Originally Posted by eriadoc
To your point, from the article:
I don't know how it would have turned out, as they were on shaky ground, but Trump killed any chance they had at firming up their foothold, IMO.
yep. He was certainly a factor. But, like I said, it was a gamble. And gambles can go two ways. Succeed, and you're a hero. Fail, and you're a goat. His gamble obviously failed, and he became the point man for all the failures of the USFL.
Check this out, before Trump even arrived on the scene:
After deviating from "The Dixon Plan" in the league's inaugural season, the United States Football League was plagued with financial problems and consequently, franchise instability.
If you read the history of the USFL, Trump was brought in at the end because the league was suffering closure due to financial problems. They needed more rich guys to invest because they were headed for failure. This is why I simply cannot put it all on Trump. It is revisionist history to make it all Trump's fault.
Originally Posted by Thorn
I don't remember all the history, the league just started falling apart but the steak in the heart was the move to a fall league. The USFL might have had another season or two before dying, or maybe have even survived had the stupid move to fall football hadn't happened. People were genuinely beginning to like football in the spring.
Look at 1983-1985 attendance records
. For instance, the Houston Gamblers averaged 28,000 per game in 1984, and 19,000 per game in 1985. Those numbers don't even fill up half of the Astrodome.
More folks were liking spring ball, but it was simply not enough to make the league economically viable when they were paying NFL salaries.
The gamble to the fall schedule was because people like football in the fall.
The USFL was built to eventually merge with the NFL, not to compete head-to-head with it.