Washington Federals – Lovable Losers of the USFL

If you are a fan of the old USFL, then you are probably familiar with the league’s best teams and players. But fans must take the bad with the good and the Washington Federals were one of the truly hapless teams of that era. The 1983 the new United States Football League had plenty of hurdles to clear and one of the league’s successes was they put very competitive teams on the field. In fact, by 1984 the talent level rose to NFL levels. The Federals were not among these and though their record was worse than their talent, the Feds encountered bad luck, untimely injuries, and close losses that built a tradition of losing for 2 seasons.

Compiling a 4–14 record in their inaugural season, the Federals did offer some exciting play with wanna-be stars such as Joey Walters, Craig James, and Doug Greene. Old time NFLers like Coy Bacon, Kim McQuilken, and Reggie “Super Gnat” Smith all started. But despite great hopes and cool uniforms, the team couldn’t find ways to win. Locals mockingly referred to them as the Washington Generals, the losing traveling team that alway played the Harlem Globetrotters.

Wanting to shed the memories of their 1983 season, the Feds donned new uniforms for the 1984 season only to be handed  a humiliating loss at the hands of the expansion Jacksonville Bulls 54–14. They actually performed poorer in 1984, posting a 3–15 record after losing star running back Craig James for the season. Their biggest trouble was at quarterback where the likes of Mike Hohensee and Reggie Collier did their best with limited resources.

RetroCards honors this fan-favorite team with an 18-cards set of that first season of 1983. Photographed in their white-helmet uniforms, this set includes: Mike Hohensee, Coy Bacon, Bob Barber, Jeff Brown, Gregg Butler, Mike Corvino, Bubba Diggs, Doug Greene, Mike Harris, Willie Holley, Myke Horton, Craig James, Dan Lloyd, Kim McQuilken, Reggie Smith, Billy Taylor, Joey Walters, and former CFL head coach Ray Jauch. Check it out here!