New Orleans Saints Triumphs: The folding of the U.S.F.L.

[From SB Nation]

The United States Football League (USFL) was an expansion league that began play in the spring/summer of 1983. The fledgling league was entertaining in it's short three year duration, and even provided a bit of competition for the NFL in regards to obtaining players. The USFL managed to lure some players like future Hall of Fame end Fred Dean, future Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, star running back Joe Cribbs, and a number of other NFL veterans to better their product on the field. The new league also was able to grab some stars right out of college with big contract offers. Heisman Trophy winners like Herschel Walker, Mike Rozier, and Doug Flutie, along with numerous other college stars spurned the NFL for the riches of the USFL. Some even believed that the new league could eventually force a merger, similar to what occurred with the AFL nearly two decades earlier. Unfortunately, the league quickly ran into financial difficulties. Reduction of the number of teams, franchise mergers, and talented individual players could not stave off approaching disaster. Finally, a fateful decision by the league's owners --led by New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump --to move their games to the fall in direct competition with the NFL doomed them, and the USFL would cease operations in 1986. The dissolving of the expansion league led to a flock of talented players and coaches who would now enter the NFL. The infusion of talent would be led by future Hall of Fame players such as Reggie White, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, and Gary Zimmerman, but many NFL franchises would immediately benefit. The New Orleans Saints were one of the teams that would reap the rewards from the financial blundering of the USFL. Today we revisit our series of Triumphs and Tragedies throughout the history of the Saints franchise with a triumph due to a tragic moment for an entire football league.


Read more of the SB Nation's story HERE

SOURCE www.canalstreetchronicles.com

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