By: Ryan Gados
The United States Football League (USFL) is ready for kickoff, and Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., is excited to have the league back, especially in his backyard.
The USFL will start Saturday night with the Birmingham Stallions taking on the New Jersey Generals. It will be the first game of the league’s spring season. Each game will be played in Birmingham at Protective Stadium and Legion Field. The games will be broadcast on FOX and NBC.
Tuberville, the former head coach at Auburn and a few other college football programs, told Fox News Digital in a recent interview he was happy for the young players to have an opportunity to go out on the field and prove themselves in the upstart league.
“First of all, it’s good to have it back. I don’t care where it’s at to be honest with you because there’s a lot of kids out there that are just borderline on making it to the big leagues, especially linemen. Linemen take so much of the technique process from college to pro,” Tuberville said. “A lot of those guys can’t manage to get their foot in the door and I think it’s really gonna help a lot of those linemen on both sides, but it’ll help every position.
“It’ll give quarterbacks a chance to even improve and get better and have a chance to build some depth. There’s not a lot of depth in quarterbacks in the NFL. The ones behind the first-team quarterback, they never play. I think that’s the big advantage of this. We’ve needed it.”
Tuberville predicted a lot of fans will be in the stands for the games.
Protective Stadium is located in downtown Birmingham and is the home of the UAB football program. The stadium can seat more than 47,000 people. Legion Field was once known as the “Football Capital of the South.” The stadium can seat more than 71,000 people. Ticket prices are extremely reasonable with each regular-season game set for $10 per person and kids get in free.
Furthermore, Tuberville said it will help develop the skills of those at every level of football — not just the players.
“It’s just a huge advantage for a lot of these guys to give them a chance to, in their early 20s and late 20s, have that one more shot to get to the next level. It’s not just the players. Coaches have the opportunity to coach and coach a different technique. Pro football is very different in terms of the offense and defensive play, a lot of man coverage. A lot of these kids in college get a chance to work on their techniques in terms of man coverage,” Tuberville said.
“It’ll help the officials. There will be young officials that will be put into this and that will go by NFL rules, and they’ll have to work under those guidelines, which is different in college, and I think it will even make the officiating better.”
The Alabama senator also had some advice for those players who are set to take the field for a few weekends over the course of the next couple of months.
“It’s a short season. Take full advantage of it and work on your technique. Even before practice, after practice, during practice,” he added. “There’s a short time frame in there for these young kids coming out of college early that did make it and got cut or didn’t make. There’s a short time frame for them [to say], ‘OK, I’m gonna give it one last shot. And this USFL is gonna give me that shot. I’m gonna take full advantage of it. I’m gonna watch film, and we’ll try to get that next step.’ Because after a couple of years, your time frame is gone, and they’re not going to be able to make it. It’s something they’re gonna have to take advantage of in a short period of time.”
Tuberville was 159-99 as a head coach in college. He was at Ole Miss (1995-98), Auburn(1999-2008), Texas Tech (2010-12) and Cincinnati (2013-16). He was the SEC Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2004 and helped the Tigers to an SEC Championship in 2004. Auburn finished undefeated that season.
The season starts Saturday night and ends July 3.