USFL commercial

The third iteration of the XFL is entering the sixth week of its season, and while it hasn’t set the football world on fire it certainly has attracted decent crowds in some markets (mostly St. Louis).

However, the professional spring football league is about to get some company as the second iteration of the USFL returns for its second season in April.

While it got a head-start on the XFL last season, it also had to watch its chief competitor garner a lot of attention in recent months, thanks in large part to league co-owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. While Johnson’s megastar appeal has aided the nascent league in raising awareness, the USFL is opting to use that connection against it.

In the most recent commercials to promote the USFL’s imminent return, the announcer is heard saying “this is the USFL, reborn from the OGs. This isn’t some Hollywood knockoff.”

The comment comes during a shot of a football player standing in front of a green screen in what many football fans couldn’t miss as a reference to Johnson and his background.

When you couple it with the USFL’s claim that “real football” was returning, something that many who watched the first season might debate, the approach garnered some side-eyed reactions from a lot of fans.

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio noted the connection between the USFL’s ad campaign and the XFL’s chief financial backer, saying that it proves the leagues explicitly see one another as competition, something we haven’t seen too much direct discussion about.

“There was something on tonight’s show which was not part of tonight’s RAW but was during a commercial of RAW – the USA was plugging the USFL,” said Meltzer. “They are essentially competition for the XFL, as far as the number two football league. In their commercial, they basically were trying to say “USFL is real football, not Hollywood-created football,” which really was an interesting line. You know, as far as a knock on the XFL being run by a Hollywood actor. At least they are admitting that they are competing.”

Ultimately, neither league is likely to impress TV audiences with its “real football” action. Instead, if one of them is to survive, it’ll likely be because of inroads with the NFL and whether or not their TV partners feel like it’s worth investing in another year.

[BroBible, Wrestling Observer Radio]


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to