Monday’s Den: Thoughts on the USFL and other stuff……

Some thoughts on Week 1 of the USFL:
— The whole league is in Birmingham, which gives it a bush league kind of vibe. They need to let people in the stands for free, when the hometown Stallions aren’t playing. Looks like tickets only cost $10 and kids may get in for free. League needs people in the stands.

— The 1980’s USFL had top-flight talent; Jim Kelly, Reggie White, Steve Young and so on. This is different, it is like AAA football, but it is good football.

— Lightning delay around noon Sunday set the whole day back, since all three games were in the same ballpark.

— Quality of play has been good; they have good coaches. Mike Riley, Jeff Fisher, Todd Haley  have all been head coaches in the NFL.

— Mike Pereira gives the league great credibility running the officiating end of things.

— First down measurements are done virtually, like tennis replays. No chain gangs in the USFL. 

— Saturday night, TV analyst Brock Huard sat with the Generals’ QB on the bench while he watched clips of his last series on a tablet. Access like that teaches you stuff.

— Teams need to carry three QB’s; Birmingham’s QB McGough got hurt Saturday night. What happens if the #2 QB gets hurt too?

— Having coaches/refs miked is a positive; can learn some football that way.

— Former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was a disappointment in the booth; he didn’t say much.

Stallions 28, Generals 24:
— New Jersey’s kicker looked bad, missing two FG’s.
— Generals outgained Birmingham, 408-277.
— New Jersey ran ball for 222 yards.
— Birmingham scored game-winning TD with 0:29 left.

Gamblers 17, Panthers 12:
— Panthers’ Hail Mary pass was caught on last play, but WR only got one foot down inbounds.
— Houston scored a TD on a 90-yard scoop/score off a QB sack/fumble.
— Gamblers won despite getting shut out in second half; they led 17-0 at the half.
— Michigan ran 79 plays for 363 yards; Houston 45 plays for 174 yards.

Breakers 23, Stars 17:
— Breakers scored their first TD on a pick-6, then blocked a punt for a safety.
— New Orleans outgained the Stars, 321-246
— Bryan Scott is the Stars’ QB; he went to Occidental College, hardly a football power.
— Remember Jim Mora Sr the coach? His bridge to the NFL was coaching the Philadelphia Stars in the original USFL. Jim Mora Sr also went to college at Occidental.

Tampa Bay-Pittsburgh game was pushed back to Monday night because of the weather delays; seems like having a game on national TV every Monday would be a good idea, anyway.

Elsewhere in this world of ours………
— If I’m the Arizona Diamondbacks’ hitting coach, I’m not sleeping too well; Arizona has scored 21 runs in nine games, somehow going 3-6 in those games.

— Then again, the big money Bronx Bombers have only scored 21 runs their last eight games; getting shut down by the Orioles in Baltimore this weekend is a red flag.

— Houston Astros utility guy Aledmys Diaz has already started games at six different positions.

— Animated cartoon star Daffy Duck turned 85 years old this week.

— QB JT Daniels started his college career at USC, then he transferred to Georgia, now he’s moved on to West Virginia. He was the Dawgs’ backup last year when they won the national title. Curious to see how he does in Morgantown.

— Of the Miami Heat’s top 10 players in minutes played, only five of them were drafted, making them unique in NBA history. No team with that many undrafted players in their rotation has done as well as the Heat.

— Going forward, C JT Realmuto is expected to bat leadoff for the Phillies, which is unusual; don’t see lot of catchers leading off. Jason Kendall holds the single-season record for catchers, batting leadoff in 119 games in 2004.

— In his career, Anthony Rizzo has been hit by 182 pitches, which seems like a lot. Next-highest total among active players is Starling Marte (135). Hughie Jennings holds the all-time record (287); he played back around the turn of the 20th century. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.