The Pittsburgh Maulers’ original season kicked off in the 1984 season of the USFL, United States Football League. The Maulers’ ownership at that time was led by Edward J. Debartolo Sr. who made his fortune in the shopping mall industry.
Edward J. Debartolo Sr. is the father of the NFL San Francisco 49ers owner and the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins owner, Edward J. Debartolo Jr. The move by Debartolo Sr. to purchase the rights to the USFL Pittsburgh franchise over Debartolo Jr. surprised many n the community.
The Maulers would play Pittsburg’s Three Rivers Stadium where they opened their season on March 11, 1984, to a sold-out crowd against the Birmingham Stallons. The Stallions quarterback was nonother than former Steeler Cliff Stoudt who played back up to Terry Brashaw just the year before. Pittsburgh fans would chuck snowballs at the Stallon’s QB whenever he played n the RedZone.
The Maulers would be defeated by Cliff Stoudt and his Stallions 30-18 in front of the sellout home crowd, it was the last time the Maulers would fill Three Rivers Stadium.
Head Coach Joe Pendry built his offense around longtime third-string Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Glenn Carano. Behind Carano would be Heisman Trophy winner running back Mike Rozer and wide receiver Greg Anderson.
Unfortunately for Mauler’s fans the plan would not work out with Carano only completing half of his passes and ending his season with 19 interceptions and only 13 touchdowns. Backup Tom Rozantaz took over at quarterback midway through the season, but he proved to be a disappointment as well.
The Maulers would end their season 3-15 tied for the worst league in the 1984 USFL season with the Washington Federals. While the record was awful, the games were not. The Maulers faced nine teams that would go on to the playoffs that year and they were defeated seven times by less than ten points.
The 2022 USFL Pittsburgh Maulers hope to leave this low point in team history behind and create a new legacy for USFL football in Pittsburg, a town known for supporting its sports teams.
The Maulers kick off their season Sunday, April 16 at 8:00 PM EST in Birmingham Alabama, where all games will be held this year, against the Tampa Bay Bandits.