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The next attempt at a spring football league starts tonight

Maybe this time they’ll get it right

Michigan Panthers v Philadelphia Stars
Couldn’t find a picture of a USFL logo or anything, so here’s an old picture of Michigan Panthers wide receiver Anthony Carter
Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

In recent years, we’ve seen several attempted spring football leagues attempt to gain some traction without success. In 2019, the Alliance of American Football managed to make it through about half of a season before financial issues caused its demise. Then, in 2020, a new incarnation of Vince McMahon’s XFL gave it a go, but a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and money troubles caused them to go under as well.

Perhaps the third time will be the charm, as a new spring football league will undertake its first official event this evening. And, like the XFL, it will have a familiar ring to it.

The new United States Football League (USFL) will hold its inaugural draft this evening starting at 6:00 PM Central. The draft will not be televised anywhere, but you’ll be able to follow along with it on social media through the official USFL account and FOX digital media platforms. You can get all of the details on that in this story from the Pro Football Network.

The new USFL will consist of eight teams, all of which have names that hearken back to the old USFL that ran for three seasons back in the 1980s. When that league dissolved, a bunch of incredibly talented players including Jim Kelly, Reggie White, and Anthony Carter (among a multitude of others) made their way to the NFL from the USFL.

Here are the eight teams in the new USFL:

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • New Orleans Breakers
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits

The draft will be done by different positions, with quarterbacks being drafted in Round 1 and other positions being done in later rounds. The league is not releasing the player pool before the draft begins, so there’s a bit of mystery surrounding exactly who is going to be selected when things start rolling this evening.

I would really like to see one of these spring football leagues actually take a hold and be successful because. . .you know. . .football. The USFL gets things underway tonight, and the next incarnation of the XFL (this time led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) will begin play in 2023. I don’t know if their chances are good, but hopefully the USFL and XFL v3.0 will do better than the AAF and XFL v2.0.

Are you going to be paying attention to tonight’s USFL Draft, folks? Are you excited about the idea of spring football taking another shot at sticking?