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Author Topic: USFL 2022??  (Read 5103 times)
Blue In BC
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« on: September 28, 2021, 05:20:27 PM »

Anyone hearing information about determining teams, cities involved, hiring of coaches and management? When do they expect to begin recruitment if those decisions aren't in place.

I haven't heard squat since the original announcement.
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2021, 01:28:01 PM »

Just a re-fresh. Anybody know what's happening with USFL plans to play in 2022? Depending on salary levels we could see some players shift to their rosters as extra income opportunity?
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theaardvark
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2021, 04:17:38 PM »

Saw an announcement on twitter of some of the executives hired and a broadcaster...
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theaardvark
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2021, 04:39:53 PM »

Oh, it was XFL2023... https://www.xfl.com/xfl-announces-executive-leadership-team
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2021, 06:48:10 PM »

Here's something about what might happen. All games in a one city bubble. Nothing about coaches or players being signed yet or budgets. I'm wondering if we see some CFL player look at the USFL as an extra opportunity for a paycheck before returning to CFL. Depending on salary, it might create opportunity for the 1st year players or players reaching the end of their possible CFL careers.

The proposed season would end at the beginning of July so that makes possible CFL players crossing over problematic in so much as missing some or all of TC. With so many CFL players approaching possible free agency and not knowing USFL SMS levels, its too early to know impact. Coaches and players might on the move south though.



On October 12, 2021 it was published that the league is in serious discussion with the city of Birmingham, Alabama about the possibility of the USFL playing all of its games in the city. According to initial information, Birmingham will be responsible for housing the players during the season at the price of about $15 million (47,000 hotel rooms), while the league would play the bubble season at Protective Stadium and Legion Field.[16][17]

The proposal includes eight-team 10-week season with two additional playoff rounds, from April 15 through July 3, 2022, with broadcast proposal as follows: 25% on Fox, 25% on NBC, 25% of Fox Sports and 25% of games on the USA Network.[18][19] The Birmingham Stallions is expected to be included in the first season.[1]
« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 06:55:05 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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Blue In BC
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2022, 12:20:53 PM »

Ok. 1st games are this weekend. I'm going to watch / channel surf to see what this looks like. Interested to see what attendance is like etc. I only see 2 of 4 games being broadcast though.
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Jesse
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2022, 03:10:54 PM »

I keep hearing things about different leagues, but there are so many start ups, I never know which is which.
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theaardvark
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2022, 05:17:55 PM »

fubotv?  never heard of it... supposed to be a free trial, carrying all the games. 

So, every game is a Birmingham home game, even if they don't play... so obviously not a gate oriented league...
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2022, 12:19:46 PM »

fubotv?  never heard of it... supposed to be a free trial, carrying all the games. 

So, every game is a Birmingham home game, even if they don't play... so obviously not a gate oriented league...

Games are showing up on NBC / Fox here in Vancouver.  In theory there are 4 games a week and 40 in total during the season: 8 X 10 divided by 2 = 40 games. I don't know whether all 4 games are being broadcast each week in the US. If that marketplace is only seeing the same 2 games a week that's not going to help.

Since all the games are being played in Birmingham that isn't going to promote live attendance after the 1st week?

I wonder what ticket costs are like but nobody is going to 4 games of anything over a weekend.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 01:47:44 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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Blue In BC
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2022, 02:05:14 PM »

Just heard some info on the USFL on US news today.

Footballs will have " chips " which will allow exact tracking of forward distance achieved. That seems like a good idea although the forward point of the ball doesn't always indicate where the runner is touched down. Couldn't hurt though.

Two forward passes allowed behind LOS. Interesting but is there really time and distance behind LOS to try this before getting shmucked by defenders? Getting off a pass to a RB or receiver and him still having time to throw? Not sure how often we'll see this but it was something suggested as a improvement or new rule for CFL.

 Players will be mic'd and two will have cameras in helmets. CFL has done something like that with cameras on ref's. Not sure I like the idea of cameras on so many players with up close and personal views. It may create some " dizzying" views at speed and weird angles.

Chips under pads which can track speed and I suppose route running pattern? This might result in a video game analysis by the broadcasters? Could be very useful for coaches during game post game looking at what worked and what didn't. Not sure I need to see broadcasters showing where every little dot ( player ) was during each play or very often. Maybe a couple of big plays being reviewed at half time.

Drones being used. That's ok, just another version of sky cam which they might not have in Birmingham.

Anyway. It will be interesting to see how more technology is used and what is a benefit and where it's just over the top.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2022, 04:46:31 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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theaardvark
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2022, 09:09:16 PM »

On FOX 203 and NBC 202 tonight at 6:30...
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theaardvark
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2022, 02:23:40 AM »

For a first broadcast, not too bad.  Mike Riley, 2 Grey cups... not a single mention of his time in the CFL....

Actually entertaining, although Riley shifted to 100% ground game.  Difference in the game, 2 misses FG, including a 22 yarder...
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2022, 12:25:32 PM »

I watched most of 1st half and the last few minutes of the game. Overall seemed reasonably entertaining and a close contest. A few bugs to iron out in the 1st broadcast with camera work.

A couple of punts had drone camera from behind the punter. Another punt was an aerial view. I also only saw one helmet cam but as I thought that's not all that informative or interesting. Mic'd coaches was just " noise" from my point of view.

Announced crowd was 17,500 but apparently 40,000 seats sold ( that's stadium capacity ) and that was for the actual home team.  I'm not convinced the business model can succeed with every game played in one stadium. Who will go to 4 games every weekend for 10 weeks.

It seems some games are broadcast on subscription networks only ( 2 per week )??  I wonder how many will have the ability to watch every game?

Revenue needs to come from somewhere and this looks like a difficult model.

Playoff games will be moved to Canton so it's a neutral site game. All that makes it difficult to gain an association for any team. No home games etc, etc. Will that build a following?

I'll check out today's game for awhile and see what crowd size is like.

Ticket prices vary from $23 to $55 and and could vary game to game based on supply demand!!!  That's optimistic. lol Realistically I envision attendance dropping week to week as the 4 games per week takes it's toll.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2022, 12:42:16 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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Blue In BC
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2022, 03:24:01 PM »

What the ?? Game # 2 is delayed due to rain. That means that games # 3 and # 4 are also pushed out since they are all playing in Birmingham. Currently they are re-broadcasting yesterdays game. Why would they schedule games on Easter Sunday?

lol
« Last Edit: April 17, 2022, 03:25:52 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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theaardvark
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2022, 07:01:37 PM »

With Fox Sports the sole owner, and every game being played in one stadium until the playoffs, I'm not sure there is any substance behind actual city names on franchises.  No real "home teams"...


I'm working today, and my "Bluecurve" does not get NBC or FOX... can't seem to access it elsewise.  Fubo is a paid subscription service, I guess they will see if their subscriptions get a bump after the free trials...

Three games for a day when most of the target audience is off?  Sounds like optimal scheduling...

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famicommander
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2022, 07:04:43 PM »

Dead on arrival.

17,500 in the building, 40,000 tickets distributed (not sold; most were given away for free)
 
Probably about 1,000, maybe less, for game 2.

The TV ratings are even more dire
USFL 2022 game 1 TV ratings: 0.4 rating, 2.93M viewers (Fox and NBC combined)
XFL 2020 game 1 TV ratings: 1.0, 3.30M viewers (didn't complete the season)
AAF 2019 game 1 TV ratings: 0.9, 3.25M viewers (didn't complete the season)

The total viewership doesn't look TOO horrible but you have to remember that this was the first game broadcast on two major networks at the same time since Super Bowl 1.

But the 0.4 rating number? That's catastrophic. The ratings are the numbers that the advertisers pay for. Coming in at under half the mark set by two leagues that didn't even manage to finish their first respective seasons is unspeakably bad.

The numbers are only going to go down from here. There won't be any more simulcasts and several games will be on cable or streaming.

This is a one and done league, and that's assuming they even complete the season.

EDIT:
for perspective, there were CFL playoff games on cable TV in the US last year that pulled a 0.1.

The USFL premiere did a 0.2 on Fox and a 0.2 on NBC for a combined 0.4.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2022, 07:10:24 PM by famicommander » Logged
Blue In BC
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2022, 07:52:28 PM »

Game 2 was not as interesting as game 1. Looked more like a pre-season game where teams have not yet developed chemistry and being familiar with the play book. No idea which of the 8 teams is projected to be the better teams of the 8 teams.

A few good plays, a few bad plays and a few inept plays. Timing off, wet football account for some of that.

The bigger issue: Were there more than 100 fans in the stands? YIKES!!! The last two games are on subscription networks so I won't be able to see what happens there but that's not a good start for the 1st weekend.

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famicommander
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2022, 12:23:36 AM »

Nobody showed up to game 3 either, and game 4 was canceled due to weather.

Definitely nothing to worry about for CFL fans from this clown shoes operation.
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2022, 12:51:52 AM »

Nobody showed up to game 3 either, and game 4 was canceled due to weather.

Definitely nothing to worry about for CFL fans from this clown shoes operation.

If that's all they accomplished in week 1 then they may not survive the season. Too bad for the players that work so hard.
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theaardvark
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2022, 02:45:24 PM »

All the players are getting paid, and all are getting the opportunity to get on NFL or even CFL radar with the exposure.  The play calling and D might make a vanilla pudding seem like a flavour explosion, but still, there have been flashes of interesting play. 

Haven't really seem any of the rules make a difference, nice to see actual kickoffs though. 

The drones are annoying, and the helmet cams even worse.  Both need some heavy duty image stabilization to make them even watchable. 

Might be the best thing for the players if the league folds just before CFL training camp Wink  There have been a couple players I wouldn't mind getting a look at on the wide field.

I think I;d be betting the under on the season lasting 5 games... FOXsports needed this to be a homerun, even with all the partners it is spreading the risk over.  I can't see FUBO getting any subscriptions from this, and if anything, NBC has an incentive to use whatever loopholes they have to get out of this and leave FOX holding this big bag of doo doo.
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Jesse
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2022, 02:51:36 PM »

I still don't understand how this keeps being tried.
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theaardvark
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2022, 03:19:06 PM »

I still don't understand how this keeps being tried.

There is the NFL, NCAA and there are regional semi-pro leagues... finding a sweet spot post NCAA and under NFL but more than Semipro is that brass ring people / networks are willing to invest in to try and capture lighting in a bottle, and on a small investment, reap huge rewards. 

Problem is, no gate, no name recognition, gambling that might actually be worse than roulette, and a quality of talent/play/coaching (not because the coaches are bad, but rather they have no time to coach up players into their systems), this just does not have the capacity to get to a sustainable level of watchable product.  FOX will hemorrhage money into this league for a while, but how long until the writing is on the wall?  FOX has the ideal viewership for this product (although there should have been more teams based south of the Mason / Dixon) but even FOX knows when to pull the plug.  I can't see them getting to the playoffs even...

Getting a crowd in the stands would make a huge difference, if they found a way to promote that and get at least one side of the stadium papered up with fans to get some excitement that might get infectious to the viewers, they might have a chance... give away TShirts or Shiseys of the teams playing in each game with each ticket, sell family packs that include food, shirts and foam fingers and such, it might not be a gate driven league, but fans in the stands are part of the production value.  If you aren't putting fans in the stands, eliminate them completely.  Focus on the on-field, and eliminate the eyesore of a 90% empty stadium.
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2022, 04:42:10 PM »

There is the NFL, NCAA and there are regional semi-pro leagues... finding a sweet spot post NCAA and under NFL but more than Semipro is that brass ring people / networks are willing to invest in to try and capture lighting in a bottle, and on a small investment, reap huge rewards. 

Problem is, no gate, no name recognition, gambling that might actually be worse than roulette, and a quality of talent/play/coaching (not because the coaches are bad, but rather they have no time to coach up players into their systems), this just does not have the capacity to get to a sustainable level of watchable product.  FOX will hemorrhage money into this league for a while, but how long until the writing is on the wall?  FOX has the ideal viewership for this product (although there should have been more teams based south of the Mason / Dixon) but even FOX knows when to pull the plug.  I can't see them getting to the playoffs even...

Getting a crowd in the stands would make a huge difference, if they found a way to promote that and get at least one side of the stadium papered up with fans to get some excitement that might get infectious to the viewers, they might have a chance... give away TShirts or Shiseys of the teams playing in each game with each ticket, sell family packs that include food, shirts and foam fingers and such, it might not be a gate driven league, but fans in the stands are part of the production value.  If you aren't putting fans in the stands, eliminate them completely.  Focus on the on-field, and eliminate the eyesore of a 90% empty stadium.

We'll see what attendance looks like for next week and possibly the 3rd week.  If it doesn't approve quickly I can see the potential to not finish the season.  Couldn't find any actual attendance for the other games played yesterday. Don't have access to the game re-scheduled for today so that's another test.

I understand the games being somewhat vanilla as a new league, rosters and no re-season games. That's only a small issue. It all comes down to the ability to generate some revenue. I found it stunning to see nobody in the stands for the 2nd game for the 1st week of games. Horrible indication to start.

Some of the players looked like they could have a future somewhere. OTOH it's a little like watching US college games. Sometimes it's more a matter of unequal competition making some look better than they actual are.
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theaardvark
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2022, 05:36:26 PM »

With only one possible "home team" ever building a "Home" crowd, gate is going to be a non starter. 

I think by week three, opening the stadium to fans will be a net loss, and that part of the league should be abandoned until they actually have "home games" in the cities the teams are "from".

Will the teams build some cohesion and confidence as they go forward, or will it get worse?  No idea where these teams are housed and or are practicing, what kind of facilities they have, where the players are bunking (there is a reference to the league providing hotels at $75/night with the option for 2 players to share), but still, that's about 500 players, and 100 support staff all in one city, needing at least 4 practice facilities (if they share 50/50).  There is a lot of infrastructure that needs to be managed, things going on that are going to be huge distractions as compared to a mature, professionally run league.  A Div 1 college team probably has more invested in practice facilities and support staff than this entire league. 

They are going to get marginally better as time goes by, just through repetition and familiarity, but are they going to get "good"?  Are we going to see consistent play that includes both running and passing?  It seems they are falling back to ground and pound as soon as anything goes wrong, which you can do in 4 down ball...
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2022, 05:51:41 PM »

I think players are essentially in a type of bubble. Everybody is housed in hotels around the city and use multiple fields to practice. I suppose they might use high school / college fields for example. Since nobody has to fly to games, the non football costs are reduced quite a bit. No time zones to deal with either.

Bad weather on a given weekend can really mess up game scheduling though.
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theaardvark
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2022, 08:13:49 PM »

I think players are essentially in a type of bubble. Everybody is housed in hotels around the city and use multiple fields to practice. I suppose they might use high school / college fields for example. Since nobody has to fly to games, the non football costs are reduced quite a bit. No time zones to deal with either.

Bad weather on a given weekend can really mess up game scheduling though.

A bubble, eh?  Never even occured to me that we haven't heard boo about COVID testing or protocols for the USFL.  Biden is providing free RAT's to anyone who asks, betting that's the extent of their COVID protocols...
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2022, 12:19:33 PM »

A bubble, eh?  Never even occured to me that we haven't heard boo about COVID testing or protocols for the USFL.  Biden is providing free RAT's to anyone who asks, betting that's the extent of their COVID protocols...

Not a covid bubble. It's just a bubble because every team is based in Birmingham. Nobody has to fly back to anywhere on a weekly basis. I see this morning one player was released due to breaking some team rules but don't know if that was covid related or not.

Roster costs, coaches costs and living expenses ( food and hotel ) are going to add up quickly. It's possible players have to pay their own living costs. I'd be curious to see the projections of team costs against revenues ( we won't see it ). 
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theaardvark
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« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2022, 02:13:36 PM »

Not a covid bubble. It's just a bubble because every team is based in Birmingham. Nobody has to fly back to anywhere on a weekly basis. I see this morning one player was released due to breaking some team rules but don't know if that was covid related or not.

Roster costs, coaches costs and living expenses ( food and hotel ) are going to add up quickly. It's possible players have to pay their own living costs. I'd be curious to see the projections of team costs against revenues ( we won't see it ). 

With the entire league owned by one entity, and all playing out of one facility, with the players all paid out of one pool, there are no "team" costs.  No chance the "Gamblers" go bankrupt, its all or nothing.  FOX sports holds the pursestrings and is the biggest client for the product, so it will be easy for them to decide either way, either "run at a loss" or pull the plug, whichever decision is made, FOX is the biggest one affected.


Yes, players are 100% responsible for their expenses, but are guaranteed hotel rooms at $75/night with an option to share that with another player.  But they all are eligible for tuition free education... https://xflnewshub.com/alt-football/pr-usfl-to-provide-players-staff-tuition-free-debt-free-college-degree-program/ 
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2022, 02:57:32 PM »

I know the league is owned by one entity. Team / player costs $75 / night add up whether players share a room or not. That's about $5000 per player for the 10 weeks more or less. It will add about $2M to running the league above roster and coaching costs. Air fare bringing players to Birmingham and then leaving at the end of the season etc.

Team costs are the off field costs I was referring too.

Overall the total cost could be in the $5M - $6M per team X 8 = $40M = $48M operating costs for the league. The question still remains how much of a loss is the " entity " willing to take in the 1st season?
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theaardvark
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« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2022, 03:18:29 PM »

I know the league is owned by one entity. Team / player costs $75 / night add up whether players share a room or not. That's about $5000 per player for the 10 weeks more or less. It will add about $2M to running the league above roster and coaching costs. Air fare bringing players to Birmingham and then leaving at the end of the season etc.

Team costs are the off field costs I was referring too.

Overall the total cost could be in the $5M - $6M per team X 8 = $40M = $48M operating costs for the league. The question still remains how much of a loss is the " entity " willing to take in the 1st season?

The $5000 per player housing cost comes out of the $45k they pay each player, no need to double count it...  nevertheless, yes, the league is going to cost much more than your high estimate of $48 mil.  I'd peg it closer to $60-80 mil and maybe more depending on stadium costs, broadcasting infrastructure (they have more cameras and tech than the NFL).  FOX is footing the entire bill, and getting some back from broadcasting partners, but I can most of that being performance based compensation dependent on measurables.  Which, so far, have been cringe worthy.

The fact that FOX has committed $150-200 mil over 3 years to the league puts the annual budget at $50-66 million, taking into account zero revenue.  If they anticipated even a small revenue generation, that would put the projected costs at $60-80 mil.  Which about jives.

How long does FOX feed the league?  How badly does it need the content?  How quickly will partners abandon the league, and it becomes 100% FOX broadcasted?  Are 45 3 hour broadcasts worth $60 million?  Can they generate $1.333 million per broadcast?  Because there is no value in rebroadcasts, or much ancillary revenue when home teams are never in their hoime city...
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2022, 04:07:17 PM »

I was being generous with my low estimate of costs. Everything from equipment, laundry and stadium costs all factor into operational costs. Didn't know the housing costs come out of the salary costs but there are variables like the $1K per player for winning a game. Additional costs moving to Ohio for playoff games.

Anyway. I'll take another look at games broadcast over the next couple of weeks. One to check quality of the games and 2nd to see what happens with attendance. None of the games were blow outs which was a bonus.

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theaardvark
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« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2022, 05:14:45 PM »

I was being generous with my low estimate of costs. Everything from equipment, laundry and stadium costs all factor into operational costs. Didn't know the housing costs come out of the salary costs but there are variables like the $1K per player for winning a game. Additional costs moving to Ohio for playoff games.

Anyway. I'll take another look at games broadcast over the next couple of weeks. One to check quality of the games and 2nd to see what happens with attendance. None of the games were blow outs which was a bonus.



They doubled the number of cameras, and added in geolocation chips to the football for better placement and review of scoring plays.  But you still need competent directors deciding which cameras to use when, competent drone operators to decide the proper angles to fly the buggers at, and some sort of improved image stabalization for the helmet cams and drones. 

Not sure what you mean by quality of the games, if you mean are the teams competitive and are the games full of interesting/exciting plays, pretty sure the calibre of player and the amount of coaching will make that impossible.  If you mean production values, sure, those will improve, but how much and how fast, I guess we will see. 

As to gate, I think we might have seen its peak at game 1... next week, they should decide whether to only sell the bottom of the tv side of the stadium for $1 ticket and try to get a "crowd" to impress the TV audience, or shut down the stadium completely...  this is not going to be a gate driven league, playing out of one stadium...  and having a "crowd" of 10k for the Birmingham games and a few hundred for the rest is going to look real bad...
 
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« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2022, 06:19:42 PM »

Games could be competitive which help make things interesting. Initially I didn't see many penalties but then started to see dropped passes and bad throws. That could be that chemistry is still a work in progress.

A few good players stood out. Whether that was because they were good or because defences were not good is uncertain. Coaches have good experience which is an advantage.

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theaardvark
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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2022, 03:30:32 AM »

I guess we will see if a week of practice improve the play...
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TecnoGenius
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« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2022, 01:44:11 AM »

The drones are annoying, and the helmet cams even worse.  Both need some heavy duty image stabilization to make them even watchable. 

Ok games.  To me it's basically the same as AAF-level play.  OK, with a few remarkable players making some good plays.  I liked the AAF team names and uniforms more!

Ya, drones were awful.  The whining motors on every shot (even when it's not a drone shot the noise is picked up) gets old really fast.  Find a tech way to cancel out that noise!!  I didn't find the drone shots added much.  When they are in fast motion I started getting ill.  Too jerky.  It's like someone playing Doom on crack.

But I did like the helmet cams.  They only used them 2-3 times a game for a replay.  But this is mostly because I've never played the game in a helmet.  It's like that early scene in the Ladykillers movie.  See what it's really like, 1st person!  Used a couple of times a game, this is a neat addition.  Imagine having the helmet cam from AH on his '19 GC 20+ yard romp!

I get a bazillion of the Shaw packages on the newest tech and I can't even get all the weekly games.  WEAK.  I gotta subscribe to some stupid new streaming thing to see the rest?  Ya, good luck with that.

And some want to change CFL to the same lame boring 4 down model.... we'd look as bad as these USFL amateurs.
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« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2022, 03:01:06 PM »

Ok games.  To me it's basically the same as AAF-level play.  OK, with a few remarkable players making some good plays.  I liked the AAF team names and uniforms more!

Ya, drones were awful.  The whining motors on every shot (even when it's not a drone shot the noise is picked up) gets old really fast.  Find a tech way to cancel out that noise!!  I didn't find the drone shots added much.  When they are in fast motion I started getting ill.  Too jerky.  It's like someone playing Doom on crack.

But I did like the helmet cams.  They only used them 2-3 times a game for a replay.  But this is mostly because I've never played the game in a helmet.  It's like that early scene in the Ladykillers movie.  See what it's really like, 1st person!  Used a couple of times a game, this is a neat addition.  Imagine having the helmet cam from AH on his '19 GC 20+ yard romp!

I get a bazillion of the Shaw packages on the newest tech and I can't even get all the weekly games.  WEAK.  I gotta subscribe to some stupid new streaming thing to see the rest?  Ya, good luck with that.

And some want to change CFL to the same lame boring 4 down model.... we'd look as bad as these USFL amateurs.


The USFL 4 downs let them shift to a run only O pretty quick.  They should adopt 3 downs... Wink

I have no issues with using helmet cams or drones, as long as the tech is watchable.  The helmet cams are horrible production value.  The picture is jumpy, breaks up and is disorienting. Get a composite camera shot in there, with smoothing and image stabilization.  Then I'd love it... but as is, it is worthless.  And the drones, I have noise cancelling headphones that cost under $100 with that tech built in, c'mon... unless they are worried about scrubbing out the "crown noise" as well, but that shouldn't be an issue if the crowds continue the current trend...

And yeah, subscriptions to Peacock and Fubo are not in the plans... you want eyes on the games, put it all on FOX.  You created the league for content anyways... unless the idea was to get eye from other sources to see the product and then move to FOX when everyone else drops it.
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« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2022, 04:35:01 PM »

Watched most of the 1st half. Very disappointing. Only a couple of hundred fans in the stands? I suppose when you have a choice of 4 games over a weekend, you might choose only one. That might be the Stallions which is the " home " team in theory. I won't have access to that game but it will be interesting to see if their draw goes up or down after week one.

In fairness, these are totally new rosters and offensive chemistry doesn't exist yet. No pre season games to even fine tune a bit. Now in an 18 game schedule a slow start might not kill your play off chances. In a 10 game schedule it could be an early exit.

Lots of mistakes by coaches and players. Poor use of time outs, challenges etc. An early int on 4th down should have been knocked down not caught. Net result is the defence error cost them 24 yards.

Just saw a blatant face mask. Leagues need a bigger penalty similar to targeting in college football. That was not an incidental face mask. Every ref threw a flag and the player was pulled down  by an excessive grab and pull. High risk of injury.

Camera work still needs work. Looking at punts / kicks from above or behind the kicker not useful.

Helmet cam on the opening kick off return is like trying to avoid sea sickness. It makes you dizzy. Same as on one for a RB getting caught in the back field.

I may watch more of the 2nd half and some of tomorrow's game. I don't see how they can attract an audience when only half of the games are broadcast on FOX or ABC. Only 40 games in total and only 20 on network TV. Nobody in the stands for 4 of 5 games to date.

Horrible start continues.
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« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2022, 02:17:48 AM »

From what I've seen and read online, it sounds like the USFL is a disaster thus far.
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« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2022, 03:41:41 AM »

Thought the production values on this game were better... suspicious lack of crowd shots though.

No drone buzz...

Play was marginally better... but still not a professional level game, certainly not a CFL level...
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« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2022, 12:10:58 PM »

I think the XFL games were better in their short short 1st season. Not great but better than what I've seen so far in the USFL. Part of the problem is not being able to see parts of each game. No fans in the stands is an immediate downer as well.

Another game on at noon today that I'll watch part of in order to see how Dobson is doing.

Breakers rosters I found didn't show a player number for Dobson. I wonder if that indicates he isn't a starter?

EDIT: Dobson isn't listed as a starter. He may be injured, or on their PR. Or he simply was not yet as good as their other OL players.

A few good plays / players in the game by half time. Also some really inept plays, missed tackles. A couple of the cheer leaders are cute. Why do they have cheerleaders but no fans in the stands?

If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck then it's a duck. Cue taps.
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« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2022, 01:33:45 AM »

As the sole property of FOX Sports, I don't think they counted on gate, they gave up on gate by haing a single venue.

This is purely TV content.  The most surprising thing is that NBC is involved.  They must have a contract that is a no lose deal, that they pay for content only if they make money.

With FOX committing $250 mil to the league to operate (obviously that money is based on revenue streams, and not just a gift), if they are getting any traction with advertisers, or can generate sufficient viewership that could potentially be monitized, they will keep it going.  But, if they can't see that light at the end of the tunnel, the pin could be pulled at any time.

I'd set the over/under on 5 games, and take the under...   
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« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2022, 04:28:52 AM »

A few good players / players in the game by half time. Also some really inept plays, missed tackles. A couple of the cheer leaders are cute. Why do they have cheerleaders but no fans in the stands?

You noticed, didn't you?  Success!  Now you know why they are there.  Wink

Maybe NBC is involved simply to push those ads for Peacock?

Aards thinks 5 weeks?  Haven't they planned finances around a whole season?  I don't remember, did either AAF or XFL2 play a whole season and cup?  I recall seeing one... maybe it was spring-league though.  Someone start taking bets.

$250M?  For comparison, what's the total spend of the entire CFL?  Less than this?  Our product is just so much better.  We need to market more in the states... how can Americans tune in for this amateur hour and not the CFL??  Boggles the mind.

No drone buzz...

It looks like they ditched a ton of the drones for this week.  The wide-field shots previously would have drones clearly visible in shot.  Nothing visible this week.  Just the spidercam.  Smart move.  Put the drones in for special moments like kickoff, then keep them down or far away for most play.

Fans: The first Birmingham "home" game had tons of fans: at least half full.  The non-"home" games have almost no one.  I thought for a second they were just allowing friends/family of players?  If that's full-open to all comers, then the attendance is pathetic.  I'd go to non-WPG CFL games at IGF if we had a similar situation, but I'm weird.  (Good thing CFL never did that 1-city idea for covid.)

Quarterbacking seems to be the weakest link in USFL league so far.  Maybe the CFL cohort isn't so bad after all.
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« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2022, 06:06:19 AM »

Does anyone know if 66's man LDW is in USFL??
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« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2022, 11:51:07 AM »

Does anyone know if 66's man LDW is in USFL??


I don't think he is. He was in the XFL IIRC but might now be out of football.

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« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2022, 03:35:10 PM »


Quarterbacking seems to be the weakest link in USFL league so far.  Maybe the CFL cohort isn't so bad after all.


Very hard for a QB to build any repoire with rec's in a few weeks, some have played previously with one or more of thier teamates in college, and at least one has played in his coaches system for a period before.... those QB's seem "better" than the others. 

Remember, these QB's are getting the same wage as every other player, IIRC.  The best starting QB and the worst backup DB are getting the same paycheck, the DB gets even more if his team wins and the QB's team loses...

I have no idea how.why Sloter played most of the game with a "popped groin".  I guess having played for 6 NFL teams and been tried out in 26 different venues over the last few years, he does not want to give up any airtime he might be allowed...
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« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2022, 02:31:31 AM »

So, nothing on network TV this week? 

Weird...
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« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2022, 12:46:26 PM »

So, nothing on network TV this week? 

Weird...

There were 2 games on Fox yesterday. I watched parts of both. No fans for the 1st game but there was a crowd of a few thousand for the Birmingham game. Couldn't tell how large it was but the most I've seen since game 1.

Didn't find either game all that interesting. Aside from the quality level of play, I don't have any association with players, team cities involved etc. Part of the fan aspect requires a crowd involvement supporting their team.

I wasn't watching much but I think even that will decrease for me. Time to focus on our draft and up and coming TC.

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« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2022, 06:44:05 PM »

There were 2 games on Fox yesterday. I watched parts of both. No fans for the 1st game but there was a crowd of a few thousand for the Birmingham game. Couldn't tell how large it was but the most I've seen since game 1.

Didn't find either game all that interesting. Aside from the quality level of play, I don't have any association with players, team cities involved etc. Part of the fan aspect requires a crowd involvement supporting their team.

I wasn't watching much but I think even that will decrease for me. Time to focus on our draft and up and coming TC.



Weird, I guess when I set my PVR for USFL, it didn't pick up the FOX channel, just NBC... so I didn't see either broadcast game this week. 

Have to wonder if Fubo or Peacock are getting any traffic..

As to association based on city... other than Birmingham, there are no team/city alliances.  And not many recognizable names at all... or any that have stood out enough to encourage following them...

Is limiting broadcast games a good way to build followers? 
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« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2022, 07:09:32 PM »

Weird, I guess when I set my PVR for USFL, it didn't pick up the FOX channel, just NBC... so I didn't see either broadcast game this week. 

Have to wonder if Fubo or Peacock are getting any traffic..

As to association based on city... other than Birmingham, there are no team/city alliances.  And not many recognizable names at all... or any that have stood out enough to encourage following them...

Is limiting broadcast games a good way to build followers? 


I'm wondering the same thing about limiting broadcast games. Two games of four per week are only on the Fubo or other pay type networks.

I don't understand why they did this and what the plans for 2023 might look like. Seems like a horrible business model IMO.
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« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2022, 07:11:53 PM »


I'm wondering the same thing abut limiting broadcast games. Two games of four per week are only on the Fubo or other pay type networks.

I don't understand why they did this and what the plans for 2023 might look like. Seems like a horrible business model IMO.

I guess they are trying to cover all the bases, might be trying to prove the league can drive business to the pay networks, and if that fails, next year be 100% FOX content...
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« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2022, 01:33:46 AM »

I guess they are trying to cover all the bases, might be trying to prove the league can drive business to the pay networks, and if that fails, next year be 100% FOX content...

Viewership was dropping on Fox as well. If they plan to continue with all games in Birmingham that's not good. It's also hasn't built up interest in the other franchise cities in theory. Also the XFL is due to return in 2023 and that overlaps part of their season.
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« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2022, 07:33:43 PM »

So, for those looking for Dobson in a USFL jersey...

Dave Naylor@TSNDaveNaylor

OL Liam Dobson, No. 3 overall pick of last year?s @CFL Draft, will attend mini-camps with the @ChicagoBears
 and @Saints. Had signed a @USFL contract this spring but denied P1 work visa because league does not have $10 million in revenue, according to agent Marty Magid. #bombers


So, the USFL is so lame that you can't get a work visa to play for them...  #sad
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« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2022, 07:54:54 PM »

So, for those looking for Dobson in a USFL jersey...

Dave Naylor@TSNDaveNaylor

OL Liam Dobson, No. 3 overall pick of last year?s @CFL Draft, will attend mini-camps with the @ChicagoBears
 and @Saints. Had signed a @USFL contract this spring but denied P1 work visa because league does not have $10 million in revenue, according to agent Marty Magid. #bombers


So, the USFL is so lame that you can't get a work visa to play for them...  #sad


Well that's interesting. Not good for Dobson. Bears drafted three OL and the Saints at least 2. Even making it to an NFL TC might not happen. So he could be in Winnipeg in 2022.  Those camps run May 6 - 16th.
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« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2022, 08:02:42 PM »

Well that's interesting. Not good for Dobson. Bears drafted three OL and the Saints at least 2. Even making it to an NFL TC might not happen. So he could be in Winnipeg in 2022.  Those camps run May 6 - 16th.

But with his passport.. oh wait... no ratio in the NFL...

The question then moves to, is it better to bounce around looking to get a PR spot in the NFL, or come to Canada and play.  Can he land a spot on the Bombers and get on the field?  He could easily take Eli's spot, but can he get Dejarlais'?   Because if he wants to get a kick at teh NFL, the best bet might be to take the route Dejarlais did...

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« Reply #54 on: May 02, 2022, 08:36:33 PM »

But with his passport.. oh wait... no ratio in the NFL...

The question then moves to, is it better to bounce around looking to get a PR spot in the NFL, or come to Canada and play.  Can he land a spot on the Bombers and get on the field?  He could easily take Eli's spot, but can he get Dejarlais'?   Because if he wants to get a kick at teh NFL, the best bet might be to take the route Dejarlais did...



Desjarlais signed a futures contract and will be at an NFL TC. Dobson is just a mini camp invite.

The Saints just signed 17 UDFA players.

I think Dobson doesn't make it to an NFL TC.
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« Reply #55 on: May 02, 2022, 09:38:08 PM »

Desjarlais signed a futures contract and will be at an NFL TC. Dobson is just a mini camp invite.

The Saints just signed 17 UDFA players.

I think Dobson doesn't make it to an NFL TC.

Exactly, but not making a TC doesn't mean you can't work your way onto a PR somewhere along the line... teams are always trying out hoggies... so there is a chance he could find a PR spot eventually.  But coming north gets him a PR spot for sure, possibly an AR spot and he could earn the chance to play.
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« Reply #56 on: May 02, 2022, 10:07:35 PM »

Exactly, but not making a TC doesn't mean you can't work your way onto a PR somewhere along the line... teams are always trying out hoggies... so there is a chance he could find a PR spot eventually.  But coming north gets him a PR spot for sure, possibly an AR spot and he could earn the chance to play.

No but for Canadian rookies that's not a good sign. There are probably 50+ import OL that didn't get drafted that have a better chance to at least attend an NFL TC.

Dobson was the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 draft. He'll make the roster on just that basis alone. He might end up as the non dressed player or bump our # 5 or # 6 Canadian OL.
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« Reply #57 on: May 02, 2022, 10:20:13 PM »

You are both right no way he makes it to an NFL camp. Great news more top quality OL Canadian help enroute in time. Cool
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« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2022, 03:11:17 PM »

The question is, can he figure out that chasing around after an NFL PR spot hinders his development of ever getting to an NFL roster, whereas a couple years of solid CFL coaching and play gets him both a paycheck and an opportunity like Dejarlais just got...
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« Reply #59 on: May 05, 2022, 08:22:21 PM »

I guess they are trying to cover all the bases, might be trying to prove the league can drive business to the pay networks, and if that fails, next year be 100% FOX content...

Haha, you're killing me!  Optimist  Shocked Shocked Grin Grin Grin Wink
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« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2022, 04:25:30 PM »

I watched part of the two games on Fox over the weekend. Actually I've watched less and less as the league has continued into it's 4th week. QB play for the most part is not very good. Football starts and stops with the man in charge.

A few players have stood out but that might be more about the lack of quality opponents. OTOH a few players could have a chance at another NFL look.

With so few fans in the stands it's just depressing to watch. I'll have to check and see what viewer ship is like from week 4. If it continues to decline that's not good.
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« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2022, 04:48:15 PM »

Watched both games... Bertolet kicking, played in Hamilton last year (was cut in Nov after hitting only 67% during the year).  No mention of CFL.  Only A&M...  so I'm guessing there is a ban on mentioning CFL...  they were gushing about his performance and how wonderful the teams scouting as to have found him, and have him come in and make some long FGs.

Games were unimpressive, play was mediocre, refereeing was sadly lacking even with the reviews, production values dropped again, two spider cams, no drones, a few handhelds running around the field, not much mic'd up, no helmet cams. 

Looks like they are scaling back production dramatically.  And the lack of crowds... yeesh.  During the Birmingham game, the commentators actually were mentioning that the teams had to put up with crowd noise for a change... and then jumped to "Not a lot of crowd noise"...

Lots of injuries, players aren't in shape, and aren't working as nice, clean units.  One of the commentators was arguing an OPI on a rub route where the receivers had too much separation and the "rub" actually reached out to deflect the DB... and the commentator disputed it was OPI initially...

Lots of time outs for no reason, and the "Clock stops on a first down in the final 2 minutes" did not seem to actually be the case...

I can't see a season 2, I would be surprised if they finish out the season except that they may have contractual obligations that may make it cheaper to play that pay out non performance penalties...

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« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2022, 12:14:42 PM »

Pretty grim when the 1st pick in their draft is released and picked by another team. QB Shea Patterson.
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« Reply #63 on: June 28, 2022, 02:46:47 PM »

Cue taps after the playoff game this week. I'm not convinced the USFL exists in 2023.

EDIT: In theory the are increasing their roster size from 50 to 75 ( including PR ).
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