Daryl “Moose” Johnston was a guest on 365 Sports to talk all things USFL. Johnston is the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the USFL.
Johnston talks about his experiences with both the AAF and XFL and how the USFL is different this time. He also mentions the XFL coming back in 2023.
“So they’ll be coming online next year and we look forward to competing against them.”
He talks about how the USFL uniforms will look in the 2.0 era.
“We stayed traditional with the uniforms. We’ve modernized them a little bit with colors, but we haven’t changed a whole lot. So we’re really excited about it. “
Johnston talks about the league wanting to connect to players of the past. Something in some respects the USFL spoke about moving away from.
Each press release states that this USFL is not related to the old one. ‘The USFL is a new, independent football league controlled by FOX Sports through USFL HoldCo, LLC, a new business entity, and it is not associated or affiliated with the USFL of the 1980s or its owners’. But that could be legal talk because Johnston wants to engage with past players.
“I had an opportunity to visit with Vince Papali, and he was a part of the Philadelphia Stars. They still have a reunion every year, so we’re going to try and tap into that during the course of the season, get a watch party going back at one of the places they do that back in Philadelphia, and hopefully, we’ll get groups coming down to Birmingham, Alabama, to watch the teams that they remember from back in the 80s.”
He talks about how the USFL is not a feeder system for the NFL but a place for players to improve their skills. Based on their schedule, players can be ready for NFL camps if need be. He also mentions when the USFL championship game will be.
“Our calendar is still NFL training camp friendly, especially the way camps are held today. You’re not as physical. You’re starting a little bit later in the month of July. Sometimes even in August, you’ve got an acclimation period. So if you win the Championship game in the USFL, you will play it on July 2nd, and that still gives those guys plenty of time to kind of heal up a little bit. They’re going to be in football shape.”
Johnston talks about playing in Birmingham, Alabama, and playing at Perspective Stadium. What he learned from the AAF and XFL and why year one in a hub city is a good thing.
“That’s why I like what we’re doing with the USFL here in year one, doing the hub concept, eliminating all those travel costs, not having the eight individual franchises across the United States, travel was one of the hardest things to navigate as we started out. So we’ve taken that right away. So I think that that’s a huge plus. You just minimize all your expenses when you’re doing the hub concept… I think it’s going to give us a great opportunity to get off that first year on a sound footing, work through the other logistical things that we have to learn and have to get better at during the course of the year without really putting a huge hit on our finances.”
You can listen to the full interview here.
The USFL will hit the field Friday, April 15th, 2022. Stay tuned to XFL News Hub for all your USFL news.
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