The new USFL is here, and teams from the old league are ready to return
The USFL is back, and is showcasing its staying power with every highlight-filled game it puts on display. Fans of the league have enjoyed seeing some quality football, and players have enjoyed getting another chance at their football dreams. The league is certainly gearing up for the future by securing trademarks for teams from the 80’s. They are preparing to get some more teams in the league, and today, I’ll showcase what I think these teams could look like uniform-wise if/when they return. I’ll go team by team showcasing my concepts and discussing them.
The Denver Gold were the first team I made in this series, and I did it at the request of our very own Sam Shady. The Gold had a color scheme similar to the Pittsburgh black and gold, but with the addition of tan. I wanted to make a golden alternate uniform to help the Gold stand out, but it ended up not looking great. These new concepts used the tan pants of the 1984 Gold, but I could easily see them going with the pure gold pants of 1985 in a possible return to the USFL.
The Blitz utilized the red white and blue color scheme in the 1980’s, and I chose to keep a similar design to what the original Blitz had, where the shoulders were a separate color from the rest of the jersey as opposed to having traditional stripes. As well, I’ve noticed that there is quite a bit of red in the USFL, so I chose to make the primary uniform blue and relegate the red to an alternate home uniform as well. If I ever return to the team, I may go with a lightning bolt motif, but as of now, I like how these turned out.
The Express are a team I really like when it comes to their design. The uniforms felt like they could’ve used some updating though, so I took inspiration from the Arlington Renegades of the XFL and chose to simplify the uniform. The Express’s great logo is present on the shoulders similar to the first iteration of the team. I also took the original font for the numbers from the team. I used the past to mold the future for the Express, and I really hope this team can return to the USFL in the future.
The federals were an interesting team to make, as I enjoy their color scheme and the logo gave me quite the inspiration for the striping on the jersey and helmets. I looked to make the helmet unique, by using the wings from the logo instead of placing the logo on the helmet, and it certainly worked. The only thing I missed out on was a star anywhere on the uniform. I would’ve liked to have one on the shoulder stripes, but it looked way too busy in practice. However, if the Federals do return to the USFL, I’d like to see a similar uniform to these.
It may not be likely to see the Invaders return to Oakland, but wherever they may be, the uniforms designs are right there for them. The powder blue and yellow reminds me of UCLA or the Chargers, and I chose to be inspired by them when it came to designing the uniform, including having the popular blue-on-yellow look. The socks can be any combinations of blue and yellow, and I honestly really like what I was able to come up with for the Invaders.
The Arizona Wranglers were one of the more fun teams to create, as I tried to modernize the uniform designs. I chose to keep the colors of the Arizona flag everywhere on the uniform from the shoulder stripes to the pants to the uniform combinations. The old helmet returns from the 80’s as well. If the Wranglers return to the USFL, the Wranglers have some decent uniform options from the fire pants of the past to something more modern like these.
The Outlaws were a simple team to do. They have simple colors, logos, and easy designs. I created a simple Houston Gamblers-inspired design that would work in the modern USFL without looking too busy and chaotic. The uniform striping is simple, as is the entire design. I tried to make the uniform look less like the Gamblers and more like the Outlaws of the 80’s, and the uniforms turned out nice.
The Jacksonville Bulls have a neat color scheme and a cool helmet I couldn’t help but bring them back, but the rest of the uniform needed some updating. I used some NFL teams like the Lions, Steelers, and Panthers for some of the striping to create a good, modern USFL uniform for the Bulls. The purple rush uniform feels like there might be too much purple, but I liked it enough to keep it in the final draft. I also wanna note that the sock situation is the same as the Invaders.
San Antonio Gunslingers
The last team I did was the San Antonio Gunslingers. The name and original logo may not fly in today’s day and age, but I tried my best to tone down the logo by using a different design not featuring any guns or actual sheriffs. While I would’ve wanted a green alternate, I chose not to as it was very similar to the Federals. However if the Gunslingers return to the USFL, I wouldn’t complain if they went for a green uniform.
That’ll do it for this series! I chose not to do the Orlando Renegades as they were one of the more forgettable teams that are really unlikely to return, as well, Orlando is XFL territory and the XFL has a team called the Renegades. Regardless, I enjoyed making all of these teams and look forward to seeing possible returns to the USFL.