The United States Football League was a short lived professional football league that started as an alternative to the NFL in the mid 1980’s. The league featured some great players that would go on to star in the NFL, and even a few that made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Today, the USFL is looked back upon by most football fans as one of the more interesting and exciting things that had come along in the history of professional football. Here are five little known facts about the United States Football League.
-The USFL-NFL trial that effectively ended the league’s existence lasted 42 days.
-Video clips from a Memphis Showboats game are used as background football images in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
-The first former USFL player to make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was quarterback Jim Kelly who played with the Houston Gamblers before going on to star for the Buffalo Bills and take them to four straight Super Bowls.
-The first player ever drafted out of college by the USFL was Dan Marino who was picked with the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Express. He was also drafted by and chose to sign with the Miami Dolphins of the NFL that same year.
-When the USFL sued the NFL alleging antitrust violations, every NFL team except the Los Angeles Raiders was listed as a co-defendant. Raiders owner Al Davis was a witness for the USFL and therefore was spared being a defendant in the suit.