USFL 2.0 is launching this Saturday, with every game this season taking place at Protective Stadium and Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Will there be a big appetite for spring football even as Major League Baseball is underway, the NBA playoffs start that same weekend, and the NHL playoffs are not too far away? Probably not, but that won’t stop the efforts to create another football league.
The Alliance of American Football collapsed and didn’t even complete its inaugural season back in 2019. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ended the XFL’s second go-round early. Even the United Football League lasted just four years on a technicality and realistically didn’t complete three full seasons. There’s no doubt that the original USFL had the best success, and even they folded after three completed seasons and an ill-fated, aborted decision to move to the fall.
What will USFL 2.0 bring? Probably lots of bad football, but I do support the idea of having gridiron players having another way to earn some money outside of the NFL. Seattle didn’t have a USFL team in the original formation and they don’t have one now, but there are a few former Seattle Seahawks who are on USFL active rosters. Most of them never made it to the Seahawks’ regular season active roster, but you may remember some of these names!
Alex McGough, Quarterback - Birmingham Stallions
Paxton Lynch, Quarterback - Michigan Panthers
Kristjan Sokoli, Offensive Lineman - Houston Gamblers
Terry Poole, Offensive Lineman - New Jersey Generals
B.J. Emmons, Running Back - Tampa Bay Bandits
Lance Lenoir, Wide Receiver - Michigan Panthers
Walter Palmore, Defensive Tackle - Michigan Panthers
LaDarius Wiley, Safety - Philadelphia Stars
Shalom Luani, Safety - New Jersey Generals
Aashari Crosswell, Safety - New Orleans Breakers
Emmanuel Beal, Linebacker - Tampa Bay Bandits
Azeem Victor, Linebacker - Houston Gamblers
Bryan Mills, Cornerback - Birmingham Stallions
Only Luani and Sokoli ever saw regular season action for Seattle, and Sokoli’s consisted of nine special team snaps in the 2015 finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Everyone else was either on the practice squad or on the 90-man camp roster before getting released.
The first USFL game is between New Jersey and Birmingham at 4:30 PM PT on FOX and NBC. You know, just in case you’re interested!