The final game in USFL (United States Football League) history was a 28-24 win by the Baltimore Stars over the Oakland Invaders in 1985 at Giants Stadium -- which was also the home of the New Jersey Generals.
Do you remember the Generals’ owner? Question have you trumped? Bingo, it’s the current Republican presidential nominee front-runner Donald Trump.
Trump has been involved in several sports campaigns since the whimper of the USFL. He is a Big Bertha in golf, having built 17 courses around the world. Recently the PGA backed out of holding the Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National in Los Angeles after Trump’s comments on illegal immigrants.
Trump was unsuccessful in his attempt to buffalo his way into owning the Bills in 2014. Ultimately the Pegula family purchased the team for $1.4 billion.
Trump purchased the USFL’s Generals after the first season of the league in the spring of 1983. Trump clearly wanted to take on the NFL and force a merger similar to the AFL’s success. History will show that the USFL won their anti-trust lawsuit with the NFL and awarded a massive judgment of $3.
Yes, three dollars...
The league soon folded and Trump’s aggressive push to merge with the NFL was one of the major reasons for the USFL’s demise.
The Generals went 25-11 under the Trump ownership banner with some big-name former NFL players: Quarterback Brian Sipe, linebacker Jim LeClair and safety Gary Barbaro.
After the 1985 season, the Generals merged with the Houston Gamblers, which had a roster that included Hall-of-Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and the great Herschel Walker.
The USFL folded before the 1986 season.
Thinking about “The Donald” and his time on the sport scene, I wanted to see if there were any similar presidential pro sports ownerships.
Presidential Sports Ownership:
In 1989, George W. Bush led a group that purchased controlling interest in the Texas Rangers for $89 million and become managing general partner. Bush and his partner Rusty Rose quickly started to work on pushing plans for a new stadium. In 1994 the Ballpark in Arlington opened. In November of 1994, Bush was elected Governor of Texas. Before taking office in the Lone Star State, Bush resigned his Rangers position.
In June of 1998, Tom Hicks purchased the Rangers for $250 million. Bush’s 10 percent ownership stake was worth an estimated $15 million dollars.
Maybe Trump’s run for the Oval Office doesn’t end with him redecorating 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and instead he turns his eye to owning an NFL franchise ... or running the league.
What would he do with some of the issues facing current NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?
As a master of bloviation, inflation, and deflation, Trump would have let the air out of this issue quickly. Come to think of it, that’s what Goodell should have done.
NFL in LA:
What better owner, builder of a new stadium, and deep-pocketed celebrity for Tinseltown than “The Donald?” Drop a billion and a half on Mark Davis and maybe Trump becomes a Raider...