The XFL Should Revive the Michigan Panthers Brand for a New Team
The Michigan Panthers who played in the USFL in the early 1980s are the only pro football team from Michigan to win a championship since 1957. Wouldn't it be nice to have them back? With the current state of all the pro teams based out of Detroit, it would be nice to at least have another rooting option.
The new version of the XFL, currently with eight teams, has not formally announced any expansion teams for the 2021 season. And there are no indications at this time that Michigan is on the list of places where a new team would originate. The overall success of the league is still playing out in their inaugural season as well, which will play a big factor in what happens in the second season. But this time around certainly seems to be going much better than the short-lived XFL in 2001. The quality of play, some unique rules that fans seem to like, and a better pace of play, in general, all seem to be helping.
The Michigan Panthers only existed for two seasons, on July 17, 1983, they captured the USFL championship with a 24-22 win over the Philadelphia Stars. The following season they fell in the first round of the playoffs. Even though they had a loyal following, the franchise in Detroit came to an end. Owners in the USFL, largely under the influence of Donald Trump who was the owner of the New Jersey Generals at the time, wanted to move games from spring to fall to directly compete with the NFL. The Panthers owner was not on board and the team merged with Oakland, leaving the city of altogether after playing only two seasons in the league.
Also, did you know that you can find throwback Michigan Panthers gear on Amazon? Here are some links to products if you want to show pride from our short-lived, championship pro football team from 1983.