The United States Football League's Short Life
The United States Football League was formed in 1983. The league was the first competition for the National Football League in 20 years. The USFL had three up and down seasons and by the end of 1985 it was more than $200 million in the hole. The upstart pro football league wanted in on the NFL’s profits. To get into the game the league moved its playing season to the fall and filed a lawsuit, claiming that the NFL violated antitrust laws by creating a monopoly. On July 29, 1986, a jury agreed the NFL was guilty of violating antitrust laws but awarded a fine of just $1.