(Flutie photo courtesy of the New England Patriots)
(Newton photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys)
Talk of Fame Network
Former USFL stars Nate Newton and Doug Flutie know something about presidential candidate Donald Trump. They not only played in a pro football league where he was one of its most powerful and influential owners but Flutie quarterbacked Trump’s New Jersey Generals.
So they know where they stand in the upcoming elections. And it’s not in The Donald’s corner.
OK, so Flutie hedged a bit on the latest Talk of Fame broadcast, saying “I like his viewpoint on a lot of issues. I really do.” But then he turned around and said, “I think he’d be scary as a president. When it comes to political office, you want someone that is able to be a little diplomatic. I think in certain areas he’d do extremely well. In other areas, he’d scare the living daylights out of all of us.”
And Newton would be one of those frightened. Maybe terrified is more like it. Asked about the quality of the USFL and its players, he took the off-ramp to Trump – laughing as he spoke, but making it clear what role he believes Trump played in the demise of the USFL.
“All I’m going to say is if y’all vote Donald Trump for president then the world is wrecked,” said the former Dallas Cowboys’ offensive lineman, a six-time Pro Bowler. “Because that’s who wrecked the USFL. I love a man who can go out and be broke five times and come back and be as rich … or better … the next time. But he ruined us.
“This league should’ve still been around. The USFL should’ve never (gone) defunct. This should’ve been something that would spring into the NFL if they had worked this right.
“Just look at the great players that came out of there. The Reggie Whites of the world. I mean, Jim Kelly. He was going to be great regardless. Anthony Carter. The NFL didn’t feel good about Anthony Carter. They said he was too slow. But he was one of the few guys in Minnesota that could take a 5-yard slant and go 60 yards … for a guy that ran a 4.94 40 coming out of college, out of Michigan. We had some players … a whole lot of players.”
What they didn’t have was a future – not after Trump, who was interested in a merger with the NFL, persuaded league owners to go to a fall schedule, abandoning its spring format. In 1986, the USFL would go on to challenge the NFL in a lawsuit and win. But a six-person jury awarded it $1 in damages, a penalty that was trebled to … you guessed it … $3.
Say goodnight to the USFL.
“Ain’t no way in the world I’d vote for this dude,” said Newton. “All he got me was three dollars? Three dollars on a lawsuit? C’mon Donald. “