Return of the Chicago Blitz?
Newsletter Chicago Blitz USFL

Return of the Chicago Blitz?

Kevin Kaduk
Kevin Kaduk

Good morning, frents!

Forget about Logan Paul-Floyd Mayweather, the exhibition boxing match I really want to see this summer is Patrick Wisdom vs. Yermin Mercedes.

Sunday's results
Sox 3, Tigers 0
Cubs 4, Giants 3

Today's schedule
Cubs at Padres (9:10, Marquee)
Sox off

The USFL is coming back. Will the Blitz?

Chicago Blitz
USFL site

The USFL is set to return in the spring of 2022.

Will the Chicago Blitz come along for the ride?

The short answer is that no one knows. The founders of the new league reportedly own the trademarks to 16 franchises from the league's original iteration in the mid-80s and the Blitz is among that group.

But none of the team locations for the new venture have been announced.

Here's what we do know, according to last Thursday's press release:

  • Fox Sports will televise the league's games and owns a minority equity stake in the new league.
  • The new USFL will include a "minimum" of eight teams.
  • Brian Woods, the founder of the developmental "The Spring League" is involved.

And that's about it.

Look, if we're going to keeping using thin outlines from the '80s for content ideas, can we at least get that rumored Fall Guy movie fast-tracked?

I'm not sure why so many people keep trying to shock the spring football corpse back to life and I'd happily bet my house if anyone wanted to create some odds on this one crashing and burning like the others.

In recent history, there was the demise of the Alliance of American Football in 2019 after just eight games.

There was also death of the revived XFL in 2020, thanks in part to the pandemic. (An investment group including Dwayne Johnson purchased the remains from Vince McMahon for $15 million. The Rock has tweeted that his league also plans a 2022 return.)

Chicago didn't have a team involved in either of those leagues. For that, you have to go back to 2001 for the one season of the Enforcers playing at a mostly-empty Soldier Field in the original XFL.

Before that, it was the two seasons of the Blitz in 1983 and 1984, an existence most notable for the team's original owner trading all of the coaches and players to Arizona for their coaches and players before the '84 season.

The new USFL is a clear play toward those who harbor nostalgia for the old league, an ultimately ill-fated venture that still engenders good feelings for the collegiate talent it poached from the NFL as well as its cool logos and nicknames.

But while you can put me down for all the vintage Blitz and Memphis Showboats t-shirts you can find, I can't say I'm as jazzed about the possibility of a return as old Blitz coach Marv Levy and my friend Steve Greenberg of the Sun-Times seem to be.

Spring in Chicago is for the start of baseball, hockey and basketball playoffs (sometimes) and every offseason headline grabber the NFL has cooked up, from the draft to the schedule release.

If spring football couldn't succeed here when a majority of the area still only had a handful of TV channels, how will it take off in an era of Netflix, Twitch streams and TikTok?

The one big change from the early '80s that could benefit the new league is legalization of sports betting, but it's hard to imagine that it would get that many additional people to watch undrafted players from Purdue and Eastern Illinois play in the USFL.

So let me put it this way: If the Blitz returned, I wouldn't be rooting against them.

But I'd probably proven right in telling you to not get too attached.

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News and results


Cubs 4, Giants 3: The power of Wisdom

The Giants were aiming for a four-game sweep on Sunday. Patrick Wisdom had other ideas, homering twice and recording three RBI. The Cubs' 29-year-old super rookie has seven homers in 13 games, a total that already puts him ahead of Ian Happ, Joc Pederson, Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo.

  • Kyle Hendricks also played the role of stopper, winning his fifth straight start and allowing just one hit after the second inning.
  • Overall, not a great start to the road trip for the Cubs given all the good vibes they rode out to the West Coast on. The good news: Things happen when you go on road trips across the country and the Cardinals just lost four straight home games to the Reds.
  • The Cubs are still tied atop the NL Central with Milwaukee at 33-26.

Next: Adbert Alzolay (4-4, 3.62) gets the ball against Ryan Weathers (2-2, 2.06) in tonight's series opener against the Padres.

Sox 3, Tigers 0: Engel returns a homer in return

Well, that's a familiar sight. Adam Engel robbed Niko Goodrum on a homer to save Sunday's shutout and keep Dylan Cease's seven-inning, 10-strikeout effort a scoreless one.  (Engel's red glove, btw, is hot.)

  • Tony La Russa took over sole possession of second on the all-time managing wins list, passing John McGraw with his 2,764th win. Barring a discovery of the fountain of youth, it's where he'll likely stay. La Russa called Connie Mack's record of 3,731 victories "beyond sacred."
  • The Sox took three of four games from Detroit over the weekend while Cleveland somehow dropped two of three to the Orioles, including an 18-5 loss on Sunday. The AL Central lead is up to four games.

Next: The Sox are off today before starting a three-game series against the Blue Jays at home on Tuesday. Carlos Rodon (5-2, 1.98) is scheduled to face Robbie Ray (3-2, 3.57).

  1. Featuring Ric Flair, Rod Blagojevich and the man himself, Mongopalooza looked like it was a success this weekend. ABC7Chicago
  2. Ben Zobrist's agent says the World Series MVP's ring is NOT for sale, despite an auction listing that went viral. Tribune
  3. Matt Nagy ranks high when it comes to the aggressiveness of every NFL coach from 1983 to 2020. Football Outsiders
  4. How seven Lane Tech baseball players landed college offers despite losing their junior season to a pandemic. Sun Times
  5. Muddy Waters' home in Kenwood is on its way to being designated a Chicago landmark. Block Club Chicago

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