Let's Do a USFL Logo Comparison

All that's old is new again

Do you remember the USFL? It was a spring football league that played for three seasons from 1983 to 1985. It was a success….until a certain owner named Donald Trump ruined the league by demanding that the league play in the fall, dooming it to a bad lawsuit that bankrupted the league.

Anyway, the USFL is back. And they announced their inaugural eight teams today for the 2022 season. Every team is a relaunch of an old USFL team, even though the league is playing its entire 2022 season in a bubble. So let’s compare the new logos with the old logos and see; which ones are better.

Birmingham Stallions

Honestly, that’s a pretty slick logo. Especially compared to the lame old logo.

That new logo certainly pops, especially compared to that eighties special original logo. The Stallions were a three-year mainly success story of the league. The B secondary logo looks like an homage to the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football.

Old Or New? New, by a mile

Houston Gamblers

This should look familiar

The G-logo is almost a 100% accurate replica of the original logo. The serifed fonts are an upgrade too. That secondary logo is pretty stupid though. I get it, but it exists for the purpose of existing. Still not sure Gamblers is a fit for Houston, but whatever.

Old Or New? Push. They’re very similar.

Michigan Panthers

These colors did not age well. Nor did the original Panthers logo, which looked like something out of the still shot of something I played on my Colecovision.

While I understand that Detroit is desperate for quality football, I’m not sure spring football is it.

Old Or New? Push, because neither of them are that great

New Jersey Generals

Another very similar looking design.

The new version is an upgrade by a country mile. The modernized wordmark looks a whole lot better than the eighties version in the original. The five-star General’s emblem looks a whole lot better too and looks more similar to the presentation of stars in the rank of a five-star General. The NJ-mark is nice, but unnecessary. Looks a little too much like the New Jersey Devils logo, really.

Old Or New? New

New Orleans Breakers

Selecting New Orleans is a weird selection because the Breakers only played the 1984 season in NOLA. They played in Boston in 1983, in New Orleans in 1984, and moved to Portland in 1985 in advance of the move to the fall. The logos stayed the same, however.

The modern version of the Breakers logo is a very nice touch, as is the NOLA word-mark. The old logo looked a little too much like the logo of The Wave from that Afterschool Special.

Old Or New? New

Philadelphia Stars

I for one prefer the Baltimore Stars, which is where the Stars relocated when the league made the decision to go to the fall, even though the team never played in Baltimore and had to play in College Park instead. It was a long story. Anyway.

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for the Stars logo because of the Baltimore connection. But this is one of those instances of “just because something is old doesn’t mean it is good”. There’s really no way to make this better. The name doesn’t make it easy to come up with anything good. Just look at some of the other teams who have used Stars over the years.

So I get it but there are only so many ways to reinvent a bad idea. The Bell is a cool design, but a Bell has nothing to with the Stars and itself is reminiscent of the old World Football League’s Philadelphia Bell.

Old Or New? New, but again, not great source material.

Pittsburgh Maulers

Another bad name that comes back to life. The keystone logo, however, is awesome. It’s all an upgrade over the old logo.

I can’t imagine a situation where Pittsburgh football fans are going to be real enthused to be wearing purple merchandise.

Old Or New? New

Just look at the new one compared to the old one.

There is literally no comparison here between the old one and the new one. The detail in the new logo is lightyears beyond the old logo.

Old Or New? New

The Verdict: The USFL did a great job capturing the vibe and the designs of these old teams and updating them for modern times. My questions for the league has more to do with why some teams were selected over others.

Why did Pittsburgh get selected when their colors are a turnoff to Steelers fans?

How come Memphis, Oakland, San Antonio or Tulsa were not selected? Those three cities do not (currently) have an NFL team and the team names (Showboats, Invaders, Gunslingers and Outlaws) lend themselves to slick modernizations.

Regardless, the USFL is well positioned to capitalize on the nostalgia that football fans have for spring football in general and the USFL in particular. For their sake, lets hope they make it longer than the AAF or the XFL did.