The USFL is back

New football league hopes to break the pattern


You may remember the failure of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) after the league filed for bankruptcy back in 2019. The Xtra-Fun-League (XFL) originally started in 2001 as an attempt to be a competitor of the NFL. The league received high ratings at first, but they plummeted as the season progressed, causing it to fall apart. The XFL started back up in early 2020 but had to shut down due to Covid-19. It is now targeting to restart in 2023, and it plans to experiment with rule changes for the NFL.

Similar to the XFL, the United States Football League (USFL) is attempting to restart in April of this year after the original USFL shut down in 1986. Technically, the two leagues are not affiliated, despite the new league having ownership of the trademarks of the old league. The new league, owned by Fox Sports, has committed upwards of $150 million. The eight teams are the Birmingham Stallions, New Jersey Generals, Michigan Panthers, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, Tampa Bay Bandits, Philadelphia Stars, and the Pittsburgh Maulers.

All of the regular season games will be played in Birmingham, Alabama, where the league headquarters are located; the regular season games will take place at Legion Field and Protective Stadium and the playoff games will be played in Canton, Ohio at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

The teams will play a ten game schedule, playing teams in their division twice and teams from the other division once. The semi-finals are played between the top two teams in each division, with the championship consisting of the winners of the two games.

The two-day draft took place on February 22nd and 23rd; the draft format was unique to all other sports drafts because, in each round, the teams drafted a certain position. For instance, quarterbacks were drafted in the first round, whereas in other sports leagues, teams can draft whomever they choose. Active roster players will receive $45,000, and practice squad players will receive $15,000.

The regular season begins on April 16th and goes until mid-June, with the playoffs to follow. The league hopes to attract many football fans from across the country.