There's something deep in the American psyche that convinces us we want the things that may or may not have once entertained us to be repackaged, rebranded and sold to us again and again. Like a meal that's already been digested being regurgitated back into our baby bird mouths by our mother culture. The Friends reunion. The classic rock format. Godzilla vs Kong. Geriatric Indiana Jones. Wedding Crashers getting a sequel after 15 years. Tim Tebow. The entire cast of the original Star Wars trilogy coming back, including Emperor Palpatine as the big villain, because being sent plummeting thousands of feet to his death in the late 80s meant nothing. Even Speed Racer got a live action movie for fuck sake, and that was the cartoon that only kids with social cooties watched when I was little.
So if we're going to have an insatiable appetite for things that ran their course a long time ago and that no one really needs or wants, it's only natural that we bring back the failed idea of a spring professional football league for another go.
Source - The United States Football League is coming back.
The first incarnation of the USFL failed after three seasons when the league tried to move games to the fall and compete with the NFL in 1986, but plans to relaunch the league were announced on Thursday. Spring League founder and CEO Brian Woods has partnered with FOX Sports to bring the league back as an eight-team operation that will play in spring 2022. ...
Information on where teams will play and what they will be called has not been announced, although the release announcing the league’s return mentions that the new entity “retains rights to key original team names” from the original league.
The XFL has failed twice. The Alliance of American Football didn't work. So it's only logical to take another crack at the granddaddy of all failed spring football leagues, the USFL. To tap into that deep well of nostalgia for a league no one misses. Don't get me wrong; the original USFL had its moments. It managed to steal some immense college talent away from the NFL and launched careers. I'll let one of those stars explain:
Flutie is right. They did have Reggie White, Jim Kelly, Steve Young and Herschel Walker. And the league fucking folded after three seasons like a Bills Mafia tailgate table. Now, there are at lot of reasons for that. The 30 for 30 episode "Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?" could've answered its own question in three syllables by just saying "Donald Trump." It portrayed the New Jersey Generals owner as bored with the league, seeing it as a waste of his time and assuming their best bet for making money was to sue the NFL for an antitrust violation. Which they did. And won the suit. And were given an award of $1. There's no word on how the cash was paid out or the 14 surviving owners divvied up the winnings. But at least they got a moral victory for all that time, effort, and billable hours.
But if there's one thing that's clear in this sometimes great nation of ours, it's that there is no idea so fruitless and no waste of time so great that there isn't a rich guy somewhere willing to piss a portion of his inherited wealth away on it. So Fox will say all the right things about how this time it'll be different. How they've got a rock solid business plan in place to keep it profitable. That revenues will be kept up and expenses kept down. And if they make it to the end of the first season - a dubious proposition given that they'll be fresh out of Fluties, Whites, Kellys, Youngs and Walkers - the odds of them having a second season will be astronomical. This will end up being the Anchorman 2 of pro sports leagues. The thing you watch once because it's on free cable, smile and say, "It's nice to see they put the band back together," forget all about and never look at again.
At least until the next failed football league comes around. Because like cicadas, these infestations have to happen every few years in the springtime.