Are you ready for some spring football?! The United States Football League (USFL) folded in 1985, but is coming back on Saturday with a full season.
The USFL will have eight teams that will compete in a 10-week regular season that will lead into a two-week postseason. The teams are named directly after or similar to teams from the old USFL league, which existed from 1983 to 1985. The USFL president will be Brian Woods and Darryl Johnston will be the executive vice president of football operations. Mike Pereira will have a role as the head of officiating.
The inaugural draft for the spring league took place in February, with the teams selecting 35 players to compete this season. Another draft occurred in March when the teams added another 10 players to their rosters. There are 360 players to jump start the season.
Here is a look at the team locations and names (every team will play all of its games in Birmingham, Ala.):
- Birmingham Stallions
- Houston Gamblers
- Michigan Panthers
- New Jersey Generals
- New Orleans Breakers
- Philadelphia Stars
- Pittsburgh Maulers
- Tampa Bay Bandits
Picking a team can be difficult, but here at CBS Sports we are here to make your life easier. Here are all the reasons why you should root for each team.
Head coach Skip Holtz is the son of Lou Holtz, and worked with him while the elder Holtz was at Notre Dame. Skip Holtz has spent time with UConn, East Carolina, South Florida and Louisiana Tech as a coach over the years. The team has All-American Scooby Wright and he will be one of the best defensive players heading into the season.
If all that did not convince you, their colors of maroon and gold look stellar together -- and "Stallions" is a classic name for a team.
For this one I am going to start with non X's and O's reasons to support the team and just focus on the name: Gamblers. It seems like an obvious pick for anyone who is constantly checking over/unders and lines for games. Texas is also known for their extreme love of football, so why not support a team from the big state?
Now to actual football talk. Head coach Kevin Sumlin spent time at Texas A&M, where he helped lead the team to victory at the Cotton Bowl. Defensive end Chris Odom was taken with the fourth pick in the second round and has a resume that includes the second-most blocked kicks in Arkansas State history. Avery Gennesy, an offensive tackle out of Texas A&M, recently comes off time with the XFL team the Houston Roughnecks, where he was a staple in the offense.
Are you a Michigan fan? Or a Carolina Panthers fan? Then the name alone may just convince you to root for the Michigan Panthers. If that doesn't apply to you, or does but hasn't convinced you yet, I'll give you a few more reasons to root for them this season.
The head coach is a name NFL fans will recognize: Jeff Fisher. He was in the league for 35 years between being a player and a coach. Fisher helped bring the Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl in 2000 and saw many successful seasons during his time with the team. This makes a case for Titans fans to root for the coach that helped make the team successful in the first decade of the millennium.
New Jersey Generals
If you wanted the NFL team Washington Commanders to be named Generals, and you are upset that they were not, then do I have the team for you. There is no New York team in the league, so if you are from the Tri-state area this the team you should cheer for.
Mike Riley, who is no stranger to spring leagues, will be the head coach and General Manager. Cornerback De'Vante Bausby won Super Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles, so I would say Eagles fans may find it fun to root for this team, but asking a Philly fan to support a New Jersey team does not seem realistic. However, he helped defeat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who have a lot of haters, so if you are one of those fans who was happy to see the Pats lose against the Eagles, supporting a member of that team only feels natural.
New Orleans Breakers
This team has the softest looking logo and the wave makes it a good team to pick for fans of the ocean. Their team hashtag is "#GeaxBlueWave," which is a nod to the state and the logo. Fan traditions have not started yet, but doing the wave in the stands seems like an obvious one.
If you like offensive-focused teams, consider this one to root for. Breakers quarterback Kyle Sloter has never appeared in a regular season NFL game, but did have some preseason highlights. He has potential to make some noise in the league.
Once again, I will start with non-football reasons to support this team. Said reasons include: if you like astronomy (they're the Stars), if you like space (again, Stars) or if you happen to be a big fan of Philly Cheesesteaks or passionate, often loud, fans.
Now to the real stuff. The Stars will be lead by Bart Andrus, who found success in NFL Europe where he helped bring the Amsterdam Admirals to two World Bowl appearances, with one victory. NFL fans, specifically Oilers/Titans fans may recognize this name because he worked under Jeff Fisher as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach.
The Pittsburgh Maulers have one of the more interesting names, so if you pick a team based on that, they might have to be the ones you root for.
Their head coach has ties to the NFL team and while this league has no teams in New England, if you are from that area you will find a connection to the Maulers. Their will-be head coach Kirby Wilson was a running backs coach with the Patriots, making a large impact on that role on the coaching side. He also went on to work with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns and Raiders, who are now in Las Vegas.
A fan of any of the aforementioned teams might want to take a closer look at the Maulers.
Tampa Bay Bandits
Calling all Tom Brady fans. No, he did not retire from the NFL again and is not joining the Bandits, but he is in Tampa Bay now. Tampa Bay teams have done well, coincidentally, since Brady stepped in the city, so maybe there is something in the name that will bring the Bandits success. This is me attempting to predict the future of the USFL championship.
This team will be lead by Todd Haley, who at 55 is the youngest head coach in the league. He has worked with the Kansas City Chiefs as a head coach, and was the offensive coordinator of the Cardinals, Steelers and Browns as well.