Tedder

The Donald and the Demise of the USFL

The Train Daddy is back, as always, here to make journalism great again. And folks, it’s going to be YUUUGE! That’s right, people: sports news, life lessons and politically incorrect talk all wrapped into one genius article. Back in 2008 it all started, me writing for the Pulse. It’s crazy to think it’s been almost 10 years since I wrote my first column. I’ve stayed true to my roots and my style of writing. In a journalism world full of liberals, my work is seen as unconventional, and sometimes over the top. They can suck it! It’s simple, folks, I was raised a Tennessee boy, I love sports, I love writing and I love expressing my viewpoints, and that’s where the passion comes from. My knowledge is more knowledgeable, my wit is wittier and my understanding is more understandable than it was back then. I was a young pup when I first started for the Murfreesboro Pulse; I am now a 31-year-old stud muffin, ready to spit knowledge the Train Daddy way, truthfully and uncensored. All aboard! The Train’s out the station!

We’re focusing on the past here this issue—you people ready for a Trump enchilada? But before we get into the beef, here is a quick, fun story with nothing to do with my main story, or anything sports for that matter—hey, it’s my style! In Thailand, a man is recovering after a 10-foot python latched its fangs onto his penis! That’s right, folks, it was hiding in the toilet, and then it struck. The man is recovering, and from all accounts so is his little friend. Beware before you squat, people!

Story time! Gather ’round, children, this is a tale about a football league named the USFL, and a billionaire named Donald Trump. So let’s journey back to the ’80s, a great time to be alive. The USFL was literally created because a bunch of rich men sitting around drinking beers thought it sounded cool, thus the USFL, or “United States Football League,” was created.

It was a short-lived league, but you had players like Herschel Walker, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Mike Rozier, Doug Flutie and Reggie White, teams like the Memphis Showboats, the San Antonio Gunslingers, Denver Gold and the Birmingham Stallions. Coaches as big as Jim Mora, Steve Spurrier, Dom Capers, Marv Levy and even that idiot Lee Corso coached a team named the Orlando Renegades. The USFL had a product, and there was an audience. But “greed in the end fails even the greedy.”

That was Donald Trump’s cue. Let’s go back to 1983: I was just a little sperm, one year away from entering the world, but Donald Trump was a 37-year-old New York star. He had recently married his trophy wife, Ivana, and had just finished building his 68-story tower in Manhattan. He was by all means known as the man who got things done in New York, buying property and fixing up people’s mistakes. But Trump always demands more! He was ready to take over the football world.

The Donald purchased the New Jersey Generals from an oil tycoon named . . . who cares, some other rich man. The USFL already had a product and played in the spring, opposite the NFL’s fall schedule. But here comes Trump, buying into the league and demanding change right away! In Trump’s first year as owner of the Generals, the team went from the previous season’s 6–12 record to a 14–4 record before being knocked out of the first round of the playoffs. Donald’s team even averaged a whopping 40,000 fans at every home game in Giants Stadium.

The 12-team USFL played its games in the spring, while the NFL played in the fall. This schedule worked out well, as the USFL was popular and growing at the time in the early ’80s. Then came Donald Trump’s statement, “If God wanted football in the spring he wouldn’t have created baseball,” a statement that would lead him to be the ringleader in the push to directly take on the NFL.

The USFL was a league that mocked the NFL, calling the league the “no fun league.” At the time the NFL didn’t permit replay challenges or 2-point conversions, while the USFL permitted both. The USFL also encouraged excessive touchdown celebrations—something the NFL penalized players for, and something the fans love.

In 1986, the league, already in a dire situation and losing a reported $200 million, went ahead with a $1.7 billion lawsuit against the NFL, claiming the NFL had a monopoly on national TV rights. Owners also voted 12–2 to move to a fall schedule, many stating Trump bullied all the other owners with his over-the-top personality.

Hoping the lawsuit would force a merger or a large payday, the league was in court rather than playing football in the spring of 1986. The NFL pounded Donald Trump in court, portraying him as a greedy billionaire intent on securing his wealth at everyone else’s expense. The trial lasted 42 days, and the jury actually ruled in favor of the USFL. They also concluded the league’s money problems were its own doing, not the NFL’s. Ultimately, the USFL was awarded $3.76—that’s right, three dollars and seventy-six cents. The USFL never played another game.

Did Trump really kill a professional football league? Well, here are some quotes from many people involved with the league—and remember, folks, this was way before any kind of presidential hopes. Actor and Tampa Bay Bandit partner Burt Reynolds stated, “I still feel and will always feel his ambitions were what sunk the league.” Doug Flutie stated, “We had a decent thing going and the league could have gone on; I think Donald rushed it a bit.” Charles Steiner, the radio voice of the Generals, recently had this to say: “You can cut and paste the USFL and the GOP and it’s the same damn story.” Even Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly stated, “He always shoots for the stars and usually gets what he wants, except the NFL.” Adam Rank sums it up, “Hell, it would have worked were it not for Donald Trump.”

Trump disagrees “We had owners that were dying, we had owners that couldn’t pay their bills. And when you have that, you have to act a little bit quickly.” If you ask him about the fall of the USFL these days, he will call you an idiot and blame everyone else.

So, to sum up what I have learned about the USFL and Donald Trump in all my research and study: the USFL had something going, something different and something that had a chance. Then comes Donald Trump to the party. Donald demands it be bigger and better than the NFL. Shortly after that demand is made, the league is dead and gone. Yeah, that sums it up! And after all these people lost money, jobs, their dreams, Donald claims it was just small potatoes, no big deal, and he moves onto the next thing.

So let’s hope Donald can lead this great country better than his football team. I am voting for the crazy bastard. I am not thrilled about it, but it beats any Democratic liberal. Hillary is the female Satan who deserves to be indicted and arrested; that’s a fact. I love it that both sides have turned on her, she’s crooked! Bernie Sanders is a crazy 100-year-old socialist who wants to take everything from people who work hard and have stuff, and give it to people who don’t. He is sincere at least, but is an old fool who obviously knows nothing about economics or the fact that hard work wins the day, not more freaking welfare programs!

I had a liberal friend tell me at least Hillary and Bernie have plans. I said I would vote any day for someone with conservative views and no plan at all, over a liberal with plans for every issue out there. We laughed after I said it, but it was a true and my friend stated “fair enough.”

The Train is rolling into the station, nearing the end, folks. Trump is a hell of a personality and most obviously a narcissist—a person who has an inflated sense of self-importance. But he speaks loud, he speaks up against this rubbish known as the politically correct culture Obama has created. I just hope he doesn’t start World War III. I will say race relations in this country have gotten worse over the Obama years. I fully blame Obama for inciting and dividing rather than attempting to unite everyone. I find it odd that we have our first black president and race relations have gotten worse. So back to Trump: Make America Great Again! Maybe the first orange president can actually unite this country and end this ignorant talk about race in America, a country where every race, gender and whatever can be successful. Choo-choo!

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About the Author

The Z-Train is a Murfreesboro resident and enjoys all sports, but bleeds code blue for his beloved Titans, who will one sweet day bring home that beautiful Lombardi Trophy to Tennessee. Always remember the Train's big F's: Faith, Family, Friends, Food and FOOTBALL!

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