DONALD TRUMP’S PREQUEL – THE USFL

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-10-41-55-am

This week Donald Trump cemented a year-long transformation to claim the nomination of President of the United States, a scenario unlikely to many as recently as Election Day itself.

Those of a certain age first heard of Trump in the 1980s when he owned the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League.

Like most endeavors that dared compete with the National Football League, the USFL did not last long. The league’s premise was for spring football as opposed to the fall. The plan involved signing some NFL-level talent, but also contain costs for long-term survival.

Many USFL owners could not contain themselves. As predicted on the cover of SPORT magazine months earlier, underclassman and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker signed with the New Jersey Generals rather than return to the University of Georgia The publication only hit on one of five other prognostications. Other USFL signees included Joe Cribbs, Steve Young, Reggie White, Mike Rozier and University of Oklahoma phenom Marcus Dupree.

steve-young-usfl-410

Steve Young signed a 43-year contract with the Los Angeles Express which would have escalated $3 million annually by 2027. Young elected to take a settlement up front when the Los Angeles owner went bankrupt.

In 1983 Donald Trump was an original owner with the Generals, sold the team prior to the season but returned as owner the following year.

Trump was never commissioner, but might as well been. His vision differed from the leagues initial plan. Trump would either go big or go home, his goal was to compete directly with the NFL and ultimately force a merger as the American Football League had done.

Although many teams hemorrhaged money by 1984 (six expansion teams added for quick cash), the league stayed in the headlines during baseball season thanks to Trump.

‘Master of the USFL’, one front page sports headline on USA Today read.

Trump nearly lured Don Shula as coach, a story that went viral in the 1983 NFL season. Reports had Shula holding out for a Trump Tower apartment and the coach backed away when the story became a distraction to his Miami Dolphins. The Generals did sign several NFL veterans and inked legendary Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie in 1985.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-10-34-38-am

By that time, the writing was on the wall, the league now contracted to 14 teams. Trump wanted a fall schedule for 1986 and to sue the NFL on anti-trust grounds.

Trump met resistance from owners who did like him controlling league dialogue. Tampa Bay Bandits owner John Bassett penned a letter to Trump (CC’d to Commissioner Chet Simmons), vowing to punch the Donald smack in the mouth if he got scorned again in an owners meeting.

screen-shot-2016-03-03-at-9-29-18-am

Trump vowed a ‘dream team’ when he merged the Generals with Jim Kelly’s Houston Gamblers for a 1986 fall season that never happened. A court victory over the NFL netted three dollars and Trump and the other seven remaining franchises folded their tents, vowing a 1987 return (a year the NFL went on strike).

Trump also sought to buy the Cleveland Indians in 1983, offering $13 million for the team, an offer later bumped up to $34 million. The belief was Trump would move the team to Tampa – at least Trump would likely had built a venue better than what the Tampa Bay Rays currently call home.

After the USFL Trump’s sports endeavors returned to golf courses, boxing events – along with real estate, beauty pageants, The Apprentice and everything else.

And finally throwing his hat into the 2016 GOP presidential ring, a bid most considered a pipe dream.

 

Advertisements

TOM HAMILTON CHANNELS BREWERS ANNOUNCER CALLING ALCS WINNER

carlos_santana

In the past 47 years a lot of broadcast talent has made its way through the Milwaukee Brewers radio booth – a list that includes the legendary Bob Uecker, the also legendary Merle Harmon, Lorn Brown (better known as a White Sox announcer), Pat Hughes (current Cubs radio), Jim Powell (currently on Braves radio), Cory Provus (Twins radio) and Joe Block (Pirates radio).

For the 1982 and ’83 seasons, Dwayne Mosley served as Uecker’s sidekick. At the time Mosely worked for WISN radio, who held the Brewers broadcast rights for three years, the only time in franchise history games did not air on WTMJ radio.

During that era Uecker also did work with ABC television, who televised the 1982 American League Championship Series between the Brewers and California Angels. Uecker ducked for the locker room for the postgame celebration for television, which left Mosley to call the final out of the Brewers only pennant winner to date…

‘It’s over! The Brewers have won the American League pennant! Milwaukee – you have a World Series!’

That leads to current Cleveland Indians voice Tom Hamilton, who was 26 and cutting his teeth in the Wisconsin radio market when the Brewers made the World Series. Here is his call of the final out of the 2016 ALCS (go to 3:36)..

‘BALLGAME! The Indians have won the American League pennant! And Cleveland, for the sixth time ever, you will have a World Series!’

Hamilton also provided another editorial on the Toronto Blue Jays fan base when the obligatory fan ran on the field before the bottom of the ninth began – and asked why it took so long to escort him off the field.

Meanwhile, a quick research reveals Dwayne Mosley currently serves as president of Old Abe Trail Brewing.