I Can’t Sell The USFL

In Columns

I am digging the USFL and have enjoyed every minute of it. I have tried to get my friends to get into it and watch the league. I have promoted this spring football league with all the people I know. However, I was not able to get a single friend of mine to watch it. Sure, they checked in to see what their buddy was all hype about, but nobody stayed with it.

I believe that the decision of the USFL to use a “hub” model where all the teams play out of one stadium has been catastrophic in marketing this league. I apperceive that they just wanted to get the thing off the ground and get it started. I understand that they were probably worried about COVID-19 getting in the way of the launch. I am sure they thought that would be the safest way to get this going when it came to the virus.

Unfortunately, this hub model had some very bad effects on the perception of the USFL. First of all, when somebody turns on the television all the public sees are an empty stadium. The locals in Alabama will only support their team the Birmingham Stallions and they are barely doing that. So, all the other games are played in an empty stadium. This gives people the appearance that no one cares about this spring football, so why should they watch.

Second, without all the teams having their own stadiums in their city, it is almost impossible to gain a fan base. They are not connected to it; they can’t relate to some football with their city’s name on it playing somewhere in Alabama of all places. The reason why I got into it was that I was an original fan of the USFL in the 1980s and was a fan of the Tampa Bay Bandits. It was natural for me to carry on with the league, but not for people new to this.

It is no coincidence that the best team in the league, and the one that is undefeated, is the city that hosts all the teams. They have fans in the seats. Home-field advantage is a very real thing. I love the fact that the tickets only cost ten dollars and the kids get in free. That is a nice way to spend a day with the family that is affordable, I want that locally for my team the Tampa Bay Bandits. I wish the NFL was like that, instead, families can go broke trying to take everyone to an NFL game.

I love the new rules. It is going to be sad when the NFL season comes around and I must go back to no three-point conversion after a touchdown. I will miss the clock stopping with a first down in the last two minutes of a half. When I go back to the NFL this year, I will miss all the new camera angles and the helmet cams. I will be yearning for the way the USFL lets us listen to the referees, players, and coaches. If the USFL does not make the changes I am talking about here the league will not survive, and it will be the USFL that I will be missing.

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