose team can score 600 points a season. If you get beat 44-41, you walk out of the stadium and don't even feel bad."

Davis signed a two-year contract with the Gold that gives him full control of all team personnel moves.

"He doesn't even have to tell me what he's doing,” said Spedding. “But I've asked him to let me know what's going on so everybody stays happy.”

Davis, 51, the author of the 'run-and-shoot' offense, served as offensive coordinator for Toronto in the Canadian Football League in 1982 before joining the Gamblers.

He also was offensive coordinator and later head coach at Portland State University which led the nation in passing and total offense for six consecutive seasons while he was there.

Spedding said the selection of Davis was somewhat of a gamble since he has never been a head coach at the professional level.

“But I feel good about it,” he insisted. “There were a lot of more experienced guys on my list, but because Mouse has never had the chance, I really think he's going to give it hell. He wants this chance.”


'84 Chronology-Coaching News

Event Date: July 19th, 1984

Event Description: Gold Hire Coach

Source: Lakeland Ledger

Saturday, March 2, 2019

'84 Chronology-Waiver Wire

Event Date: July 19th, 1984

Event Description: Patriots Eye Ramsey

Source: UPI

New England Patriots head coach Ron Meyer said Wednesday his team must wait a week until it has a chance to sign former UCLA quarterback Tom Ramsey to a contract.

Ramsey was waived Tuesday by the Oakland Invaders of th United State Football League.

He was a Patriots' 10th round draft choice in the 1983 draft.

He played the past season for the Invaders and the 1983 season for the L.A. Express.

Meyer said if Ramsey is signed, he would battle for a third string quarterback position behind veteran Steve Grogan and back-up Tony Eason. The No. 3 spot was held last year by Mike Kerrigan.

We've been notified that we can talk to him in seven days,” Meyer said. “We have to wait for him to clear waivers in the USFL.”

'84 Chronology-Cheerio!

Event Date: July 19th, 1984

Event Description: Bandits Meet Stars

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Friday, March 1, 2019

'84 Chronology-Lewis & Lewis

Event Date: July 19th, 1984

Event Description: Football News

Source: Reading Eagle

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

'84 Chronology-Road Trip

Event Date: July 18th, 1984

Event Description: USFL Exhibition

Source: Reading Eagle

'84 Chronology-Flying Flip

Event Date: July 18th, 1984

Event Description: Who Cares?

Source: Reading-Eagle

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

'84 Chronology-Split Screens

Event Date: July 16th, 1984

Event Description: USFL Owners Meet

Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Sunday, February 24, 2019

'84 Chronology-Gamblin' Man!

Event Date: July 16th, 1984

Event Description: Gamblers Take Title

Source: UPI

The Houston Gamblers were confident they could throw on the Birmingham Stallions, and pass they did.

Game MVP Jim Kelly passed for 351yards leading Houston to to a 35-26 win over the Stallions in the second annual USFL championship game Sunday night.

“Our offensive unit and our coaches have a lot of confidence in passing the ball,” said jubilant Houston coach Jack Pardee. “Our intention was to run the ball on them, and we did, but at the end of the day with a quarterback like Jim you have to let him lead the way” he said.

The Gamblers scored on their first two possessions of the third frame, the first a 33-yard strike to Richard Johnson and the second a 40-yarder to Ricky Sanders which pushed Houston ahead 21-10.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game for Birmingham after our first two possessions to start the second-half, ” said Kelly. The Gamblers put together a pair of long drives to start the second-half and never looked back.

Kelly finished the night with 24 completions in 31 attempts for 351 yards with three touchdowns, three sacks and three interceptions. Kelly also rushed for 31 yards on six attempts and added a late touchdown run to seal the victory.

Todd Fowler carried 16 times for 101 yards with one touchdown run and hauled in three passes for 30 yards, the first a 16-yard touchdown reception which opened the scoring.

Richard Johnson finished with nine receptions for 103 yards with one touchdown. Greg Moser finished with five receptions for 81 yards and Ricky Sanders added four receptions for 70 yards with one touchdown.

The Gamblers wasted several scoring opportunities. Kelly was intercepted after getting to the Birmingham 16, and Toni Fritsch missed a field goal attempt just before the intermission.

But the Houston defense covered up for those mistakes by sacking Birmingham quarterback Cliff Stoudt on four occasions and holding Joe Cribbs to under 100 yards rushing, Cribbs finished with 83 yards on 14 carries. 

Stoudt finished with 307 passing yards on 19-of-34 efficiency with one interception, a pair of touchdowns and four sacks.

“I think our defense is among the best in the league,” Pardee said. 

Story-(UPI Modified)

'84 Chronology-Golden Opportunity

Event Date: July 15th, 1984

Event Description: Gold Prep Davis

Source: Lakeland Ledger

Saturday, February 23, 2019

'84 Chronology-Limbo Jimbo

Event Date: July 14th, 1984

Event Description: Simmons: League in Limbo

Source: Ocala Star Banner

'84 Chronology-Championship Preview

Event Date: July 14th, 1984

Event Description: Championship Preview

Source: UPI

U.S.F.L. Championship at Tampa, Florida

(14-6) Houston Gamblers vs (16-4) Birmingham Stallions

8:05 p.m. (ABC-National-Keith Jackson and Lynn Swann)

Spread: Stallions -2

Rollie Dotsch and Jack Pardee are taking a similar approach to Sunday's second annual U.S. Football League championship game.

Dotsch and Pardee both said Thursday they are approaching Sunday's USFL finale like it was just another game.

“I'm trying to stay on the same schedule we had during the regular season,” said Dotsch. 

“We're going to practice under the lights to get ready for the game, but other than that, I think we’re going to pretty much run our standard week of practice.”

“I suppose it would have been nice to have had an extra week to prepare (like the NFL teams have for their Super Bowl), but I don't know that it really matters,” said Pardee. “The way it has turned out, our (practice) schedule is the same as it was for all our Sunday games.”

The Stallions, who advanced to the championship with playoff victories over Tampa Bay and Philadelphia after a 14-4 regular season, and the Gamblers, winners over Los Angeles and Houston after going 12-6, both arrived in Tampa Tuesday evening and got in their first workouts here Wednesday.

“I think it was a plus to have all that southern heat because the last half of the season we've been very strong,” said Dotsch. 

“With a veteran club, we out-conditioned some of the younger squads. We won a couple of games in the fourth quarter because of our conditioning.”

“We match up well against Houston,” said Dotsch. “They play wide open football, offensively and defensively. They don't seem overly concerned with making mistakes on offense and defensively they try to capitalize on other people's mistakes.”

Sunday's contest will feature the passing of Houston rookie quarterback Jim Kelly against Birmingham's Cliff Stoudt and the running of Todd Fowler against Joe Cribbs and Leon Perry of Birmingham.

Kelly was the USFL’s most exciting quarterback throwing for 4,758 yards and 44 touchdowns during the 18-game regular season. Stoudt, a five-year pro veteran, threw for 2,785 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Fowler rushed for 1,280 yards during the regular season and 247 in two playoff games. Cribbs and Perry led the Stallions with 1,450 and 1,123 yards respectively.

Source: (UPI Modified)