End of the line..........

Tuesday, November 29, 2022




 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Monday, October 31, 2022

'88 Chronology-Amalgamation

Event Date: October 31st, 1988

Event Description: Ushering in a New Era


Source: Football Digest


The six-year old United States Football League and the National Football League announced plans today to amalgamate into a single pro football league consisting of 32 teams.

Under the terms of the agreement the National Football League will grant four expansion teams which will begin play in 1990. The cities to be added will be Baltimore, Jacksonville, Memphis and Charlotte, North Carolina.


The owners of the new teams will come from the U.S.F.L. ranks which will include Myles Tanenbaum (Baltimore), William Dunavant (Memphis), Stephen Ross (Jacksonville via merger with New Jersey) and A.Alfred Taubman who will relocate his franchise from Oakland to Charlotte.


As for the remaining U.S.F.L. teams they will now fold or merge with each other as the league terminates operations. 


Those combinations include Tampa Bay and New Jersey merging with Jacksonville. Jacksonville Bulls owner Fred Bullard will become a minority owner in the new Jacksonville franchise. 


The U.S.F.L. teams in Birmingham, Houston, Orlando and Oklahoma will now fold. However, the owners of those former teams will receive an undisclosed payment from the expansion owners who will be moving into the National Football League. 


The N.F.L. and U.S.F.L. owners have also agreed to the following terms regarding with regard to consolidation: 


All pending litigation as a result of the U.S.F.L. antitrust trial will be terminated. The N.F.L. will pay all legal fees associated with their antitrust suit loss, but the damages awarded to the U.S.F.L. will be modified.


The former U.S.F.L. teams will be treated as expansion franchises and will pay an entry fee of $40 million dollars each to be spread out over five years.


The four new expansion teams will receive no television money during their first three years of operation.


The four new expansion teams will not have any voting rights for their first two years of operation. 


A dispersal draft, modeled after the 1984 Supplemental Draft, will be held on December 5th and 6th. Free agent players from the U.S.F.L. and C.F.L. will be eligible, and will be able to pursue jobs in either the N.F.L. or C.F.L. starting on February 1st. 


The contract rights to quarterback Doug Flutie will be assigned to the New England Patriots as part of a deal struck with owner Victor Kiam.


The four new expansion teams will participate in an expansion draft in the spring of 1990. The players in that draft will be made available after the conclusion of the 1989 N.F.L. season.


The four new expansion teams will participate in the 1990 college draft, however, they will be placed at the end of the draft order. 


The new Baltimore franchise will pay an undisclosed indemnity to both the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles for encroaching on their territorial rights.


The new Memphis franchise will pay an undisclosed indemnity to both the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers for encroaching on their territorial rights.


The new Jacksonville franchise will pay an undisclosed indemnity to both the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for encroaching on their territorial rights.


The new Carolina franchise will pay an undisclosed indemnity to both the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints for encroaching on their territorial rights.


The office of U.S.F.L. commissioner will be abolished and the ex-U.S.F.L. owners will pay an undisclosed bonus to Harry Usher based on the terms of his contract with said owners.

The U.S.F.L. Players Association will immediately decertify and disband.


The statistics and records from the U.S.F.L. will not be recognized by the National Football League.


In addition to those terms, the National Football League will realign into eight division of four teams. The new divisions are reported to be as follows:


American Football Conference


AFC East-Buffalo, Miami, New England, and New York Jets.


AFC Central-Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore*.


AFC South-Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville* and Memphis*.


AFC West-Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, and San Diego.



National Football Conference


NFC East-Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia and Washington.


NFC Central-Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota.


NFC South-Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Carolina*


NFC West-Los Angeles Rams, Phoenix Cardinals**, San Francisco and Seattle Seahawks+.


**The Phoenix Cardinals will shift from the NFC East to the NFC West.


+The Seattle Seahawks will shift from the AFC West to the NFC West.


With amalgamation now complete, the experiment that was professional spring football seems to have come to its conclusion, at least for now.



Saturday, October 29, 2022

'88 Chronology-Exit Strategy

Event Date: September 27th, 1988

Event Description: Merger Moves Closer

Source: Inside The USFL


The owners of the Oklahoma Outlaws, Houston Gamblers and the Orlando Renegades are willing to exit the proposed merger between the U.S.F.L. and National Football League—under one condition. The remaining U.S.F.L. teams must buy out the teams that would be left out.

That general principle was agreed to yesterday in a meeting of U.S.F.L. owners in New York. The teams that would apply for entry into the N.F.L. are the Memphis Showboats, the Baltimore Stars, the Jacksonville Bulls, the New Jersey Generals, the Birmingham Stallions and the Oakland Invaders.

“We have given permission to those six teams to make their application to the N.F.L.,” said commissioner Harry Usher.

The U.S.F.L. will now give this proposal to the N.F.L., which has indicated it would accept four “expansion” teams from the spring league and left the final selection up to the league. owners with input from commissioner Pete Rozelle.


However, there is still the possibility that the N.F.L. may reject the offer, or that the U.S.F.L. may continure to operate as a separate entity.

“Basically, we still have our league,” Usher said. “We still have our teams until the N.F.L. approves an amalgamation or declines it. I don't think you can assume anything until a final deal is reached.”

One thing that cannot be assumed is that approval by the N.F.L. owners will guarantee a merger. There are a number of issues—including which U.S.F.L. owners would be worthy of entering into an agreement with the senior circuit.

Many inside sources have said that their are only four U.S.F.L. owners which would deemed acceptable. Those include A.Alfred Taubman (Oakland), William Dunavant (Memphis), Myles Tanenbaum (Baltimore) and Stephen Ross (New Jersey). 

The other obvious stumbling block is the distribution of players from the defunct U.S.F.L. teams. Obviously some players would be welcome by surviving teams, as well as the N.F.L. teams that hold player rights through previous drafts.


There is also the less publicized but perhaps as complicated a question of how much the Baltimore Stars would have to pay to the Washington Redskins in indemnity for entering the league. 

The same problem could also be applied to Jacksonville whose entry would create greater competition for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins. The San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Raiders could also seek damages if a team returns to Oakland.

more to come......

'88 Chronology-Still A Game!


 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

'88 Chronology-King Kagel

Event Date: September 13th, 1988

Event Description: 'King' of Arbitrators Summoned

Source: Football News

Enough progress was made over the weekend in merger talks between the National Football League and the U.S. Football League for both sides to call on Sam Kagel a prominent labor mediator and arbitrator. 

Kagel has helped settle thousands of labor disputes, and is best known for his work on the 1982 National Football League strike

During that dispute the league and the players union agreed to bring in Kagel as a mediator. Kagel has also helped to settle strikes involving dock workers, nurses, hotel and restaurant workers as well as a variety of other industries.

Kagel is set to meet with NFL general counsel Frank Rothman, N.F.L. commissioner Pete Rozelle, a small group of N.F.L. owners and U.S.F.L. officials led by Harry Usher and Steve Ehrhart.

Most of the N.F.L. owners were in favor of taking in two to four teams from the U.S.F.L., but there are also plans that would admit five or six teams according to inside sources.

Asking Kagel to join the negotiations was an obvious move by the N.F.L. to make certain there would be no legal problems should they vote for amalgamation.

The N.F.L. and U.S.F.L. lawyers are also due in court next week to inform Judge Leisure as to the progress of their merger talks. Leisure had suggested that the leagues talk and attempt to reach an out‐of‐court settlement.

Optimism regarding a merger was triggered when Usher learned that the N.F.L. would support the merger if they could reach an agreement on indemnification, player movement and other issues including television contracts. 


more to come......

Friday, October 21, 2022

'88 Chronology-Owners Meetings

Event Date: August 1st, 1988

Event Description: USFL Owners Meetings

Source: PFW

The United States Football League owners will meet in Memphis today, and the agenda includes the appeal of the antitrust decision against the league by the N.F.L. and plans for negotiations with its players’ association. The league would not comment regarding recent reports of "secret" talks with the N.F.L.

Harry Usher, the U.S.F.L. commissioner, is still trying to bring about financial stability for the six-year old spring circuit. The U.S.F.L. was awarded damages via their anti-trust suit which was decided last year, but that is still moving through the appeals process.

For some U.S.F.L. owners, as long as they can keep alive the thought of merger or other form of consolidation, they also keep alive their chances for new investors. Publicly, the official N.F.L. line is “no merger” with the rival league. Privately, the word “amalgamation” has surfaced. 


Recent reports claim some U.S.F.L. owners have spent the last month talking with “their N.F.L. friends” in an effort to gain support, for some form of amalgamation.

However those discussions have led to more questions than answers.

For example;

If some of the U.S.F.L. teams are accepted into the N.F.L., would they be let in as new franchises with their rosters intact or would they have to start from scratch? 

Also how much of an indemnity should the U.S.F.L. owners have to pay?  If the two leagues do agree to some sort of amalgamation, what happens to the damages that have already been awarded by the court?

How would amalgamation impact the current televsion contracts as well as the reaction of the N.F.L. Players Association?

If the issue of amalgamation were to come to a vote, many N.F.L. owners appear to favor teams from the Sun Belt and they would join the senior league as expansion franchises. Another segment of the owners, those with financial issues, are interested more in large expansion fees.

For any form of amalgamation the N.F.L. would need to muster 24 votes. But as one owner said yesterday, “It may happen some day, but if there was a vote in the near future, chances would be slim with regard to getting it passed.”

more to come......

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

'88 Chronology-Kelly Tough

Event Date: July 16th, 1988

Event Description: Football News

Source: Lakeland Ledger



Saturday, October 15, 2022

'88 Chronology-Merger Propsal

Event Date: July 15th, 1988

Event Description: N.F.L. Gets U.S.F.L. Merger Proposal

Source: Football News


The United States Football League sent the National Football League a “substantive offer” this week in an attempt to bring about consolidation of the two rival leagues.

The offer included the following points:

Six of the ten U.S.F.L. teams would be admitted into the older league next season. No mention was made as to which teams would be eliminated.

However, the teams in U.S.F.L. cities which had previously hosted N.F.L. teams would be given top consideration, which would mean Baltimore and Oakland. Other cities to be included would most likely come from the Sun Belt including Jacksonville and Memphis.

The U.S.F.L. would pay a sum reported to be $50 million over a span of several years. According to the terms of last years’ anti-trust suit victory the U.S.F.L. was to be awarded in excess of $100 million dollars in damages. That case is still under appeal and has been tied up in the courts for months.

The U.S.F.L. would not share in any national television revenue for two years.

The U.S.F.L. would allow its free agent players to move to either the N.F.L. via a supplemental draft or to the C.F.L. via free agency.

The U.S.F.L. offer was presented by Commissioner Harry Usher to N.F.L. commissioner Pete Rozelle. It came after a series of meetings between the two leagues’ legal teams, as well as a four person committee representing the N.F.L.’s expansion committee.

If the offer were to be accepted it would end current court actions and save both leagues millions in legal costs. There was no progress made at the talks, but Rozelle did ask Usher to put the offer into a more formal proposal.

more to come......

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

'88 Chronology-League Awards

Event Date: July 6th, 1988

Event Description: League Awards

Quarterback Walter Lewis, who helped lead the Memphis Showboats to back-to-back league championships, won the Most Valuable Player award. It was the second year in a row that Lewis has won the ward.

Lewis finished first in the voting beating out New Jersey tight end Sam Bowers, quarterback Rick Neuheisel as well as team mates Derrick Crawford and Willie Gillespie.

Birmingham defensive back Chuck Clanton was named the outstanding defensive player in the league, and New Jersey head coach Chris Palmer walked away with the Coach of the Year award.

The league also released the first, second and third All-USFL teams which can be seen here.

more to come......


Sunday, October 9, 2022

'88 Chronology-Back to Back

Event Date: July 4th, 1988

Event Description: 'Boats Win Again


Walter Lewis ran for a pair of touchdowns and
Willie Gillespie caught a 68-yard touchdown pass, to lead the Memphis Showboats to a 43-38 victory over the Jacksonville Bulls in the United States Football League championship.

The Showboats have now secured back-to-back championships as they defeated Denver last year by a score of 48-34.

Gillespie, who played in college at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, caught 68 passes for 1,698 yards and 16 touchdowns during the season.

Jacksonville took an early 7-0 lead on Vincent White’s 40-yard touchdown on just the second play from scrimmage. Memphis struck right back on the 68-yard touchtown pass to Gillespie from Lewis.

A 57-yard pass from Evans to White set up Jacksonville's second touchdown a few minutes later with a 20-yard run from White as the Bulls led 14-7 at the 9:38 mark.

With Jacksonville leading 14-7, Lewis drove the Showboats 81-yards on five plays and tied things up again with a one-yard touchdown plunge.

Lewis put Memphis in front 21-14 with his second touchtown run with 0:53 left in the first half.

Three second quarter field goals from ex-Bulls kicker Brian Franco pushed the Showboats out to a 30-21 lead at the intermission.

In the third stanza, Vince Evans found Spencer Jackson for a 53-yard strike as the Bulls moved to within 33-28. That score was followed by a Jeff Brockhaus 25-yard field goal as Memphis led 33-31 at the end of three quarters.

In the final frame, Joe Carter capped a ten-play, 80-yard drive with a one yard scoring plunge at the 11:26 mark, as the ‘Boats led 40-31. Carter finished with a game-high 106 yards on 15 totes.

The Bulls responded with a seven-play, 67-yard drive of their own capped by a Bobby Howard five-yard touchdown run pulling the Bulls to within 40-38 with 8:38 remaining.

The final Memphis drive saw the ‘Boats again control the clock with a ten-play, 57-yard drive culminating with a 25-yard Brian Franco field goal which cemented the victory for Memphis.

The game was televised live outside the United States to Canada, Britain, Mexico, Spain and select parts of Europe. The crowd was announced at 45,585.

more to come......

'88 Chronology-Go Bulls!


 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

'88 Chronology-Week #19 Preview

 Event Date: July 1st, 1988

Event Description: Week #19 Preview


Source: PFW




Week #19 USFL Championship Preview



Saturday, July 2nd


(13-5) Jacksonville Bulls vs. (12-5) Memphis Showboats


at Baltimore, MD


Latest Line: (’Boats -3)


Television: ABC National/RCA: Keith Jackson & Lynn Swann


ABC Radio: Bob Buck & Dick Butkus




Monday, October 3, 2022

'88 Chronology-Play It Again

Event Date: June 27th, 1988

Event Description: 'Boats to take on Bulls

The Memphis Showboats are back in familiar territory as they will face the Jacksonville Bulls in next weeks’ U.S.F.L. championship game. Memphis is back in the championship game for the second year in a row, and in many ways so are their opponents the Jacksonville Bulls.

Memphis faced the now defunct Denver Gold in last years’ game, and now many of those former players are on the current Jacksonville roster including quarterback Vince Evans. The Gold and the Bulls merged after the completion of the 1987 season.

The Bulls (13-5) are peaking at the right time with wins over the New Jersey Generals and Baltimore Stars in their last two games.

Evans completed 14-of-20 passes for 215 yards and two first-half touchdowns and Vincent White carried the Bulls on the ground with 156 yards rushing, as Jacksonville edged New Jersey by a score of 31-27 in the Liberty division championship game. 

In the Liberty final, the Showboats handed the Birmingham Stallions a 45-14 beat down behind a four touchdown performance by Lewis, who is again a contender for league MVP.

Lewis led the league with 36 touchdown passes while also amassing over 750 yards on the ground with an additional eleven scores. 

Veterans Derrick Crawford and Willie Gillespie were favorite targets of Lewis, combining for 3,372 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns. Memphis also boasts a formidable defense, led by defensive back Vic Minor who led the league with 14 interceptions.

The U.S.F.L. championship game will take place in Baltimore for the first time this upcoming Saturday. The game will be televised on ABC, ESPN and RCA affiliates.

more to come.....

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

'88 Chronology-Week #18 Preview

Event Date: June 24th, 1988

Event Description: Week #18 Preview


Source: PFW




Week #18 USFL Playoff Preview



Sunday, June 26th


(12-5) Jacksonville Bulls at (12-4) New Jersey Generals


Latest Line: (Generals -4)


Television: ABC National/RCA: Keith Jackson & Lynn Swann


ABC Radio: Bob Buck & Dick Butkus




(8-9) Birmingham Stallions at (11-5) Memphis Showboats


Latest Line: (Showboats -7)   


Television: Keith Jim Lampley & Lee Corso


ABC Radio: Johnny Holiday & Paul Hornung






Tuesday, September 27, 2022

'88 Chronology-Upset Special

Event Date: June 20th, 1988

Event Description: Stallions Oust Outlaws

A pair of touchdown throws, and another on the ground, by Cliff Stoudt in the first half sent the Birmingham Stallions storming past the Oklahoma Outlaws Sunday, 41-27, and into the Independence division final of the USFL playoffs.

Stoudt and Oklahoma quarterback Rick Neuheisel both threw three touchdown passes in the contest as the Stallions and Outlaws combined for 815 yards of offense.

Birmingham took control early thanks chiefly to a breakdown of the Oklahoma defense, as the Stallions led by a score of 30-17 at the end of the first half.

Darryl Mason had six catches for 42 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Joey Jones had three catches good for 73 yards and Greg Anderson also had three catches for 87 yards and a 49-yard touchdown reception.

Neuheisel threw for 290 yards and finished with 24 completions in 33 tries, but also threw four interceptions and was sacked three times.

Oklahoma pulled to within 33-27 with just 5:15 remaining, but a Tony Truelove five-yard touchdown run combined with a Joel Coles two-point covert sealed the win for the visitors.

The Stallions will now travel to Memphis to take on the division leading Showboats next weekend.

more to come......


Monday, September 26, 2022

'88 Chronology-Fading Stars

Event Date: June 19th, 1988

Event Description: Bulls Defeat Stars

Jacksonville fullback Todd Gerhart rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown and Vince Evans passed for 326 yards and three scores to lead the Jacksonville Bulls to a 31-21 victory over the Baltimore Stars.

Evans, who completed 19-of-32 passes, staked Jacksonville to a 17-0 lead with a pair of touchdown strikes in the first half. He threw another early in the final frame that put the Bulls ahead, 24-14.

Spencer Jackson, Bobby Howard and Daryl Crane all registered scoring strikes in the win.

Chuck Fusina tossed three touchdowns, was sacked three times and threw one interception for the visiting Stars. He finished with 234 passing yards on 20-of-28 efficiency.

Jacksonville will now travel to New Jersey next week to take on Doug Flutie and the (12-4) New Jersey Generals.

more to come......

Friday, September 23, 2022

'88 Chronology-Ticket Sale

Event Date: June 14th, 1988

Event Description: Playoff Tickets


Tickets for the Oklahoma Outlaws' first U.S. Football League playoff game went on sale Monday, the club announced.

Prices for the June 19th game against the Birmingham Stallions range from $20 to $46 for non-season ticket holders and $18 to $34 for season ticket holders, the team said.

The game is one of two USFL playoff games to determine who will move on to the conference finals the following weekend.

The Outlaws (10-6) will take on the (7-9) Birmingham Stallions on Sunday at 3:00 e.s.t. The other weekend contest will see the (7-9) Baltimore Stars visit the (11-5) Jacksonville Bulls on Saturday afternoon.

more to come......

Thursday, September 22, 2022

'88 Chronology-Week #17 Preview

Event Date: June 13th, 1988

Event Description: Week #17 Preview


Source: PFW




Week #17 USFL Playoff Preview



Saturday, June 18th



 (7-9) Baltimore Stars at (11-5) Jacksonville Bulls


Latest Line: (Bulls -6)


Television: ABC National/RCA: Keith Jackson & Lynn Swann


ABC Radio: Bob Buck & Dick Butkus



Sunday, June 19th



(7-9) Birmingham Stallions at (10-6) Oklahoma Outlaws


Latest Line: (Outlaws -3)   


Television: Keith Jim Lampley & Lee Corso


ABC Radio: Johnny Holiday & Paul Hornung





Tuesday, September 20, 2022


 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

'88 Chronology-Workout Warrior

Event Date: June 11th, 1988

Event Description: Kelly Ready

Source: Ocala Star Banner




'88 Chronology-Week #16 Preview

Event Date: June 10th, 1988

Event Description: Week #16 Preview


Source: PFW




Week #16 USFL Preview


Sunday, June 12th


(11-4) Jacksonville Bulls at (11-4) New Jersey Generals


Latest Line: (Generals -6)


Television: ABC Regional/RCA: Keith Jackson & Lynn Swann


ESPN Radio: Charley Steiner & Dave Herman



(7-8) Tampa Bay Bandits at (6-9) Baltimore Stars 


Latest Line: (Stars -1)


Television: ESPN National/RCA: Tom Kelly & Don Heinrich


Local Radio: Scott Garceau & Tom Matte



(10-5) Oklahoma Outlaws  at (4-11) Orlando Renegades


Latest Line: (Outlaws -3)   


Television: None


Local Radio: David Steele & Tom Korun



(4-11) Oakland Invaders at (5-10) Houston Gamblers


Latest Line: (Gamblers -5)


Television: ABC Regional: Corey McPherrin & Kevin Kiley


Local Radio: John Greer & Ed Biles



(11-4) Memphis Showboats at (6-9) Birmingham Stallions


Latest Line: (‘Boats -1)


Television: RCA: Jim Fyffe & Dick James


Local Radio: John Ward & Dave Woloshin

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

'88 Chronology-Conditional Love

Event Date: June 4th, 1988

Event Description: Dorsett Traded

Source: Lakeland Ledger



Sunday, September 11, 2022

'88 Chronology-Week #15 Preview

Event Date: June 3rd, 1988

Event Description: Week #15 Preview


Source: PFW


Week #15 USFL Preview



Saturday, June 4th


(6-8) Baltimore Stars at (9-5) Oklahoma Outlaws 


Latest Line: (Outlaws -6)


Television: ESPN National/RCA: Tom Kelly & Don Heinrich


Radio: ABC Radio: Scott Garceau & Bob Bartel



(4-10) Orlando Renegades at (3-11) Oakland Invaders


Latest Line: (Invaders -1)   


Television: None


Local Radio: Joe Starkey & Lee Grosscup



Sunday, June 5th


(6-8) Birmingham Stallions at (10-4) New Jersey Generals


Latest Line: (Generals -8)


Television: ABC Regional/RCA: Keith Jackson & Lynn Swann


ESPN Radio: Charley Steiner & Dave Herman



(6-8) Tampa Bay Bandits at (5-9) Houston Gamblers


Latest Line: (Gamblers -1)


Television: ABC Regional: Corey McPherrin & Kevin Kiley


Local Radio: John Greer & Ed Biles



Monday, June 6th


(11-3) Memphis Showboats at (10-4) Jacksonville Bulls


Latest Line: (Bulls -1)


Television: ESPN National/RCA: Jim Simpson & Paul McGuire


ABC Radio:  Bob Buck & Dick Butkus