The Virtual U.S. Football League

The Virtual U.S. Football League
Up next: TNF: Los Angeles at New Jersey

Friday, November 27, 2015

'89 Chronology-Week #2 Transactions

Event Date: February 22nd, 1989

Event Description: Week #2 Transactions

Source: PFW

Baltimore-Activated OL David Franks* from Taxi Squad.

Dallas-Activated DL Pat Rabold* from Taxi Squad.

Houston-Activated LB Steve Bullitt from Taxi Squad.

New Jersey-Activated DL Derek MacCready* from Taxi Squad.

Orlando-Activated DB Corris Ervin from Taxi Squad.

Oakland-Signed DB-KR Lupe Sanchez (NFL-Pittsburgh ’88).

more to come......

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

'89 Chronology-Monday Night Football Returns

Event Date: February 21st, 1989

Event Description: Bulls Drop Home Opener

Source: Sarasota Herald Tribune

Attendance: 44,832
Television: ESPN
Announcers: Jim Simpson and Paul McGuire

Vince Evans completed 21-of-37 passes for 286 yards with three touchdowns to lead the Denver Gold to a 30-9 win over Jacksonville at The Gator Bowl on Monday night.

Willie Gillespie hauled in six passes for 115 yards and two scores for the Gold (2-0). Marc Lewis scored the first touchdown for the Gold and linebacker Willie Pless led the defense with seven tackles, one deflection and one sack. 

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Bulls commited four turnovers and nine penalties...Marc Lewis hauled in four receptions for 68 yards for the visitors.

more to come...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

'89 Chronology-Bandits Remain Unbeaten

Event Date: February 20th, 1989

Event Description: Bandits Beat Breakers

Source: Tampa Tribune

Attendance: 28,082
Television: ABC/RCA
Announcers: Keith Jackson and Lynn Swann

Ben Bennett threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns as visiting Tampa Bay outlasted New Orleans, 33-26, for its second win of the season.

Bennett finished 26-of-33 and Greg Anderson had six catches for 144 yards and a touchdown for the Bandits (2-0). Marvin Harvey scored a second quarter touchdown while Derrick McAdoo paced the ground attack with 36 yards rushing and a touchdown of his own for Tampa Bay, which forced three turnovers.

Stan Humphries was limited to 14-of-27 passing for 177 yards with two picks and three sacks for the Breakers (0-1). Marcus Dupree ran for a fourth quarter touchdown for New Orleans.

The Bandits spotted New Orleans a 3-0 lead before moving out to a 20-6 lead at the intermission.

In the third frame, Frank Lockett caught a 33-yard touchdown pass and Hughes registered a safety as the Breakers pulled to within 23-15.

Dupree's one-yard touchdown run tied things at 23-23 to open the scoring in the final stanza. A 26-yard field goal by Zenon Andryshyn at the 1:25 mark pushed the Bandits ahead 26-23, but a Tim Mazzetti 34-yard field goal again tied the game at 26 apiece.

Ben Bennett then ended things with a 69-yard pass to Anderson with no time left on the clock.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Tyrone Anthony led New Orleans with 74 rushing yards on ten carries...Allen Hughes added two sacks and eight tackles to go along with his safety.

In other Week #2 Sunday action, Birmingham outlasted Orlando 34-24, Oakland thumped Houston 23-7 and Arizona edged Los Angeles 17-12.

Monday, November 23, 2015

'89 Chronology-Outlaws Steal Win

Event Date: February 19th, 1989

Event Description: Outlaws Shock Generals

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Attendance: 38,082
Television: ESPN
Announcers: Tom Kelly and Lee Corso

Turner Gill threw for 244 yards and a touchdown and Tony Franklin converted the eventual game-winning field goal in overtime as host Dallas outlasted New Jersey on Saturday night. 

Gill finished 21-of-34 in his first career USFL start and Marcus Anderson caught four passes for 99 yards, including a 47-yard strike with 2:33 remaining in the opening frame, pushing Dallas (1-0) out to a 14-0 lead.

Doug Flutie went 29-of-39 for 316 with two touchdowns and 51 rushing yards for the Generals (1-1). Byron Williams caught nine passes for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Sam Bowers hauled in seven passes for 57 yards.

The Outlaws led 17-13 at halftime before Gary Allen scored on a one-yard run to stretch Dallas's advantage to 11 midway through the third quarter. At the 5:46 mark of the third stanza, Flutie found Williams for a 27-yard score, cutting the lead to 24-20.

Tony Franklin nailed a 27-yard field goal to extend Dallas out to a 27-20 lead to open the fourth quarter. Chuck Nelson responded with a 51-yard field goal for New Jersey at the 10:13 mark, before Franklin connected on his third field goal of the day, this time from 49 yards out.

At the end of the fourth, Byron Williams hauled in a 17-yard pass with just 43 seconds six seconds remaining to force overtime.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Franklin kicked field goals of 18, 27, 49 and 38 yards…rookie Eric Wilkerson paced the New Jersey ground game with 93 yards on eight attempts...Mark Gastineau tallied his second sack of the season.

more to come...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

'89 Chronology-Showboats Win Opener

Event Date: February 17th, 1989

Event Description: Memphis Mauls Michigan

Source: Detroit Free Press

Attendance: 34,557
Television: ESPN
Announcers: Tom Kelly and Don Heinrich

Gill Fenerty for 105 yards with one touchdown as host Memphis jumped out to an early lead against Michigan and never looked back. 

Walter Lewis completed 9-of-17 passes for 100 yards with no interceptions and one touchdown. Chris Smith added an additional 97 yards rushing and Tony Burse added a score for the Showboats (1-0), who overcame 11 penalties totaling 76 yards. 

Erik Kramer was just 8-of-18 for 95 yards for the Panthers (0-1), who managed just 81 yards on the ground. Garry James ran for 52 of them while Stephen Jones caught four passes for 53 yards for Michigan.

Fenerty scored via a one-yard run to cap a three-play, 65-yard drive as Memphis took a 10-0 lead in the opening frame.

Nick Mike-Mayer tacked on a 32-yard field goal to stretch the advantage to 20-3 late in the second quarter. 

Joey Clinkscales hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Lewis late in the final frame as Memphis pulled ahead 30-10 before Gary Danielson found Gerald White from one-yard out to round out the scoring.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Gary Danielson finished 10 of 17 for 119 yards while in relief of Kramer.

more to come...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

'89 Chronology-Week #2 Preview

Event Date: February 14th, 1989

Event Description: Week #2 Preview

Source: PFW

Week #2 USFL Preview

(0-0) Michigan at (0-0) Memphis (No Line)

(1-0) New Jersey at (0-0) Dallas (No Line)

 (1-0) Tampa Bay at (0-0) New Orleans (No Line)
   (0-1) Birmingham at (0-1) Orlando (Renegades -2)
  (0-1) Houston at (1-0) Oakland (Invaders -15)

Sunday Night
(0-0) Arizona  at (0-1) Los Angeles (No Line)

(1-0) Denver at (1-0) Jacksonville (Bulls -4)

more to come......

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

'89 Chronology-Denver Downs Birmingham

Event Date: February 12th, 1989

Event Description: Week #1 Sunday Night

Source: PFW 

Attendance: 41,224
Television: ESPN/RCA
Announcers: Gary Bender and Craig Morton
Where: Mile High Stadium

Vince Evans threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns as Denver kicked off the season with a 33-27 win over Birmingham at Mile High Stadium.

Evans went 22-of-37 with no interceptions and one sack. Scott McGhee caught six passes for 51 yards and a score for Denver. Earnest Anderson rushed for 58 yards, and Marc Lewis added 98 receiving yards, including a 68 yard touchdown reception.

Bill Kenney was limited to 7-of-23 passing for 59 yards a touchdown before being replaced by Bob Lane late in the second half. Lane went 7-of-14 for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Stallions. 

GAME NOTEBOOK: Birmingham committed six penalties for 50 yards while Denver had eight for 500 yards...Stallions LB Thomas Boyd finished with 11 tackles, one sack and two pass deflections in the loss.

more to come...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

'89 Chronology-Sunday Season Openers

Event Date: February 12th, 1989

Event Description: Week #1 Sunday Games

Source: PFW

Attendance: 48, 558
Television: ABC/RCA
Announcers: Keith Jackson and Lynn Swann
Where: The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Doug Flutie scored via a one-yard run with 1:56 remaining in the fourth quarter to lift New Jersey past Orlando in the season opener for both teams.

Flutie finished 23-of-42 for 233 yards with one touchdown pass for the Generals, who rallied after falling behind by a score of 23-7 at the half. 

Bobby Johnson gained 109 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown while Dan Johnson had 70 receiving yards on six catches, and Darren Flutie  added a nine yard touchdown reception respectively.

Orlando's Reggie Collier completed 10-of-12 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns before suffering a mild concussion just before halftime. Collier was replaced by Danny McManus, who was 8-of-26 for 80 yards and three interceptions for the Renegades.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Orlando DT Buddy Moor registered his first three sacks of the campaign... rookie running back Eric Wilkerson added 73 yards rushing and 35 yards receiving for the hosts…Mark Gastineau tallied one sack in his USFL debut.

In other Week #1 Sunday afternoon action, the Tampa Bay Bandits downed Los Angeles 24-13, while the Oakland crushed Baltimore 41-17 behind a three touchdown performance from Steve Dils.

more to come...

Monday, November 16, 2015

'89 Chronology-Season Opener

Event Date: February 11th, 1989

Event Description: Week #1 SNF

Source: PFW

Attendance: 37, 288
Television: ESPN/RCA
Announcers: Fred Manfra and Don Heinrich
Where: The Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, Florida

Ed Luther passed for 376 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Jacksonville knocked off Houston, 26-17, in the season opener for both squads at the Gator Bowl.

Luther completed 27-of-39 passes as the Bulls dominated the second half. Newcomer Bobby Howard rushed for 68 yards, while Alton Alexis caught nine passes for 191 yards and the Bulls defense forced four turnovers. 

New starting pivot Todd Dillon was 24-of-42 for 249 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. Richard Johnson had five catches for 84 yards with one touchdown for the Gamblers.

The game was knotted at 17-17 at the half as both teams revved up their passing games. Dillon connected with Johnson on a 29-yarder to give the Gamblers a 14-3 lead, but Houston answered when Luther made a 46-yard scoring toss to Alexis on the final play of the first half to make it 17-17.

The Bulls took control in the second half shutting Houston out while adding three Brian Franco field goals.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Houston RB Tony Jeffery led the ground attack with 63 yards on ten carries...WR Tommy Vigorito finished with six receptions for 103 yards for Jacksonville...LB John Barefield tallied 12 tackles and one sack for the Gamblers.

more to come......

Saturday, November 14, 2015

'89 Chronology-February Owners Meeting

Event Date: February 10th, 1989

Internal Memo: USFL Owners Meeting

Re: Spring Agenda

The owners considered and took action on the following; 
  1. Finalized the sale of the Chicago Blitz franchise to the Jody Tallal and Associates.
  2. Received an updated report from the Television Committee regarding the current state of television negotiations.
  3. Accepted updated salary schedules from all league teams.
  4. Established a committee to examine league realignment for the 1990 season.
  5. The owners agreed to meet again in May.

more to come......

Thursday, November 12, 2015

1989 USFL Fan Poll

'89 Chronology-Week #1 Preview

Event Date: February 9th, 1989

Event Description: Week #1 Preview

Source: PFW

Week #1 USFL Preview

(0-0) Houston at (0-0) Jacksonville (Bulls -3)

  (0-0) Orlando at (0-0) New Jersey (Generals -6)

(0-0) Tampa Bay at (0-0) Los Angeles (Bandits -4)

Sunday Night
(0-0) Baltimore at (0-0) Oakland (Oakland -5)

(0-0) Birmingham at (0-0) Denver (Denver -7)

more to come......

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Atlantic Division Poll

'89 Chronology-Atlantic Division Preview

Event Date: February 7th, 1988

Event Description: Atlantic Division Preview

Source: PFW

Memphis Showboats

1988 Record: 10-8

Owner: William Dunavant

Stadium: Liberty Bowl    

Avg. Attendance: 34,308

Head Coach: Pepper Rodgers

General Manager: Steven Ehrhart

Key players: QB Walter Lewis, WR Derrick Crawford, RB Gill Fenerty, OL Tyrone McGriff, C Larry Rubens, OT Ken Smith, NT Ron Simmons, DE Gregg Stumon, LB John Corker, DB Doran Major, DB Vic Minor, S Mike Fox.

New players: TE Ken Dunek, WR Greg Moser, LB Will Cokeley, LB Greg Gaines, FB Tony Burse, OL Jack Oliver.

Outlook: Look for Walter Lewis to again lead this team to the playoffs.

1988 Prediction: 12-6 First Place

New Jersey Generals

1988 Record: 8-10

Owner: Stephen Ross 

Stadium: Meadowlands     

Avg. Attendance: 43,071

Head Coach: Walt Michaels

General Manager: Jason Seltzer

Key players: QB Doug Flutie, RB Bobby Johnson, WR Lonnie Turner, TE Sam Bowers, G Bill Dugan, G-T George Collins, NT ben Rudolph, DE Mark Gastineau, LB Marcus Marek, DB Terry Daniels.

New players: WR Darren Flutie (NFL-San Diego ’88), DE Mark Gastineau (NFL-NY Jets ’88), LB Craig Bingham, LB Anthony Woodson, QB Matt Robinson, TE Dan Johnson, P Rick Partridge, K Chuck Nelson, OL Mike Udinski.

Outlook: The addition of Mark Gastineau will put fans in the seats, but will it put the team in the playoffs?

1988 Prediction: 10-8 Second Place

Michigan Panthers

1988 Record: 5-13

Owner: A. Alfred Taubman

Stadium: Silverdome    

Avg. Attendance: 33,754

Head Coach: Jim Stanley

General Manager: Vince Lombardi Jr.

Key players: QB Erik Kramer, QB Gary Danielson, K NOvo Bojovic, RB Ken Lacy, WR Eric Truvillion, WR Derek Holloway, TE Mike Cobb, C Tom Turnure, G Jon Zogg, OT Ron Essink, NT Ira Albright, DT Larry Bethea, LB Mike Edwards, DB Bobby Futrell.

New players: QB Erik Kramer, QB Gary Danielson, WR Stephen Jones, WR Gary Lee, OL Jon Zogg.

Outlook: The offense should be better, but the defense still has too many holes.

1988 Prediction: 8-10 Third Place 

Baltimore Stars

1988 Record: 6-12

Owner: Nick Mileti & Myles Tanenbaum 

Stadium: Memorial Stadium

Avg. Attendance: 34,447

Head Coach: Vince Tobin

General Manager: George Heddleston

Key players: QB Chuck Fusina, RB Curtis Bledsoe, SB-DB Gordie Lockbaum, WR Willie Collier, C Joe Happe, G Rich Garza, OT George Gilbert, LB George Cooper, DB Garcia Lane, S Troy West.

New players: RB Curtis Bledsoe, QB Scott Campbell, TE Theo Young, RB Eddie Meyers, OL George Gilbert, DT Tony Fitzpatrick, TE Steve Johnson, C Mike Mclaughlin, RB Joel Coles, DB Mark McCants.

1988 Prediction: 8-10 Fourth Place

Outlook: A tumultuous off-season for the Stars as the team was forced to abandon the city of Philadelphia and merge with an expansion franchise.

 Dallas Outlaws

1988 Record: 6-12 (Chicago)

Owner: Jody Tallal 

Stadium: The Cotton Bowl    

Avg. Attendance: TBD

Head Coach: Chuck Fairbanks

General Manager: Chuck Fairbanks

Key players: QB Turner Gill, QB B.J. Tolliver*, K Tony Franklin, RB Craig James, WR Marcus Anderson, WR Kelvin Edwards, TE Doug Cosbie, TE Mark Keel, C Mark Fischer, OT Dave Croston, DE Brad Anae, DE Pete Catan, LB Putt Choate, DB Donnell Daniel, S Von Mansfield.

New players: QB Turner Gill,RB Craig James, K Tony Franklin, RB Gary Allen, WR Jimmy Teal, WR Rod Barksdale, OL Greg Feasel, DL Brad Anae, DE Rayford Cooks, OG Mark Cochran, LB Jimmy Rivera.

Outlook: The Outlaws are the new kids on the block.

1989 Prediction: 7-11 Fifth Place

more to come…...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Southern Division Poll

'89 Chronology-Southern Division Preview

Event Date: February 7th, 1989

Event Description: South Division Preview

Source: PFW

New Orleans Breakers

1988 Record: 14-4

Owner: Joseph Canizaro

Stadium: Superdome     

Avg. Attendance: 39,465

Head Coach: Dick Coury

General Manager: Dick Coury

Key players: QB Stan Humphries, RB Marcus Dupree, WR Frank Lockett, WR Malcolm Barnwell, C Frank Roberts, OT Robert Anae, DT Allen Hughes, DE Jerald Baylis, LB Frank Manumaleuga, LB Ben Needham, LB Doug Landry, DB Bruce Miller, K Tim Mazzetti.

New players: QB David Wilson, WR Dwight Walker, OT Joe Silipo, S Bennie Thompson.

Outlook: The Breakers should win what will be the leagues’ toughest division.

1989 Prediction: 11-7 First Place

Jacksonville Bulls

1988 Record: 13-5

Owner: Fred Bullard

Stadium: Gator Bowl    

Avg. Attendance: 43,946

Head Coach: Jim Johnson

General Manager: Larry Csonka

Key players: QB Ed Luther, RB Tony Smith, WR Alton Alexis, C Ken Howell, OL George Collins, LB Terry Beeson, LB Charles Bowser, DB Don Bessillieu, DB Derrick Batiste.

New players: RB Joe Cribbs, QB Don Strock, QB Doug Hudson, OL Greg Johnson.

Outlook: The Bulls will battle the Breakers and Bandits for the division crown.

1989 Prediction: 10-8 2nd place

Tampa Bay Bandits

1988 Record: 13-5

Owner: S.C.R. Football Club (Scarfone-Cunningham-Reynolds)

Stadium: Tampa     

Avg. Attendance: 40,982

Head Coach: Steve Spurrier

General Manager: Tom Bland

Key players: QB Ben Bennett, RB Greg Allen, FB Greg Boone, TE Marvin Harvey, C-G Chuck Pitcock, OT Reggie Smith, DE Calvin Turner,  DE Don Fielder, DT Don Latimer, LB Alonzo Johnson, LB Jay Brophy, DB Doug Beaudoin, DB Darnell Clash, DB Vito McKeever.

New players: RB Derrick McAdoo, WR Stephen Starring, QB Kerwin Bell, DT Don Latimer, DB Selwyn Drain.

Outlook: With divisional realignment comes more competition and a tougher schedule.

1989 Prediction: 9-9 Third Place

Birmingham Stallions

1988 Record: 11-7

Owner: Ripps-Sklar*Football Consortium (*Team is partly community owned) 

Stadium: Legion Field    

Avg. Attendance: 38,260

Head Coach: Forrest Gregg

General Manager: Jerry Sklar

Key players: QB Bill Kenney, RB Bill Johnson, WR Joey Jones, C Mike Katolin, T Pat Phenix, G Buddy Aydelette, DE Ron Paggett, DE Keith Gary, LB Stan Blinka, LB Herb Spencer, DB Chuck Clanton, S Carl Allen.

New players: QB Bill Kenney, FB Paul Ott Carruth, RB-WR Lionel James, WR Charles Lockett, FB Ricky Moore, DE Keith Gary, LB Zeke Gadsden, QB Mike Norseth, P Greg Cater.

Outlook: An influx of NFL free agents has given this team a makeover.

1989 Prediction: 8-10 4th Place

Orlando Renegades

1988 Record: 8-10

Owner: Donald Dizney

Stadium: Citrus Bowl    

Avg. Attendance: 29,625

Head Coach: John Jenkins

General Manager: Bugsy Engelberg

Key players: QB Reggie Collier, RB Mel Bratton, WR Jackie Flowers, WR Jerry Gordon, C Brian Musselman, G Larry Pfohl, DT Eddie Weaver, LB Fernando Jackson, DB Neil Colzie, DB Mike Lush.

New players: WR Charlie Brown, RB Pinball Clemons, WR Spencer Jackson, LB James Harrell, WR Eric Streater.

Outlook: New head caoch John Jenkins bring the Run and Shoot offense over from Houston which could work wonders for quarterback Reggie Collier.

1989 Prediction: 7-11 Fifth Place

more to come...