I came across a story while surfing the web tonight about the now defunct USFL football league, which is something I have not thought about in about
30 years. I am a huuuge football fan going way back to my childhood and growing up in the Metro Detroit, Mi area, I reluctantly have been a fan of the
Detroit Lions since my childhood (as sad as that sounds). Most football fans should be well acquainted with the Lions dismal record over the years. I
remember when the USFL football league started they had a team here called the Michigan Panthers, who won the 1st UFSL Championship, and I was super
excited that there finally was a really good team to root for.
Anyway, maybe some of the old time sports fans here may know that Donald Trump was the owner of the New Jersey Generals in that league.
He had a pretty good team of well known players, Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie, Brian Sipe to name a few.
In the 1984 season, he tried to lure legendary coach Don Shula from the Miami Dolphins to coach the Generals. Apparently he was willing to pay Shula
$1 million a season to coach but the deal fell through when Shula also wanted a penthouse apartment in Trump Tower thrown in....Trump declined.
The USFL only lasted for 3 seasons, Trump owned the team for 2 of those seasons, which by the way played their games in the spring as opposed to the
fall when the NFL played.
Trump and other owners wanted to move the 1986 USFL schedule to the fall to directly compete with the NFL with the ultimate goal being the NFL would
tire of the new league and let them merge with the NFL and the USFL owners would make a killing when that happened.
It really was not that crazy of an idea because at the time, the USFL had a lot of superstar players that bypassed the NFL to play in the USFL out of
college for more money. The star players were still drafted by teams in the NFL but they went to the USFL, so the NFL teams still held those players
rights if they ever decided to go to the NFL.
Well it turned out that the merger didn't happen and the USFL tried to bring an antitrust suit against the NFL, which they won but only collected
$3.76.....yes that's right only $3.76 after interest.
Apparently Trump took most of the blame for the failed idea of the merger, but he cannot really be faulted for trying after seeing what happened only
16 years earlier when the AFL-NFL merger took place.
I had no idea who Trump was back then but it was interesting to read some stories about him from those days.....he is still the same now as he was
Here is a Sports Illustrated story from 1984 about him -
And here is a humorous, more recent story from Fox Sports about his time as a USFL owner -
Anyway I thought this thread would be a interesting diversion from all of the political rhetoric thrown around lately but still about Trump.