The Michigan Panthers won the United States Football League’s Feb. 17 draft lottery, which was held during FS1’s broadcast of its daily sports-talk show, Speak For Yourself.
The Panthers used the No. 1 overall pick to select former University of Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson. Can he do what Matthew Stafford failed to do during his time with the Detroit Lions and bring a professional football championship to Michigan? And will sportsbooks offer any action on the Panthers and the rest of the rebooted USFL this spring?
At least one sportsbook is considering such plans.
“We’ll offer USFL markets if and when regulators approve it,” replied Elisa Richardson of BetMGM when asked if the sportsbook was considering taking wagers on USFL games this spring.
USFL on the clock
It’ll be 50 days until the New Jersey Generals take on the Birmingham Stallions on April 16 at Protective Stadium in Birmingham in the league’s first game.
The league consists of eight teams: the Generals, Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, Philadelphia Stars, Pittsburgh Maulers, Tampa Bay Bandits, and the Panthers, who will be coached by former NFL coach Jeff Fisher. The 10-game regular season schedule, which has not been released to the public, will be played exclusively in Birmingham at two stadiums. (Most of the contests are planned for Protective Stadium, while some will be held at Legion Field, home to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers.)
The season can’t come soon enough 🙌 pic.twitter.com/axY4l5IukF
— USFL (@USFL) February 25, 2022
The road to Canton
The season, which will stretch from mid-April to mid-June, will consist of 40 regular season and three playoff games, culminating with the USFL championship game on July 3 in Canton, Ohio, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The Panthers won the inaugural USFL championship in 1983 by defeating the Philadelphia Stars in the title game.
The spring league will receive plenty of television exposure. FOX, which owns the league, and NBC plan to televise 20 contests, while FS1 and the USA Network will carry 19 contests and Peacock is scheduled to stream four games.
The original USFL operated during the 1980s, when a New York-based real estate mogul by the name of Donald Trump was owner of the New Jersey Generals.
File Photo: USA TODAY