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  • Matt Santoleri

USFL IS BACK – CONNECTIONS TO PAST ARE STILL THERE

The Philadelphia Stars have appeared in every USFL title game since 1983



Stars quarterback Case Cookus is back for a second season. Photo from USFL News Hub

While the NFL has been moving through its phases of the offseason, the recently resurrected UFSL has begun its second season of play with this iteration.

While this version shares no relationship to the USFL that dissolved back in 1986, the presence of the past remains relevant within the current roster of teams.

The eight active teams the USFL is comprised of share city and team nicknames with franchises that existed between 1983-86, during its original run.

This makes these connections hard to ignore and in the case of the Philadelphia Stars, one that highlights its place in the lore of the league.

Winning four of their last five regular season games and upsetting their way into a USFL Championship appearance, the Stars kept one of the weirdest sports streaks alive.

Dating back to their inaugural season the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars franchise has played in every USFL Championship since 1983.

The Stars closed out the old USFL on a hot streak winning the last two Championships but came up just three points shy of the Birmingham Stallions 33-30 in the 2.0 versions reboot.

This season they bring back most of the same core led by Head Coach Bart Andrus, QB Case Cookus, WR Devin Gray, TE Bug Howard, and RB Matt Colburn.


Philadelphia Stars head coach Bart Andrus is back. Photo from ABC Montana.

While the end of last season was magical for the Stars as they backdoored their way into the playoffs, they will look to build a foundation of consistency from the start this time around.

Cookus, who finished last season with the second most passing TD’s (12) despite only starting seven of the Stars games, has already put that best foot forward finishing the Stars season opening win 27-23 over the Memphis Showboats with three more.

The addition of former NFL first round pick WR Corey Coleman was felt immediately too as he brought in all four of his targets for 65 yards to complement the aforementioned WR Devin Gray’s seven catches for 77 yards and a score.

The Stars led the league with 262 points scored over the ten-week season and looked poised to continue keeping their offense the strength of the club.

Even though the league has followed its centralized location format it installed last season where all of the regular season games took place in Birmingham, Alabama and postseason games in Canton, Ohio, they also added two new locations with Detroit, Michigan and Memphis, Tennessee.

Ford Field in Detroit is where the Philadelphia Stars will call home for this season along with the Michigan Panthers.

There isn’t any definitive plan in place to remove this host city element in lieu of city to city travel, you can bet that if the Stars continue to repeat history with these Championship berths the league will be chomping at the bit to really bring another professional franchise to the city of Philadelphia. *


USFL 2023 RESULTS AND SCHEDULE

April 15, 2023, W Philadelphia Stars 27 at Memphis Showboats 23 Final

April 23, 2023, Michigan Panthers 24 at Philadelphia Stars 10

April 30, 2023, Pittsburgh Maulers at Philadelphia Stars 12:00 p.m.

May 6, 2023, Houston Gamblers at Philadelphia Stars 1:00 p.m.

May 14, 2023, New Jersey Generals at Philadelphia Stars 12:00 p.m.

May 21, 2023, New Orleans Breakers at Philadelphia Stars 12:00 p.m.

May 27, 2023, Philadelphia Stars at Pittsburgh Maulers 9:00 p.m.

June 3, 2023, Philadelphia Stars at Birmingham Stallions 3:00 p.m.

June 11, 2023, Philadelphia Stars at New Jersey Generals 7:00 p.m.

June 18, 2023, Philadelphia Stars at Michigan Panthers 7:00 p.m.



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