As a teenager about to head into my junior year of high school, the USFL and the Birmingham Stallions took me to another level of football ecstasy. It did this in several ways:
- More football. College football and the NFL? I loved them and couldn’t get enough of them. The USFL came around and brought football to the spring and summer. This was outstanding.
- A local team. As crazy as football in the south is now, it was still pretty crazy back in the 1980s. And our area was hungry for more. The Stallions gave us – and by us I mean fans from any college team – an opportunity to pull for one team. Our area embraced the Stallions. This was our team.
- Local talent. Stallions fans were mostly a mix of Alabama and Auburn fans. And while I hated the Auburn Tigers in the 1980s with a Biblical hate (as opposed to today’s sort of mostly non-Biblical hate), the Stallions were stocked with a mix of former Tide and Tigers and we cheered for them all. A case in point is former Auburn player Chuck Clanton. I couldn’t stand this young man when he wore an orange and blue #2, but that was a different story when he wore the red and gold of the Stallions.