ESPN Films: 30 for 30

Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?

  • Season 1
  • , Episode 3  | 
  • Aired: 10/20/2009
    • Length: 02:25:47
    • Plays: ???
Synopsis >

In 1983 the upstart United States Football League (USFL) had the audacity to challenge the almighty NFL. The new league did the unthinkable by playing in the spring and plucked three straight Heisman Trophy winners away from the NFL. The 12-team league USFL played before crowds that averaged 25,000, and started off with respectable TV ratings. But with success came expansion and new owners, including a certain high profile and impatient real estate baron whose vision was at odds with the league's founders. Soon, the USFL was reduced to waging a desperate anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL, which yielded an ironic verdict that effectively forced the league out of business. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, Academy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning director Mike Tollin, himself once a USFL employee, will showcase the remarkable influence of those three years on football history and attempt to answer the question, Who Killed the USFL?

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