Over the past two days, the revival of the USFL took a critical step towards being fully realized. The eight teams in the league took part in a 35-round draft to fill out their rosters. It was an interesting process to watch play out as teams like the Michigan Panthers selected players who were either tossed aside by the NFL or never even reached there. Remember Detroit Lions Name Bracket star Olive Sagapolu? Well, he’s a Pittsburgh Mauler. Or depth quarterback Jordan Ta’Amu? He was the second overall pick in the 2022 USFL Draft and is now a Tampa Bay Bandit.
Obviously, there’s a local connection to the Michigan Panthers—the last professional football team from this state that won a championship back during the USFL’s first run in the 1980s. And with former NFL head coach Jeff Fisher running the team, it could be easy to start your fandom all over again.
There are also reasons to ignore the new league. For one, the Panthers—along with every other USFL team—will be playing only in Birmingham, Alabama during the inaugural year. So while they may be the Michigan Panthers, they won’t be playing in the state for at least another year. Secondly, the rosters don’t provide a lot of optimism for “good” football. Further complicating a “good” product is the fact that games will be played in less than two months after the draft. That’s not a lot of time to develop players and install schemes.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Will you be watching the USFL?
My answer: When the USFL is expected to kick off in mid-April, I will initially have eyes on it. It’s nice to have a “local” team involved so I can jump in with some fandom without having to pick a team. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was extremely skeptical. Ultimately, I like watching good football, and I don’t think this league is properly prepared to deliver a good product this year. And with the XFL planning to come into the fold in 2023, the talent pool will continue to be thinned out.
I’m not as desperate for football during the offseason as I once was. I actually have learned to appreciate the reprieve. But out of morbid curiosity, I’ll at least check out the first couple weeks of the league.
Do you plan on watching the USFL?
This poll is closed