1983 Chicago Blitz: RetroCards Goes USFL
The United States Football League of the early to mid 1980s was probably the most successful failure in late 20th century sports. Filling a need for spring football and luring top notch college stars and NFL veterans and has beens, the USFL had more stability and deeper pockets that the mid-70s WFL, which last a season and a half. The USFL was classier and as predicted by some, started a bidding war for players, driving salaries up, up, up.
Generally, the league garnered positive reviews from critics and fans and though attendance varied from market to market, the league was certainly professional. Through a series of mishaps, victories, agonies, and triumphs, the league looked like a solid complement to the NFL until they tried going head to head with the old league in a fall schedule. It never kicked off in fall and ended in humiliation, losing to the NFL in Federal court after being award $3 in damages.
But nostalgia and sports go hand in hand and after flirtations with other start-up leagues like the UFL, XFL (twice!), NFL Europe, and Arena League football, the USFL is the darling of “what could’ve beens.”
Collectors didn’t see USFL football cards until 1984 so RetroCards will be diving into the USFL’s history with a series of team sets starting with the 1983 Chicago Blitz. Starting with the 1983 season allows Blitz fans to enjoy the players that gave them a 12–6 record before the franchise was traded (yes, traded) for the losing Arizona Wranglers. But that story is for another blog entry.
This set includes 22 players from 1983 sporting those cool blue facemasks: Junior Ah You, Carl Allen, Mack Boatner, Luther Bradley, Eddie Brown, Wamon Buggs, Frank Corrall, Doug Dennison, Joe Ehrmann, Jim Fahnhorst, Trumaine Johnson, Greg Landry, Kit Lathrop, Virgil Livers, Kevin Long, Karl Lorch, Wally Pesuit, Bobby Scott, Tim Spencer, Stan White, Lenny Willis, and of course, coach George Allen. Get it here!