1984

January
3 -
The Los Angeles Express hire John Hadl as its second head coach, replacing Hugh Campbell.

4 - With the first overall selection, the expansion Pittsburgh Maulers draft 1983 Heisman Trophy winning running back Mike Rozier.  While its public knowledge that the six 1984 expansion teams were awarded the first six selections, what isn't known - even within league circles - is that the first choice had been pre-ordained.

USFL Football Operations Director Peter Hadhazy, conducting a lottery via conference call among representatives of the six expansion teams, announced that the Maulers had "won" the first overall pick.  In truth, Hadhazy would later confess to the Maulers representative in the call that, upon learning that the team intended to select Rozier (and knowing that with his financial resources, owner Edward J. DeBartolo would sign him), he'd lied in the call - that the Oklahoma Outlaws had, in fact, won the "lottery."

The Outlaws did make a splash of their own that day however, announcing the hiring of their head coach, Pittsburgh Steelers assistant Robert "Woody" Widenhofer

12 - Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Cliff Stoudt signs a multi-year contract with the Birmingham Stallions.

February
26 - The second season of the United States Football League kicks off with eight Sunday games.

March
27 - In anticipation of the sale of the Washington Federals to Sherwood "Woody" Weiser of Miami, the league office executes a lease agreement for Miami's Orange Bowl.

May
9 -
At league meetings in New York, the owners commission McKinsey & Company to study the viability of the USFL as a fall football product; along with an public opinion research firm, Yankelovich, Skelly and White, to conduct surveys on the USFL's performance to date along with public opinion on how the league should proceed going forward.

June
29 -
CBS completes an internal economic analysis on airing fall season USFL games, determining that under any scenario the USFL as a fall football product would not be adequately viable to make entering into a television rights agreement with the league.

July
When advised by Commissioner Chet Simmons that the USFL will be considering a motion to adopt a fall season schedule at its upcoming owners meeting the following month, ABC advises that not only did the network have no interest in airing the USFL as a fall season product, but that doing so would represent a breach of the league's contract with the network.  Having already exercised their unilateral option for 1985, ABC's response in essence prohibits the USFL from moving to the fall in 1985. 

August
22 - At league owners meetings in Chicago, the reports commissioned in May, at a cost of over $600,000, are given.  The results of both the McKinsey & Company report and the surveys from Yankelovich, Skelly and White are uniform, and overwhelming:  they recommend that the USFL continue to develop as a spring season product, postponing any plans to move to a fall schedule - indefinitely.  USFL Director of Operations Peter Hadhazy and Direct of Marketing Dom Camera also plead with owners to stay on a spring schedule.

Despite the reports result and enormous internal concern that it's the wrong path to take, the team owners of the United States Football League vote unanimously (officially, anyway) to move the league to a fall schedule beginning with the 1986 season.  In anticipation of the change, the first in what would be a series of franchise mergers and relocations is authorized (though never consummated), between the Oakland Invaders and Oklahoma Outlaws.

24 - As a direct consequence of the league owners election to move to a fall schedule, Berl Bernhard's sale of the Washington Federals and their planned relocation to Miami by buyer Sherwood "Woody" Weiser is terminated.

September
27 - George Allen, president and head coach of the Arizona Wranglers, resigns as head coach.  He retains his administrative position as well as his 10% stake in the franchise

October
17 - The United States Football League files a $440 million anti-trust suit against the National Football League in federal court.  The suit alleges the NFL conspired to destroy the USFL by controlling a monopoly on players, stadium leases and television rights contracts.  If victorious, under anti-trust law the USFL's award could be trebled to as large as $1.32 billion.

November
1 - Learning that a merger between the Arizona Wranglers and Oklahoma Outlaws may be imminent, Wranglers president George Allen attempts to persuade partner Ted Diethrich to sell him the majority stake in the team.  He ultimately would be unsuccessful.

1984 Home Attendance Averages

  1. 46,730 - Jacksonville Bulls
  2. 46,158 - Tampa Bay Bandits
  3. 37,716 - New Jersey Generals
  4. 36,580 - Birmingham Stallions
  5. 33,953 - Denver Gold
  6. 32,457 - Michigan Panthers
  7. 30,557 - New Orleans Breakers
  8. 30,000 - League Founder David Dixon's Second Season Projection
  9. 28,668 - Philadelphia Stars
  10. 28,152 - Houston Gamblers
  11. 27,599 - Memphis Showboats
  12. 25,568 - Arizona Wranglers
  13. 23,644 - Oakland Invaders
  14. 22,858 - Pittsburgh Maulers
  15. 22,590 - League Average
  16. 21,038 - Oklahoma Outlaws
  17. 15,444 - San Antonio Gunslingers
  18. 15,361 - Los Angeles Express
  19. 7,694 - Washington Federals
  20. 7,455 - Chicago Blitz

1984 Television Rating Averages

  • ABC - 5.5, or 4.61 million viewers.
  • ESPN - 3.3 rating points, or 2.67 million viewers.