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USFL Teams: Los Angeles Express

By Wikipedia

The Los Angeles Express was a team in the United States Football League, an attempt to form a second major professional football league to compete with the established National Football League.

At a glance...
Franchise Facts
Established 1982
Located Los Angeles
Owners Bill Daniels (1983)
Alan Harmon (1983)
William Oldenburg (1984-85)
Records
  W L T %
1983  8 10 0 .444
1984  10 8 0 .556
1985  3 15 0 .167
Postseason/Titles
1984 Beat Michigan 27-20 in 3OT
Lost to Arizona 35-23
Nicknames
Los Angeles Express
Stadium
Los Angeles Coliseum (92,516)
Pierce College (final game)

The Express competed in all three of the USFL seasons played, 1983-1985. The greatest player ever to wear the uniform of the Express was almost undoubtedly Steve Young, a quarterback who had played at the namesake university of his lineal ancestor, Brigham Young University. Young negotiated for himself what was then reported to be the largest professional sports contract ever signed up until that point, over $40,000,000. However, it was revealed that the payments were actually to be in the form of an annuity set up to pay him $1,000,000 annually for the next 42 years, so the current value of the contract was considerably less than stated.

See also: 1983 Express, 1984 Express, 1985 Express

Young did well to take his money in the form of an annuity, however. The Express proved to be one of the weakest of the USFL organizations, probably in fact the single weakest one actually to endure for all three of the league's seasons of operation, although such a judgment is of necessity somewhat subjective. The expected crowds at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Express' original home venue, never materialized, and the number of fans, or rather the almost complete lack of them, began to prove very embarrassing and frustrating to the league and its major television broadcaster, ABC, which had hoped for a more credible product to emanate from the nation's second-largest media market. The team eventually relocated its home games to a junior college in the San Fernando Valley, but seemed to have trouble filling even the relatively tiny stadium there.

The Express folded after the 1985 season, as did the league, eventually, but it seems very unlikely that the Express organization would have survived much longer even if the league had succeeded in the two projects that were its eventual undoing, the proposed move to fall play effective with the 1986 season (which never actually happened), and its protracted anti-trust suit against the NFL, which resulted in its eventually being awarded a token $3. Steve Young went on to a Hall of Fame career in the NFL.



USFL Bibliography
Books:
The $1 League: The Rise and Fall of the USFL by Jim Byrne
The Sporting News Official USFL Guide and Register, 1984
The Sporting News Official USFL Guide and Register, 1985
USFL Media Guides (each team published one each year)

Magazines:
Kickoff Magazine (published by league; 9 issues per year + playoffs; sold at games)
The Sporting News (regular coverage + special "preview" inserts)

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--Patrick Mondout



 


Image courtesy The Helmet Project


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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