The United States Football League (USFL) made its return in 2022 after a hiatus of nearly 40 years. The USFL was originally founded in 1983 and played for three seasons before folding in 1986. The new version of the USFL will feature eight teams from across the country, with each team playing a 10-game schedule.
Here is a rundown of the teams that competed in the 80’s and will complete in the USFL for the 2023 season:
- Birmingham Stallions: The Stallions are coming off their championship season in 2022. The original Stallions were one of the most successful teams in the league’s history, making the playoffs in all three seasons and winning two division titles in the 80’s.
- New Jersey Generals: The Generals were one of the most high-profile teams in the original USFL, thanks in large part to their owner, Donald Trump. The team won the league’s first-ever game and made the playoffs twice in three seasons.
- Houston Gamblers: The Gamblers were known for their high-powered offense led by quarterback Jim Kelly, who would go on to a Hall of Fame career in the NFL. The team made the playoffs in two of its seasons and was known for its exciting brand of football. They played in two seasons, 1984 and 1985.
- Michigan Panthers: The Panthers were one of the most successful teams in the original USFL, winning the league championship in 1983 and making the playoffs in both of its two seasons. existed for only two seasons 1983 and 1984. In 1985 many of their players merged with the Oakland Invaders. The team will look to recapture that success in 2023 after a disappointing 2022 season.
- Philadelphia Stars: The Stars were the most successful team in the original USFL, winning two championships in three seasons and posting a remarkable 41-13 record. They lost to the Birmingham Stallions in the Championship game in 2022.
- Pittsburgh Maulers: The Maulers were founded in 1983 but not part of the original 12 teams in the USFL. They were part of the 1984 expansion to 18 teams. The team was owned by financier and philanthropist Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., who was also the owner of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. The Maulers played their home games at Three Rivers Stadium, which they shared with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- New Orleans Breakers: The team was owned by real estate developer Joe Canizaro. The Breakers were around three seasons. 1983 in Boston, 1984 New Orleans and 1985 in Portland. The team was competitive and featured several notable players, including running back Marcus Dupree and quarterback Johnnie Walton.
For the 2023 season the USFL has paused the Tampa Bay Bandits and brought back the Memphis Showboats.
- Tampa Bay Bandits: The team was owned by John F. Bassett, a Canadian businessman who was also the owner of the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League. The Bandits were known for their high-scoring offense, which was led by HC Steve Spurrier, who would later become a successful college football coach at the University of Florida. The Bandits 2022 roster and coaching staff is now under the Showboats.
- Memphis Showboats: The Showboats played from 1984 to 1985. The team was owned by businessman William Dunavant, who also owned a successful cotton company. The Showboats were known for their high-powered offense, which was led by quarterback Mike Kelly and running back Tim Spencer, and made the playoffs in both of their seasons in the league.
Teams In The USFL For 2023
Birmingham Stallions, Memphis Showboats, New Orleans Breakers, Pittsburgh Maulers, Philadelphia Stars, Michigan Panthers, Houston Gamblers and New Jersey Generals.
Overall, the USFL in 2023 will feature a mix of teams with varying levels of success in the original league. The teams will be broken up into four hub cities for the 2023 season. With a strong foundation and a commitment to exciting, high-quality football, the USFL has the potential to become a major player in the world of spring football.