February 8 is the new July 9.
Former NFL head coach Jeff Fisher, whose “7-9 bullshit” remark from Hard Knocks gradually and inevitably made his name synonymous with nine-loss seasons, finished his first USFL campaign with only eight losses. Unfortunately, he had only two wins to go along with the two-thirds-of-a-dozen Ls.
Thanks to what the USFL should have called “The Stephen Ross Rule,” a season-ending victory by the 1-8 Panthers over the 1-8 Maulers gave the Panthers the first pick in next year’s USFL draft. Of course, it’s unclear what that really means at this point, for various reasons.
Who will be in the draft pool? Will Fisher even be coaching the Panthers? Will the USFL even exist in 2023?
It’s unclear how well the USFL has been doing financially. After some early chatter regarding ratings that looked to be good enough to sustain the league for another season, there hasn’t been much out there about viewership in recent weeks. And perhaps all that that implies.
Complicating matters for the USFL in 2023 is the return of the XFL, which has partnered with ESPN. Which will surely showcase the three-letter spring league on its various platforms, while continuing to ignore the existence of its four-letter counterpart.