George Perles to lead Philadelphia franchise...

Friday, August 18, 2017

'82 Chronology-Boston Beckons

Event Date: July 16th, 1982

Event Description: Boston Team Hires Coury

Source: New York Times

Dick Coury, an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles since 1976, was named head coach and general manager of the unnamed Boston entry in the new United States Football League.

Coury, who is 52 years old, said at a news conference that he had agreed to a three year contract. Terms were not announced.

'82 Chronology-Philadelphia Freedom

Event Date: July 7th, 1982

Event Description: New Philadelphia Franchise

Source: United Press International

Carl Peterson and George Perles, two integral figures in the success of Pennsylvania's two NFL teams, Wednesday officially were named to direct the Philadelphia franchise in the fledgling United States Football League.

Peterson, who as director of player personnel helped turn around the fortunes of the Philadelphia Eagles, was appointed general manager. 

Perles, an assistant coach and key contributor to the Pittsburgh Steelers' four Super Bowl championships, was tabbed head coach.

Myles Tanenbaum, managing partner of the franchise, introduced his two top officials at a news conference but said a nickname for the new team and a home stadium haven't been decided on yet.

Tanenbaum said a nickname for the new team would be decided by the public. He said he and his fellow owners decided on six finalists, but he declined to reveal the choices until next week.

He also said negotiations were continuing with Veterans Stadium and Franklin Field for a home field for the franchise's inaugural season beginning next March. Although he prefers Franklin Field for its excellent view, Tannenbaum acknowledged the facilities at Veterans Stadium are better.

Story-United Press International

Thursday, August 17, 2017

'82 Chronology-Bay Area Booster

Event Date: June 30th, 1982

Event Description: Ralston Returns

Source: United Press International

John Ralston is back in professional football.

Tuesday, it was announced Ralston had been named head coach and general manager of the San Francisco franhcise in the new United States Football League.

Terms of his agreement were not disclosed except that he had signed a two-year contract. The league expects to start its first season next March.

“I'm happy to be back in professional football,” Ralston said at the news conference announcing his signing, “and I'm especially happy it's in the Bay Area, where I have my roots.”

Ralston grew up in Oakland, played football at the University of Califorina and served as head coach at Stanford for nine years, leading the Cardinals to Rose Bowl victories in 1971 and 1972. He left Stanford to serve as head coach and general manager of the Denver Broncos but resigned under pressure in 1977.

In more recent years, he served as an administrative assistant to Bill Walsh with the San Francisco 49ers.

Ralston becomes the third former NFL coach to sign with a USFL team. George Allen is the coach and general manager of the Chicago franchise, while the New York based team has recruited Chuck Fairbanks.

The league as yet has no players or playing sites, but has awarded 12 franchises. Still, it will not be starting on a shoestring since it already has signed three three-year television contracts with ABC, ESPN and Canadian broadcasting. It is estimated the television package is worth more than $32 million.

Story property of UPI

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

'82 Chronology-Windy City Welcome

Event Date: June 22nd, 1982

Event Description: Allen Returns to Coaching

Source: United Press International

Former Washington Redskins Coach George Allen will be head coach and part owner of the Chicago franchise in the new United States Football League, league officials announced Monday.

Allen said he is confident the league will succeed and that his as-yet unnamed Chicago team will be competitive with National Football League squads within three years.

The USFL is scheduled to start play next March with a season running through July. It has contracts with ABC-TV and ESPN for television of many of its games. Allen is the third coach named for the 12-team league. Previously, Chuck Fairbanks was named to head the New York franchise and Red Miller to handle the Denver team.

David Dixon, a New Orleans businessman who founded the league, said at a news conference he originally wanted the Chicago franchise for himself. But when he discovered that Allen wanted to return to Chicago, where he also coached for eight years with the Bears, Dixon said, he decided to step aside.

Allen said he believes the league will succeed, despite the failure of the World Football League and other competitors of the NFL, because it will have solid ownership, proven coaching, major stadiums, television contracts, presence in the major markets, experienced front office personnel and an $18 million reserve fund.

“The World Football League put players first,” he said. “We'll create our own league and our own stars. There are plenty of players. When I was with Washington, we cut enough players to stock another franchise.”

He said the USFL won't compete directly for fan support with the NFL because the seasons will not overlap. But he said he thinks the USLF teams will improve rapidly to the point they could compete on the gridiron with the NFL.

'Within three years, I think our teams would be competitive with any team in the NFL,' he said.

(Story property-UPI)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

'82 Chronology-Feeling It

Event Date: June 20th, 1982

Event Description: New League Contacts Allen

Source: New York Times

George Allen, the former head coach of the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins in the National Football League, yesterday said from his home in Palos Verdes, Calif., that he had received ''feelers'' from three teams in the newly formed United States Football League.

Allen declined to identify the teams, because he said the approaches had been made on a confidential basis. Newspaper reports have indicated that two of the teams may be the Chicago and Los Angeles franchises.

The league is scheduled to begin play next March.

Allen repeated the position he has stated in recent years: ''If I join any team as coach or general manager, I would have to have some liquidity in the ownership.''

He said he believed the new league would have a good chance of success, ''especially since they have that contract with ABC television.''

''I believe the American public will support additional football, if it's run properly,'' he said. ''I think I could put together a competitive team in this new league. I may have some announcement about my plans in a week or so.''

(Story property NYT)

'82 Chronology-Parity Play?

Event Date: June 20th, 1982

Event Description: Cribbs Seeks Raise

Source: New York Times

Friday, August 11, 2017

'82 Chronology-The USFL on ESPN

Event Date: June 20th, 1982

Event Description: Grid League Scores Cable Deal

Source: United Press International

The newly created United States Football League and ESPN have entered into a multi-year national cable television contract, it was announced Thursday by USFL commissioner Chet Simmons and J. William Grimes, president and chief executive officer of ESPN.

The USFL contract with ESPN follows the May 26 announcement that ABC would televise a total of 20 USFL games, including a Sunday afternoon game of the week, one prime time evening telecast and coverage of the USFL playoff and championship games.

“ESPN will be telecasting the USFL for 34 games a year,' Simmons said. 'We will have one game every Monday plus another game at a time to be determined. The joint contracts with ABC-TV and ESPN assures sports fans that USFL football will be on national television at least three times a week.”

Grimes noted, “Everyone at ESPN is delighted that our network has been selected to televise, for the first time, American professional football on cable.”

The USFL will start its inaugural season in March, 1983, playing a 20-game schedule through early July.

The USFL has teams in Washington, New York, Boston-New England, Birmingham, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, the San Francisco bay area and Tampa Bay.

(Story Property of UPI)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

'82 Chronology-Kilmer Claims

Event Date: June 18th, 1982

Event Description: Kilmer Calls Out New League

Source: UPI-WAPO

Billy Kilmer's claim that the fledgling United States Football League would sound the death knell for the American Football Association reflected a personal “ax to grind” by the AFA's ex-commissioner, says the new owner of the West Virginia Rockets.

Kilmer, the former Washington Redskins' quarterback, was quoted by The Washington Post Tuesday as saying the new league would doom the San Antonio-based AFA, a minor league which expanded this year from a dozen to 18 teams.

Dave Ferrell, owner of the Rockets, who have reigned the past two seasons as the AFA champions, contended Tuesday that Kilmer issued his doomsday prediction because of "an ax to grind with the AFA," presumably over money the league failed to pay him before he resigned last year as commissioner.

Ferrell disputed the Kilmer remark, saying that the AFA would go on operating at a different level than either of the big leagues.

“We don't try to be the USFL or the NFL,' Ferrell said. “We try to be Triple-A. We want to be a farm team. That's the whole idea of this league, which is to get these kids advancement into better positions.” Well-publicized financial problems have plagued the Rockets, who are under new ownership.

Story property UPI/Washington Post

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

'82 Chronology-Red Letter Day

Event Date: June 17th, 1982

Event Description: New Denver Team Hires Miller

Source: United Press International

Former National Football League coach Robert 'Red' Miller, who took the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl in 1978, today was named head coach of the city's franchise in the newly formed United States Football League.

Ron Blanding, the owner of the USFL franchise, made the announcement at a news conference where he also revealed the name of the new team -- the Denver Gold.

Miller, 53, who was fired from his position with the Broncos in March 1981 by new owner Edgar F. Kaiser Jr., said he was attracted to his new job by the challenge of building a new team in Denver, adding “it was not the money.”

“I think the idea that I could stay in Denver and coach football, and the challenge of getting in on something new and growing with it -- I think those were two big factors,” he said.

Blanding said former Broncos coach Lou Saban had also been considered for the new USFL coaching position. Saban, who coached the Broncos from 1967 through 1971, is a close friend of Blanding and had reportedly been Blanding's first choice until concern rose over adverse public reaction. The Broncos were 20-42-3 during his five seasons as coach.

“We just decided Red Miller should be our coach and we're happy with the decision we made,' Blanding said.... We're happy to have Red. We're off and running.”

Miller coached the Broncos for four successful seasons ending in 1980. Under Miller, the Broncos won their first American Football Conference championship in 1977 by defeating Oakland 20-17 and went to the 1978 Superbowl, where they lost to Dallas 27-10. During Miller's four seasons as coach, the Broncos compiled a 42-25 record.

Blanding said Denver Gold officials will now begin assembling a coaching staff and filling positions in player personnel and other areas. He said the team expects to play its spring games in Mile High Stadium, and the club is looking for a training facility.

“We'll be looking for a facility around the state first, and if we can't find what we want, because we have to have an inside facility then we'll look outside the state,” he said.

Blanding said he did not know who first suggested Denver Gold as the name of the new team. "We got so many names and suggestions in the mail and calls, we can't pinpoint where this came from,” he said. “We all looked at everything and this struck us. We can't give anybody credit. We'd love to find the person who said it.”

(Story property of UPI)

Monday, August 7, 2017

'82 Chronology-Simmons Named Commissioner

Event Date: June 14th, 1982

Event Description: Simmons Named USFL Commissioner

Source: NYT

Sunday, August 6, 2017

'82 Chronology-Under Consideration

Event Date: June 6th, 1982

Event Description: "Too Tall" Eyes USFL

Source: UPI/NYT

Thursday, August 3, 2017

'82 Chronology-Buffaloed

Event Date: June 2nd, 1982

Event Description: Fairbanks Quits Buffs

Source: Eugene Register Guard

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

'82 Chronology-Made For TV

Event Date: May 28th, 1982

Event Description: New Football League

Source: NYT (Neil Amdur)