(USFL media guide courtesy of Rick Gosselin)
Talk of Fame Network
This was a week of football anniversaries and the Talk of Fame Network dedicated much of its show to celebrating them.
The first was the move of the AFL’s Dallas Texans to Kansas City 53 years ago. The second was the decline and fall of the USFL, a league that deserved a better fate but shut down 30 years ago in part because of the ambition of the presumptive Republican nominee for President this year, Donald Trump.
Trump owned the New Jersey Generals and badly wanted to compete with the NFL. Although the USFL began as a spring league with no intention of going head-to-head with the NFL in the fall or in a battle for talent, in the end it did both at Trump’s insistence.
That turned out to be two unwise choices.
Yet during its brief existence, the USFL produced a large number of players and coaches who would go on to excel in the NFL, including Hall-of-Famers like Reggie White, Jim Kelly and Steve Young. One of the brightest was Baltimore/Philadelphia Stars’ general manager Carl Peterson, who visited the show and not only reminisced about the championship teams he built there before returning to the NFL with the Chiefs (he was with the Philadelphia Eagles 1977-81) but also named his All-Time USFL team.
You’ll be surprised to hear why his starting quarterback was neither Kelly nor Young but Chuck Fusina. When he finishes his explanation, you’ll likely agree with him.
Also coming on to discuss those days and what the USFL meant to pro football is Bob Moore, who served as the public relations director for the Stars. Bob later moved on to a long career with the Chiefs, where he now serves as club historian, and so offers a unique point of view from both sides of the battle lines.
All-time All-AFL selection Fred Arbanas was the best tight end in the American Football League, and he did his playing in Dallas and Kansas City. Fred comes by not only to talk about the difficulties of making that franchise shift from Dallas to K.C. 53years ago but to recall the pain of losing Super Bowl I and the thrill of winning Super Bowl IV. Yet neither is the game he remembers most.
You may be surprised to learn why an exhibition game against the Chicago Bears the summer after the Chiefs were beaten in Super Bowl I by the Green Bay Packers remains the game he can’t forget.
Our Hall-of-Fame voting co-hosts, Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge, discuss an odd vote announced last week that placed Tom Brady as the fifth most hated player in the NFL. They’ll also offer up their own Top FiveMost Hated Players list from their experiences.
Rick states the Hall-of-Fame case for Don Doll, the third man out in the great Detroit Lions’ secondary of the 1950s that produced two Hall of Famers – Yale Lary and Jack Christiansen – but may have seen the best of them ignored. When Doll retired, he was the NFL’s all-time leader interceptions with 41, yet has never come close to being a Hall-of-Fame candidate.
That and much more can be heard on this week’s show, which can be found on 80 radio stations nationally, including a new addition in Boston on WMEX 1510 AM. The show’s podcast can be heard on iTunes, by downloading the TuneIn app or by going to our website at talkoffamenetwork.com.