USFL Returns

Coming in Spring 2022

Raise your hand if you were even aware the league opened its season this past weekend.

I was at Spanish Flowers on Sunday. It was on the tv, and someone said what’s the USFL?

I was not aware that they had been off tv for four decades before that.

I knew it was happening, but I had no interest in watching.

It had some success in its first incarnation. Dipshit Donnie, upset at being snubbed by the NFL owners, took over the NJ franchise and bullied the other USFL owners to go from a successful spring schedule, to head to head competition with the NFL in the fall. The league folded soon after.

If they stick to spring football, they can have some success.

They play all their game in Birmingham. That won’t work for long.

It does go a long way toward continuing expenses. But they’d better wrap up before the summer fun temps settle in, or they’ll have zero fans in the stands.

What’s wrong with Birmingham?

They really don’t care about attendance. It’s a tv product.

I’m not familiar with the place but it must be pretty fucking awesome since a whole league of teams from cities across the country all play all their games there.

I was there last summer. It was a surprisingly awesome little college town.

I’ve been there a few times on business. I thought it was pretty delightful.

I think of it neither as little nor a college town. It’s sort of like a large West Virginia city but in the deep south and with more people who would figure to pass strict chromosomal scrutiny. Plus, Walker Percy was born there, you know.

My overall impression of the city over a 4-day visit where I was mostly on the UAB side of town was that it was an older city that was just starting to swing upward again. I didn’t see a ton of people aside from college kids at the breweries we visited and the folks that were out to eat where we were.

The UAB campus is huge, and the side of town the school is on is very modern, attractive, and inviting. The bit of the other side of town we saw reminded me of some of the small towns I’ve been to in North and West Texas that feel like they haven’t had a purpose since the 1960s, and nobody really knows what to do about it.

I imagine you were in Five Points and that warehouse area sort of east of downtown. (To figure out where you go in any of the places you visit I just do a quick google maps search for brew pubs and comedy clubs and rollerball rinks.)

If you go over yonder ridge of hills that run south of where you were you encounter the rest of the city, which is quite sizable and often quite scenic and lovely and probably a pretty nice place to live if you like white people.

I was taking in the view from Vulcan Peak one afternoon and up drove this fellow from Houston whose lawn I had cut when I was a kid.


According to my uber drivers the new Barons stadium near downtown heavily contributed to the area’s renaissance. I thought the various pockets I went between were a mix of charming neighborhoods and surprisingly populated business centers. In my mind I had expected a somewhat dreary and unoccupied downtown somewhere on the spectrum between Beaumont and Corpus.

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I haven’t been there since the stadium was built but in google snooping around it did seem like the stadium was leading something of a renaissance in that formerly forlorn part of town. The park across the street seems like not a bad piece of design, too.

The warehouse area that I was mentioning is called Lakeview, which strikes me as a curious designation.

We did spend a fair amount of time around Five Points. There are two really nice breweries within walking distance of the ballpark, and that area was really great food and entertainment-wise. We stayed further NE of there in Crestview in an Airbnb, and we walked that neighborhood and visited a few local coffee shops and restaurants around there. It was super quaint, and the people were lovely.

A few of the folks I was there with were staying downtown, so we did wander around a little bit there. Aside from the courthouse and a few decent-sized buildings, downtown seemed pretty sleepy.

We were playing football there in the Jefferson Convention Complex, which was on the opposite side of downtown. We ventured beyond that to the West of the days to just explore and found a large number of older suburban neighborhoods and lots of trees.

For the record, I rarely visit comedy clubs outside of town. Sports venues, brewpubs, and National Parks/hiking/nature areas generally are my wheelhouse.

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Your post says “football.” Was this a floorball tournament trip?

Yeah, “rollerball rinks” was unnecessary and wrong.

Birmingham has experienced a bit of a renaissance in the last few years. Lots of cool places to hang out and lots of history to explore.

As for the USFL, it was a good get for economic impact of all of the players staying at the same hotel right next to the stadium for the season. The fact that they have this banner hanging from the hotel cracks me up.