The United States Football League has announced it will be returning in Spring 2022 after being canceled since 1986.
What to Expect
The USFL will be returning in April of next year for a 10-game season. Following the regular season, the top two teams of both divisions will play each other to crown the division champions. These winners will then go on to the championship to crown the title holder.
Eight teams will take part in the league, and they will be split into two divisions. The Northern division will be made up of the Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers. The Southern division teams are the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits.
Games will be every Saturday and Sunday during the season. All teams will play at one neutral site that has yet to be determined.
Brian Woods is the primary owner of the league. Woods previously started the Fall Experimental Football League and The Spring League. The FXFL is no longer operating, but The Spring League has been active since 2017.
The USFL’s Past
The league’s first season took place in 1983, and it was canceled before the start of the 1986 season. Over the course of its early life, there were 18 franchises. The league fell apart in 1986 after a failed lawsuit against the NFL.
All of the teams heading into the 2022 season were part of the original league and were brought back for this reboot.
The league was able to find some very talented players during its existence. They drafted from a pool of former college players who could choose to play in the NFL or the USFL.
While some players, notably Jerry Rice and Dan Marino, chose to play in the NFL instead, the USFL was able to find a few gems. It produced NFL talents such as Herschel Walker, Steve Young, Reggie White, Jim Kelly and Gary Zimmerman.
The USFL was proposed to return in 2008 and play was set to start in 2010, but the plans fell through.
This league is the third attempt at a spring football league since 2019. The AAF went bankrupt in 2019 and the XFL had to stop operations due to the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020.