Football Isn't Over; Everything to Expect with the Newest League

While the Rams are the newly-crowned champions of the NFL, football fans hoping for more gridiron action don't have a long wait with the new United States Football League set to get underway in a matter of months.

The league gets underway on April 16, kicking off its inaugural season, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The league will be compromised of eight teams—the New Jersey Generals, Michigan Panthers, Philadelphia Stars, Pittsburgh Maulers, Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and the Tampa Bay Bandits. The April 16 match-up will have the New Jersey Generals taking on the Birmingham Stallions. All 43 games will be played in Birmingham, Alabama, regardless of the city they represent.

We are the USFL

According to Brian Woods, the USFL President of Football Operations, the excitement for league play is palpable.

"We're excited to take this next major step in the development of a new USFL. "These eight teams form the core of our initial league membership and will represent an exciting brand of professional football coming this spring. We look forward to the start of our inaugural season."

Those eight teams will be divided up into two divisions—the North and the South. The Panthers, Generals, Stars and Maulers will make up the North, while the Stallions, Gamblers, Breakers and Bandits will comprise the South. The entire season will run 10 weeks, from April until July, with 40 regular-season games, two-division champion games, and commencing in the USFL championship game, according to Sporting News.

Fans will be able to view the games on Saturdays and Sundays on Fox, NBC, FS1 and USA. A few games will also be played on Mondays and Fridays.

Rosters will be compromised of former college and NFL players. Additionally, recent high school graduates can take part in the league as the USFL does not have rules prohibiting such players. A league-wide draft is set to take place on February 22 and 23.

Even before the draft, the league already features some names likely familiar to NFL fans, according to Fox Sports. Former Titans and Rams coach Jeff Fisher will coach the Michigan Panthers, and former Kansas City Chiefs head coach and Pittsburgh Steeler offensive coordinator Todd Haley will call the shots for the Tampa Bay Bandits as their head coach. Other notable head coaches include Kevin Sumlin, the former Texas A&M head coach, as the head coach of the Houston Gamblers and longtime NCAA football coach son of former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, Skip Holtz as the coach of the Birmingham Stallions.

While April 16 will be the first game of the USFL's inaugural 2022 season, this isn't the first go-around for the league. The USFL originally debuted in the 1980s, beginning in 1983, but after only three seasons, due to financial issues, the league folded, according to NBC New York. While the league may not have lasted, several noteworthy players were in that league, including Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Reggie White, Herschel Walker and Steve Young. Former President Donald Trump was also an owner of the 1980s version of the New Jersey Generals, according to ESPN.

A FOOTBALL
The USFL gets underway on April 16. Above, a Wilson NFL football on the field with no players during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Denver Broncos on September 24, 2017, at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images