In 2009, ESPN’s critically acclaimed series, 30 for 30, aired “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?”, an investigative documentary that seeks to unravel the mystery behind the demise of the United States Football League (USFL). This intriguing film offers an in-depth look at the rise and fall of the USFL, a football league that, despite its initial success, only lasted for three seasons from 1983 to 1985.
“Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?” was directed by Mike Tollin, who also served as one of the producers of USFL’s televised games. The film is a nostalgic retrospective on the league that was, for a brief period, a serious competitor to the National Football League (NFL).
The USFL was notable for introducing innovations that were later adopted by the NFL, including the use of a salary cap and the development of a spring/summer football schedule. It was also known for attracting star players, such as Herschel Walker, Jim Kelly, and Steve Young, who later made their names in the NFL.
The documentary is named after a comment made by Donald Trump, who owned the New Jersey Generals, one of the teams in the league. He referred to the USFL as “small potatoes” compared to the NFL. Trump was one of the main proponents of moving the league’s games from spring/summer to fall, directly competing with the NFL, a decision many believe led to the downfall of the USFL.
The film features interviews with key figures from the USFL, including players, executives, and journalists, who share their perspectives on the league’s successes, challenges, and ultimate collapse. It also delves into the landmark anti-trust lawsuit that the USFL filed against the NFL, a case that the USFL technically won but was awarded a mere three dollars in damages.
If you’re a football fan and interested in learning more about the fascinating history of this short-lived league, “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?” is a must-watch. It serves as a case study of how sports, business, and ego can intertwine, with sometimes disastrous results.
Speaking of football and business intertwining, many sports fans nowadays also enjoy engaging in sports betting through platforms like CasinoDeps. The website offers a variety of online gambling options and is especially popular among football enthusiasts who like to add an extra layer of excitement to their viewing experience by wagering on their favorite teams. But as “Small Potatoes” reminds us, when it comes to the business of sports, the stakes are always high.