The Pittsburgh Maulers: Everything You Need to Know About Pittsburgh's USFL Team

Courtesy of the USFL

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You, the readers, have voted!  You picked for us to cover the Pittsburgh Maulers and we plan on being the premiere United States Football League coverage site in Pittsburgh.  Especially since one of the only other local articles I could find on the league got the league's name wrong in the first paragraph, but we won’t call anyone out specifically. (It rhymes with smittsburgh smost-smazette)

If you’re under the age of 50, you’re probably wondering who the Pittsburgh Maulers even are.  If you’re over the age of 50, there’s still a really good chance you’re wondering the same thing.  The Pittsburgh Maulers were a United States Football League team from 1983 to 1985. Despite early success, the league flopped because it attempted to go head-to-head with the NFL, moving its games from the spring to the fall in 1986, but ceased operations before that season began. 

The Pittsburgh Maulers, today, are also a USFL team, as the league plans a return this Spring.  The other teams they will be facing off against are the New Jersey Generals, Michigan Panthers, Philadelphia Stars, Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, and the Tampa Bay Bandits.  I will have split rooting interests as obviously I will always root for the Pittsburgh team first, but my dog is named Bandit, so they will be a distant second place in my heart. 


The league is entirely owned by Fox Sports and has no ties to the original league.  The games will run for 10 weeks beginning April 16th of this year and end with a two-round playoff in July.  Games will air on Fox, FS1, USA, and NBC.  Unfortunately to watch games in person you’ll need to either drive about 12 hours or take a connecting flight out of Chicago to Birmingham, Alabama.  All games will be played in Birmingham this season with hopes home markets can eventually be used in future seasons if the league picks up steam.

The players will be selected in a draft on February 22nd and 23rd, however the draft is broken down by position.  The first position selected will be quarterbacks.  The player poll will mostly consist of college players that didn’t quite make it in the NFL.  However, with no rule against high school graduates competing in the league, this could be an opportunity for high schoolers to treat it like a paid minor league system instead of going to play college ball.  We have seen this in baseball for years and more recently with the G League in the NBA.

The most exciting news so far from the USFL are those that will serve as head coaches.  In addition to the Maulers employing a past Steeler coach, Kirby Wilson, the Tampa Bay Bandits will be coached by former Steelers OC Todd Haley.  Other big names are Jeff Fisher, Kevin Sumlin, and Larry Fedora coaching the Panthers, Gamblers, and Breakers, respectively.  Pitt fans will remember Fedora as the head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels from 2012 through 2018. 

The Maulers will play in the North Division with, in-state rival, the Philadelphia Stars, New Jersey Generals, and Michigan Panthers.  The South Division will consist of the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, and the Tampa Bay Bandits.  However, consider this Pittsburgh Maulers team as Pittsburgh in-name only.  With no ownership group or home stadium tied to Pittsburgh, it will be hard to feel any allegiance to this team unless they do finally play here.  They will also don their old purple and orange color scheme, which admittedly I love, but is not what we expect from a professional Pittsburgh sports team.  

The league will test just how much the country craves football after the Super Bowl.  It also is getting very lucky with timing as it appears Major League Baseball may not start on time due to their continued lock out.  This may be the perfect combination of a sports void the USFL needs to have a successful first season.


  1. Your colors are ALL WRONG for the city and not representative of ANY pro teams in Pittsburgh. What group of rich idiits thought THIS was a good idea?

    1. the bad color scheme affected my typing and grammar. SEE?!?!?! HAHAHA!

    2. @John I think its actually a good idea for them to have maintained the colors from the 80's. It gives them a unique identity in the city while also paying homage to their roots. As a Pitt fan, I cant say I will be happy to own Clemson colors, but I am actually glad they got away from the Black/Gold.


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