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Update 3/6/2013: For the Federals' 30th anniversary, I was interviewed by William F. Yurasko for his blog, The William World News. The post on the Federals has a lot of good stuff like links to video clips and other fans' reminisces. Check it out!
In 1983 and 1984, Washington, D.C. was represented in the spring-season United States Football League by the Washington Federals. The Feds, as they were called, won only seven of their thirty-six regular season games. The team was relocated to Orlando for the USFL's final season in 1985.
While they were in town, the Federals forged a bond with their fans and provided some exciting and memorable moments. It seemed like the Federals could never catch a break. For example, it rained during fifteen of their eighteen home games. One USFL highlight video refers to Federals fans as having been "impervious to the obvious." Yes, their owner really did compare them to "Muppets" and "untrained gerbils." But they were our team, and we loved them. With goofy mascot "Eagle Kneagle" and the Untouchables cheerleaders, the Feds did their best to welcome all to RFK.
Were the Federals really as awful as their reputation says they were? No, they WERE NOT! In fact they weren't even the worst team in USFL history!* The Federals lost eleven games on the last play or by a touchdown or less. Had those games gone the other way -- if they'd held on and not allowed last-second miracle field goals, if a quarterback sneak had gained one more foot, if a desperation heave from the opposite end zone hadn't gone for 98 and a touchdown with zeros on the clock, a snap on a last-second field goal of their own wasn't dropped, the saga of the Federals would have been entirely different.
* The Federals did have a better winning percentage than the worst team in USFL history, the Pittsburgh Maulers; however, of the Maulers' three wins in 1984, two of them were against the Federals.
Site designed with retro 1980s style.
If the Feds had a Web site in 1984 it'd probably look like this one.