The Virtual U.S. Football League

The Virtual U.S. Football League
Sports Control: NFL strike begins……...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

'87 Chronology-NFL Strike Begins

Event Date: September 22nd, 1987

Event Description: NFL Strikes Again

Source: The Nevada Daily Mail

'87 Chronology-Strike Preparations

Event Date: September 21st, 1987

Event Description: Bucs Prep For Strike

Source: Boca Raton News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Expansion Draft Poll

'87 Chronology-USFL Allocation Selection Draft Results

Event Date: September 9th, 1987

Event Description: USFL Expansion Draft

Source: Boca Raton News

Second year quarterback Stan Gelbaugh and veteran defensive end Dave Browning were among the 58 players the Baltimore Americans and Portland Storm selected in Tuesday’s USFL expansion draft.

Other players taken by Baltimore include offensive lineman Joe Bock (Birmingham Stallions), nose tackle Paul Hanna (Chicago Blitz), running back Booker Moore (Michigan Panthers), wide receiver Ricky Simmons (Orlando Renegades), defensive back Mark McCants (Birmingham Stallions), and ex-Washington Federal Ricky Claitt (Orlando Renegades).

Baltimore head coach Ted Marchibroda said he took the top two quarterbacks available in Stan Gelbaugh and ex-NFLer Scott Brunner.

"It became a function of having two guys that we felt were the best quarterbacks available that were not going to be free agents," he said. "That's a key component for us.

"Obviously Stan and Scott are at opposite ends of their career which is a bonus because it is nice to have a veteran around to help the younger guys, especially at that position."

Portland picked up defensive end Brad Anae (Denver Gold), along with wideouts Greg Moser (Los Angeles Express), Cormac Carney (Los Angeles Express), fullback Mark Rush (Houston Gamblers) and running back Leon Perry (Birmingham Stallions).

"Our philosophy getting into this is to take the best players, it wasn't going to be a function of offense or defense," Portland coach June Jones stated afterward.  "Really, we went into this looking to draft for defense primarily. We are looking at the free agent market for players right now, so we just passed on the last two picks.” Portland chose not to use their last two picks in the draft.

For complete draft results go here.

more to come......

Thursday, January 22, 2015

'87 Chronology-Allocation Selection Draft Preview

Event Date: August 28th, 1987

Event Description: USFL Expansion Draft

Source: PFW

Pro Football Weekly breaks down every major facet of the upcoming Allocation Selection Draft as we near the September draft. 

A closer look at the Expansion Draft rules and process.

On September 8th, the Allocation Selection Draft will take place. Baltimore and Portland will be able to select a total of 30 players, excluding punters and kickers, from existing teams.

Portland will have the first selection, and Baltimore the second. The teams will then pick in inverse order until all 30 rounds have been completed.

Each team will have three minutes to select a player starting at 3 p.m. eastern time. 

Key Dates:

September 1st-USFL Expansion Draft Lists submitted to league office for final approval.

September 8th-Allocation Selection Draft (30 Rounds).

October 3rd-Teams may begin signing street free agents.

October 4th— Trading period for 1988 begins at 4:00 p.m.

October 21st — Free agency period begins at 4:00 p.m. e.s.t.. 


On September 1st at 12:00 pm all 16 USFL clubs must submit a list of protected players to the U.S. Football League office.

USFL clubs will also submit a second list of four players who are eligible to be taken in the Allocation Selection Draft.


Baltimore and Portland are allowed to trade with other teams during the expansion draft and any time before that.  All of the other 16 member USFL teams cannot trade with each until after the trade freeze has been lifted on October 4th.

Baltimore and Portland are not permitted to selected a player from a team and trade the player back to that club until at least October 4th.

Signing Free Agent Players:

Street free agents can be signed at any time before the draft. 

Transferring of Contracts:

Once players are selected by either Baltimore or Portland, those teams assume their current contracts including salary, length, guarantees and any other terms of the deal.

If either expansion team cut a player and he re-signs with his old team, the existing team assumes all the signing bonus proration.

more to come......

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

'87 Chronology-August Owners Meeting

Event Date: August 24th, 1987

Internal Memo: USFL Owners Meeting

Re: Fall Agenda

The owners considered and took action on the following; 
  1. Approved the Allocation Selection Draft plan as presented by the competition committee. Under the terms of the plan all current teams will send four players into the draft pool. 
  2. Approved the recommendations from the Competition Committee establishing the Territorial Colleges for 1988 college draft.
  3. Approved a tentative plan to deal with potential USFL free agents who may be signed to NFL contracts in the event of an NFL labor stoppage.
  4. Approved a recommendation from the Finance Committee to set the 1988 Salary Cap at $5.2 million with special exemptions for players with personal service contracts.
  5. Approved the 1988 USFL Wage Scale pending the USFLPA’s final approval.
  6. Accepted a recommendation from the Labor Committee to continue talks with the USFLPA regarding an extension of the current CBA.
  7. The owners agreed to meet again in November.

more to come......

Monday, January 19, 2015

'87 Chronology-Unhappy Camper

Event Date: August 21st, 1987

Event Description: Dorsett Irked

Source: The Bryan Times

'87 Chronology-Dream Team?

Event Date: August 20th, 1987

Event Description: Herschel Signs; Dorsett Unhappy

Source: Dallas Morning News (Cowlishaw)

The highest-paid running back in USFL history became the highest-paid running back in NFL history early Wednesday when the Dallas Cowboys reached an agreement with Herschel Walker that will pay him $5 million for five years.

But the dream backfield of Walker and Tony Dorsett hit a snag when Dorsett demanded he be traded or his contract increased to exceed Walker’s.

“They know my mentality. I`m unhappy,” Dorsett said. “I don`t want to be here being second fiddle to any running back on Dallas.”

Walker will receive a signing bonus of $1.4 million and salaries averaging around $700,000 the next five seasons, a source close to the negotiations said. Walker will be the only Cowboy with a fully guaranteed contract, the source said.

That puts him in the million-dollar company of quarterbacks Joe Montana of San Francisco, Warren Moon of Houston and John Elway of Denver at the top of the NFL`s pay scale, ahead of Walter Payton, Marcus Allen and the rest of the league’s high-priced running backs.

Cowboys President Tex Schramm and Peter Johnson, Walker’s agent, met for almost 19 hours straight before reaching the agreement Wednesday morning.

“We are happily and proudly announcing that Herschel Walker has reached an agreement,” Schramm said. “He will report Friday. I think this is a great mark in our history.”

By agreeing to terms with Dallas -- Walker won’t sign the contract until Friday -- Walker released the Generals from obligations beyond the 1988 season. 

The terms of his agreement with Generals owner Stephen Ross for the remainder of his USFL contract are unknown. Ross said last week that he had agreed to pay Walker an additional $1 million buyout.

“Everyone associates me with money because of my USFL contract,” Walker said. “But I play the game because I love it. The day I start playing for money is the day that I will think about getting out.”

The Cowboys acquired the rights to Walker when they selected him with a fifth-round pick in the 1985 draft. Walker already had signed a contract extension with the Generals through the 1988 season, but a buyout clause cleared the way for Walker to join the Cowboys.

“All my life everything has seemed like a dream. I didn`t want to play football, and now look where I am," Walker said. "I went to the University of Georgia and had a great situation there. Having an opportunity to play for the Cowboys is a big honor for any player. I`ve always told people that if you keep believing in yourself, dreams can come true.”

more to come...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

'87 Chronology-Walker Opts Out

Event Date: August 15th, 1987

Event Description: Walker Makes Waves

Source: Dallas Morning News

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

'87 Chronology-Backup Plan?

Event Date: August 13th, 1987

Event Description: Redskins Ready

Source: Associated Press

CARLISLE, Pa. — Quarterback Doug Williams, one of several former United States Football League players coveted by the Washington Redskins, will sign a two-year contract with the team today if he passes a physical.

Williams, 32, played in the National Football League with Tampa Bay for five seasons before joining the USFL in 1983. The Redskins had acquired the rights to Williams from Tampa Bay on Monday. Williams is expected to serve as a backup to starting quarterback Jay Schroeder.

Meanwhile, reports out of Dallas suggest that negotiations between the Cowboys and running back Herschel Walker have stalled because of a controversy over his USFL contract, a team source said.

more to come......

Monday, January 12, 2015

'87 Chronology-Trade Rights

Event Date: August 12th, 1987
Event Description: Redskins Ready To Move
Source: A.P. Wire Service
The Washington Redskins said last night that they had acquired the rights to USFL quarterback Doug Williams from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had reached contract terms with USFL free agents Chuck McCurley and Angelo Snipes.
"We're very happy to acquire (the rights to) a guy like (Williams) because, outside of Jim Kelly, we had him rated as the top quarterback in the USFL," Beathard said.
The Redskins gave Tampa Bay an undisclosed 1988 draft pick in exchange for the rights to Williams, who has thrown for a combined 22,813 yards and 123 touchdowns with the Buccaneers and Arizona of the USFL.
McCurley is a 6-5, 215-pound tight end who saw limited action with Jacksonville during the 1986 season. Snipes led the Bulls in 1985 with 11.5 sacks, the fifth-best total in the USFL and second-best among linebackers.
NFL Owners Meeting
NFL owners will meet this week in New York to discuss a proposal to abolish the 45-man roster and return to 49 men. For the proposal to be passed, 21 of the 28 team representatives must vote in favor.
In other pro football news news;
Chicago Blitz pivot Dieter Brock is expected to undergo off-season knee surgery, but should be ready for the teams winter workouts. Brock suffered the injury in the regular season finale against New Orleans.

more to come......

Saturday, January 10, 2015

'87 Chronology-Express Delivery

Event Date: August 10th, 1987

Event Description: Express Hire New Coach

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Roman Gabriel has returned to Los Angeles.

The former Rams qurterback took over as head coach of the Los Angeles Express on Friday. He will replace John Hadl, who was fired following another dismal spring season.

The 47-year-old Gabriel has spent the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Arizona Wranglers. Gabriel was also a strong supporter of the failed bid to place a USFL team in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I’ve always had fond memories and a soft spot in my heart for Los Angeles, both as a player and a coach,” Gabriel said. “I had great times as a player and have a lot of fond memories of the L.A. Coliseum.”

Gabriel played 16 seasons in the NFL as quarterback with Los Angeles and Philadelphia and was the head coach at Cal Poly Pomona from 1980-1982.

Gabriel was 11-33 from 1980-1982 at Cal Poly, before joing the Wranglers, where he was offensive coordinator under George Allen and Frank Kush.

more to come......

Thursday, January 8, 2015

'87 Chronology-Freebird?

Event Date: August 6th, 1987

Event Description: Walker May Join Cowboys

Source: The Bulletin

Monday, January 5, 2015

'87 Chronology-Free Agency Begins

Event Date: August 3rd, 1987

Event Description: Williams Exercises Option

Source: Evening Independent

Sunday, January 4, 2015

'87 Chronology-Simmons Signs Extension

Event Date: August 2nd, 1987

Event Description: Simmons Signs Extension

Source: The Bulletin

USFL commissioner Chet Simmons is staying put. At least for one more year. The league announced Friday that Simmons has signed a one-year contract extension.

“Our owners are pleased to have Chet at the helm at a time of positive growth and enormous potential for our league,” executive committee chairman Jerry Argovitz said in a statement. “We have come a long way together and we all want our forward momentum to continue.”

The 58-year-old Simmons became the league’s commissioner in 1983.

During his annual state of the union address during championship week in Houston, Simmons said he wanted to remain with the league and the USFL’s owners shared that sentiment. 

And with the NFL strike, USFL free agency and expansion looming the owners felt that they needed to “stay the course”, according to Argovitz.

“I’m thrilled to continue this work because I know there is so much more we can achieve, and our teams, and most importantly our fans, are counting on us to elevate our league to yet another level,” Simmons said in a statement.

more to come......

Saturday, January 3, 2015

'87 Chronology-Arena Bowl I

Event Date: August 2nd, 1987

Event Description: Denver Dominates Arena Bowl I

Source: The Pittsburgh Press

'87 Chronology-Return Engagement?

Event Date: July 31st, 1987

Event Description: Arena League Will Return

Source: Eugene Register Guard

Friday, January 2, 2015

'87 Chronology-Blackout Bowl

Event Date: July 31st, 1987

Event Description: Arena Bowl I

Source: The Bulletin

Thursday, January 1, 2015

'87 Chronology-Back to the Future

Event Date: July 31st, 1987

Event Description: Marchibroda Back In USFL

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Ted Marchibroda is a USFL head coach again. 

Just weeks after he was fired as coach of the Philadelphia Stars by owner Myles Tanenbaum, Marchibroda yesterday accepted a four-year contract with the expansion Baltimore Americans.

"This was an opportunity to return to the city that I once called home," Marchibroda said. “I look forward to the challenges ahead, and I am excited about the future of this team and the league as a whole.”

His five-year record in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts was 41-36, and he won three consecutive AFC East titles before back-to-back 5-11 seasons cost him his job.

more to come......

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

'87 Chronology-The Lindy Hop?

Event Date: July 30th, 1987

Event Description: Infante May Join 49ers

Source: Lodi News Sentinel

'87 Chronology-Hot Pursuit?

Event Date: July 29th, 1987

Event Description: Walsh Wants Infante

Source: Ocala Star Banner

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Collier Poll

'87 Chronology-Ready to Return?

Event Date: July 29th, 1987

Event Description: Cowboys Waive Collier

Source: Montreal Gazette

Saturday, December 27, 2014

'87 Chronology-Arena League For Detroit?

Event Date: July 25th, 1987

Event Description: Ilitch Gets Football Itch

Source: Argus Press

Thursday, December 25, 2014

'87 Chronology-Addition and Subtraction

Event Date: July 24th, 1987

Event Description: Portland Team Hires Jones; Express Fire Hadl

Event Source: Wire Reports

June Jones was hired Monday to coach the Portland expansion franchise and John Hadl was fired as coach of the Los Angeles Express.

Jones was the Denver Gold offensive co-ordinator, and spent two seasons with the Houston Gamblers as their wide receivers coach.

Jones was born in Portland, and played for both Oregon and Portland State before entering the NFL in 1977.

Hadl, who received an ultimatum before the season to produce a winning team, was fired after a 6-12 finish.

He is the second USFL coach to be fired since the end of the regular season, joining Ted Marchibroda who was recently fired by the Philadelphia Stars.

In other USFL news; Jacksonville quarterback Ed Luther will undergo surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his right arm.

more to come......

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

'87 Chronology-Off-Season Calendar

USFL Calendar

The following are dates for key USFL events scheduled from August 1987 through March 1988. 
August 1st-USFL Contracts Expire.
September 1st-USFL Expansion Draft Lists submitted to league office for final approval.

September 8th-Allocation Selection Draft (Baltimore and Portland).
October 3rd-Teams may begin signing street free agents.
October 4th— Trading period for 1988 begins at 4:00 p.m.
October 21st — Free agency period begins at 4:00 p.m. e.s.t.. 

November 3rd-5th-Annual Fall Owners Meeting, New York City, New York.
November 14th-15th — Street Free Agent Combine to be held in New York, Chicago, Tampa, New Orleans, Houston, Denver and Los Angeles.
November 25th — Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become NFL or CFL Free Agents upon the expiration of their current contracts. However, a contract cannot be signed and completed with a USFL club until 4:00 p.m. e.s.t. on January 1st, 1988.
December 1st — The 1988 league year begins; clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 1988 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued years of free agency credit (USFL, NFL or CFL).
January 4th-6th— Annual Owners Meeting, Orlando, Florida.
January 9th— 1988 USFL Territorial Draft, New York City, New York.
January 10th— 1988 USFL Collegiate Draft, New York City, New York.
January 13th— USFL Spring Coaches Meeting, Memphis, Tennessee.
January 13th-15th— USFL Rookie Symposium, Memphis, Tennessee.
January 16th— Clubs that hired a new Head Coach after the end of the 1987 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
January 19th — Clubs with returning Head Coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
January 24th— USFL training camps open in Orlando, Houston and Arizona.
February 1st — USFL Supplemental Draft (if necessary).
February 1st— Deadline for any club to sign players under contract to a multi-year contract extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 1988 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.
February 2nd— USFL Inter-squad Scrimmages begin.
February 18th-22nd— USFL Regular Season begins.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

'87 Chronology-Stars Hire Tobin

Event Date: July 19th, 1987

Event Description: Stars Hire Tobin

Source: The Spokesman Review

The Stars have hired former defensive coordinator Vince Tobin to be the team's next head coach, the franchise announced Friday.

Tobin, 43, was the defensive coordinator from 1983-85. Tobin spent the 1986 season with the Chicago Bears after replacing Buddy Ryan as defensive coordinator.

The team fired Ted Marchibroda on June 23rd, a day after the end of the regular season. Marchibroda went 11-23 in his time leading the Stars. 

"I am very excited to be taking over as head coach of the Stars," Tobin said in a statement. "I am especially grateful to Myles Tanenbaum for giving me the chance to return to the city where I have had such great success in the past."

The team will formally introduce Tobin at a news conference at 9:30 a.m. Monday. 

more to come......

Friday, December 19, 2014

'87 Chronology-MVP Award

Event Date: July 15th, 1987

Event Description: USFL Most Valuable Player

Source: The Sporting News

The United States Football league presented the MVP award today to Memphis Showboats’ quarterback Walter Lewis.

Quarterback Ed Luther (Jacksonville) and Jim Kelly (Houston) finished second and third respectively.

Monday, December 15, 2014

'87 Chronology-Cruise Control

Event Date: July 12th, 1987

Event Description: ‘Boats Take Title

Source: Lakeland Ledger

Walter Lewis tossed two touchdown passess to help Memphis secure its first USFL championship with a 31-14 triumph over the New Orleans Breakers on Sunday night in the friendly confines of the Houston Astrodome.

Lewiss' MVP performance combined with a solid effort from Gill Fenerty and the Showboats’ defense sent Memphis (16-4) to its first championship.

"It feels good to get the MVP award but it feels better to get that championship knotch on our belts," Lewis said.

Lewis completed 18-of-29 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns and one interception while also rushing for 72 yards on seven attempts. Lewis was named the game's Most Valuable Player for his overall effort.

New Orleans signal-caller John Fourcade struggled as he completed just 8-of-14 passes for 125 yards with no touchdowns and three sacks. 

Fourcade was replaced by Jeff Wickersham who 7-of-13 for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the final frame after the game was well out of reach.

"We didn't make any plays until it was too late, period," said Breakers head coach Dick Coury.  

Coury has led New Orleans to the championship game for the second straight year, only to see his team get blown out.

William Andrews scored on a seven-yard to open the scoring and close out the first frame. the drive covered 70 yards over the course of 12 plays, and took almost eight minutes.

Neither team would score in the second stanza as the defenses and referees dominated play. The Showboats led 7-0 at the intermission.

The Showboats then ripped off 21 straight points to seize control of the contest.

After a Breakers’ turnover, Lewis nearly fumbled at the goal line, but Gill Fenerty scooped up the ball and plunged three-yards for the score giving Memphis a 14-0 lead at the 11:28 mark of the third quarter.

After a Breakers’ punt, Walter Lewis extended the margin with a touchdown toss to William Andrews from two yards out to push the lead to 21-0 near the midpoint of the stanza.

Memphis put the game away early in the final frame, as Andrews capped a seven-play, 46-yard trek with an 8-yard reception that made it 28-0 with under ten minutes left.

Wickersham, in relief of Fourcade, hooked up with Darryl Mason on a corner route from seven yards to put New Orleans on the board at the 4:19 mark, before Roger Ruzek tacked on a 28-yard field goal for Memphis.

Wickersham rounded out the scoring with a 72-yard pass to Frank Lockett with just over a minute remaining.

Marcus Dupree was held to 27 yards on 13 carries...Doran Major was named Defensive Player of the Game with seven tackles, one sack and an interception...Frank Lockett finished with 141 receiving yards on four receptions...the announced crowd for the game was 44,613.

more to come...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Baltimore Americans Poll

'87 Chronology-Baltimore Americans Introduction

Event Date: July 11th, 1987

Event Description: New Baltimore Football Franchise

Source: Lodi News Sentinel

The Americans are coming.

Following a fan vote, the United States Football League unveiled the name and logo for the Baltimore expansion franchise: the Baltimore Americans of the United States Football League. 

The Baltimore Americans will be part of the USFL's Eastern Conference and compete against the the New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars, Michigan Panthers, and Pittsburgh Maulers.

More than 50 names were submitted to the league for consideration. The colors for Baltimore are red, white, and blue. 

The Americans will host the team's first open tryout Sunday, October 4th at Memorial Stadium. The team is encouraging prospective players to come prepared to participate in strength, speed, agility and conditioning drills. 

Athletes will be asked to bring a photo to leave behind and to arrive at least 45 minutes prior for registration.

more to come......

Saturday, December 13, 2014

'87 Chronology-Championship Preview

Event Date: July 11th, 1987

Event Description: Week #21 U.S.F.L. Championship

Source: PFW

1987 USFL Championship


             (16-4) Memphis vs (13-7) New Orleans (Showboats -5)

 at Houston, Astrodome

more to come.....

Portland Storm Poll

'87 Chronology-Portland Storm Introduction

Event Date: July 11th, 1987

Event Description: New USFL Franchise

Source: The Bulletin

PORTLAND—Portland’s new USFL franchise will be called the Storm.

The name and logo were unveiled Saturday amid much fanfare, seven months before the team will take to the field at Civic Stadium.

The announcement was made before more than 2,000 football fans and a handful of alumni from the old World Football League

The club announced on Thursday that its name will be the Portland Storm and unveiled its logo and uniform. The name pays tribute to the city’s football past, and was chosen following a fan competition and survey that invited fans in the region to offer suggestions via mail.

“We wanted something unique to Portland and something distinctive and something that honoured our sports history,” said owner Fred Anderson. “I like the fact that it’s a familiar name, but at the time the logo, colors and uniform are brand new. Its a nice combination of something old and something new.”

The colors for Portland are aqua, white,black and gold.

“From day one, we committed to make this club the fans’ team, the community’s team, Portland’s team,” said Anderson. “We are honored and proud to reflect the suggestions of our fans in our team name and logo while aligning with the history and tradition of this region.”

more to come......

Friday, December 12, 2014

'87 Chronology-Coach of the Year Award

Event Date: July 10th, 1987

Event Description: USFL Coach of the Year

Source: The Sporting News

The United States Football league presented the Coach of the Year award today to Memphis Showboats’ head coach Pepper Rodgers

Rollie Dotsch (Birmingham) and Jim Stanley (Michigan) finished second and third respectively.

more to come......

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

'87 Chronology-NFL Strike Vote

Event Date: July 10th, 1987

Event Description: NFL Strike Vote

Source: Ocala Star Banner

'87 Chronology-USFL Defensive MVP

Event Date: July 9th, 1987

Event Description: USFL Defensive MVP

Source: Associated Press

The United States Football league and the Football Writers of America presented the Defensive MVP award today to Arizona Wranglers’ linebacker Ed Smith

Smith led the team in tackles (102), interceptions (4), and was second in sacks (4), stuffs (14) and deflections (10).

Smith edged out teammate Kelvin Middleton and Memphis Showboats linebacker John Corker.

more to come......

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

'87 Chronology-Expansion Debate '88

Event Date: July 9th, 1987

Event Description: USFL Expansion Draft Still Undecided

Source: The Pittsburgh Press

Existing USFL franchises continue to debate with the new franchises, Baltimore and Portland, over the terms of the expansion draft, but a league source did confirm that a final deal is close.

The new franchises want lists of players protected from an expansion draft to be small, perhaps as few as 15 players. However, the existing franchises want them to be as large as 35 players. 

The expansion teams would prefer to build through the college drafts and free agency. But with the NFL strike looming, many USFL owners would like to see their players tied up with expansion teams, as opposed to hitting the free agent market.

The new franchises will be allowed to sign four “star” players. The original teams were limited to signing two “stars” outside of their payroll when the league was formed in 1983.

more to come...