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USFL '89-'94 1.0.0


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About This File

These are part of my series of hypothetical hacks; as I worked through them and made narrative notes, I struggled with organization.

 

Where I am fascinated by the turbulent '80s, I don't have much interest in league of my teenage years partly because of Cleveland's move to Baltimore. That aside, I got a little too deep and scattershot in the narrative aspect of this project--most of my ideas for '89-'94 are interesting to me but just scraps. I hope to organize twitter notes and place them here in a bit for the sake of posterity. I have started a sort of "reset" of the project. I apologize for the barrage of polls on my Twitter. It's helped me in rethinking and working on a new project.

 

I do want to list a few things here for clarity of the rosters:

 

-Joe Robbie's death and Don Shula's impatience leads Pittsburgh Maulers owner Ed DeBartolo Sr. to swoop in and sign Dan Marino to a 7-year, $35 million contract; a Robbie's family heir--a third cousin way deep in the tree--agrees to release the QB to spring for $15 million. It is a whirlwind off-season for the near-miss Maulers, who also sign Major Harris, top WR prospect Reggie Rembert, and old-hand Matt Millen. The '90 Maulers finished 12-5-1, taking the league title in a 31-28 shootout against Jim Kelly and the Houston Gamblers. A New Dawn has arrived. 

 

-After a string of bad seasons and weak ownership, both the New Orleans Breakers and the New England Patriots reach sort of twilights in Sin City and Puritanville. In a rare flex of state power, out-going Gov. Mike Dukakis seizes Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro and approaches the USFL about placing a team there. League Commissioner Grover Debs--never a fan of the original move from Boston in '83--arranges a purchase of the Breakers with a prominent New Hampshire family; the league eats some $22 million in debts. A Dresden-based architecture firm of the "Memphis" style--already working on the Memorial Stadium project in Baltimore and Canadian Tire Park in downtown Halifax--commits to providing a future redesign. The '91 USFL offseason contracts a fever pitch  as the revived "Boston Breakers" sign Doug Flutie and a myriad of free agents; New Jersey inks jettisoned Jim Kelly, after George Bush Jr. and his Saudi and Yemeni backers gave Heisman winner Andre Ware a 5-year, $5.2 million deal back in '90. The New England Patriots would limp through '91 and '92 as a tenant before Paul Tagliabue gives in to the senior circuit's first franchise merger in over 40 years, the Pats will be picked over by the St. Louis Football Cardinals, themselves in a sort of limbo post-Bill Bidwell and mismanagement by a Busch scion. The NFL announces plans to sell the logo and franchise rights to former Pats minority owner Robert Kraft, who promises revenge.

 

-Cuban-cultivated "biomechanic" techniques revive the careers of Neil Lomax (Denver) and Bert Jones (Stars).

 

-In a messy '92, Merlin Olson wins a four-way race with George Bush, Jerry Brown, and Ross Perot on The Rainbow Bridge Party ticket a loose confederation of orthodox Marxists, dejected trade unionists, and small holders dependant on gutted midwest industrial economies (Olson swept the center of the country). Olson's running mate is long time progressive Paul Wellstone. Olson wins on vague promises to "renew the New Deal" and rapproachment with the Soviet Union, who exiled Gorbachev and are undergoing a process of "Reconstruction." Olson reportedly accepted the nomination after a nasty contract fight with NBC. Bush Sr. becomes an executive with the Houston Gamblers. Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams disappears, putting that franchise in crisis.

 

-Tagliabue rushes to announce NFL expansion, the goal being 30 teams by the turn-of-the century. The announced clubs are the Carolina Panthers ('94), a revived Patriots franchise (TBD), and the Montreal Machine, who will join the league in '95 and play at Stade Olympique, itself undergoing renovations thanks to a Czechoslovakian-Libyan developed process based on Roman concrete processes. 

 

-ABC re-ups with the USFL for $600 million over three years. CBS bulks. 

 

-The '93 USFL Season sees Ted Marchibroda lead the 6-12 Baltimore Stars on a miracle run to the USFL title. The team is led by Tracy Ham, a training camp holdout in Jacksonville, acquired for a 6th round pick. 

 

-"Bad boy" Jeff George arrives in Chicago for the '94 season. Michigan Panther's franchise exec Anhel Cabrini signs Division I-AA standout Kurt Warner based on a series of "visions" of a "Giant Marksman with raven hair, flinging fire." The eccentric Cabrini--head of the Union who prevented the AMC-Chrysler merger--insisted Warner throw both footballs and Charmin rolls at his workout after hearing stories Kurt chucked them as a Hy-Vee stock boy. He receives a 10-year, $20 million deal, a move criticized by even Al Davis. 

 

These hacks contain all previous edits (7 minute quarters, juice meter, etc.).

 

Thank you, as always, for your support. 

Edited by Tombor
Tried to clean up typos.


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