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Sun Feb 2, 2020, 11:49 PM

Don't forget, Trump once owned a pro football team and proceeded to destroy the whole league

with his insane business decisions. It was the USFL, and Trump demanded the league move their season from the spring to the fall to directly compete with the NFL. From an old Esquire article.....

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a41135/donald-trump-usfl/

So in 1983 he bought a football team, joining a confederacy of other rich rogues who had just completed their first season of the United States Football League. The business plan: compete with the NFL—sport's one true, grim superpower, whom USFL owners mocked as the No Fun League—but not directly against it. The twelve-team USFL played its games in the spring, encouraged excessive end zone celebrations (the NFL penalized them), and allowed both replay challenges and two-point conversions after touchdowns (the NFL still didn't permit either). Games were televised on ABC and an upstart cable channel called ESPN.

Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals from J. Walter Duncan, a laidback Oklahoma oil tycoon who got homesick traveling each weekend to watch his team play ("You weren't going to outsmart him," one observer said of Duncan. "But you might be able to out-talk him". With Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker already in the backfield, the Generals had been the league's flagship underachiever. They won just six games against opponents that stretched from Tampa Bay (whose halftime promotions included seven-car giveaways and the burning of mortgages) to Birmingham to Los Angeles, where the league eventually took over a team almost nobody came to watch. By the next season, when Trump bought in, the league swelled to eighteen cities—a money grab by owners to collect millions in franchise fees and soften their growing losses.

The Generals' fortunes rose instantly, but the league's did not. The USFL collapsed after just three seasons. Yet its Trumpian storyline hews eerily close to today's. The Donald made a media-inhaling, savior-is-born entrance; surged beyond expectations; then went all in on his attempt to upend the entrenched NFL by pushing his fellow owners to move games to the fall in hopes of inciting a merger. The bet brought the league, already in failing health, crashing down. Critics blame Trump's hubris. Haters wait for a similar last act in the upcoming Republican primaries.

"You can cut and paste the USFL and the GOP and it's the same damn story," says Charley Steiner, radio voice of the Generals and now play-by-play man for the Los Angeles Dodgers. "It's all about him and the brand and moving on to the next thing if it doesn't work out."

<snip>

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Reply Don't forget, Trump once owned a pro football team and proceeded to destroy the whole league (Original post)
Elwood P Dowd Feb 2 OP
DURHAM D Feb 2 #1
misanthrope Feb 3 #2
dchill Feb 3 #3

Response to Elwood P Dowd (Original post)

Sun Feb 2, 2020, 11:57 PM

1. Well that is a blast from the past.

I knew Walter Duncan back in the late 70s and worked with one of his children.

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Response to Elwood P Dowd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2020, 12:28 AM

2. ESPN made a 2009 documentary about Trump and the USFL

It basically showed him as the worst thing that ever happened to a league that initially had decent ratings and crowds. Trump wanted an NFL franchise but the league saw through his act and didn't want him as an associate.

https://www.npr.org/2017/09/30/554257688/football-and-donald-trump-its-a-long-story

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Response to Elwood P Dowd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2020, 12:45 AM

3. Everything Trump touches...

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